Traveling with Reusable Water Bottles

water bottle

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

One of the most annoying things to constantly spend money on while traveling is bottles of water. When so many destinations have safe drinking water, why waste the cash? Packing a reusable water bottle can save you travel money among providing many other benefits.

Let’s have a look at all the different aspects of traveling with reusable water bottles.

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. If you are in a destination where you must buy bottled water, you can reduce your waste by buying larger containers of water and refilling your small one as needed.
  • Good for environment: All those plastic bottles end up in the landfill, so it’s good to do our part to protect the environment whenever possible. People are generally less likely to recycle when they are on the road.
  • Space saving: They don’t take up much room and there are even plastic bottles that fold flat for even more space savings. Plus, they can often be attached to the outside of your backpack, or used to store other items when not in use.
  • 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. If you put a headlamp or mini flashlight inside, it can double as a lantern. In addition to beverages, you can carry dry food and snacks (like nuts) without needing plastic bags.

What kind of water bottle should I bring?

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

Metal

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

Bladder

bladder

  • 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

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

Water Bottle Reviews

Vapur Water Bottle

Vapur Water Bottle

The Vapur water bottle is a soft plastic bottle that can pack down when empty. They come in various sizes ranging from 0.5L to 1.5L, and when empty, they weigh practically nothing.

Lauriane mentioned that the Vapur water bottle is now her one little thing after having some positive travel experiences with it:

“This summer I went on a big Ireland trip and did loads of hiking, and decided to try a soft bottle and it saved so much room in my day pack! I was always very skeptical about this type of bottle, thinking they would either leak (lots of my hard, regular water bottles do!), or not stand straight or that the carabiner would rip the bottle from the weight of the water. Luckily, none of that happened with this one!”

Further reading: Vapur Water Bottle Review

Invest in a space-saving Vapur water bottle: Amazon US | Amazon UK

CamelBak Groove Water Bottle

camelbak groove water bottle

The CamelBak Groove is a hard-sided water bottle with built-in plant-based filter. While the filter doesn’t eliminate harmful bacteria, it does purify tap water giving it a clean “bottled water” taste.

Didar mentioned that the CamelBak Groove water bottle is her one little thing, and never travels without it:

“Living in a city where bottled water is cheap and abundant, finding fresh water with a decent taste has been a primary concern for me during my travels. When I’m traveling on a budget and under the sun, purchasing bottled water throughout the day is not sustainable. Drinking tap water was something I really avoided until I began using this bottle. It filters the water to take away any unpleasant taste and odor. It doesn’t feel like I’m drinking tap water at all.”

Buy a CamelBak Groove water bottle: bottle | filter replacements

Tips for Traveling with Water Bottles

  1. Keep it empty when you leave for the airport so you don’t have to drink it or dump it before security. When you pass security, find a water fountain and fill up.
  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 outside.

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travel water bottles
travel with reusable water bottles

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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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Gear We Use

Organization

Packing Cubes – Organize your luggage with the lightweight, durable and compressible Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cubes.


Backpacks + Daypacks

Pacsafe – Since they come with extra theft-resisting features, Pacsafe bags make you a more confident traveler. We especially love this bag.

Sea to Summit – Of all the Sea to Summit products, our most recommended is the fits-in-your-palm, super packable Ultra-Sil Daypack.


Personal Care

Nalgene Toiletry Bottles – These leak-free toiletry bottles and tubs come in all sizes – even super tiny, helping minimalists pack it all without bulk.

Turkish Towels – They’re thinner than most travel towels, and they actually cover your body! We can’t get enough of Turkish towels for travel.


Clothing

Speakeasy Supply Co. – They make the awesome hidden pocket infinity scarves that are perfect for stashing secret cash, lip balms, and passports.

Anatomie – Anatomie travel pants come with luxury prices, but they offer many benefits for travelers. See our review of the famous Skyler pants.

Travel Resources

Booking Airfare

Dollar Flight Club – Get flight deal alerts for your preferred departure airport. There is both a free and premium version (recommended for more sweet deals). Members save on average $500 USD per flight!

Skyscanner – Skyscanner is our preferred site for searching flights. They offer unbiased search results and are free from hidden fees. You can also book your hotels and rental cars.


Accommodation

Airbnb – Airbnb is the best place to book out apartments around the world. Sign up using this link to get $37 USD off your first stay booking + $14 USD towards an experience booking!

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

Hostelworld – For hostels, Hostelworld remains our number one source for booking stays. Choose from straight up hostels, budget hotels and bed and breakfasts.

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

Reader Interactions

Comments

  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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