If you have ever spent any time traveling abroad you know there’s a few options when it comes to water. You’ve got tap water (mostly safe; depends on part of the world), public natural spring water fountains (they have these in Rome, in Sofia and other cities throughout the world) where you can fill up your containers with mineral water, and then you have purified water. Out of the three you probably really only want to drink the latter two, although tap water can do in a pinch if you absolutely have no other option.
Mineral water is the best option if you have access to it. It’s sweet, it’s loaded with minerals and vitamins and it’s 100% absolutely free. You can fill up a couple of large containers and take it back to your house and have natural spring water for weeks and use it for anything from making tea and coffee to drinking and even to water your plants if you want to give them a little boost with extra nutrients.
Some places you set down roots as a location independent digital nomad are going to have drinkable water, while others won’t. As I’ve mentioned in the past, Cancun is a good example. The water here is so hard and has so many minerals in it that the people just don’t drink it. The flavor isn’t so great and with so many minerals prolonged drinking can actually lead to mineral buildup on your teeth, or what the locals refer to as turtle teeth, which is what the people who don’t know any better have after drinking the water for years: a solid row of teeth. It also coats your toilet and the shower with enough buildup in just a week that normal cleaners do not suffice; instead, muradic acid is sold at the stores here along with Clorox and other things and is diluted with water to remove the buildup. Muracid acid is also poured into drains and flushed through pipes on a regular basis to keep the pipes clean.
If you can find a local mineral spring this is always your best option for getting drinkable water while in your city of choice. Barring that you can buy the large water bottles such as are used in office settings and just return the empty bottle for a new one every time you are ready for a refill. Or you can save the containers and after you have a couple of emptied ones you can go down to the mineral spring and fill them up.
Always ask the locals when you get into town if the water is potable or not. They will know. In addition if you are staying in a hotel the nice places will always have a sign telling you whether the water is potable or not and they should include some drinking water for you as a complimentary part of your stay.
However, one thing about drinking water in some cities is that it can get quite expensive if you are always buying small bottles of water. You need to get in the habit of living like a local and either filling up your own water bottles with natural water or refilling them at home so you can avoid spending several dollars a pop for a bottle of water. It can get extremely expensive in some cities. The last time I was in Rome, for example, was back in 2009 and I saw people paying 10 euro for a bottle of water in the center of the city. Meanwhile our group had water bottles we had filled up completely for free at one of the springs earlier which means we were able to use our money for a decent lunch rather than spending it on something that is completely free for human beings as part of our heritage.