Most air transport authorities, including the TSA, FAA, IATA, and others, allow bringing vitamins on planes without any restrictions. As far as they’re concerned, they’re like any other substance – for example, food or toiletries.
But the exact packing rules differ based on whether the vitamin is in solid, liquid, or powder form.
Supplements also have to be screened when going through security or when checking in your bag. If you don’t want your vitamins to go through an X-ray scanner, you can always ask the security agents to do an individual screening.
If the supplement that you’re planning on bringing is in a bottle or container and you can feel it splashing inside, then the TSA will count it as a liquid.
In this case, they’ll have to follow the 3-1-1 rule when packed in hand baggage. You can only bring liquid vitamins in bottles smaller than 3.4 oz (100 ml) and you have to pack them in a 1 quart (1 liter) resealable bag together with all your other liquids. You will have to take out this bag when going through security and place it in a separate bin.
In checked bags, liquid vitamins are allowed in any quantity or size.
TSA counts pills, capsules, soft gel, and gummy vitamins as solids. Even though capsules and soft gel vitamins technically have liquid inside, it’s a very small amount, so the TSA isn’t concerned about that.
Solid vitamins don’t have any packing restrictions. You also don’t have to take them out of your bag when going through security.
In checked baggage, you can bring powdered supplements in any quantity. But in hand luggage, you should try to limit their size to 350 g (12 oz) or smaller.
When flying in the USA, you should be allowed to carry larger amounts in hand luggage if you agree to an additional inspection by the TSA agents. But in Europe, Canada, and a few other countries, powders over 350 g are allowed only in checked baggage.
If your powdered vitamins are below 350 g, you should keep them in your bag when going through security.
If you have a prescription for specific liquid vitamins, then you can bring them in larger quantities than 3.4 oz (100 ml). But you’ll have to declare them at the security checkpoint, show the prescription, and they must be in the original packaging.
Vitamins Don’t Have to Be In Their Original Packaging, but It’s Advised
TSA, IATA, FAA, and other flight authorities don’t ask passengers to store vitamins in their original containers. This means that you’re allowed to transfer vitamins over to other, more convenient containers if you prefer.
But if you want to get through the security checkpoints seamlessly, then you should definitely keep vitamins in their original containers. That’s because unmarked vitamins definitely raise suspicion. Very often, airport security agents want to know their origin.
Also, some states in the US may require you to keep specific vitamins in their original packaging.
Traveling With Vitamins Internationally
The rules for traveling with vitamins are generally the same all across the world – you can bring them without any restrictions.
When flying on domestic flights in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, you can also bring liquid vitamins in bottles larger than 3.4 oz (100 ml). In Canada, vitamins are exempt from the 3-1-1 rule. And in Australia and New Zealand, the airports have the new CT scanners, which don’t enforce size restrictions for liquids in hand baggage.
When traveling internationally, you should keep vitamins in their original packaging. That’s because airport security checks for illegal substances for international passengers. And unmarked vitamins may cause suspicion.
How to Pack Vitamins in Your Luggage
You should preferably keep vitamins in your carry-on bag. That’s because your checked bag might get lost or delayed.
Also, try to pack them somewhere accessible. The airport security might ask you to take them out of your bag and this will speed up the process.
Most people who travel with vitamins usually keep them all in a single pouch or a Ziploc bag to keep them organized.
Summing Up – Traveling With Vitamins
You shouldn’t be worried about packing vitamins in your baggage because they’re allowed on planes. In the eyes of TSA, vitamins are completely harmless – just like any food item or toiletry item. But although you don’t need to keep them in their original packaging, it’s advised to do that to avoid having any issues at the airport.