Drinking Water Safety

Ever wondered how safe the water is in you hotel in developing countries?

Well most big hotels do have some sort of water filters so the water does normally look clean.


Two problems are

  • Does the water filtration system remove all bacteria?
  • Are the pipes and tanks between the filtration and your tap clean?

Some hotels have Ultrafiltration or Reverse Osmosis (RO) filters which should remove bacteria, as long as they are maintained and not by-passed.

Risk Free Approach

Avoid, Ice, mixed cordials and and washed salad

Drink bottled water, and check the suppliers seal on the bottle before you use it.

Use bottled water for brushing your teeth, and making ice in your mini bar fridge.

Additional Travel Hack

When cleaning your teeth don’t put the bottle down while you are brushing!

It’s easy to put the bottle down then habit takes over and you use the tap to rinse!

Farting on Planes

You might not be farting (a more technical term is ‘High Altitude Flatus Expulsion’) on the plane, but everyone else is!

I’m told some flight attendants refer to the smell as ‘Eau de Boeing’.

Why It Happens

Basically on a plane flying at 10,000 m the air is only pressurised to 2,000 – 3,000m altitude rather than sea level..

If you have ever taken a bag of potato crisps on a plane you will see the pack which has been manufactured with air at sea level is now ‘inflated’ as tight as a drum.

Well the same applies with the gases in your gut, which makes you more likely to fart and feel bloated.

What Can You Do?

Prevention methods include:

Holding back a fart can lead to discomfort, pain, more bloating, and a final ‘explosive result’.

A little fart shouldn’t be too much of a problem as aircraft ventilation systems pull air from the ceiling to extraction point in the floor, away from sensitive noses!

Anyway everyone else has the same problem.

Travelling With Medications

For many years we didn’t have to bother about travelling with medicines, but as we have got older we both need to take pills daily.

Usually its not a problem travelling domestically, travelling internationally it can be a little more complicated.

Law Enforcement

Laws on drugs vary considerably between countries, particularly if you are taking a narcotic drug.

Although it’s unlikely you’ll be stopped and questioned about your medications, it is a possibility.

You never know if a search dog may pick you out.

Proof that you have been prescribed the medication will make the situation easier.


The easiest way of providing evidence that you are entitled to the medicine is the original box, or bottle, with the pharmacists label.

In Australia it can sometimes be easier to get some low risk medication without a prescription, but if you are going to be travelling it might be better to make sure you get that sticker!

If you are taking very strong drugs it may be useful to also get a letter from your doctor.

Creams and Lotions

With the restrictions on liquids etc on international travel you need to think very carefully about this.

Only take small containers in your carry-on with larger containers in checked bags.

Losing Medicines

Minimise the risk of losing medicines by always having them in your carry on and taking a couple of weeks extra in case there is a delay in returning home.

Make sure you have a record of the details (such as a photo of the pharmacy tag) so you can get replacements if your carry-on is stolen.

Medical Emergencies

If you have a medical emergency, having the details of your medicines will help a doctor determine the best treatment for you.