How to Pack Vitamins and Supplements for Travel


June 14, 2024

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Travel can be stressful, and once you hit middle age, it can take an even greater toll on your body. Vitamins and supplements can be your trusty sidekicks, helping you maintain energy, immunity, and overall well-being. In this post, you’ll learn several ways to pack your vitamins and supplements for travel, whether in the U.S. or internationally, and I'll share the space-saving method I use.

Maintaining your health while on the road is essential, and one way to do that is by making sure you continue with the vitamins and supplements you’re already taking. If you’re thinking of starting new ones for your trip, check with your doctor or other health professional first. You don’t want an adverse reaction on your vacation!

Why Travel with Vitamins and Supplements?

Before we get into the rules and guidelines, let's look at why your daily vitamin routine shouldn’t take a vacation when you do.

Maintain your routine

Traveling can disrupt your daily routine, including your diet and health habits. Keeping up with your vitamin routine can help you maintain your overall health so you feel your best, no matter where you are.

Reduce jet lag

Traveling often means crossing time zones and being exposed to new environments, which can mess with your body clock. The supplements you've been advised to take for jet lag can help you bounce back faster.

Boost your defenses

New places mean new germs. Your daily dose may help keep your immune system strong.

Minimize travel stress

Irregular meal times and travel stress can throw your nutrition off balance. Your supplements can help fill the gaps.

How to Pack Vitamins and Supplements for Travel in a Car, Train, or Cruise Ship

Packaging your vitamins and supplements for travel is relatively straightforward, with some special caveats if you're flying, which I'll cover below. However, there are a few tips to remember to ensure your vitamins remain effective and easy to access.

Count the days

Calculate how many days you’ll be away. Are your vitamins critical to your health? Will you be diligent about taking them on the road? Then, pack a few extra doses in case your trip home is delayed. I usually miss a few days of my vitamin regimen while traveling, so I usually pack just a little bit less.

Pack up capsules, tablets, and soft gels

Box to organize pills by the day of the weekVitamins and supplements don't have to be in their original bottles. However, keeping them in their original containers can make the security process smoother and help you avoid any potential issues.

  • Use a pill organizer
    A pill case can save space and help organize your vitamins and supplements. Although these are bulky, the advantage of organizers with compartments for each day of the week is that you’ll know if you took your vitamins that day or not. Some of these organizers have compartments for both morning and evening doses.
  • Get personalized vitamin packs
    There are a number of companies that offer personalized vitamin packs through a subscription service. Just search online. I haven't tried any of these (my favorite method is next), so can't vouch for them, but the way they're packed in small pouches makes them perfect for tucking away in your suitcase.
  • Create your own vitamin packs
    Pills on table grouped by morning doseAnother option is to use small, resealable bags. This is how I pack my vitamins because it saves so much space. I first sort my vitamins out on a table with a pile for each morning and evening of my trip, then put each pile in a single small resealable bag. I then put these small bags in larger ones, each labeled for morning or evening doses. I can tuck bags in as filler around other things in my luggage. This method really saves space. You just need to be sure to label the bags clearly.

Measure out powder

A can or jar of powdered supplements takes up a lot of space in your luggage. The best practice is to measure out your daily dose, pack the doses in small, resealable bags or containers, and label them clearly. Another option is to put the entire amount you need for your trip in one bag and bring a measuring scoop.

When I travel with my protein powder, I bring a shaker and keep my bag of protein powder in the shaker to save luggage space.

Pack up liquids

Liquids can be messy because they are prone to leaking. Opt for a pill or tablet form when you can. If pills aren't a good option for you, double-bag the bottles and make sure they have lots of padding around them.

How to Pack Vitamins and Supplements for Air Travel

Flying with vitamins and supplements requires you to adhere to a few regulations. So, in addition to the packing guidelines above, consider the following:

Adhere to TSA’s guidelines

When you leave the United States, you must follow the rules the Transportation Security Administration has set out on the TSA website.

Here are some of the things you’ll need to consider:

  • Vitamins in solid form
    You can pack vitamins in solid form (including soft gels) in either carry-on bags or checked.
  • Liquid vitamins
    You can bring liquid vitamins on board in your 3-1-1 bag if each bottle is not more than 3.4 oz or 100 ml. Otherwise, place them in your checked luggage. Be sure they're well-padded to avoid any spills. If you bring them in your carry-on, you need to declare them to the TSA officer at the security checkpoint.

TSA officers have the final word about what makes it through the security checkpoint.

Original bottles or repackage? 

Your choice. Original bottles take up more space. However, they might be handy if the TSA or customs officials question your supplements and vitamins.

Carry-on or check? 

Packaging your vitamins in your carry-on luggage is a good idea. It’s safer, and you’ll have them handy on long flights. If you’ll be traveling for a long time, it depends on what would happen if your checked bag was lost.

Pack all your supplements in your carry-on if they are critical for your health. Otherwise, pack at least a few days' worth in your carry-on and the rest in your checked bag.

Consider the conditions

Airplane cargo holds can experience extreme temperature fluctuations and pressure changes, which may affect your vitamins' efficacy. Keeping them in your carry-on minimizes exposure to these conditions.

Decide about documentation

Documentation is only required for vitamins and dietary supplements prescribed by your doctor. However, it doesn’t hurt to have a letter from your doctor regardless. It can be particularly useful if you're carrying a large number of pills or your vitamins are part of a specific health regimen and you don't want to risk them being confiscated.

Traveling with Vitamins and Supplements Internationally

Taking vitamins and supplements on an international trip adds another layer of complexity, as you need to comply with the specific regulations of both your home country and your destination.

Know the rules

Different countries have different rules about what you can bring into the country. Do your homework and learn the local laws to make sure you don't have to relinquish your vitamins or you don’t incur a fine.

Reasonable dose

A 90-day supply is usually acceptable. More than that might require special permission or documentation.

Buy locally

If you stay for an extended period, buy your vitamins locally or have them shipped.


Some countries have specific rules about bringing supplements into the country, and you may be required to declare your vitamins at customs. Honesty is the best policy here.

Bringing Vitamins and Supplements Back into the United States

U.S. customs follows laws and regulations established by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). If you bring back vitamins purchased in the U.S., you’ll be OK. If you purchased your vitamins outside the U.S., they may or may not be allowed in.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I pack gummy vitamins?

Yes, gummy vitamins are allowed. Pack them in a way that prevents them from melting or becoming sticky, especially if you’re traveling in a warm climate.

What about protein powder?

Yes, protein powder is allowed. Make sure it is in a sealed container or bag and clearly labeled to avoid any confusion during security checks.

Can I take herbal medicine on the plane?

Yes. Herbal supplements are regulated the same way as vitamins and supplements. Keep in mind, though, if you’re traveling internationally, you’ll be better off bringing tablets or capsules. Some countries don’t let in dried plant material.

Will TSA open my vitamins?

They might. TSA agents may open your vitamin containers during the security screening process. Consider using clear, resealable bags for your vitamins and supplements to make this easier.

Final Thoughts

The good news is that as long as you use these practical tips and follow TSA guidelines and the guidelines of the countries you’ll be visiting, you should be able to maintain your health routine on your next trip.

Just be sure to pack your vitamins and supplements securely and label them clearly. Boy voyage! Stay well, and don't forget to write! 👋

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  1. Sharyn says:

    Traveling well is high on my priority list. I like to travel with vitamins as sometimes you don’t always get what your body needs from the food, particularly when trying new foods as you travel. Great tips in this post.

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