Travelling with cigars – a quick guide

If you are a cigar connoisseur, you are going to want to take your favourite smokes with you when you hit the road for pastures new. Whether you are off for a weekend break, a long business trip or the holiday of your dreams (read: an African safari!) you need to take care of your precious cigars so that you can enjoy them to the full when you get to your destination.

You are well advised to take cigars with you, too – the chances of finding your favourite brand in a far-flung country are pretty minimal. In fact, even in places closer to home you may struggle to locate what you want.

So, all things considered, you are going to travelling with your cigars – so here is a handy checklist for what you need to consider before your trip. 

Cigars will absorb both taste and smell – which can have disastrous results

Your cigars react to both temperature and moisture, with the sweet spots being around 21 degrees Celsius/70 degrees Fahrenheit and 70% humidity. It is of course difficult to maintain such conditions when travelling by plane or most other types of transport, but if you take good care of your cigars en route they will not suffer any lasting damage. 

The thing you really do need to avoid is keeping your smokes next to anything with a strong – and unpleasant aroma. Whatever you do, do not store them next to your laundry bag, unless the idea of smelly feet-scented cigar smoke presses your buttons…

And don’t even get us started on the flavour issue. Please, just don’t.

This consideration is possibly even more important on the way back when your case may be full of dirty laundry and you have managed to buy a bundle of real Cuban cigars…

…which leads us on to the next point – 

Think about how to pack your cigars

So, you have taken our sound advice and kept your cigars away from unpleasant smells and tastes. Now remember that cigars won’t spring back into shape like a sponge if they are crushed in a suitcase that is full to bursting.

The best tip is to buy a high quality, purpose-built cigar case. This will solve all the problems we have been talking about so far, and if you follow our next piece of advice, should mean a trouble-free trip for you and your cigars.

A range of travel cases are available depending on the number of cigars you want them to hold. You can get pocket versions that take 3 or 4 cigars all the way up to heavy-duty travel humidors with foam inserts, airtight seals, and space for multiple layers of cigars. Note that the latter also come in 5-cigar sizes so don’t discount getting a proper humidor.

Put your cigars in your hand baggage if possible

This may not be possible if you are going away for some time, but is you want to carry a few cigars for a weekend away then the best bet is to avoid checking them in your hold baggage. A Ziplock bag with a quality seal inside some kind of firm container that prevents your cigars from getting crushed will be perfect. Bear in mind that if you need your cigars to last longer than a week, then you should definitely consider a humidity pouch so that your cigars benefit from adequate humidity levels.

The temperature fluctuations that checked baggage undergo are not ideal for cigars as they may expand and contract as a result of atmospheric changes. The wrappers can also crack during the flight.

Given today’s limits on hand baggage, it may not be possible for you to bring all your cigars onboard. But if you are careful about packing them you can avoid problems using a sealed cigar case.

How to take your lighter or cigar cutter

Cigar cutters or lighters should be in your checked baggage. In theory you are permitted to take certain types of cigar cutters on board, but is it really worth the risk of them being confiscate by an over-zealous security guard? A good tip is to only take inexpensive or disposable accessories with you. There are plenty of cheap, disposable cigar cutters and lighters available so you will not have a problem finding what you need.

Losing your favourite, exclusive gold lighter and cutter to a TSA agent will put a major damper on your holiday and replacing them could cost more than your flight did, so don’t risk it.

If you follow these tips, you can enjoy your favourite cigar on the beach without any major issues, and we all want that, right?

Andy Higgs
Andy Higgs

Not meaning to brag, but here goes. I can say I’m a travel expert and have spoken at multiple travel conferences and trade shows.

I enjoy travelling all over the world but my big passion is Africa.

I also own and run The Grown-up Travel Company as a travel designer creating personalised African itineraries for experienced adventurers

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