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Tap Water Tips for Travelers

Eager to travel again? Before you leave home, consider these tips from NSF experts who warn to be cautious of tap water when traveling.

Whether you’re sightseeing or jetting off to sunnier places, travel is in full swing again. And NSF public health experts are here to help you with travel tips for tap water and water on the go.

“With travelers so keen to get away, it would be easy to overlook health precautions when traveling,” says Jérôme Logie, Global Marketing Director of NSF’s water division. “It’s important to stay on the right side of caution regarding health risks.”

While traveling, be aware of “boil water” notices and signage about water in hotels, and understand that it is always okay to ask about the tap water when not at home.

Keeping hydrated in warm weather is essential, and there is no better way to do so than with a reusable bottle filled with your favorite mineral, spring or drinking water. You can also purchase bottled water from the store. A bottled or canned beverage direct from the manufacturer poses the lowest risk for your health. Be aware that soda fountain drinks at a hotel, restaurant or bar using clean, safe local water sources may still disagree with your stomach.

Are you making a cup of coffee or tea in your hotel room? Use bottled water for that too. Another option is a filter you can take with you. While these may not address all possible contaminants, they can reduce any odor or taste in the water. NSF-certified water pitchers with filters are a safer option; check out a list of them here.

You may have read about other ways to make water safer when traveling, like chlorine tablets or boiling the water. Keep in mind that these solutions may actually make the water worse for you to drink and are not always the best options. For example, boiling water with lead will increase the lead concentration, because now water has evaporated during boiling, so you have less water with the same amount of lead.

Travel safer by being aware and doing your research, and don’t be afraid to ask questions about your water while you are on holiday.

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