With kids just starting school, Americans now have the opportunity to reminisce over their summer vacations. For Americans, summer is the perfect time to travel. In fact, according to recent research by AAA, almost 100 million Americans, or 4 in 10 U.S. adults, will take a family trip in 2019. But as many of us take off work and prepare to join the elite club of global jet setters before the end of the year, it’s important to keep our safety in mind.

Here at Business Connect and our partner Connect For Water, we realize that many Americans have grown accustomed to certain comforts in America, like drinkable tap water. It is our goal to improve individuals lives through improving drinking water. In many other countries, such a luxury does not exist. For instance, did you know that in vacation hotspot Fiji, which one of the world’s most popular brands of water was named after, an individual cannot actually drink the tap water? The good news is, there are plenty of countries that boast excellent quality drinking water that’s almost as good (if not better) than the bottled kind. To stay safe and avoid falling ill on your well-earned excursion, take a look through our brief guide to 5 travel destinations where you should avoid drinking the tap water. This list might surprise you.

1. Pakistan

Cathedral, Bridge in Pakistan, Middle East

Besides Pakistan ranking number 9 in the list of top 10 countries with the lowest access to clean water, where 21 million out of the total population of 207 million do not have access to clean water, Pakistan, unfortunately, suffers a huge gap between the richest and poorest halves of the population and as a result, basic resources and hygiene are fairly scarce throughout the country. Close to 35% of the population do not have access to safe drinking water.

If you think the bottled varieties of water are safe, you could still be wrong. Even some bottled varieties of water in the country have been rated unsafe for human consumption, with traces of arsenic being discovered in certain brands. Travelers are encouraged to boil tap water that could be treated insufficiently or using purification tablets. But mostly, tap water in Pakistan isn’t worth the risk.

2. Cambodia

View of Angkor Wat at sunrise, Archaeological Park in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Travelers are asked to avoid drinking tap water from Cambodia. Approximately 4 million people out of the total population in Cambodia lack access to safe water, and 6 million lack access to improved sanitation. Sadly, an overwhelming 84% of Cambodians do not have access to safe, clean drinking water and 5% of the population relies on delivered bottled water supplies.

Despite even the healthy bout of rainfall Cambodia receives during their monsoon season and the Mekong River flowing through the country, a lack of technology and water treatment resources in Cambodia has led to a water crisis. Travelers to this part of the world are advised to use water purification tablets and to only consume bottled water with a serrated seal.

3. Russia

St. Petersburg: Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood, Griboedova Canal, Saint Petersburg, Russia

Even though the water in the larger cities is drinkable, travelers in Russia are advised to avoid drinking the tap water and instead to only consume bottled water. While the Russian consumer-rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor regularly tests tap water throughout the country and says it’s safe to drink, it is still not recommended.

In many regions, there’s a high concentration of Ferrum in the water, silicon, manganese, unhealthy levels of calcium, and sulfate due to pipes dating back to WWII. These chemicals can cause premature aging, teeth decay, and skin problems.

4. Ukraine

View of Kiev from observation point over the Dnieper in Ukraine

Even with Ukrainian tourist sites advising against drinking the tap water, many tourists still believe it is worth the risk. According to Ecozine, Ukraine’s water sources are polluted by industrial and agricultural run-off, and most of their infrastructure dates back to the Soviet era.

Ecozine also goes on to explain that the lack of access to safe drinking water in Ukraine is due in part to a general scarcity of water in the country. Over the last 20 years, almost 20,000 of Ukraine’s small rivers have disappeared.

Shanghai skyline and modern city skyscrapers at night, in China

China is home to the world’s largest population, and yet the economic powerhouse still suffers from polluted water sources. According to reports, a staggering 85 percent of the water in the city’s rivers was deemed unfit for consumption in 2015.

In Beijing, one of China’s largest cities and a popular tourist destination, almost 40 percent of the water was so dirty that it couldn’t be used for any purpose.

What Other Countries Should You Avoid

Now our list of travel destinations to avoid drinking the tap water in could go on and on. According to the US government’s CDC agency here is a map of countries to avoid drinking tap water in. As you can see, the CDC is very cautious, essentially arguing that only the richest countries have safe drinking water.

The World Health Organization uses looser criteria for access to safe water, and by their standards, it is a very serious problem in quite a few very poor countries but not many of the middle-income ones on the CDC map.

How You Can Help

At Business Connect, we partner with an organization called Connect For Water. At Connect For Water, it is their goal to improve individuals lives through improving drinking water, and we would love to partner with you in that mission. You can Champion A Project, and help make a big impact on making the world a better place. Other ways you can give are Donations/Sponsorships and Sponsor/Invest.

Your support will have a lasting impact on improving local access to water treatment solutions so people worldwide can clean their water and stop childhood death from diarrhea and dehydration.

Help us save lives and make the world a better place. Contact us today to learn more and begin making a real difference in the lives of millions of people.

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