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The Perks of a Travel Mug

packing a travel mug for portable beverages when you travel

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There’s nothing quite like having the comforts of home with you while you’re traveling.

Something I always travel with is my travel mug so that I can cozy up with a cup of tea whenever I am feeling homesick. I purchased it a year ago from REI and it has since traveled to New York, Turkey, Australia and Thailand.

Prior to buying it, I traveled with a bulky, but free, travel mug that took up nearly twice as much space. Obviously it ended up getting ditched faster than you could say “Ryanair baggage restrictions.” 

My newer mug is one little thing I now can’t travel without.

>> Check out some other travel mugs and cups at REI.

Why You Should Pack a Travel Mug

Use for Hot or Cold Drinks (and food!)

My mug can hold both hot and cold beverages, so I can use it like a water bottle or for tea, my drink of choice. You can mix yourself a nice ginger tea if you’re feeling ill or homesick. 

I’ve also used it as a bowl or to eat food out of at hostels that charge you for the use of plates and cutlery.

Use as a Storage Container

You can store items inside of the mug when you’re on the go, like bags of tea or snacks. The mug fits in most car cup holders and is the perfect way to enjoy a drink on the go right before you hop on an early morning bus. 

The travel mug is easy to wash out after uses, particularly if you have boiling water. You could also store your valuables or fragile souvenirs inside, as few people would think to look there while rummaging through your bag.

I’ve found that it came in handy when I took a work trip to New York and wanted an extra cup of tea before starting my day, but didn’t have time to waste. 

Use Instead of Disposable Coffee Cups at Cafes

Another perk to traveling with your own mug is that some coffee shops will offer you a slight discount for bringing your own mug. It’s not much, but at least it can cut down on your expenses. 

It’s also one of the more eco-friendly things you can do on your trip, rather than constantly tossing those takeaway coffee cups.

So if you’re like me and can’t start your day without a cup of tea or coffee, no matter what country you’re in, a travel mug is a great addition to your personal packing list.

Hot tip!

We agree that a travel mug will be taking up precious space when we’re traveling light. 

Using a carabiner clip to secure the mug by its handle to our bag is a great way to carry it without having to worry about bulking up our backpack.

*     *     *

The best packable, collapsible travel mugs 

Thinking of bringing your own travel mug for your next trip? Here are some of the best ones you can buy right now.

Stojo Travel Cup

PRICE: $15 || CAPACITY: 12 oz.

Stojo collapsible travel cup
Stojo collapsible travel cup

Made of food-grade silicon, this pocket-sized collapsible cup can be used for hot coffee or iced tea. Comes in 8oz, 12 oz, and 16 oz size cups.

Me.Fan Collapsible Travel Cup

PRICE: $12.00 || CAPACITY: 9.22 oz.

Me.fan collapsible travel cup
Me.Fan Collapsible Travel Cup

Talk about tiny! This 9.22 oz graduated cup folds into a flat disc when you’re done with your drink. It comes with a lid to keep the insides clean and a strap so you can clip it to your bag.

MoKo Collapsible Cup with Straw

PRICE: $8.99 || CAPACITY: 15 oz.

MoKo collapsible cup with straw
MoKo Collapsible Cup with Straw

This travel cup has a fairly big capacity for such a great price! It also comes with a reusable straw and a strap. 

UCO Collapsible Cup

PRICE: $8.95 || CAPACITY: 12 oz.

Uco collapsible camping coffee and measuring cup
UCO Collapsible Cup

Designed for camping and hiking, you can bring this cup with you anywhere! Aside from being a cup that you can drink out of, this cup also has volume indicators on its inside walls, so you can use it as a measuring cup when cooking your meals.

HUNU Pocket Sized Silicone Cup

PRICE: $22 || CAPACITY: 9 oz.

Hunu collapsible travel coffee cup
HUNU Pocket Sized Silicone Cup

This beautifully designed collapsible coffee cup is leak-proof. The strap also works as a cup sleeve to protect your hands when you have a scalding hot coffee in the cup.

Biosys Laboratories Silicone Collapsible Travel Mug

PRICE: $13.99 || CAPACITY: 9.92 oz.

Biosys collapsible travel mug
BIOSYS Collapsible Travel Mug

This cup folds into a compact 2.5” cup. It is made from food-grade silicone and is dishwater safe.

Did we miss your favorite travel cup? Share them in the comments below!

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Written by Caroline

Caroline Eubanks is a native of Atlanta, Georgia, but has also called Charleston, South Carolina and Sydney, Australia home. After college graduation and a series of useless part-time jobs, she went to Australia for a working holiday. In that time, she worked as a bartender, bungee jumped, scuba dived, pet kangaroos, held koalas and drank hundreds of cups of tea. You can find Caroline at Caroline in the City.

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Travel Resources

HPL Learnables

HPL Packing Method – Learn to pack your lightest bag ever in this revolutionary packing course by HPL founder, Brooke.

Book Your Trip

Viator – Enhance your trip experience by booking from thousands of tours across the globe.

Booking.com – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Trusted Housesitters – Save money on travel accommodation by becoming a housesitter. Housesitters often have extra duties, like caring for pets and gardens.

Reader Interactions


  1. ZA | The Girl Who Cry Wolf says

    During my short getaways, I hardly remember to bring along a water bottle. Surprisingly, during my trip to Japan for slightly more than 2 weeks sometime end of last year, (which was a luxury for me), I decided to bring along a mug with a lid plus a water bottle, and boy, was I glad that I brought one along. It was certainly handy to make a hot drink as and when I feel like it. And yes, I decided to bring along a mug for my future trips, excluding for my short getaways.

  2. Lauren Burdett says

    I hardly leave the house without my KeepCup, I have several and one that lives at my office. I would love to find something like the KeepCup but that is also collapsible. I’m going overseas next week and think I might take one of my KeepCups to sip tea on the go after overindulging the night before, but if I find something that takes less space, I’ll let you know!

  3. Liz says

    I absolutely love my Stojo collapsible. It’s nice to have a waterbottle (that doesn’t leak) plus a collapsible cup for when you want a mug of coffee but don’t want to empty out your water bottle to have a container. My only recommendation here is to size up. I bought the 12oz and it’s really the size of the smallest coffee you find at takeaway places. Wish I’d bought the next size bigger.

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