Bottled water at Tourist places

Shops love selling them since the margins are great, the local government loves them since it brings in additional tax revenue, and the tourists love them since they don’t want local bacteria to interfere with their enjoyment of authentic experiences. Mother nature pays the price. It’s a classic example of negative externality where the local businesses, the local government, and the tourists get the [perceived] benefits at the expense of the environment.

About 50 Billion water bottles are consumed every year. 80% end up in the form of landfills. 67 million barrels of oil is used every year to produce and transport them enough to fuel four million cars for the whole year. Next time you are planning to buy one, it might be worth considering alternatives. Hydration packs or collapsible bottles are an investment worth making upfront. While traveling, I usually fill them before leaving a safe place, for example, a hotel, hostel, or a restaurant, so that, I am not taking the risk of consuming unfiltered water or ending up on a remote island where there is no water fountain.

Sleeping in airplanes

PillowTies recently sent me an interesting piece of travel gear to try which I never thought could have existed. If you are a traveler like me who uses a pillow to sleep on long distance flights but does not like the dangling pillow then this is the exact gear you are looking for. It holds the pillow vertically forcing all the neck movement to be in the horizontal plane. So, one can comfortably sleep straight or sideways while still ensuring that the neck remains in a good shape. In fact, even when I am not sleeping and just playing with my phone or watching videos, I have enjoyed its support in keeping my neck straight. It is relatively sleek and hence would easily fit in your travel jacket or backpack pockets. I, first, thought that this might not work on all different seat configurations but I have tried it over many domestic airlines in the US and it has always worked.

Note: The initial installation does take some time to get used to, therefore, initially, I would recommend using a PillowTie only for long flights (4+ hours).

Carrying water during urban travel

Bottled water is  not only expensive but is harmful to the environment. Therefore, I try to reuse the same bottle while traveling. I used to carry a hard-plastic bottle while traveling and then one day at an airport, I saw another traveler carrying a flexible bottle, it looks like a pouch. Compared to a standard 500mL hard plastic round bottle it is slim and hence a good fit for a travel jacket. That’s why I fell in love with one and quickly added it to my traveling gear.

The one I carry around is Big Betty wine bottle. I use it carrying around water and it works perfectly well for urban travel.

Big Betty and a Gatorade bottle

Big Betty (750mL) and a Gatorade bottle (600 mL)

As always, with such items, price varies, so, if you are not in a rush, add a price tracker for it.