Why I Never Bring My Water Bottle When I Travel

If you are a frequent traveler, like I have been at points in my life, packing your bag becomes almost second nature. You don’t have to think about it; you just know what you need (and, just as importantly, what you don’t). Over the years I have made the somewhat controversial decision to leave one item behind: my water bottle.

This is not to say I don’t love a cute water bottle or that I don’t hydrate. I do! I’m eyeing these Soma water bottles right now and I am a big proponent of hydration at all times. I just don’t bring my water bottle with me. Here are three reasons why.

1. You can’t actually bring any liquid with you.

If you are getting on a plane and passing through TSA, you cannot fill your water bottle with water or any other type of liquid. Your vessel of choice must be empty — unless, that is, you are traveling with a very small water bottle (i.e., one that is 3.4 ounces or less).

2. The tap water might not be safe (or taste good).

Let’s say you’ve passed through security with your empty bottle and now you’re getting ready to board. But wait! You want some water. Are you going to fill it up from the airport water fountain? From the sink faucet in the ladies room? Is it safe? Will it taste good?

The answer to this, if you are traveling domestically, is almost certainly yes. But, when you’re flying overseas, it’s less obvious. Maybe I’m being overly cautious, but wherever I am in the world, bottled water always feels like the safest and best-tasting choice. And, if I’m going to buy a bottle anyway, why should I lug around my own?

3. A water bottle takes up space.

Water bottles are not tiny little things. And if they are, they are basically useless. A big 32-ounce water bottle is going to take up some space — and that’s space that could be used for something else. For example, on a recent trip to Miami, I fit a very large boule of whole-wheat sourdough, a babka loaf, a quart container of granola, French candies, and a couple pounds of coffee into my backpack. It just barely fit under the seat and, if I had a water bottle to pack in there too, it most definitely would have been too big.

Do you agree with me or do you take your water bottle around the globe with you?

This post originally ran on Kitchn. See it there: Why I Never Bring My Water Bottle When I Travel

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