Don’t let your supps ruin your vacation
Fitness and healthy living are a lifestyle choice for many people. So even when it comes time to take a vacation, there is no holiday from staying fit. Many people travel with their supplements of choice so they can continue their workouts even while on vacation.
If you’re one of the hardcore fitness freaks who refuse to take a holiday from your workouts, then it’s important to understand the risks involved with traveling with supplements, because a lack of understanding can easily turn your vacation into a nightmare. If you’re traveling by plane or crossing an international border, you should know that your luggage is subject to a search, which could become problematic if you don’t handle it properly. So in the interest of getting you to your destination without any unnecessary delays or problems, here are some tips to help you.
- CROSSCHECK YOUR INGREDIENTS: If you’re headed to another country, go online first and find out what substances are banned in that country and crosscheck that with the ingredients in your favorite supplements. Pay special attention to stimulants that may be a part of the ingredients. Just because something is legal and/or commonplace in your country, doesn’t mean it’s legal in your destination.
- DECLARE EVERYTHING: Few things rankle the customs and border police more than people who fail to declare their goods. So if you’re crossing an international border, take the declaration form very seriously and list everything you have that could be prohibited. And if you’re unsure whether or not something you’re carrying is prohibited, it’s better to be safe than sorry, so just declare it. You won’t get in trouble for declaring something that didn’t need to be declared. However, if you fail to declare something that should have been, then you could be looking at some potential problems. If your destination country thinks you’re purposefully trying to conceal something, even something as simple as a workout supplement, then you could be denied entry and put back on a plane home. If that happens, you could be forced to eat anything you’ve already paid for, such as hotel reservations.
- HAVE YOUR SUPPS SENT TO YOUR DESTINATION AHEAD OF YOUR TRIP: Believe it or not, this is a common solution, especially if you’re crossing a border. Order your supplements ahead of your trip and have them sent to the hotel or destination where you are staying. Simply notify the hotel, let them know you have an upcoming reservation and you are anticipating receiving a package. It may cost you a little more in international shipping, but could be well worth it to avoid any issues. If you take this route, try ordering from a place located in your destination country to save on shipping and to avoid customs fees. You could check ahead to see if there are any brick-and-mortar supplement shops near your destination.
- KEEP YOUR SUPPS IN ITS ORIGINAL CONTAINER: You would think this would be a no-brainer, but it happens. Some supps, proteins in particular, tend to come in huge containers that can take up a lot of space in your baggage, so some people think that putting your pills or powders in a Ziploc storage bag or Tupperware can save space. It might save you space, but it could also lead to a travel nightmare. Think about it: You’re trying to board a flight or cross a border with a strange powdery substance. The first assumption is gonna be that it’s either drugs or a dangerous substance. At the very least, your supps will likely be seized. At worst, you could be sent back, fined, or even charged with a crime if your supps contain a substance that’s banned in that country. And the worst-case scenario would be putting it in your carry-on bag and having the bag or container break open while on a plane, sending a cloud of material through the plane. Something like that is sure to cause a panic and would likely result in an emergency landing.
In closing, a common sense approach and an understanding of the laws can make a big difference in your experience. After all, you don’t want to get kicked out of paradise because you didn’t know that deer antler or Yohimbe are banned. Understand that border patrols, customs agents and transportation security have a job to do, and that job is to protect people. So it’s a good idea to anticipate a thorough search of your luggage and yourself.