Covid-19 aside, U.S. citizens enjoy traveling overseas and this popularity is increasing every year. There is no doubt that feeling comfortable and safe during such trips is of utmost importance. Therefore, we are here to advise you on drinking water safety tips that will ultimately save you money and give you peace of mind.

According to a survey conducted by the National Travel and Tourism Office of the U.S. Department, these are the most popular vacation destinations for Americans abroad.

Western Europe

United Kingdom, Italy, France, Spain, and Germany top the ranking

In accordance with an official website of Water UK, tap water in the United Kingdom is considered one of the best in the world. The quality of water conforms to the standards established by the World Health Organization. A great deal of tests is carried out every year, guaranteeing the highest quality of potable water. Same goes for Italy, France, Spain, and Germany.

Despite the fact that drinking water in Western Europe is absolutely safe to consume, there are some useful tips that you should consider before drinking it:

  • You should avoid filling your glass from the hot tap. This is because, quite often, it is connected to a storage reservoir. As a result, the water might not taste as fresh as you expect it to.
  • Sometimes in hotels and other public accommodations, you might notice that cold taps are marked as ‘non-drinking water’. This means that you should follow their advice and find another way to quench your thirst.
  • Also, the water in Western Europe has high concentrations of magnesium and calcium. In order to improve the taste, you might consider adding lemon, cucumber, or mint. This will help to erase unpleasant aftertaste.
  • Another point to think of is that when you fill up your glass, the water may be cloudy at first. However, this is not an issue. The reason why this happens is excess air. The water will clear if you wait a few minutes.

Asia

P.R. of China, Philippines, Japan, and India offer a unique cultural experience for U.S. travelers

Unfortunately, drinking from taps in China, the Philippines, and India is not safe at all. The only exception is Japan, which is believed to be of high standards in terms of safety.

Asian water looks clean, but it is not suitable for human consumption unless it was previously boiled. Even in the case of China’s biggest cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, tap water contains environmental hormones and dangerous pollutants, posing a threat to public health.

According to travelchinaguide.com, traveling across China can be easily spoiled if one decides to fill a glass with tap water. Contaminated water transmits parasites, potentially causing diarrhea and other diseases.

However, it is important to note that brushing your teeth and washing clothes using China’s tap water is absolutely safe. Apart from that, we do recommend opting for boiling it or buying bottled water. The same applies to water consumption in the Philippines.

When it comes to India, it is widely known that due to human activities almost all freshwater sources are polluted. Moreover, water poses a risk as a result of not only being contaminated with bacteria (E.coli, Shigella, Vibrio cholerae), viruses (Hepatitis A, poliovirus, rotavirus), and parasites (E. histolytica, Giardia, hookworm), but also containing heavy metals such as cadmium, zinc, and mercury. Consequently, drinking such water may lead towards metabolic disruptions, seriously affect the nervous system, and cause cancer.

In order to avoid any inconveniences while traveling in India, we advise you to bring along water purification tablets and boil your water for a few minutes before consuming it.

Another good option is to drink from a water bottle with built-in filtration. Also, do not forget to use hand sanitizer during the day and keep your mouth closed while taking a shower. To add to this, you should consider carrying some medicine for diarrhea and stomach upset once you decide to spend your holidays in India.

South America

Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru are beloved vacation option for nature lovers

The majority of the population in Brazil has access to clean water. However, most Brazilians opt to drinking filtered and bottled water. In general, tap water is safe for human consumption. Issues when brushing teeth or taking a shower a rare. The taste of tap water, however, is affected by the way it is treated. That’s why Brazilians prefer to avoid drinking it and opt for bottled or filtered water as mentioned before.

Many Americans plan to go on international vacation to Ecuador or Peru, where tap water is considered to be dangerous for travelers to consume. It does not go through appropriate purification processes and is sometimes even mixed with dirty water.

Furthermore, water in Ecuador often contains diverse parasites and microorganisms. Vomiting, diarrhea, or worse are the consequences. Drinking tap water in Peru may also spoil your vacation and cause many health troubles.

Again, the best way to tackle such issues is to boil your drinking water for at least 1 minute (at altitudes higher than 2,000 m you have to boil the water for at least 3 minutes).

Another great option for dealing with dirty water is disinfection through iodine or other purification tablets. Additionally, you might bring along a water filter that you would like to use.

In Conclusion

According to the Director-General of the WHO, potable water cannot be a matter of luxury and must be accessible to all people, wealthy or not. Water is one of the most essential cornerstones to ensure that our current world population is healthy and the same applies to future generations.

Unfortunately, clean drinking water is inaccessible for many, many people – and everyone should raise awareness for this circumstance.

People also need to be taught about the different methods improving the quality of water at their own home. There exist many resources dedicated to home water treatment on the Internet. One of the most comprehensive websites that we would recommend taking a look at is www.watermasterz.com; it focuses on explaining how to remove the different types of contaminants from water and reviews up-to-day water filters and other products that can help you achieve that.

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