5 ways to avoid buying bottled water while travelling

written by Amy Foyster April 5, 2018

When travelling (particularly to developing countries like Vietnam or Cambodia), it’s often unsafe to drink tap water, which leads to people buying plastic bottles of water in an effort to stay healthy.

Unfortunately, 350 million plastic water bottles are used globally each day and at a decomposition rate of 700 years or so per bottle, it’s not too good for our planet.

So how do you avoid buying bottled water?

Here are five easy ways you can avoid single-use plastic bottles while you travel (plus, they’ll save you money that can be spent on more ethical and exciting things!).

1. Get technical

sterilising water bottle

Image via fairfoodforager.com.au

The easiest and cheapest way you can make sure you have clean, drinking water on hand at all times, is through purchasing a device that will treat tap water for you. Some, such as the Steripen, sterilise water using UV. Make sure you stir the water to ensure it is completely sterilised, so a water bottle with a wide opening will be best.

Another option is a water bottle that does the sterilising for you, like the Sawyer water bottle, which removes 99% of all bacteria. While it is made of plastic, it’s reusable, so is a much better option than single-use plastic bottles.

By our calculations, if you normally buy three one litre bottles of water per day when travelling for approximately AUD1, you’ll save yourself 60 bucks on a 21-day trip. Winning.


2. Crack into a coconut

coconut on Phu Quoc beach, Vietnam

Image via the Fair Food Forager.

If you don’t have your Steripen or Sawyer water bottle on you, a delicious and hydrating solution is coconut water.

If you’re travelling to tropical destinations like Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam (the list goes on) you’ll find the price of a coconut is about a fifth of what it would cost in Australia. Arm yourself with a reusable bamboo straw and grab a fresh coconut or two each day, which clock in at about 500 – 700mL each.

3. Boil tap water

Craving plain, old water? A simple solution is to boil the kettle in your hotel room before you go to bed. In the morning, the water will be bacteria-free and will have cooled enough for you to fill your reusable bottle. If you don’t like the taste, carry some Tang and flavour it, to ensure you still get your daily fix of H20.

4. Carry a reusable bottle

Some destinations, such as Bali, now offer drinking water refill stations, so it’s a good idea to keep a refillable bottle in your bag at all times. In hot climates, stainless steel bottles are great at keeping your water nice and cold for the day, even when you’re out in the sun. If you can’t find a refill station, try a hotel or restaurant – and don’t forget to fill your bottle up at breakfast every morning.


5. Treat yourself

Intrepid group of travellers drinking coffee

Image by 2017 April Love Creative

Enjoy a coffee, tea or fresh juice? Sit down for 10 minutes and enjoy it in a cafe from a ceramic or glass cup. Many cafes or juice bars will also serve chilled table water. You can easily top up your fluids while surfing the free Wi-Fi and indulging in your favourite vice – you’re on holidays anyway, so sit down!

This blog and hero image first appeared on foodforager.com.au

We believe that with great travel comes great responsibility. Learn more about ways Intrepid are reducing plastic pollution through the upcoming Peloton Against Plastic.

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