How to legally bring water through airport security

U.S. Raises Air Security Alert To Red For The First Time
Getty Images | Joe Raedle

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!).

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!

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.

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Carrie Murphy

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