Take Your Own Water Bottle To Save At Airports

Airport food and drink is never cheap — after all, rents are high and you can't easily go elsewhere. Save money when travelling by packing an empty water bottle and filling up at the airport.

Image: Grant Wickes

Ron Schenone, writing for tech blog Locker Gnome, details how he cut several dollars off his food and drink bill at the airport by avoiding sit down restaurants and finding vendors with longer lines (as that was a good sign of a deal). One of the best suggestions, however, was simply bringing an empty bottle to avoid buying water:

First, you don't have to buy a $3 bottle of water. Instead, bring an empty water bottle with you. Then, once you have cleared security, you can fill the bottle with water from a drinking fountain. It's the same water, but free. Some passengers were even carrying mini-Brita filtering bottles to remove contaminants from the water, which can simulate the taste of the best bottled waters. Either way, bringing an empty water bottle can save you money with little inconvenience.

For Australian domestic flights, there's no ban on taking water through security so you can fill up before leaving home. For countries which impose liquid restrictions on all flights, however, this is a useful trick. (Check country regulations carefully, however, as some locations also place restrictions on the size of empty containers.)

How to Sharply Reduce Your Restaurant Bill at Airports [Locker Gnome]


    An excellent tip, and certainly one that I already follow. However, in my experience (with Melbourne and Sydney airports at least) Australian Security adopt a 'better safe than sorry' approach when it comes to confiscation of any containers above 100ml, empty or not. I travel international several times a year and 3/4 of the time I have had my 600ml empty bottle taken from me, despite my destination/airline/flightpath(s) having no restriction(s). In U.S.A and the Middle East it was 100% of the time. I normally just use an empty soft drink or 'insert brand name here' water bottle for this reason.

    The advice I would add here is that if you are travelling international, definitely still bring a water bottle, but bring one you wouldn't mind losing just in case you do.

    I pack my own lunch as well. Way cheaper and normally better.

    Good idea but I have had trouble finding places to fill a bottle in the past. No fountain to be found and saw people filling bottles at the sink in the toilets. Problem is the bottle doesn't easily fit under the tap.

    This presumes that you can find a water fountain or water clean enough to drink. Sometimes you just have to put up with their bottled water money grab.

    I remember a local flight in the Philippines, I had a bottle of water (a hot day of course) I could not take it in the domestic terminal, so I threw it away. Once inside the main terminal after a front entry security check I buy a new bottle of water. Ok, next step, through to customs...had to dispose of that bottle of water. So into the customs area, I purchase a new bottle of water, thinking all ok now...nope at the gate I had to get rid of my water before boarding the plane. And with all that security around bottled water I had to bribe a security guard to allow my Fiance' to get into the airport as she forgot her ID. Next time an empty bottle may just do the trick.


    Last edited 02/06/14 7:26 pm

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