Saving money on beverages while traveling

Last month as I was flying out of San Diego I finally ran into one of the bottle water dispensers at the terminal. I had read about these dispensers before, but I hadn’t actually seen one yet until then.

The machine is designed to fill up water bottles, since you cannot take liquids of more than 3 oz through TSA. What many people end up doing is that they purchase a bottle of water or two after they have cleared security. Just keep in mind that it is not necessary to spend this money. TSA regulations prohibit LIQUIDS of more than 3 oz, but empty containers such as water bottles are allowed, so next time you fly, you can simply take an empty water bottle on your carry-on and fill it up beyond security at either one of these fountains or a regular water fountain.


Now granted, in the case of San Diego, the fountain didn’t actually work and the terminal was way overcrowded, but hey, you get the point.

At my destination, I then use the same water bottle during my stay to refill it at the hotel’s fitness center so I don’t have to keep buying bottles each time.


Another not so obvious yet effective way of saving money is by carrying your own alcohol on board inside miniature bottles of 3 oz or less. I consistently carry scotch minis that I refill at home from a larger bottle after each trip, and it saves me a ton of money, since Johnnie Walker is expensive.


One thing to note about this method is that you are not allowed to drink the alcohol at the airport or on the plane, and I’m serious about this. Particularly consuming it on the plane could get you in a lot of trouble. There are some doubts as to whether this means that you can hand the alcohol to the flight attendant so he/she can serve it to you or whether it is not allowed at all, but just to avoid confusion, I just save it for when I’m in my hotel. Breaking the law is not worth the $7 cost of a drink. Carrying it through TSA to your final destination is perfectly legal, just like it is to carry any of your other liquids. It should work the same way with any of your favorite liquor such as rum, vodka, etc.

If you have any other travel tips to cut back on the cost of drinks, we’d love to read them in the comments section below.

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