Last updated on October 26, 2021
Travelling, fine dining, and smoking cigars are some cherished life experiences that give great pleasure. If you are a cigar smoker, then taking your favourite Cuban cigar with you on a holiday can become a problem if you are not carrying it properly. Cigars are meant to be kept fresh for the best possible experience when smoked. Changes in the environment and handling conditions deteriorate the quality and the cigar, and in turn, the smoking experience. We will be sharing with you proven tips to keep your cigars fresh and smokable while traveling.
Understanding the Basics
Let’s look at what goes into cigar making and how traveling affects the quality of cigars. The process of cigar making requires three different types of tobacco. Tiny crushed and dried bits of tobacco leaf is used as a filler, and the remaining two types of leaves are wrapped around to give the cigar its signature shape. Mixing different types of tobacco blends give each cigar a unique taste. As tobacco is an organic substance, changes in the environment like temperature, humidity, and related factors decrease the quality of the cigar.
When traveling, cigars can get easily crushed as the outer tobacco leaf binders are brittle. Furthermore, cigars are directly affected by humidity that promotes the growth of microorganisms inside the cigar and makes them lose their taste. On the other hand, extremely dry conditions also make the cigar too dry and unsmokeble. Cigars that are not stored properly can retain surrounding smells that make smoking unpleasant. Not caring adequately will ruin the cigar smoking experience, so follow the tips mentioned below to help you carry cigars easily on your next vacation.
Let’s admit it, there’s no point in carrying a cheap cigar to your next holiday spot. The quality of cigars matters for a lot of reasons like the use of premium quality tobacco, quality control over the cigar-making process, and adequate storage to keep them fresh. Premium cigars come in wooden boxes that maintain enough moisture to maintain their quality. Cheap cigars are poorly rolled and can easily deteriorate when compared to premium quality cigars made by a recognised brand. In simple words, better tobacco and better quality ingredients can better survive harsh conditions when compared to low-quality ones.
When traveling, there are many options beyond simply throwing them in your luggage. The best way to carry a cigar is by safely putting the cigars in your hand carry and not your luggage as during flights or traveling, luggage bags are often not treated with great care.
You might have noticed that cigars come wrapped in plastic to maintain freshness and quality. So always avoid the urge to remove the plastic wrap before you are ready to smoke the cigar. To maintain a distinct taste and experience, cigar manufacturers always recommend storing cigars inside cigar humidors as these devices are designed to maintain moisture, temperature, and humidity levels, allowing for increased protection against environmental changes. They come in all shapes and sizes, depending on your use and carrying capacity. As humidors are designed to maintain humidity, they require a refill of distilled water to keep the levels stable.
Most people that are new to using humidors often make the mistake of pouring tap water in the humidor device reserve that causes minerals to pile up within the device, making it impossible to maintain moisture. As there are a lot of options available when it comes to selecting a humidor, always go for reputable manufacturers as these devices are not meant to be purchased often. Another thing to remember is that humidors can maintain temperature under normal conditions. You cannot expect the device to face direct sunlight for hours and still maintain the temperature. So dedicate some time to research which type or quality would suit you the best.
If you are planning for a short trip that would last one to three days, a simple hard container can suffice, unless you have removed the cellophane packing that the cigar came with. As mentioned earlier, these cigars come wrapped in packaging and can easily maintain their freshness and quality until the packaging is breached, develops a leak, or is opened. In case you are planning to spend a week or two, it’s best to invest in a travel humidor or a two-way humidity control pack so that you can enjoy the mellow taste and flavor of your favorite cigar.
Most humidor users make the mistake of stuffing the device with more than the recommended amount of cigars, resulting in cramming of the outer cigar leaf and loss of freshness. Two-way systems are a better option when you want to store cigars for a long time. All you have to do is maintain the water reservoir levels of your two-way system and let stale air move out of the container once in a while.
DIY Storage Tips
If you don’t have the budget to get a humidor or are making last-minute travel plans, then you have to improvise. The easiest thing you can do is to grab a few zip lock bags, a sponge, and most importantly, the cigars. Place the cigars in a zip lock bag, moisten the sponge with water, squeeze the water out, and place the sponge in the zip lock bag with the sticks. Finally, place another bag on top of the zip lock bag for increased protection. This DIY hack can keep the cigars fresh for a couple of weeks. One thing to look for is whether the sponge becomes dry as this will affect the quality. A plastic container from your kitchen shelf is also another option for carrying cigars. To maintain the humidity levels, you can place the sponge soaked in distilled water inside the container as using tap water can promote the growth of mould and disrupt the flavour.
For people who are regular cigar smokers and are planning a long vacation, you will need more than just a humidor or Tupperware plastic containers. A small cooler can suffice and help carry your cigars with ease. The cooler can easily maintain humidity levels but would require a few more adjustments. You might need distilled water, a humidification device, and a humidity level monitor to convert your cooler into cigar storage.
Nothing can beat the pleasure of smoking your favourite cigar while relaxing at your destination. We hope that the information presented above helps you in carrying cigars easily while traveling.