We don’t travel with guide books. They add too much weight, take up precious space and buying a new one for each country we visit would cost too much. Sometimes we read the ones left behind in guesthouses, but mostly we look to the Internet for a few important answers. Before arriving in a new country, we always look up the following information:
1) the local currency and exchange rate
2) what the tipping etiquette is
3) any local customs or important cultural differences
And, super important:
4) can you drink tap water without getting sick?
This last question has become very important to us. Being in constant travel mode between very foreign places has caused us to miss certain things, and ice on a very hot day is one of them. Sometimes, if you can’t drink the local water, you can’t have ice, a smoothie or diluted juice. But other times, like in Malaysia, ice is made in factories and purchased by local establishments. Thank you, Malaysia! But we wish you the best if you attempt to drink ice water in India.
Obviously this is very important information to be prepared with. Here’s a breakdown of countries we spent significant time in during our trip and whether you can drink from the tap.* Some of them may surprise you: