Traveling with Reusable Water Bottles

*Image: Not recommended, but always possible if you carry a water bottle!

Rebecca told us about why water bottles are her One Little Thing  and I couldn’t agree more. But why should you pack a water bottle on your travels?

Why Bring Water Bottles?

  • Save money: Buying bottled water for $4 a pop can quickly blow your travel budget. Refilling your water bottle from public water fountains and sinks, assuming the water is safe for drinking, can prevent you from having to purchase it.
  • Good for environment: All those plastic bottles go straight to the landfill, so it’s good to do our part to protect the environment.
  • Space saving: They don’t take up much room and there are even plastic bottles that fold flat for even more space.
  • Many uses: Water bottles are multi-purposed. I’ve used them as a hot water bottle to warm my toes while sleeping in the Outback, to store my toothbrush and as a flask.

What kind of water bottle should I bring?

There are water bottles for every preference and personality, each with their own helpful features.


metal water bottle

  • Pros: They’re more durable, surviving plenty of dings and dents. They also have the ability to clip onto your backpack.
  • Cons: It can give your water that metallic taste and you can’t put hot water in it unless you want to subject yourself to second degree burns.
  • I recommend: Sigg Traveler Classic Water Bottle

BPA Free Plastic

bpa free water bottles

  • Pros: BPA free plastic water bottles are shatterproof and don’t contain the chemical that has shown side effects. They’re easy to find in every price level and have the measurement lines so you know how much you’re drinking, in ounces or liters. The wide mouth allows for ice cubes and whatever else you want to throw in it. Plastic also can handle both cold and hot temperatures.
  • Cons: Eventually with the wear and tear of travel, it may get cracks. And it also takes on scent of what was in it, as I learned when I stored liquor in mine.
  • I recommend: Nalgene Tritan Wide Mouth BPA-Free Water Bottle

Plastic Flask

plastic flask water bottle

  • Pros: The biggest appeal for me is that they fold very small, leaving room for all your other items. I have friends who have used this style of water bottle to sneak drinks into sporting events. They have adapters you can purchase separately for suction caps, hoses, holsters and bite valves.
  • Cons: It doesn’t always stand up straight if you don’t have the right amount of liquid in it. It’s also not as durable as some of the other styles of water bottle.
  • I recommend: Platy Soft Bottle with Closure Cap



  • Pros: While these types of water bottles are intended for hiking, they are also useful for travel. They can hold more water than your average bottle and you don’t have to constantly refill it.
  • Cons: Since the bladder is usually placed inside a backpack, it’s not as practical for everyday use. You can’t just throw it in your purse and they’re more difficult to wash. Then there’s the fact that they’re significantly more expensive than other bottles.
  • I recommend: Camelbak HydroBak 50 oz Hydration Pack


filtered water bottle

  • Pros: Bobble’s bottles are made from recycled bottles and come in a variety of colors. You can also recycle it once you’re ready for a new one. The biggest benefit is that you don’t have to worry about unclean water because it filters as you drink.
  • Cons: Since these bottles are made using recycled bottles, they are less durable. You also have to buy new filters for them.
  • I recommend: Bobble BPA Free Water Bottle, 18.5 Ounce, Green

Tips for Traveling with Water Bottles

  1. Keep it empty when you leave for the airport so you don’t have to drink it all before security.
  2. If you’re going to be traveling in a country where the water is questionable, bring a SteriPen water filtration system or a water bottle with a built-in filter. The last thing you need is to catch a bug from the water.
  3. Fill up immediately before boarding a flight in case you get thirsty in between drink service.
  4. If your backpack doesn’t have a built-in pocket for your water bottle, buy a cheap carabiner to clip it onto the front.


  1. Susan says

    I have used the Bobble water bottle for travel. When I went to China, I took it to have water on the flight. I never used it in China. I took it to Iceland, where I was doing considerable amounts of hiking and climbing. It slipped into my daypack, and i could fill it up as needed. THe glacial water was already pure, but I liked the filter on it anyway.


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