I am currently sitting on a plane as I fly across the country yet again. I’m spending my latest 5 hour flight writing articles and listening to research for future articles. I’m exhausted and I am looking forward to the tranquil bliss that comes with the first hookah session after a long trip. I have made sure that I can enjoy that smoke by carefully packing my luggage full of hookah gear and tobacco. Here are a few tips for keeping yourself surrounded with swirling smoke even when jet setting around the country.

Firstly, forget about taking your hookah tobacco with you in carry-on  The majority of a pack of hookah tobacco consists of a syrupy liquid and we all know how serious the TSA can be about containers of any liquid. It doesn’t matter if you can tell them exactly what the liquid is, your tobacco is going to end up in the trash next to hundreds of water bottles and juice boxes torn from the hands of many crying children.

Wow. That got depressing.

Even if you only carry a small amount of tobacco with you that fits within the rules of the TSA it might not be worth it. All it takes is one confused, biased or stubborn TSA agent to land you a little personal time in a back room with a free, bonus pat-down.  It’s not worth it.

Pay the extra money and check a bag. You can only carry so much gear with you in carry-on and a hookah probably isn’t going to be on that list. A wind-cover, over a kilo of tobacco, tongs, foil, a custom clay bowl and all the essential grommets; this is what I currently have packed in my luggage and I wouldn’t be able to bring a fraction of that without a checked bag.

If you plan on travelling a lot with your hookah you should get a small, portable pipe like the MYA SARAY QT. You can also get a hookah that unscrews and breaks down into smaller pieces, which will really help you avoid any damage to your stem, but doesn’t do much for the vase.

If you can replace your glass vase with an acrylic vase, it might save you some tears. You can easily fly with a glass vase, but it takes some extra work and some extra care to avoid hearing that telltale tinkle of broken glass. I’ll go over that next week as I continue my trip.

If you are going to be travelling to the same place repeatedly, buy a second hookah and leave one at destination B with a friend. In the city I am currently headed toward I have a friend who keeps one of my hookahs for me along with a box of CocoNaras and a hose. I just need to bring the other essentials and we have a session. Most of what I brought with me this time is going to stay with him so I don’t need to fly with much at all in the future. I’ll be back and the hookah will be ready.

Double bag it. Make sure that your tobacco is in a properly sealed container like a Ziploc bag and then wrap that inside a larger plastic bag. It’s worth the extra level of protection. You don’t’ want to get to your destination only to find out that all of your clothes are covered in stains, molasses and tobacco juice.

I’m just passing along some things I’ve learned in my travels and I hope they help other jet setting hookah lovers in their own travels. Next week I am going to give my thoughts on packing up a hookah and vase in your luggage. Smoke happy and fly safe.

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