Staying hydrated while traveling is the most important advice for your travel health. And unless you’re backpacking through the Anasazi dessert or somewhere similar, your access to clean water should be fairly easy and inexpensive. So don’t be a crazy person and think you have to pack your water in a large suitcase. Seriously, who would do that?
When traveling with the family, we typically include a few gallons of water for road trips or buy water in large portions from a local grocery store and refill our favorite water bottles.
Avoid drinking tap water in foreign countries. Even if it is deemed safe, your system (and especially your children’s systems) are not used to it. If bottled water is not available, we recommend the following procedures and products:
- Boil the water. In the time it takes for water to boil, all pathogens will be killed, even at high altitudes.
- If boiling water isn’t an option, filter water with a pump purifier, ultraviolet purifier, or worse case a piece of fabric, like a bandana. Then, use purification tablets like iodine or chlorine. They will leave a bitter taste, but the taste is better than becoming very ill.
- There are other great products like the SteriPEN or LifeStraw that don’t take up much space and can remove almost all waterborne bacteria and parasites.
- Lemon is a powerful antibacterial. We recommend using it in any water to improve overall health and wellness, especially while traveling. If access to fresh lemons is limited, try adding a drop of essential oil in each glass of water.
- Remember to have some fun with those empty water jugs and inflatable balls from your child’s TOC travelpack.