Quick Travel Tip: How to Get Free Bottled Water at Hotels
“Don’t drink the tap water” is common advice for travelers visiting foreign countries.
It’s not necessarily a value judgment about the water quality of other countries. Their water may be perfectly potable for locals but unsafe for foreigners whose bodies simply aren’t accustomed to it.
As a practical matter of health and safety, I stick to drinking bottled – or at least filtered – water when traveling.
But it’s a pain having to hunt down bottled water all the time. Water is heavy so you can’t “stock up” while traveling. There may not be a store convenient to where you’re staying. Your hotel may not provide complimentary bottled water in the room. The vending machine only takes coins you don’t have on hand. Et cetera.
So here’s my hack for obtaining free bottled or filtered water at hotels.
If the hotel has a workout room, there’s most likely a water cooler in it. Sometimes it’s the kind that dispenses bottled water from, say, a 5-gallon Arrowhead jug. Other times it’s a machine with a built-in filter.
Either way, it will dispense water the hotel deems safe for its traveling guests.
Here’s the workout room of a hotel I recently stayed at:
See the water cooler on the far wall? Here’s a close-up:
I just took an empty bottle down to the gym and filled it up there.
Bonus tip: pack a foldable water bottle that flattens when empty, consuming less of your precious luggage space.
Wishing you, as always, safe travels.