An embarassing travel question

Old Jan 7th, 2001, 03:22 PM
  #1  
John
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An embarassing travel question

This is a little embarassing to ask, but this will be my first trip to England and France. Should I be worried about drinking the water or having any problem with getting sick??? I know these aren't 3rd world countries, but just curious.
 
Old Jan 7th, 2001, 03:24 PM
  #2  
Sheila
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No problems- safe water and good helath services. Ours is OK. The French is meant to be the best in the world. Make sure you're insured, of course
 
Old Jan 7th, 2001, 03:37 PM
  #3  
Ed
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You may get a little razzing here, but there's a bit ... just a bit ... of validity in asking the question. (Of course, Grandad always said no question is dumb if you don't know the answer!)

The water, criminal justice system, highway system, utilities, education ... just about everything else in Western Europe ... all on a par with the US. The water is just as good in Europe as here.

However ... all of us, Americans, Europeans, Asians, South Americans, have little bacteria in our stomachs. The bacteria Americans have is a bit different than the bacteria that floats around Mexico, for example. Which is often the reason for "Montezuma's Revenge" for visitors to Mexico. Could be bad water, but just as likely the inability of our bodies to adjust quickly enough to the new bacteria.

Same thing may happen in Europe. Rare, but the physiology is there for it to happen any time.
Plus some of us overindulge in rich foods which sometimes upsets things.

Healthwise, nothing to worry about in Europe. That doesn't say a little Imodium AD isn't a useful thing to pack when traveling anywhere.

Ed
 
Old Jan 7th, 2001, 03:43 PM
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Doug Weller
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The water is safe. But it's not the same water, and I've noticed people (eg my step-daughter) needing to get used to different water even within Britain. I presume some people are just more sensitive to the differences.
 
Old Jan 7th, 2001, 03:49 PM
  #5  
John
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Ed -- I assure you I am quite serious with my question. I realize it probably sounds a bit odd & may garner some snorts and giggles. But this is a genuine query.

I just thought to ask: What type of bottled waters are available for purchase in England & France? I drink bottled water generally here at home.
Thanks - John
 
Old Jan 7th, 2001, 04:00 PM
  #6  
Ed
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John, I had no doubt as to the seriousness of your question, and I gave a serious answer.

As to bottled water, there are SO many brands. It's rare to find the same brand repeated in a week's worth of visits to restaurants. Perrier might have a little more "universal" presence in France. My guess is that owners have personal preferences or, as here with the colas, the bottlers make big concessions to get their brand in place.

In any event, unless you carry it with you (whether purchased here or over there) I should think it would be quite difficult to stay with a single brand of water.

The water from the tap or from the bottle is universally fine throughout virtually all of Western Europe, and ceratinly England and France.

Ed
 
Old Jan 7th, 2001, 04:11 PM
  #7  
cmt
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I think you are more likely to get stomach upsets from bottled water than from potable tap water, unless you have been drinking a lot of European mineral water at home, rather than American spring water. This is because Europeans tend to prize mineral-rich spring waters more than we do in the USA. Many of the minerals have healthful, medicinal qualities. But if we are not accustomed to them, they may be too much for our system. Note, for example, that many European bottled waters have a high % of magnesium. Drinking too much before you're used to it can have the same effect as taking milk of magnesia when you don't happen to need it. I find that for me it is beter to ease into the bottled water by drinking some tap water and some bottled water the first few days, in countries where I'm sure the water is safe and where the particular sink is one that has potable water. I also found that the tap water in Italy, France, Greece (I don't remember the water in England) didn't have the terrible smell that it often has at home in NJ!
 
Old Jan 7th, 2001, 04:15 PM
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Judy
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I think it is a valid question, especially when one has had a an "encounter" with Montezuma(Mexico) ;-). I have had no problem with the water in most W. European countries. BUT, that is to say a change in waters might not bring you some distress(as often happens to some people). IMHO, the city water in Paris is very good... and bottled water is readily available. Hope you have a great time and I would not worry too much about the water. Judy
 
Old Jan 7th, 2001, 04:20 PM
  #9  
Cass
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Favorite preventive measure for strange-water colliwobbles: try to eat yogurt made locally in whatever country you are visiting, as soon as you arrive. The cultures in the yogurt will help your own "personal" digestive set of bacteria accommodate unfamiliar thingies in the host-country's water.
 
Old Jan 7th, 2001, 04:25 PM
  #10  
s.fowler
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Oh wow! I hadn't heard "colliwobbles" in eons. Thank you Cass!
 
Old Jan 7th, 2001, 04:44 PM
  #11  
wendy
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If you drink bottled water at home, drink bottled water abroad. It's not bacteria that will kill you, it's the taste. A two-liter bottle in the UK will run you about 70pence, and 1.5 liter bottle in France is about (not kidding here) 2francs. These are grocery-store prices, of course they are more expensive at train stations and gift shops at tourist attractions.
And make sure you get spring water, not mineral water, which isn't too tasty.
 
Old Jan 7th, 2001, 04:56 PM
  #12  
karin
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I recently visited Paris, and we drank bottled mineral water, I had no problem with this BUT...after i came home i found out that mineral water can have a laxative effect on those not used to it due to the magnesium. One great thing about Paris, is that all the cafes will allow you two use thier restrooms, a few i went to did charge a franc or so. then there are the public self cleaning toilets that are founf on the streets as well, these were also very clean. I had no problems and i dont think you will either! Bon Voyage!
 
Old Jan 7th, 2001, 05:32 PM
  #13  
Donna
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The tap water is perfectly safe and drinkable. I, personally, stick to bottled water when traveling - ever since everyone at a seminar I attended in New Jersey suffered various strange effects from drinking the water. One lady was rushed to the emergency room with hives (she'd never experienced them before) and I blew up like you wouldn't believe (which subsided all along the drive home and was gone by the time I reached my house after four hours). Thereafter, we all brought jugs of bottled water, and suffered no ill effects from our seminars in New Jersey.
 
Old Jan 7th, 2001, 09:19 PM
  #14  
Sandi
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John,

During a two-week tour of France this past June, the tour director warned myself and other tour members not to drink the water in the southern part of France. I believe this started when we reached Montpelier . The reason given was something about not receiving much rain in this region and the water table level was extremely low. I don't know how valid this is, but just thought I would share what I was told.

Sandi
 
Old Jan 7th, 2001, 11:27 PM
  #15  
Melissa
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Generally, the water in both places are safe. I have never, ever had a problem. But on my first trip there, my friend thought she had gotten an upset stomach one day from drinking tap water somewhere in London. It's possible she has a much more delicate system, though.
 
Old Jan 8th, 2001, 04:30 AM
  #16  
Tony Hughes
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I never did like the water in London when I stayed there - didn't trust that 'filter' thing in the fridge.

To echo many previous comments, water is different everywhere and can take a little getting used to for some people, irrespective or where you have come from.

Nothing wrong with tapwater in Britain (although see London comment) at all. Read recent report that tapwater far better than bottled - less nasties in it. Applied to Britain only but included foreign mineral water.
 
Old Jan 8th, 2001, 05:59 AM
  #17  
Mary Ann
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In 3 trips to Europe we never had any problems in Eastern or Western Europe. We were provided bottled water in Capri (island problem). However, my sister-in-law has problems with water, even in traveling the US. As a result, she always takes her bottled water with her. As she uses it up, it provides extra room for bring back her purchases!
 
Old Jan 11th, 2001, 04:21 AM
  #18  
Liz
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In the UK, there's nothing wrong with the water at all - you can safely drink it anywhere.

However, the water does vary according to the region - from 'hard' to 'soft' (I think it's the quantity of lime in the soil). I live in a softwater area, and, of course, we think that soft water is best! Soap lathers more easily, we don't get a build up of limescale in the kettle, and the most important thing is - it TASTES nicer!

But possibly I'm a bit biassed!
 
Old Jan 11th, 2001, 05:32 AM
  #19  
kate
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The earlier comment about tap water in the UK being better for you than bottled water is apparently true. There is even a company in Manchester (north of England) that bottles the tap water and sells it to other parts of the country because it's supposed to taste so nice!
 
Old Jan 11th, 2001, 06:06 AM
  #20  
Bhavna
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John, Why would you worry about the drinking water in the UK and France? Are you from the US, is that the perception over there?

Your curious

B
x
 

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