It is absolutely possible, and hugely beneficial, to pick up some groceries while traveling. Most hotel rooms have a mini-fridge that you can put a couple of things in. Even if the only fridge is a mini-bar, getting a few key ingredients that do not require refrigeration will help keep you on track while you’re away from home.
Today’s topic: Bottled Water
There are about 23 million articles online indicating why you should drink more water. It’s even more important when traveling. The air on planes is dry and it’s easy to get dehydrated while sitting there for hours on end.
Changes in the relative humidity between where you live and where you’re going can also contribute to dehydration. The difference between Florida and Minnesota, for instance, is jarring to those traveling between the two.
For the convenience factor, I highly recommend getting bottled water. Apart from all of the other benefits in the many articles elsewhere, bottles give a convenient way of measuring how much water you’re drinking. This helps when tracking water intake. You can refill them (provided you’re in an area with potable tap water) and carry them pretty much wherever you go.
Where to buy:
Get bottled water at a grocery, convenience store, or even at a gas station. It will still be much cheaper than the exorbitant costs of the mini-bar.
Traveling in Europe:
Opt for the 1.5L bottles. They’re easy to find for less than 1 EUR each and are essentially a one-day supply. Plus, I found tremendous irony in buying a bottle of Evian water while in Evian-les-Bains, France.
It’s common for bottles of water to be stacked in the store in cases of 4-, 6-, or 12 bottles. If the price shown is under 1 EUR, it’s for one bottle, not for the case. Rip open the plastic and grab what you need. If the price shown is a couple of Euros, it’s probably for a full case.
Most stores offer bottled water in either still or sparkling. There are some places that even have gradients of sparkling. If you’re not familiar with the language of the country you’re in, you can cheat a bit and try shopping for water by the color of the label. Blue is usually still water. Green or pink are usually sparkling water. This is not an absolute as it does vary by brand. If it shows pictures of bubbles on the bottle, it’s sparkling.
Traveling in the US:
Do not open the packages and take stuff out. The price shown on the display is for whatever the case size is. If you want a single bottle of water, either find one that is not part of a pack or go to the refrigerated section and get a bottle from there.
The largest size of individual bottled water you can usually find is about 1L. Most are 700mL or less. Get at least two for each day you’re traveling.
Unflavored sparkling water is more difficult to find here, especially in single serving bottles. Try looking in the beverages aisle of the grocery store rather than in the refrigerated section.