What is the essential packing item for a cigar connoisseur? Their cigars, of course. Whether it is the cheap cigars for the daily smoke or a truly luxurious one for some added refreshment, you absolutely can’t skip packing a bunch of sticks when you’re traveling. The only problem is the travel restrictions. So what would be the best way to travel with your cigars?
Cigars are delicate and sensitive to any change. One wrong move, and it will taste like someone sat on it. And no one wants a cigar that smells that way, to be honest. So whether you’re staying at a resort in Florida for your business trip or on a complete vacation to Barcelona (since it is summer), you’ll have to pack your sticks properly. And, of course, not get them confiscated at the airport.
Don’t worry. You can travel with your beloved cigars no matter where you’re going. You’ll just have to pay a little attention to the regulations and put some effort into packing them properly, which is why we’re here. Here is a guide on traveling with your cigars, so you don’t have to leave them behind at the airport.
Does Travel Security Allow Carrying Cigars?
Yes, they do. In most countries, carrying cigars in your checked luggage or carry-on is completely prohibited. The only difference is in the carrying limit. Some countries will let you carry up to 200 cigars, while some will let you carry only 50.
You can also carry most of your accessories with you if you follow airport security regulations like the TSA. Either way, carrying cigars with you is completely legal, so don’t worry about getting sent back to your home.
How to Pack Your Cigars for the Trip: Things you Should Never Miss.
Proper packing is the key to keeping your cigars intact. Because who knows if you can get some in case your cigars get messed up on the plane? Not to mention most Cubans (or other kinds of cigars) are fake if you’re getting them from someone like a street vendor.
Here is how you should pack your sticks when you’re traveling.
- Pick the Right Ones
This is a pretty important part if you’re a cigar enthusiast. Imagine if you reached in to get the cigar you’re itching for and found a completely different one. Who’d want to ruin their mood like that?
What cigar you pack should depend on what kind of trip you’re taking. If it is a trip where you’ll have a lot of time to enjoy and relax, you should pack at least two of your luxurious smokes. Because let’s be honest, what is a little me time without a long smoke?
If you’re going on a trip that will be on the busier side, and you’ll probably have to smoke only during your (very) short breaks, pack the cheaper and regular smoke sticks.
Another thing you should consider is who you’ll meet. If there are chances of meeting someone important who might ask you for one, then you should pack a few luxury sticks. You can go for the more regular ones if it is just you and yourself. But a luxurious one won’t hurt so that you can pack one with the rest.
Long story short, you should always pack at least two luxury smokes unless you’re going on a hectic trip.
- Carry Them Right
Packing cigars are trickier than you’d think. Cigars absorb everything in the environment, like the smell, moisture and humidity. Plane compartments have different humidity levels than usual, and the air pressure is also different, so your cigars may not make it in a tiptop condition. That is, of course, if you don’t pack them right.
There are multiple ways you can pack your cigars. Some people go all out and buy specific carrying compartments. Others just DIY their way in. You can pack your cigars in two ways– in a cigar holder and a travel humidor.
Cigar holders are regular cases made for carrying your cigars. They are strong and have separate compartments for each of your cigars. Cigar cases don’t have any added protection, though, so if you want to protect your cigars in the case when you’re on a plane, you’ll have to add a humidifying mechanism.
Cigar cases are a pretty good option if you’re traveling in coach, train or other transport. That doesn’t mean they aren’t suitable for air travel. You’ll have to add a little humidifying mechanism. These cases come in many sizes, from the small 3-piece holder to the big 8-12 holding ones. So you can easily pick the size you need.
Travel humidors are pretty much a safe cigar haven for most people. Humidors are durable, easy to carry and don’t need any extra mechanisms. You can just pop your cigars in them and relax during your trip. Travel humidors are good for pretty much any kind of trip. You can take them in your carry-on if you’re flying somewhere.
Humidors provide the necessary humidity for the cigars, so they don’t have the risk of cracking open. They also come in many sizes, so picking the one you need is easier. There are many cheap options if you don’t want to splurge on a case exclusively for your cigars. You’ll just have to know what you’re looking for, and you can find a humidor that fits your needs.
If you don’t want to spend that much money or don’t travel often, you can go down the DIY road. They’re effortless to do and don’t take much time either. The easiest way to carry cigars is probably in Tupperware. They are airtight, and all you’ll have to do is throw in a humidity pouch.
Another thing you can do is get some quality ziplock bags. You can pass by using one bag if you get the ones with a good seal. If not, get two zip lock bags and put your cigars in them. Throw in a humidity pouch and carry them (gently) in your carry-on.
Another good option is the wide-mouthed Nalgene bottles. You can get one for around $10. You’ll have to throw your smokes inside and put a humidity pouch inside. The bottles can carry around ten cigars, so it is only good if you’re going on a short trip. The bottles also take up a little more space than you’ll imagine, so the bulkiness is something you’ll have to consider too.
Open the Carrier Gently
Cigar carriers can act up because of the pressure inside your plane cabin. This is more common with humidor cases. The one small problem with humidors is the seals. The tension in the cabin can sometimes cause the latches to jam pretty bad, enough that you’ll need a butter knife to open them. This usually happens with the smaller Xikar humidors. Other humidors typically don’t have this problem.
Can You Bring Your Accessories?
That depends on your accessories and what accessories you carry with you. Most accessories aren’t entirely banned, but you’ll still have to be careful.
- Lighters and Torches
Airports have strict regulations against lighters and torches, so you can’t just walk in with one on you. You’ll have to make sure they meet the regulations. You can only carry one lighter, and it has to be with you all the time. Not in your checked luggage, not in your carry-on. And you can’t carry the regular lighters either. Airports only allow soft flame lighters like the DJeep ones. You can also carry a torch lighter like the ones JetLine makes. But torch lighters are only allowed inside the USA.
Another option is safety matches. Airport security allows safety matches but the non-safety matches are a big no-no.
Generally, you can carry butanol-fueled torch lighters but can’t carry the refill for your lighters. So the best idea is to go for the soft flame or torch lighters, preferably inexpensive ones. That way, you don’t lose much even if it gets confiscated.
You’ll also have to carry lighters on you all the time because these aren’t allowed in any kind of luggage. Make sure you don’t pack the one that looks like a firearm or any weapon. You won’t be getting those back if you do.
- Cigar Cutters
This is where the nightmare for cigar connoisseurs begins. There is so much confusion regarding carrying blades or sharp objects inside the airports that no one seems to know anything clearly. But don’t worry, we’ve got you.
You can carry your cigar cutters, but you’ll have to get the tiny ones. Most airports only allow 4-inch blades (or 6 cm if you’re in the UK) for travel, and sometimes even those get confiscated. That rarely happens, but pack your inexpensive cutter just in case. You don’t want to lose your fancy cutter to a TSA agent and ruin your trip.
Checked Luggage or Carry-on?
Where you want to carry your little cigar bar depends on the component. Your cigars will be better off in your carry-on. You can carry them in your checked luggage, but the carry-on is much safer. As for your lighter, you’ll have to carry it with you all the time, so that one is out of the question.
Checked luggage is a better option for cigar cutters, especially if it is smaller than 4 inches and is a little fancy. If it is a disposable cutter, your carry-on will be better.
Another thing you can do is carry a printed TSA guideline with you. So if you get pulled to the corner, you can prove that carrying cigars, lighter and cigar cutters are allowed under regulations.
Can You Buy Cigars Abroad?
Well, there won’t be any law to stop you. You can legally buy cigars after you reach your destination, but there are other things you should consider. Most of the time, random sellers or anyone except your trusted seller will have fake Cubans. And if you’re going to a street vendor, you can assume you’re buying fake Cuban cigars. So unless you want to waste money for nothing, you should pack your smokes.
The best way to travel with your cigars is to pack everything properly. Ensure your cigars are packed nicely inside the carry-on and only carry disposable (or inexpensive) cigarette cutters with you. The same goes for lighters. Pick the inexpensive ones even if you feel like showing off. Even then, you’ll always have the risk of the TSA confiscating your cutter/lighter, so keep that in mind.