Traveling With Supplements | The Ultimate Guide

As a fitness junkie, I know traveling with supplements is a niche topic only a few may care about.

My obsession with supplements on the road is a rarity, but for the few people that will find the topic interesting…I’ll break down exactly how to hit the road with your favorite supplements intact.

See I’ve been traveling with way too many supplements for awhile now. About 5+ years to be exact.

I’ve got traveling with supplements down to a science.

I know which stuff to bring, whether you can carry on, and the best containers for traveling with pills and potions over the long-term.

But here the first thing you need to know:

They won’t confiscate your supplements if they’re in carry on. There’s no TSA issue when traveling with over-the-counter supplements.

But I know you want more than that, so I’ll dig deep into flying with medications and bringing pills on a plane too.

Just know…Any and all pills and powders will be fine. Even liquids under three ounces should be fine. Like CBD oil.

I know people who carry on vials of testosterone around the world and never have had an issue.

So your multi-vitamins and pre-workout won’t be a problem.

Te lo juro.

But enough of my fluff, let’s dig into the wide world of traveling with supplements for all my fellow fitness junkies and health conscious readers.

Below you’ll find info like:

If any of those specific topics are what you need to succeed before your travels, simply click the link above and you’ll be taken to that information.

For everyone else looking for a deep dive into bring your supplements and subsequently, GAINS, on the road…

Keep on reading this bad boy.

Oh and one more thing, y’all:


I’m not a doctor or a lawyer. This is not legal or medical advice. The information inside this guide is simply entertainment. Please read my disclaimer for a full overview.



Flying with Medication

Before we dive into traveling with medication, it must be stated that different countries have different laws regarding traveling with medication.

Pharmaceutical drugs, medications, and over-the-counter supplements that you travel with inside one country…could be 100% illegal in another country.

As a gringo, I’ll be digging deep into flying with medication within and from the United States.

And to do that, I’ll have to take a look at TSA medication rules.

According to everybody’s favorite airport agency, flying with medication shouldn’t be too much of an issue. You just need to look out for a few things, including (Source):

  • You’re allowed to fly with medications, pills, and supplements in unlimited amounts, as long as it’s been screened…aka goes through the x-ray screening line just like your computer does.
  • When flying with medication, you do NOT need the prescription bottle when dealing with TSA. But certain states and countries may require the bottle.
  • Flying in liquid medication under 3.4 ounces will not be a problem. If you have medication with more than 3.4 ounces and it’s potentially needed for the flight, TSA will follow other security protocol to ensure you can take the liquid on the flight.
  • You can bring medication on a flight via carry-on and checked baggage.

Overall, you should have much to worry about when flying with medication.

TSA medication rules are not that strict and generally just ensure liquids more than 3.4 ounces do not make it on the plane.

But let’s talk a little bit about over the counter supplements now.

Can You Bring Pills on a Plane?

If you’re curious about whether you can bring pills on a plan or not…have no fear

You can bring pills on a plane without issue.

While you may raise eyebrows and suspicions if traveling with a pharmacy in your carry-on luggage, it is not technically illegal to bring pills on a plane.

Especially if those pills are over-the-counter supplements.

The only time I had an issue when traveling with supplements and bringing my pills on a plane?

That was when I landed in Mexico City after spending a week in Cuba. Apparently, an American coming back from Cuba with tons of supplements raised a lot of red flags in CDMX.

But after inspection everything was perfectly fine.

Labeling is essential 😉


Traveling With Supplements | The Ultimate Guide

Below you’ll find some of my best tips for packing powders, pills, and more while hitting the road.

Whether you’re on a quick weekend getaway or a two-month voyage hiking through Patagonia, you’ll find what you need to succeed right here.

Well, at least when it comes to bringing your supplements with you.

Traveling with supplements? Here are a few tips:

  • My Number One Tip?

Buy a blender bottle.

But not just any ole’ Blender Bottle, fam.

You want one of the fancy ones that allows you to pack copious amounts of pills and powders attached to the bottle.

Like this bad boy.

Why?

Because these bottles make taking your supplements while in the airport, out at dinner, or on the go super simple.

Just look at this thing:

The compartments attach to the bottom of the Blender Bottle – allowing you to have supplements storage space while you move around.

There’s even a slim compartment that easily fits into your pocket. I often put my pills in that bad boy before going out to dinner.

Hell, for weekend trips, this is really all you need.

The thing can store enough pills and powders for a solid 3-4 days by itself.

For longer trips, I still get insane use out of this style Blender Bottle. It makes moving around with supplements so much easier.

No more need for plastic baggies!

Get yours here.


  • Pack Pre-Workout

Pre-workout is the most important supplement for travelers. Well, at least for me.

See, there’s a good shot you’ll be boozing while on the road. If you’re anything like me.

Whether you’re hitting the road for vacation or on a business trip, boozing is expected. And with booze comes lower energy in the gym.

island life 1234

Road workout in Bocas del Toro, Panama.


The easiest way to combat this is a little pre-workout. Pre-workout gives you the stimulants you need to kill the gym while hungover.

Plus, a good pre-workout will have ingredients that ensure a solid pump and lead to muscle growth – even when you’re abusing alcohol.

I’ve always believed what you do before hitting the gym is more important than what you do after.

Even if you’re feeling like ass while on the road, a solid pre-workout will ensure you get a good workout whenever you want.

If you’re cutting, I like this one.

It’s great for guys and girls.

If you want to add some bulk and size…

This is the best pre-workout I’ve ever tried.


  • Don’t Pack Protein Powder

Honestly, f*ck protein powder for travelers.

Protein powder has to be the most overrated supplement of all time when on the road. Sure, I’ll take it when I have a base city or I’m at home.

But if I’m traveling around at a brisk pace, I’ll skip protein powder before any other supplement.

It’s just not that important when you can easily eat a big, protein-packed meal right after the gym.

Plus, protein powder takes up an insane amount of space in your luggage.

If you’re on a week or two trip, you may want to fill a few baggies with protein powder. For long-term travel, you’d be an idiot to try and pack a big tub of protein.

I’d know because I did so on my first trip….

Not a great decision.

If you have a pre-workout full of active ingredients and stimulants, then you’ll be able to keep your size or gain more with the pre-workout and a solid diet.

Oh, and you can always buy some protein if you plan to stay in a city for awhile.

Every single city in the world that has a gym, which is all of them, will have somewhere to buy protein powder.


  • Skip Large Liquids

You’ll have to make do without liquid supplements while on the road.

That’s just the way it is.

You needn’t try to pack your liquid fish oil, apple cider vinegar, and tart cherry juice concentrate.

I’ve tried to pack all these supplements before. Legit every single one.

And I’ll tell you one thing…

It’s a massive pain in the ass.

I do NOT recommend it.

The minor health benefits you’d can from all these supplements is not worth the hassle of carrying around 36+ ounces or more of liquid supplements in your checked baggage.

Because they’re far too big to put in your carry-on luggage.

Plus, you can find pill substitutes of many liquid supplements. While I prefer liquids too, you can easily take

While maybe not as potent as the real thing, aka the liquid supplement, you’ll get most of the benefit and your travels will be far, far easier.

Ya tu sabes.

The only liquid supplement I recommend bringing?

CBD oil.

It’s smaller than 3 ounces and you’ll never have an issue with it getting through customs and/or TSA.

Why?

Because TSA doesn’t view CBD oil like cannabis. At all. Whatsoever.

You won’t have an issue.


 

  • Do Pack Your Pills

While axing the protein powder is an awesome idea, you’ll definitely want to pack your pills.

Common sense I know.

But pills are tiny and it’s easy to bring a month(s) supply of pills in a tiny space.

I’d start with pills that give you the most bang for your buck and then work backward.

Multivitamins come to mind right off the bat.

Not only is a multivitamin solid while on the road due to the guarantee of an ever-changing diet, but I also find they help with hangovers if taken the night of – right before bed.

I also wouldn’t leave home without a full trip supply of Vitamin D.

Personally, I’ve also found a pill organizer to be a great investment for certain trips.

You can fit 2-4 weeks of seven different pills in this one case.

While it’s not tiny, it gives you a lot more bang for you buck that packing bottles for trips of 1-3 weeks.


  • Packing Bottles 101

Which leads me to my next point, don’t pack supplement bottles for short trips.

Use organizers and containers – like the couple I’ve listed so far.

Bottles take up way to much space in your luggage and rarely use that space efficiently.

If you’re packing for a long trip, then sure – pack all the supplement bottles you want and need.

But here’s a trick…

Many supplement bottles are only half way filled up when you buy them. So you can buy a couple bottles, a few months worth of one supplement, and then put everything into one bottle.

Your goal being to fill it to the absolute brim and save space.


  • Expect to Buy Things For Longer Trips

You can’t pack everything if you’re traveling for 3-12 months. It simply impossible to pack light and pack all the supplements you need to live overseas.

Don’t even try. If you’ll be on the road, then expect to buy things on the road.

You won’t have access to an Amazon.com type of selection, but you’ll find most places have health shops with the basics.

Here’s what I do:

Bring as much of the specialty items you like to take.

Then get basics while you’re there.

For instance, my multivitamin and fish oil are from specific brands you can only get on Amazon.

So I bring a bunch of them when I travel on longer trips. However, I know I’ll be able to find vitamin d and zinc in most countries I’ll travel to. So I don’t pack those and buy them when I arrive.

Same goes for protein powder.


  • Don’t Think You’ll Have Access to Everything

Let me reiterate:

Amazon gives us access to nearly every legal supplement in the world.

It’s incredibly useful and makes things simple. You won’t have access to an Amazon type selection anywhere else in the world.

Not even close!

So understand that long-term travel will require you to change your supplement routine or pay hefty courier fees to ship exactly what you want into your current county.

I recommend simply adapting to life away from home if you’re a long-term traveler.


  • Pack Your Smart Drugs

If you take Modafinil or another smart drug, you’ll definitely want to pack it.

It’s rare you’ll have access to any type of smart drug in foreign countries.

They’re just not that popular outside of western countries. Plus, you can pack a few months supply of Modafinil in a tiny space. I traveled with a year-long supply and it took up nothing in my luggage.

Oh, and you won’t have any legal issues doing this.

I’m not a doctor or a lawyer, but I’ve had Modafinil in my luggage for years on end and have never had an issue.

Phenibut is also a fun smart drug to travel with.

Used in social situations, you’ll find your drinking goes down and you still have a great time. Highly recommended on the road.


 

  • Don’t Get Carried Away

My first big trip I tried to pack ever part of my supplement routine into my suitcase.

Pre-workouts, pills, protein powders, apple cider vinegar, and more.

I legit had a giant suitcase completely filled with supplements. It was asinine. Looking back, I’m baffled I traveled around with so many supplements.

Pack your most important supplements, but don’t get carried away.

Never use a larger suitcase to bring more supplements. Fit what you can and make do with what doesn’t fit.

Then don’t worry about it.

You’ll live without that special brand of shark cartilage you’ve been taking three times daily. I promise.

big ass suitcase

Way too much luggage en route to Costa Rica.


  • Always Pack Sleeping Aids

Lastly, you’ll ALWAYS want to bring your sleep aids.

Traveling is full of unknowns. From random noises in the middle of the night to noisy neighbors to the stressors of sleeping in a different bed every night – it can be difficult to find the ideal sleep routine on the road.

So you must do everything you can to ensure you stay in a sleeping rhythm. This means bringing sleeping pills, earplugs and some way to generate white noise.

Here’s what I recommend for travelers looking to sleep great while on the road:

The combination of these three items should make sleeping on the road so much better. Trust me.

Plus, all these items make it easy to travel with supplements.

They don’t take up much space!


Traveling With Supplements • My Verdict?

Traveling with supplements can be complex, especially for gym junkies like myself and many of my friends.

That’s why I put together some of my best tips.

To make staying in shape while on the road easier than ever before.

By following the guidelines above, you’ll stay in a supplement routine while still packing light.

Do you have any tips when traveling with supplements is the topic? Sound off in the comments.

I’m always open to new ideas and ways to bring supplements on the road.

~ P.S: If you’re a traveling digital nomad, having a stash of Modafinil is a must. Try getting some work done with a raging hangover without it ~
5/5 (1 Review)
Jake D

Travel junkie turned blogger. Location independent. From the Midwest, but often based in Latin America. Big on beaches, rumba, and rum. Addicted to the gym. Committed to showing a different style of travel - one that involves actually interacting with locals and exploring different cultures.

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6 Supplements You Can Find All Around the World - Nomadic Hustle - November 28, 2016

[…] Traveling with supplements is hard. It can be done, but you’ll need careful planning and smart packing to make it work. Instead, try buying some of these supplements at the grocery store when you arrive. You’ll save a little money and stay healthy at the same time. Just because you’re on the road doesn’t mean you have to lack your health suffer. Incorporate these supplements into your routine on the road, and you’ll be sure to feel better. […]

Reply
I Must Have Power Absolute ™ - October 15, 2017

So in general TSA are not assholes about it at all? I do not want to get drug smuggling charges going to South America just to bring my fish oil and ZMA..

Reply
    NomadicJake - October 16, 2017

    Hah noooo, TSA doesn’t care about your fish oil, man! And there’s no TSA in South American countries. You have no worries.

    Reply
      I Must Have Power Absolute ™ - October 16, 2017

      Thanks man. I’m more worried about the South American side of the airport than the American side. I dont plan to put it in my carry on luggage, just my suitcase. I’m sure you heard to stories of the dumbasses who try to smuggle shit through Thailand and get put in jail for like 150 years with no way to get out.

      Reply
        NomadicJake - October 16, 2017

        Hah yeah, I’ve heard the hype. You’ll be perfectly fine. South American countries aren’t nearly as concerned about that type of stuff, like Thailand is.

        Just stick to stuff you could buy off Amazon, and you’ll be straight.

        Reply
          I Must Have Power Absolute ™ - October 16, 2017

          Thanks man. I’ll be out that way in January, we should hook up at some point. I’m from the south and your from the midwest so I’m sure it will be chill to hang out with someone from our “area”

          Reply
          NomadicJake - October 17, 2017

          For sure. Shoot me an email here when you arrive!

          Reply
Chris - February 1, 2019

I take trt here in the states. Do you know if pharmacies in Latin America sell testosterone? So I can keep taking it if I am in a country for a long period of
Time?

Reply
    Jake D - February 5, 2019

    Depends on the country, but generally 100% yes.

    You won’t even need a prescription to get Bayer, mate!

    Reply
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