The COVID-19 pandemic changed the world seemingly overnight, and there are some things about daily life that appear unlikely to return to normal anytime soon. One of those things is traveling by air. Airlines are severely suffering from a lack of demand right now, but it wonít be long before people begin flying again. When people do resume flying, though, theyíre going to find that the experience is quite different compared to what air travel was like before the pandemic.
In this article, weíre going to discuss the special traveling considerations that apply to those who vape. Whatís it like to travel with your vape gear from E-Cigarette Empire or another vape shop in the age of COVID-19? Weíll discuss the things that you need to do and know.
Bring an Airport-Approved Nicotine Replacement
Most airports offer smoking areas outside their security perimeters. Aside from the social distancing rules that will now apply in the age of COVID-19, thatís unlikely to change. Airports that had outdoor smoking areas before the pandemic will probably still have those areas available in the future.
You should not expect, however, that indoor smoking lounges and other smoking areas within the airportís security perimeter will still be active as they always were. In fact, itís possible that indoor smoking areas closed due to the pandemic will never reopen; many airports were looking for an excuse to stop catering to smokers anyway.
If youíre hoping for the ability to vape after going through airport security, look for a recent report from a fellow traveler. If youíre unable to find one, assume that you wonít be able to vape within the security perimeter and bring another form of nicotine replacement such as gum or lozenges.
Pack Your Vaping Device and Batteries Correctly
The standard rules for packing your vape gear still apply as they always have. Vaping devices and batteries always go in your carry-on bag. Thatís because, if a battery happens to overheat at altitude, it needs to happen inside the airplaneís cabin where in-flight staff can deal with the problem promptly. Donít put vaping devices or batteries of any type into your checked luggage.
There are also additional storage considerations that youíll need to obey when you travel with your vape gear.
- Empty your deviceís tank or remove the pod. Vape pods and tanks with e-liquid must be carried in compliance with travel regulations involving liquids, which are described in the next section of this article.
- If you have a vaping device with a built-in battery, make sure that the device is turned off.
- If you have a mechanical mod, remove the battery. Mechanical mods are inherently dangerous for travel since they have no safety features. If a mechanical modís button is held down by another item in your bag, the battery will overheat.
- If you travel with loose batteries, put the batteries in specialized carriers that protect the batteriesí terminals and prevent them from touching other metal items.
Pack Your Vape Juice and Pods Correctly
Unlike your vaping device and batteries, your e-liquid and pods generally go in your checked luggage because airline rules severely limit the volume of liquids that you can store in your carry-on bag. You might like to have a little e-liquid thatís available right away, though, so youíre allowed to carry vape juice in your carry-on bag as long as you comply with the following rules.
- Empty your tank before traveling. If you use a pod system, itís best to leave your pods in their original packages. Thatís because any vape tank or pod is likely to leak a little at high altitude. If you donít want to travel with an empty tank, youíll have to remove the tank from your vaping device and store it with your other liquids.
- All of the liquids that you store in your carry-on bag need to fit in a single quart-sized zip-top bag. Be prepared to remove the zip-top bag from your carry-on bag and present it for separate examination when you go through security.
- Individual bottles of vape juice can be no larger than 100 ml (3.4 oz). Many e-liquid bottles are larger than 100 ml. Be prepared that if you try to travel with those bottles, security personnel may decide to confiscate them.
Understand that COVID-19 Has Changed Vaping Rules in Some Nations
If youíre traveling internationally, you need to understand that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed local attitudes about vaping in many nations Ė even in places that are normally friendly toward vaping. Although the risk of COVID-19 infection through e-cigarette vapor is minimal, good luck telling someone that when theyíre yelling at you for being inconsiderate and vaping in public. Even if a nation has no laws forbidding public vaping, itís best to avoid vaping in public for the time being because the risk of negative backlash is so high. When youíre out and about, use other forms of nicotine supplementation.
You should also know before traveling that vaping isnít allowed at all in some nations, and itís your responsibility to know all local laws before you travel. Some of the nations in which vaping is banned include India, Thailand, Singapore and Brazil. If you travel to a nation in which vaping is banned, you risk having your vape gear confiscated when you go through airport security upon entry into the receiving country. In nations where vaping is banned, the penalties for disobeying the law may include fines and jail time.
When you read about vaping on travel forums, youíll see reports alleging that some people have attempted to vape in countries where vaping is banned and were told by local police that they had to pay exorbitant fines on the spot. In return, those people were supposedly told that the police would look the other way. Donít become one of those people. If youíre traveling to a nation that has banned vaping, you need to leave your vape gear at home.