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safe water drinking

Most people that have traveled extensively have experienced the unpleasantness of consumption-related sicknesses. More often than not, these sicknesses are brought on by contaminants or unfamiliar bacteria in the local drinking water supply. Travelers can fall ill from foreign water, even if it is ostensibly safe, because of the body’s unfamiliarity with particular strains of bacteria abroad. This fact makes it difficult to know when water can be safely consumed during travel, but purchasing travel insurance can help you handle any health scares that come your way.

Boiled or Treated Water is Safe

Long exposure to high temperatures has a deleterious effect on bacteria, so many travel guides suggest boiling water before drinking it in situations where you are uncertain of the liquid’s ‘drink-ability’. Many outdoor and travel stores also sell portable water purification systems and filters that are very effective in decontaminating the water supply. Some of the more advanced systems even kill bacteria and protozoa with the use of concentrated UV light beams; unfortunately, these items usually carry a price tag commensurate with their level of utility. It is usually better (and cheaper!) to simply boil the water or carry iodine or chlorine tablets with you on your travels. These methods can help make your trip protection insurance package irrelevant — hopefully!

Know Your Traveling Region

There are certain areas of the world where tap water is rarely potable. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintains a detailed and up to date database that lists each of the world’s countries along with the government’s recommendation for how to drink when traveling in those countries. Developing nations such as Mexico and Belize are infamous for the low quality of their tap water, whereas more advanced countries such as France or England usually are able to supply travelers with consistently drinkable water. Familiarizing yourself with the water situation before you travel and purchasing trip protection insurance can help save you from a nasty couple of days during your trip!

Confer With Locals

If you are unsure of water quality, it is best to defer to knowledgeable locals. People who work at popular hotels and hostels will have given travelers advice on drinking water before, and no one is more familiar with local health capabilities than someone who lives and works there.

Travelers should always err on the side of caution when it comes to drinking water abroad. Even safe water could cause digestive issues if your stomach is not used to local bacteria, so make sure purchase travel insurance that covers all types of potential health situations.

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