While vaping has been around for decades (you may be surprised by how long vaping has been around), rules and regulations about when and where you can vape are slowly catching up. This is especially true at airports and on airplanes, which regularly review and revamp guidelines for what you can and can't bring on planes.
Unexpected hurdles can cause major travel interruptions, especially if you have a high-end device you can't fly with! In this article, we'll detail exactly how to fly with your favorite vaping device. This includes not only following general guidelines for what you're allowed to bring but also the best safety tips to make sure your device gets from point A to point B without damage.
Let's tackle the big question first! Can you bring a vape on a plane?
Can You Travel with Your Vape Supplies?
If you want a regular hit of nicotine or need doses of CBD for health reasons, being able to fly with your preferred vaping supplies can make or break travel plans. Fortunately, if you're flying within North America (the U.S., Canada, or Mexico), you should have little to no problems flying with most vaping supplies, as long as they are strictly nicotine or CBD vaping products.
Can You Travel with Your THC Vape Supplies?
You cannot travel with any kind of THC product. Currently, THC (the chemical compound found in cannabis that gets users high) is a Schedule 1 prohibited substance in the United States. Airports are governed by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which means airports fall under federal jurisdiction.
Even if you live in a state that has recreational marijuana available, you should never bring it to the airport. If you have devices or glassware that has marijuana residue, that could be enough for confiscation or fines. The best advice is to leave your weed vape supplies securely at home!
Can You Travel Internationally with Your Vape Supplies?
It depends on which country you're going to. Many countries have outright banned all vaping substances and equipment. Do not attempt to smuggle vaping equipment into countries that have a broad ban. You could end up with hefty fines or even getting arrested.
Below, you'll find a list of countries that have a broad, strict ban on all vaping supplies:
- Hong Kong
Just like in the U.S., the law about vaping tends to change quickly. Even if your destination country is not on this list, you should review the most recent regulations they may have regarding vaping supplies.
Can You Travel with CBD and Hemp Vape Supplies?
This is a gray area that travelers should be cautious about. It is perfectly legal to travel with hemp and CBD since both have been federally legal since 2018. However, law enforcement officers (and the TSA) may still confiscate anything that looks like marijuana, even if you have documentation to the contrary.
To avoid possible problems or loss of product, we don't recommend traveling with hemp since it can be difficult to distinguish from marijuana. CBD-infused vape juice and oils are easier to travel with, though you should still carry documentation stating that the products do not contain THC above the federal limit.
Carry-On Only: How to Transport Your Supplies
If you are traveling to or within a vape-friendly country, you almost certainly can bring all of your vaping supplies (barring THC products, of course). However, there are certain rules on how you can bring them onto a plane. Namely, vape supplies can only be transported in your carry-on luggage.
This rule isn't unique to vaping devices, either. Any item that is powered by a battery cannot be stored on checked luggage. Any vape pen, box mod, or other vaping devices will need to be on your person on the plane. If for some reason, you can't carry it, you will have to throw it away before boarding the plane. Make sure you have carry-on space for your vape!
Traveling with Vape Juice
Your vape juice can be brought in your carry-on or your checked luggage. If you want to have it in your carry-on, you'll need to make sure that it is in a container that holds less than 3.4oz (100mL), which is the standard rule for all carry-on liquids.
If you have a bigger bottle you want to travel with, you'll need to pack it in your checked luggage.
Pack Your Vape Supplies Carefully
The last thing you want is to break a high-end box mod or have a spill of sticky e-liquid. You should take time to properly pack all your vaping supplies to avoid damage to expensive equipment and unexpected messes!
Packing a Box or Pod Mod
You should disassemble your device as much as possible before packing (especially removing any connected accessories, like vape tanks). Connection points are weak, which can lead to easier device damage should your bag get tossed around.
Once disassembled (as much as possible), wrap your device in bubble wrap, a shirt, or something that is soft and cushiony. You want to avoid getting abrasions on your device as well as cushioning it from damage from other items in your bag.
Finally, pack the device away from the outside of your bag. This will give ample protection from damage should something impact your carry-on or if you drop your bag. Most airlines also allow for a "personal item" (a small bag like a purse or backpack) to be always kept with you. If you have space for your vaping supplies, this would be an ideal storage area!
Packing Vape Juice
A vape juice spill in your carry-on can be an absolute traveling disaster. You can’t be too safe in making sure you prevent spills, so look at the following recommendations to keep vape juice in their containers!
- Make sure the lid of your e-liquid bottle is securely tightened.
- Wrap masking tape around the bottle to close any holes that may leak.
- Place the bottles in a Zip-Lock bag or other waterproof containers.
With multiple layers of protection like this, it will be unlikely that you will experience any unfortunate spills while traveling.
Packing Dry Herb and Concentrate Vapes
While we don’t recommend traveling with your dry herb or concentrate supply (like hemp or CBD wax), the devices themselves can be brought with no trouble. Make sure to thoroughly clean the heating chamber before packing since the TSA may confiscate the device if it smells or has a residue that indicates marijuana or THC product use.
Once cleaned, wrap your device in a soft cloth or bubble wrap (similarly to how you would pack a disassembled box mod). Keep it away from the edges of your bag, and consider carrying it with you in your personal item instead of your carry-on.
Can You Bring a Vape on a Plane?
Yes! As long as you follow the above guidelines, you can bring your favorite vaping device onto your plane. If you are traveling internationally, be sure to check the legal status of vaping supplies. You can't check your vape devices, but they will be welcome in your carry-on or personal item.
If you are traveling with CBD products, you should bring proof that it is not a THC product. It can be difficult to tell the difference between the two, and TSA agents have the final say on what can and cannot be brought onto planes.
Can You Bring a Vape on a Plane Under 21?
Surprisingly, yes! Even though you have to be 21 to buy vaping products, the TSA typically won't confiscate vaping devices from passengers under 21 years old. Their role is to keep dangerous materials off planes (not enforce age restrictions on certain devices or substances).
While we don't recommend those under the age of 21 vapes, those wondering if you can bring a vape on a plane under 21 can rest assured that they can.
Can You Vape in the Airport?
Airports treat vaping as they treat smoking, and since you can't smoke at most airports, you won't be able to vape in most airports, either. There are a few airports (like Nashville International) that have designated smoking lounges where you can also vape, but those lounges are few and far between.
Currently, airports like Dulles International, Miami International, Barcelona International, and McCarren are some of the few airports that allow vaping in some capacity. They'll still have specific, dedicated spaces for vaping (just like they do for smoking), so double-check to see where their dedicated smoking areas or lounges are located.
You should always check the specific airports you intend to travel to in order to see if they have updated their vaping rules. Again, regulations regarding vaping tend to change quickly, so it's best to check the most up-to-date information available.
Specific Airline Policies on Vaping
While each airline uses different wording in their policies, they all point to the same conclusion: you are never allowed to vape on a plane under any circumstance. The U.S. Department of Transportation has a clear policy prohibiting vaping on flights, and fines for vaping on planes range from $2-$4000.
If you've tampered with smoke detectors or are seen as ignoring the instructions of a flight attendant, you could be arrested and permanently banned from that specific airline (or flying altogether).
Simply put, it is not worth the risk. Never attempt to vape on an airplane.
How to Take Care of Your Vape Abroad
Taking care of your vaping device while traveling abroad is simple. You'll want to follow the standard procedures of how to vape to keep your device in working order. Keep in mind that vaping products or replacement parts may be more difficult to find (depending on the make and model of your device), so pack extras if you plan on an extended stay.
Of course, remember to make sure that vaping is legal in the country you're going to!
Be Prepared for Safety
There are a few tips you can follow to be sure you fly as safely as possible with your vaping device. This is all prep that should be done before you enter the airport:
- If you want to vape immediately after landing, make sure your vape is charged before boarding your plane. You are not allowed to charge battery-powered devices (like vapes) on planes.
- Empty all e-liquid out of your vape tank. It is possible your device will leak when the air pressure in the cabin changes.
- Turn off your vape before boarding. While rare, devices can misfire (causing shorts or electrical fires), which is extremely dangerous if it occurs while in the air.
Stay Safe When You Travel
As long as you adhere to the law, you won't have a problem traveling with your vape. Once at your destination, be courteous with your vaping, especially if in a different country. Even if vaping is legal, there may be different cultural norms regarding when and where you can vape. Be thoughtful and polite and be a good guest for wherever you may be visiting!