cuban woman holding cigar

How to Keep Cigars Fresh When Travelling or on Holiday

For many cigar enthusiasts and aficionados, the challenge they face is how to keep cigars fresh when travelling or on holiday. Enjoying a great cigar with a glass of red wine, cognac or whiskey in a superb holiday location is not only pleasurable, but can be highly meditative. Great Wine Days went in search of proven ‘short-term’ methods, as alternatives to using a cigar humidor.

Humidity and Temperature are Key for Cigar Freshness

Before we continue, let’s share two key points for maintaining the optimum freshness of your cigars.

  1. Cigars need to be maintained at a specific humidity level, ideally between 68% and 72%; and
  2. In addition, the temperature of where cigars are kept must not rise beyond 25 degrees centigrade, if possible.


Below we illustrate how to keep cigars fresh when travelling or on holiday, in most climates and parts of the world…

Cling Film

Let’s start with the simplest and cheapest being cling film (the plastic wrap used to keep sandwiches fresh). Simply, individually wrap each cigar in cling film – not too tight – but ensure they are sealed at their freshest, and keep them in a dark, cool place – possibly extending their freshness by up to 5–7 days (and possibly even longer). You may also keep them in the fridge for a few days, up to a week.

Disposable Zip-Lock Bags (freezer or sandwich bags)

Another easy solution is using disposable, zip-lock bags (freezer bags) to keep your premium cigars fresh. They come with a zip lock that seals in their freshness (just like food). Simply place your cigars comfortably in a zip-lock bag, zip it closed and place in a fridge. If you do not have access to a fridge, then place a damp napkin (preferably using distilled water not tap water, to avoid mould forming) inside the bag before you zip it closed. Importantly, ensure the damp napkin never touches the cigars directly, to avoid water-damage.

Jar and Distilled Water

Then there’s the jar method. Find an empty clean jar and fill it about a quarter way with distilled water and then put some sponge in it, to soak it up. Cover the sponge with a piece of plastic and then put your cigars in the jar, ensuring there is no water contact. You can now place the jar in a refrigerator and keep your cigars fresh for up to 10 days.

Mason Jar with Moisture Beads

Apart from these methods, you can use a mason jar with moisture beads to keep your cigars fresh. Just fill the mason jar with some distilled water and moisture beads to create your own ‘do-it-yourself’ humidor to store your cigars for at least up to 2-3 weeks.


Now you know of some inexpensive alternatives and have the knowledge of how to keep your cigars fresh when travelling or on holiday. Of course, cigar makers and aficionados strongly recommend the use of a cigar humidor, as the best way of keeping your cigars fresh. There’s no argument there, and in fact we agree. Our short term alternative solutions should ensure the quality of your expensive cigars is maintained to keep them fresh and aromatic.

Happy travels!

Next… Where to find the best cigar lounges, bars and spaces when travelling or on holiday! Read here

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