How to legally bring water through airport security

Traveling soon? We’ve got good news for you. You don’t have to wait to refill your bottle or shell out for that overpriced 20-ounce bottle of water in the airport convenience store. It turns out there is a way you can bring water (or other liquids) through the TSA security screening checkpoints at the airport.

Freeze them.

Yes, freeze them! Normally, liquids need to be 3.4 ounces or less, stored in a one quart/liter zip-top bag, with a limit of one zip-top bag per person, but TSA regulations do allow for liquids that don’t meet these requirements to go through the security checkpoint—as long as they’re fully frozen.

According to the TSA website, “Frozen liquid items are allowed through the checkpoint as long as they are frozen solid when presented for screening. If frozen liquid items are partially melted, slushy, or have any liquid at the bottom of the container, they must meet 3-1-1 liquids requirements.”

You have to show the water bottle to the TSA agent and they must be able to see through it, to ensure that it’s frozen solid (of course, this would not be the case with breast milk). If not, you’ll probably have to toss it.

frozen water bottle photo
Flickr | danhurt

You can easily prevent your frozen liquids from melting by bringing a mini cooler with dry ice or ice packs with you to the airport, a process many breastfeeding parents are already familiar with.

Choose a cloth cooler that easily collapses so you can pack it into your luggage once you’re past security. You may also be glad to have the small cooler with you at your destination, especially if you’re traveling to a beach or other warm-weather location (like Disney, for example!).

TSA photo
Getty Images | Scott Olson

Save Money

While this brilliant tip probably won’t work for quick flights (because the frozen water won’t melt fast enough for you to be able to enjoy the beverage), it can totally save you some cash for those long-haul trips and international flights.

We think freezing liquids before travel is an awesome tip for families, especially large ones. With the high price of bottled water once you get past security, buying a bottle for each parent and child in a big family can get very expensive. This doesn’t even include the snacks and magazines everyone is sure to request once you’re inside the airport shop!

Plastic water bottles on conveyor and water bottling machine industry

So, stocking up at home, freezing, and then bringing drinks along with you on the flight can help you save some cash. It can also help make sure everyone is fully hydrated throughout their travels.

Stay Hydrated In The Air

And staying hydrated on a flight, especially a long one, is essential.

You should drink eight ounces of water for every hour of your flight, according to the Aerospace Medical Association. Although dehydration is unlikely for flights that are under four hours, it can happen after extended periods in the air.

glass of water photo
Getty Images | Ian Waldie

Some travelers may not like the idea of drinking enough water to make them have to use the restroom. However, getting up and moving around in the plane, especially during long flights, can prevent serious health problems.

Sitting too long and getting dehydrated can lead to deep vein thrombosis (DVT). This happens when a blood clot forms in your legs. Once these clots form, they could break off and travel to your lungs. This causes a pulmonary embolism, where a clot blocks the bloodstream to your lungs and heart.

airline seats photo
Getty Images | Kevork Djansezian

By getting up and moving around the plane, you can lower your risk for these conditions. So, make sure you’re drinking enough water before, during and after to flight to keep you properly hydrated.

Now that you know you can bring your own drinks, there’s really no excuse!

One More Tip For Saving Money At The Airport

Here’s another under-the-radar way to save money at the airport: Look for the bookstores owned by Paradies Lagardere, such as the CNBC or The New York Times bookstores. These airport booksellers offer a read-and-return program where you can buy a book, then return it after reading for 50 percent back.

U.S. Raises Air Security Alert To Red
Getty Images | Justin Sullivan

Who knew the airport could be a wise place to buy a book?