It seems like people tend to travel more in the summertime. Wherever you go, chances are you’ll want to relax on your vacation with a nice cigar. You’ll need to plan some things in advance, like where you will smoke and how you are getting there. A little bit of preparation can go a long way.
If You Are Flying
First and foremost, you can’t take a micro torch on a plane, either in your carry-on or in your checked bag. This leaves you with a few options. First, you can toss a pack of wooden cigar matches or a cool flame lighter into your bag – these items can even be carried on in small quantities domestically and in many places internationally – and call it a day. As with all things TSA, you never know who will be in a confiscating mood that day, so don’t take anything you can’t stand to part with.
If you want to get fancy you can try to spend your vacation lighting your cigars with cedar spills, which you can light however you want. If you know you will be visiting a cigar shop when you travel you could always pick up a micro torch at your destination – you can usually find a base model Jetline for around $10.
Cutters are another thing that are supposedly able to be carried on these days, but again you never know which TSA agent is in the mood to confiscate your Woolly Mammoth Scrimshaw Xikar cutter. This is why you should always take those plastic giveaway cutters at cigar events- because when you get it taken at security you won’t cry forever. If you must take your fancy cutter make sure it’s locked away in your checked luggage.
If you are flying it will be fine to leave the Boveda packs in your checked luggage until you reach your destination to avoid any TSA issues over what constitutes a liquid. Your cigars won’t dry out in a day’s travel time if you have them in a sealed plastic bag.
Safeguarding Your Stogies
Travel humidors are a great way to store your cigars. These are typically hard-sided cases that seal well and hold in moisture. They are great for holding your cigars securely in place so they aren’t damaged in the case of turbulence or other physical jarring. The downside to these cases is that they often hold very few cigars –some as few as 5. Unless you are checking your cigar collection separately and need to safeguard your stogies against mishandled baggage issues you don’t really need one of these.
I typically keep my cigars in a plastic bag with a Boveda pack when I travel. If you want something a little more substantial you can try a Tupperware or similar plastic food container with a Boveda pack. If you really want to travel with a proper humidor, get one of those 25 count wooden boxes with a tightly fitting lid and just don’t let anyone throw it around.
Where Will You Smoke?
As more cities and businesses go smoke-free, it’s important to check ahead to see whether smoking is allowed and where. You may find you even need to bring along your own ashtray. I’ve stayed in hotels where even the courtyards, which are outdoors, are smoke-free and the only place to smoke is the employee break bench around back by the dumpster. When you make your reservation, ask about smoking areas, ash trays, and local laws.
It’s also fun to check out some of the smoke shops in the area where you will be visiting. Ask around for recommendations, but remember that Google will get the job done just fine. I’ve checked out some fabulous cigar lounges in Southern California and New Orleans both, and I always look forward to finding more in other locations when I travel. Beware of tourist traps, which I’m happy to report are few and far between. Overall cigar smokers are a pretty friendly bunch wherever you may roam.
Do you have any travel tips to share? Leave them in the comments below!