Although we are sad to see summer go, we are already looking forward to all of the good times the chillier months are sure to bring. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and, of course, all the vacation time that comes with it! Many of us at Eldorado Natural Spring Water are going to visit family and friends during the holidays but a few lucky ducks are headed south, very south—South America to be exact.
There is so much to think about when preparing to travel to another country. What to pack, the enriching history you are sure to learn about, destinations of choice, and, of course, all the delicious new cuisines you will try! However, travelers often forget about one of the most important essentials when they are making their plans;water. Many developing countries have contaminated drinking water that would make an American traveler extremely sick. Here are some things you need to know in order to stay happy and healthy on your next trip abroad.
Where to be on the lookout.
Generally speaking, developed areas of the world like the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Northern and Western Europe, Japan, and many parts of the Caribbean have relatively safe drinking water. However, if traveling to Central America, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and especially South America, you’ll definitely want to be on your guard.
That being said, water quality can vary greatly depending on where you are in a given country. If you are staying at a tourist resort or major city hotel, you might be ok to drink, but if you will be visiting a rural town or restaurant, you will probably want to play it safe. Regardless, it is always a good idea to consult guidebooks or a reliable source before quenching your thirst with local water sources.
What food/drink items to be weary of.
Because we don’t usually have to worry about water contamination in the U.S. tap system, it can be hard to remember everything that has been touched or made with tap water while abroad. Of course you want to avoid drinking water out of the tap, but also shy away from using it to brush your teeth or taking a gulp while in the shower. Iced drinks, fountain drinks, and freshly squeezed juice also may pose a threat to your health. The ice most likely came from the tap and fountain drinks are usually just carbonated tap water mixed with various syrups. If you are offered freshly squeezed juice but are unsure of how it was prepared (even if the fruit was simply washed in tap water), it has the potential to make you ill.
You should also be cognizant of any and all raw food. The rule of thumb is that if you can peel it yourself you’re generally safe. Things like salads and pre-sliced fruit can often pose a risk because they provide ample surface area for germs to grow on and have most likely been exposed to the pathogens in the tap water.
Just because they can drink it, doesn’t mean you can.
The locals in these countries have immune systems that have adapted to the water’s contaminants over time. They can drink all the tap waterand eat all the fresh fruits and veggies they’d like and not feel a thing. You, on the other hand, aren't prepared for this cocktail of new pathogens to enter your body all at once.
All of this being said, expanding your horizons and trying new food and drink is one of the highlights of visiting other countries. Just make sure to do it safely by always ordering bottled water and making smart menu choices while dining out. Nothing ruins a perfect vacation like the stomach bug (Montezuma’s revenge anyone?). So, as you’re packing for your upcoming international vacation, try to save room for a couple bottles of Eldorado Natural Spring Water in your checked bag. It will help you stay hydrated as soon as you land and maybe it can cure a little homesickness you might have. As we wave a couple of our team members off, we would also like to wish you health and happiness on any upcoming travels you might have!