Travelling overseas – can I drink the water?

No Matter where you travel, you’ll need to drink water. Water safety is one of the biggest concerns for travelers; drinking contaminated water can have you falling ill and missing out on your vacation, or worse, hospitalized in a foreign country.

In advanced nations, tap water is pretty safe, but in developing counties, you’ll need to be aware of your water source, often needing to rely on bottled water or water purification.

If you’re traveling soon, follow the guide below to determine whether your holiday destination has safe water for drinking.

Do Your Research

On the Centres For Disease Control (CDC) website – you can find the Travellers Health Tool, which provides an easy way to measure a destination’s risk level when traveling. The CDC categorizes health notice into the following alert levels:

  • Alert Level 1: Practice usual precautions
  • Alert Level 2: Practice enhanced precautions
  • Alert Level 3: Avoid non-essential travel

Here, you’ll find all of the health and safety information regarding vaccinations, food and water safety tips, and more.

Ask The Locals 

A handy conversational phrase to learn in the native language of any destination you travel to is “is the water safe to drink?”. Generally, the locals will want tourists to leave with a positive impression of their country, so they are a helpful source of information.

Countries With Guaranteed Water Safety

Countries with advanced infrastructure like Australia and New Zealand, most Western European countries, the United Kingdom, and Asian countries like Japan and Singapore all have modern

sanitation standards. Meaning travelers don’t have to worry about the water standards and can safely use taps and public water fountains.

Countries Rated With The Best Quality Tap Water: 

  • New Zealand
  • Germany
  • Sweden
  • Italy
  • Austria
  • France
  • Luxemburg
  • Norway
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom

In Developing Countries – Exercise Caution

There are hundreds of popular travel destinations in the developing world with inadequate water sanitation infrastructure. However, that shouldn’t be a deterrent. Destinations like the Caribbean islands, many central and South American countries, and many Southeast Asian, Eastern European, and African countries often require travelers to exercise caution regarding drinking water.


Countries Most In Need Of Safe Drinking Water:

  • Afghanistan
  • Ethiopia
  • Chad
  • Cambodia
  • Laos
  • Haiti
  • Ghana
  • India
  • Bangladesh
  • Rwanda

Drinking-Water Safety In Hotels And Resorts

All-inclusive and high-end resorts catering to mostly international tourists are generally the exceptions to the rule of drinking water caution in developing countries, often investing a lot of resources into water filtration and purification.

Often It’s a good idea to check with the hotel directly before departure. A safeguard would also be to check online reviews for any previous guest experiences and reports of illness – particularly for destinations in Central America, the Caribbean, and the Pacific islands.

Tips For Water Safety In High-Risk Countries

  • Boil tap water before use.
  • Travel with portable water filters
  • Always take out travel insurance in the event of illness.
  • Purchase sealed, bottled water.
  • Don’t ask for ice in your drinks.
  • Travel with water purification tablets.
  • Travel with medication for the treatment of nausea and diarrhea.

As travel restrictions ease worldwide, it’s time to get back out there and explore the world. Water safety is as important as any other health protocol when traveling abroad. Be sure to do your research on water standards before travel and be prepared; there are ways to make water safe water for drinking overseas with the proper preparation.

Visit the Best Water Filter Guide website and discover our recommended range of water filters – from affordable to top of the range.