Travelling to China with Food Allergies



I got my travel bug when I was 20 years old. I went out of my comfort zone and applied to go on international exchange through my university. I chose all English speaking countries as options except one. Guess which one I got – Sweden. Looking back I feel it was fate. It was an incredible experience and changed my life in so many ways- not to mention the place where I met my wife.

Since then, I have been fortunate to travel to many countries in Europe. I’ve been able to manage my allergies on all my trips and have never let them slow me down. However, there is one area of the world that has always made me nervous to travel to – Asia.

From everything I’ve heard, and pictures I’ve seen, I know it’s a beautiful area of the world. However, I’ve also heard that it can be a difficult place for someone with food allergies to eat safely. I’ve been to a Chinese restaurant on only a handful of occasions in my life and know that my options are limited – especially with peanut, tree nut, egg and seafood allergies.

But yes….I’m going to China. For 3 weeks too.

My wife called me with “exciting news” this spring. Never would I guess that she would get a work opportunity in China. I will admit that I agreed to go with her – but with many hesitations about food. The question kept popping up – “What are you going to eat for 3 weeks!?”

Over the past month I have been doing a lot of research for the trip and have slowly become very excited! Now that we are a week away from departure, I can’t believe how much I’m looking forward to the whole experience. I feel comfortable knowing that we will be bringing a lot of our own food and plan on buying a grill and slow cooker for our hotel room to avoid dining out.

The adventure ahead has mostly made me excited to prove that such a trip is doable for people with multiple food allergies. It might not be easy, it might not be conventional, and it might not be convenient – but I am going to China and am determined to find ways to have a fun and safe vacation!

I will keep you posted with my preparations for the trip. I hope this blog can be useful for others with allergies planning a trip to China. I’m not sure how much I can post once I’m there due to the possibility of Internet censorship (I believe no Facebook),  but will post a full recap afterwards.

Wish me luck!


7 thoughts on “Travelling to China with Food Allergies

  1. Wow– fantastic and so brave! Definitely looking forward to hearing how you navigate your food and travel! I have a son with peanut allergy and I worry a ton about him when traveling. You paving the way gives us hope!

  2. I just returned from China. I have food allergies to nuts, tomatoes and seafood. Let me know if you need some ideas.

  3. I’ve been on a tour of China with my food allergies and survived. Brought muffins, dried fruit and snack bars. But tour guide fed me rice, chicken and sea food at the restaurants. He was great and understanding. Told chefs I’d die if they didn’t listen to him. Sometimes I wondered if he actually cooked me eggs or chicken himself. At the better hotels the chefs made me breakfast in a clean pan, didn’t question my need for something separate from the buffet line. They got it like chefs here—several were French trained. A few were European. Brought two sets of Epis and tons of Benadryl. Never had an issue. Can’t wait to take my two ANA kids in 3 years or so.

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