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If you read my 12 tips to make your Thanksgiving travels smoother and safer, then you already know this trick. But if you didn’t, then listen up since it could save you money and frustration.

My tip was to make sure you stay hydrated while in the air. But no one wants to spend $5 on a bottle of water or drink the nasty tasting water from the dirty fountain. I often see people trying to sneak bottles of water through security all the time but they’re easy to spot on the X-ray machine so you’re not going to get away with it.

If you really want to bring your own bottle of water, then the only way you can do that is by freezing it. That’s right, you can freeze it.

If you do decide to freeze your water or any other liquid, make sure it’s frozen solid. And I mean, solid as a rock. I would also put it in a separate bin when going through security since it’s definitely going to get flagged and you don’t want TSA officers spending valuable time going through all your belongings unnecessarily.

Another related tip is to just ask the TSA what you can and cannot bring through security. They do an excellent job responding to questions via Twitter (@AskTSA) during normal business hours. If it’s the weekend or late at night, you can download their free MyTSA app and search for whatever you’re trying to bring through.

I put this to the test yesterday (Sunday) and sent them a tweet at 12:32pm asking, “Can you bring frozen water bottles through security?”

The TSA responded with two tweets 17 minutes later, saying: “Great question! Frozen water bottles are allowed through the security checkpoint. The containers can be more than 3.4oz each as long as the item is completely frozen solid when presented for screening.”

They followed up with: “If it’s slightly melted, slushy or there’s liquid in the bottom of the container, it must be 3.4oz or less. For more info, pls visit: tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/liquids-rule

I’m not even sure if it’s healthy to drink water that was frozen in a plastic container but I know some people love it since it’s cold, refreshing and doesn’t cost anything.

When I travel, I bring an empty collapsible water bottle like one of these and once I’m through security, I fill it up at a refilling station in the club lounge or ask a restaurant for a cup of water on the other side of security. Just don’t place the top of your water bottle so it touches the spout of a fountain or faucet. You don’t want anyone else’s germs and no one wants yours. Be sure there’s at least an inch or two separation when filling up.

I hope these travel hacks help make your travels smoother, cooler and tastier.

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7 Comments On "The Travel Hack You Won't Believe TSA Will Let You Do"
  1. J|

    The reason this works is flammable liquids tend to not freeze

  2. B Chin|

    No, the only substance that won’t freeze is helium.

  3. D|

    I worked at TSA and the best suggestion is to bring an empty bottle and once your done with security, you can refill it.

  4. Darryl Dickson|

    All you have to do to get it through is to say it’s medical.

  5. AE Hammer|

    To respond to the comments above, flammable liquids tend to have a much lower freezing point than water that it would be practically impossible to get them through a checkpoint in their solid state. The freezing point of gasoline is around -100F and you would likely not be able to maintain that temperature (and it would begin thawing) while going through security.

  6. Shani|

    Great tip!

  7. CEP|

    It’s a great tip. It will have defrosted enough to actually be drinkable by the time you reach your final destination.

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