Drinking Water and Travel
Chapter 10 : Don't Drink the Water?
Definitely don't drink the water if the locals don't. Aside
from this travel guideline, it's tough to judge when it is safe
to drink the water in another country. It is often best to rely
on bottled water, which is available almost everywhere now, and
is cheaper in other countries than in the United States.
Are you safe if you just drink bottled water? Well, was the
salad you ate washed in the local tap water? If so, you may not
feel well later. If they don't post a sign saying the food is
washed in purified water, ask them. Otherwise, it may be best
to skip the salad.
On the other hand, the Latin-American custom of dressing salads
with lime juice may actually kill the bacteria from the wash
water. I've taken my chances, with good luck so far. I also carry
iodine tablets for purifying water, so I can make a disinfecting
rinse for fruits.
Ice cubes are often the cause of water-borne illnesses among
tourists. If you're not sure that the ice cubes are made with
purified water, order your drink without ice. Also, brush your
teeth with bottled water to be safe. Showering is usually safe
unless you stand there with your mouth open.
A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on
arriving. - Lao Tzu
Continue with Chapter 11 here: Food
Note: This chapter on drinking water and travel was
part of the e-book Travel Secrets. Now all chapters are
free on this site. See the homepage (the link is at the bottom
of this page) for a list of all chapters and links to them.