Travelling with your vape gear can be a little scary, after all who wants to have their custom mod or expensive bottles of juice confiscated from them at check-in? Nobody, that’s who! So if you’ve got a holiday planned away, look no further than here to help you work out what you’ll need to do to make sure you have an enjoyable and hassle-free experience getting through airport security.
When you’re headed out of town with your vape equipment, it’s important to know the rules of traveling. Whether it’s a domestic or international trip, it’s important to follow all the rules and be mindful of protocols for storing your e-liquids, mods, and of course, having a set of freshly charged batteries for the ideal traveling experience!
Before you get on the plane
Vaping at airports
Vaping isn’t allowed at any of the UK’s airports. For a short time, Heathrow had a vaping area set up in one terminal but has since been shut down.
If you want to vape before your flight, you’ll need to do it outside the airport in a designated smoking area, if allowed. In most cases, this means that if you want to vape before a flight, you’ll need to do it before you check through security. Keep this in mind when you’re planning arrival times, and make sure to give yourself a little extra time for a pre-flight vape!
Vape kits in luggage
Vape gear should generally be taken as carry-on luggage, for security and for your own peace of mind. Batteries must be taken as carry-on luggage – don’t pack them into your case to be put in the hold. This is the most important thing to remember, as no big batteries of any kind are supposed to be packed in hold luggage anymore. Mods, RDA’s and tanks can sometimes be put as hold luggage, but it’s a good idea to taken them as carry-on, as most airlines insist on this and it’s better to be safe than sorry. It will also mean it’s less likely for there to be any breakage, as you can take extra care with your own carry-on bag. Just make sure your vape kit is well protected for travel in a vape kit carry case, and that the batteries have been removed if possible. If your device has an internal battery, turn the device off and remove the tank/RDA you are using with it.
Getting on a plane
One of the most commonly asked questions about traveling with e-cigs and vape gear is whether or not you can take them on a plane. The answer is yes, you can bring them on your flight, but you will need to make sure you know what you need to put in with luggage versus what you can bring in your carry-on.
Also, to avoid any unneeded questioning or having any of your equipment confiscated, you’ll need to ensure you pack everything according to airport security standards.
The agencies that govern airport security have banned e-cigs from traveling in checked luggage, largely due to the fire/explosion concerns that lithium-ion batteries pose when exposed to a high-altitude/low-pressure environment, and from batteries being improperly stowed. However, you can still get your equipment onto the plane by following a few simple rules.
Your mods and batteries need to be in your carry-on. Take your batteries out of your mod and put them in an appropriate carrying case, such as a hard-plastic battery holder or a silicone sleeve (never store batteries unless they’re in a proper case). You may be asked to take these items out of your bag for further inspection, but don’t worry, airport security have seen plenty of these devices by now, so they’re not going to be surprised.
Next up is your juice. Like any other liquid, you’ll need to follow the rules and guidelines set out by the regulations. E-liquids are best packed in your hold luggage, as you can take a decent supply this way. We recommend that you avoid taking e-liquids in glass bottles if you can, as these could break, and you should make sure your e-liquids are well wrapped up and even sealed in a plastic bag too, in case of spillage when they are in transit. If you decide to take e-liquids in your carry-on luggage, remember that there are already strict rules in place for liquids going through security. You’ll need to make sure that your e-liquid fits into the small plastic bag you’re required to use to transport all your carry-on liquids, and that e-liquid bottles don’t exceed 100ml in size.
Vapes on a plane
Unfortunately, vaping is generally not allowed on flights, and you shouldn’t expect to be able to vape while you’re in the air. No UK airline permits the use of e-cigarettes on their planes, and it’s actually illegal in some airspaces so you could face huge fines or penalties. As tempting as it might feel to sneak a vape in the toilet, don’t even try, and don’t follow the advice of people on forums suggesting that it’s something you can get away with! If you really need a nicotine hit while you’re traveling, take another safe and flight-friendly method with you.
Confusingly, some airlines like British Airways and Ryanair occasionally sell e-cigarettes on planes, but you’re still not allowed to use them in-flight.
Vaping on holiday
Frustratingly, you may find that even when your vaping kit is allowed in the airport and on your plane, it’s not allowed at your destination. Vaping is not a universal activity, and misconceptions mean it can be regarded as unusual, strange, or even be illegal in some parts of the world.
In most parts of Europe, it’s fine to use and carry vaping kits in designated public spaces, although a few places only allow nicotine free vaping.
Norway has banned e-cigarettes, as has United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Singapore, Argentina, and Uruguay. In Canada e-cigarettes are theoretically illegal to sell but are actually widely available, to make matters even more confusing!
If in doubt, make sure you look up the e-cigarette regulations for your destination before you travel with vape gear, and confirm the airline and airport policy, just in case.