How to travel with a PA
I am 25 years old and have lived with a peanut allergy my entire life. I am severly allergic to the point I will die if I even have the slightest amount of a peanut (without immidiate medical attention).
However I am a frequent traveller and have been to manyt countries. I just want to share some of my tips on how to survive while travelling.
Portugal = Not many nuts in their cooking at all. Even the tradtional portugese custard tart is 100% nut free and tasty. Their English ability is low but if you have a translated card they will help you. I am pretty sure no places use peanut oil.
Spain = Basically like portugal. Watch out for some desserts but other than that its fairly safe.
Germany = Most people speak english and their food doesnt contain nuts. They have many pasteries with nuts but those are easy enough to avoid. I have been able to enjoy nut-free strudels on many occasions. No peanut oil to be found here.
Austria = The same as Germany. In fact at a restaurant on top of the alps my waiter also had a PA and completely understood my situation.
Italy = If you are allergic to pine nuts there might be an issue since pesto is used a lot. But peanut oil and peanuts are rare. However many people speak English (especially in tourist areas) and I had no issues.
Greece = I would eat greek food everyday if I could. There are no nuts or peanut oil in 99% of their dishes. Some desserts use walnuts but those are easy enough to avoid. Also in some areas of Greece english is spoken (Athens, Santorini, Marathon)
Cuba = The food in Cuba isn't that great but it is also nut free. The do not use any peanut oil and I don't even think it exsists on the island (I lived in Cuba for a year).
Dominican Republic = Again things are safe here. No peanut oil used and no nuts in the cooking.
Japan = If you want to go to Asia and have no worry about nuts then Japan is the place to be. I have lived here for almost 3 years and come across peanuts only a few times (and each time it was in a packet not in cooking). Nuts are very expesive here so people don't use it. Peanut oil is never used. Easily the safest place in asia for PA sufferers. If you really want to feel extra safe bring a translated card since no one here speaks English. However they do understand allergies once you get that across. Many Japanese suffer from life-threatening soba allergies (a noodle found in japan). So they will be understanding and cater to your needs. In fact Japan is the best place to get peanut free Chinese food for all the above reasons.
Korea = Is like Japan. Nuts are too expensive so they are not really used. Peanut oil is never used. You do come across nuts and peanuts a bit more often but it is really easy to avoid. Also Koreans speak a lot more english.
Thailand = A lot of peanuts and peanut oil. And no one understand what a peanut allergy is. I basically stuck to western food (which is easy enough to find in Bangkok) and buying and making my own food. If you take the same steps I did you will be fine though. Also some tours I took had some peanut and nut free Thai food (since the tour company understood my allergy).
China = Just got back from China and it was a very difficult trip. Most things have peanuts, peanut oil, or are cross contaminated. Stick to western food if you can. No one understood what a peanut allergy was, and every place used peanut oil, or didnt know what oil they used. Luckily in the major cities you can find enough western places to eat that are safe. But local Chinese cuisine is almsot impossible to eat. Very few people speak English, bring translated cards.
Palau = A great place for scuba diving and a great place for eating. No peanut oil and no nuts. Their food is great and they have a decent super market to get your own food. In Korror they have a very good Indian restaurant that is completly understanding of PA and will provide a safe meal. Also they speak English.
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