Everyone needs water, whether we stay at home or vacation in the Sahara. We may take the healthfulness of our water at home for granted. When we travel we’re likely to experience some less than sanitary supplies.

Make sure you don’t fall ill after drinking and have to claim on your travel medical insurance – untreated water is a haven for viruses, bacteria and parasites. Buy bottled water, boil water, distil water or purify water before it passes your lips.

If you’re travelling for a short time in tourist cities and resorts, bottled water may be most convenient. But the plastic bottles are a serious environmental hazard and bottled water will be expensive if you’re away for a long time. Using a personal water purifier or iodine tablets cuts the environmental and cash cost.

Water safety is a serious concern in the Indian subcontinent, Africa, Mexico and Central America, Asia and South America. Hikers, aid workers, missionaries and other off-the-beaten track adventurers need to be particularly careful here, even in the developed towns and cities.