Insurance Blog

Posted: 08/01/20233,536 Views

With massive heatwaves affecting destinations all around the globe, it’s important for travelers to do all they can to stay safe. As we all know, staying hydrated is an important part of protecting yourself from heat exhaustion and even sunburn, as hydrated skin cells resist burning more effectively. 

This isn’t a problem if you’re visiting the United States or most of Europe. But staying hydrated in many other parts of the world isn’t as simple as turning on the tap. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the majority of countries do not have tap water that is safe to drink for foreign visitors.

Consuming contaminated water can lead to a variety of stomach ailments, including traveler’s diarrhea, which is the last thing anyone wants when they’re trying to stay hydrated in the heat. So, what steps can you take to ensure you drink enough water to stay healthy while avoiding the risks abroad? Let’s find out.

Choose Bottled Water

Drinking bottled water is the go-to choice for international travelers, but you have to be careful. Unscrupulous roadside vendors in some countries may reuse water bottles, filling them with local tap water and sticking the caps back on with glue. Always look for the factory seal on any water bottle before opening it.

Water Purification Options

Drinking bottled alone may not always be an option. Not all locations will have it readily available in the quantity you need, making purification a better option. Consider which of these purification options suits your needs.

  • Portable water filters – These are light and convenient to carry, making them perfect for purifying water on the go, such as when hiking. However, keep in mind that water filters alone may not kill every contaminant in the water. You may want to combine a portable filter with another chemical or UV purifying method for best results.
  • UV water purifiers – These handheld devices use UV light to kill contaminants in the water. Just hold the light in your container, activate it for the prescribed time, and it will do the work for you. Combine a handheld UV purifier with a portable filter to remove particulates for plenty of clean water on the go. 
  • Iodine tablets – A popular water decontamination method for many years, iodine tablets still work great today. However, they aren’t an instant solution. Most take around half an hour to thoroughly decontaminate water, so you’ll need to plan ahead.
  • Chlorine drops – Chlorine is used all around the world for water purification, but you have to be mindful when using it. Adding more than the recommended amount can make you sick and have other negative health effects.
  • Boiling – Perhaps no method for purifying water has been around longer than boiling, and it’s still just as effective today. All you need is a stove or portable electric kettle to get the job done. Although this method can’t be used all the time, it’s a good way to treat large quantities at once. 

Don’t Forget Food and Ice

Consuming only safe, purified water goes beyond just what you drink. Fresh fruits and vegetables can also be washed with unsafe local tap water, and the ice in soft drinks can be made with unclean tap water as well. Avoid fresh fruits, vegetables, and salads if you cannot wash them yourself with clean water, and only consume soft drinks that are in factory-sealed bottles and cans.

Purchase Travel Insurance

Following these tips can go a long way in helping you stay hydrated without getting sick on trips abroad. But international travel always carries risks. You could still contract an illness or get injured, so you need to have a contingency plan if it happens.

Travel medical insurance is designed to protect you while traveling internationally outside the United States. It allows you to access the best available care for new, unexpected medical issues for a more affordable price, and can even cover expensive emergency medical evacuation if required.

Through the main component of a trip cancellation insurance plan is to protect your prepaid, nonrefundable travel expenses in case of a covered trip cancellation, most plans can also offer emergency medical coverage

Regardless, make sure you’re protected. Be careful of what you consume, and have the right insurance to shield you in case of any medical issues in a foreign country.

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