Can You Bring A Water Bottle On A Plane? How To Know If Yours Is Airline Approved

Staying hydrated is always important but especially when traveling. Besides combatting the dry airplane air, you'll be doing lots of walking, standing around, and waiting at the airport. Not to mention the workout you get trying to speed through security, stripping down, emptying out your personal belongings, and then trying to get the heck out of everyone's way. All this can make a person mighty thirsty so bringing a reusable water bottle isn't such a bad idea.

Not only are reusable water bottles essential for keeping you hydrated but they are also a great way to protect the environment from more needless plastic waste. Not to mention they prevent you from spending your entire life savings buying water at the airport.

But as many seasoned travelers may know, bringing a full water bottle through security is not so easy. In fact, in most cases, it's prohibited. However, that doesn't mean you can't bring a water bottle at all. Here's everything you need to know.

The dos and don'ts of bringing a water bottle on a plane

While you may have good intentions to keep yourself hydrated and healthy on your journey, TSA doesn't always see things the same way. Even if it's just water, you still must follow theĀ 3-1-1 rule. That's the rule that liquids must fit into 3.4oz (or 100ml) containers that can all be stored in one (1) quart-sized bag.

So, no, you can't bring a reusable water bottle full of water with you through TSA. However, as long as it's empty, it's fully permitted. Plastic, metal, or glass reusable water bottles are all allowed.

There are a few exceptions to the 3-1-1 rule if you have medical conditions or you have young children with you. Formula, breastmilk, baby food, and gel packs (for cooling the food) are all permitted as long as you let the TSA agents know in advance. If you have a medical condition that requires you to carry liquids with you, you may need to present documentation but often it's not an issue.

Travel-friendly water bottles and where to refill them

Reusable water bottles are your and the planet's best friend. You stay hydrated and the earth stays plastic-free. Win-win. However, some bottles are better than others when it comes to travel. You don't want one cracking and breaking the first time you drop it while hiking the Inca Trail or damaging your electronics if it leaks in your carry-on while on an important business trip to Osaka.

Typically, if you're going to be doing a lot of active outdoorsy stuff, opt for an insulated, lightweight, stainless steel bottle with a tight seal. If you really want to go lightweight and portable, you can even purchase a collapsible water bottle, which will save you space when you're not using it.

If you're purchasing a plastic bottle, look for BPA-free, dishwasher-safe brands. If you want to travel more stylishly and aren't too worried about clumsily dropping your bottle, you can also get a reusable glass bottle, which isĀ chemical-free and dishwasher-safe. Not to mention you can see if there's some build-up starting long before you might notice it in an opaque bottle.

As for where to refill a reusable bottle, look for water fountains around the airport. If you can't seem to find any, see if a nice restaurant worker will refill yours for free. Once you're on the airplane, don't refill your bottle in the bathroom. Just ask the flight attendant and they'll happily refill your bottle for you.