Traveler’s diarrhea is one of the most common illnesses contracted by people while traveling. Contaminated water could contain various bacteria, and viruses like E. coli, salmonella, cholera, protozoa, hepatitis A virus, polio virus, and dangerous chemical pollutants, making it a leading cause of diarrhea and other serious health problems amongst travelers. It is thus advisable to completely avoid drinking tap water while traveling, and instead, opting for packaged bottled water from a reputed brand. This is a cheaper and safer alternative to boiling the tap water or investing in a high-tech camping filter.
Experts advise against even brushing your teeth with tap water while traveling, as this could put you at a significant risk of infection. Keep a sufficient stock of bottled water with you, and use it for other purposes like brushing your teeth or cleaning your dentures. Also remember to ask for all drinks without ice, because the ice is more likely than not made from tap water, making it just as unsafe as if you were to drink the water. Remember that freezing the water does not kill the bacteria.
Infection from contaminated drinking water can lead to serious bacterial diseases, so you’d better be safe than sorry. While it might seem unnecessary to take precautions against tap water, considering the locals are consuming the same water, you need to realize that their bodies have become immune to those pathogens. In case you run short of your supply of bottled water, it is a good idea to keep yourself hydrated with canned juices, sodas, milk, and other packed beverages, instead of resorting to consuming local tap water.
Samantha Springs, a company providing high-quality spring water in Texas, warns against spurious bottled water manufacturers selling regular tap water in bottles. You need to make sure that the bottles you are buying are well-sealed, and are of a reputed brand. Asking hotel authorities to provide you with the best quality of bottle water available locally is a good idea. Make sure that you hear a clicking sound when you open the bottle, and check carefully to ensure that it is not resealed with glue. If you are not sure whether you can trust the bottled water in the country you are travelling to, you might want to consider getting sufficient bottled water shipped to your destination before flying.