How to travel with a sex toy... and avoid a vibrating bag

Here are the best ways to take sex toys on a trip, stick to the rules, and style it out if you're asked any awkward questions

How to travel with a sex toy
(Image credit: Pexels / Daria Shevtsova)

The doors to the world have been opened, but that doesn't mean you have to explore it without those home comforts. Finding the best way to travel with a sex toy is imperative for a whole lot of reasons, even beyond the need to keep yourself sexually sane on the road. You'll want to keep your favourite toys safe and sound and likely keep them safely out of sight, but bear in mind that there's a long list of rules that need to be followed if (for example) you're transporting battery-powered devices on aircraft – and dealing with these could make things slightly more awkward.

So let's break down what you can and can't do when travelling with the best sex toys, and the steps you should take to make sure everything arrives at its destination in one piece.

How to travel with a sex toy: the rules

If you're travelling by your own means, you can do what you like. On an aircraft, however, you'll need to be a lot more careful. The key here is not necessarily following rules around sex toys – we couldn't find anything specific in any authority's ordinance regarding dildos, funnily enough – but in following certain tangentially-related rules. Most importantly, you'll need to be wary of lithium batteries, which are heavily regulated due to their propensity to explode when short-circuited. 

Their potential fire risk (expanded by baggage handlers' general tendency to hurl suitcases with reckless abandon) means lithium batteries cannot be put in the hold at all, so you will need to carry any powered toy with integrated batteries in your hand luggage.

If the battery can be removed you can split the parts up, with the batteries safely stored (packed well in non-conductive materials) in your carry-on, and the rest elsewhere. 

Some things can go in your checked baggage, however - devices like mini-vibes which use regular batteries are fine, and (obviously) non-powered toys like the best Fleshlights are safe to pack away in the hold. You'd be well-advised to take this route if you can.

Bag of vibrators

We do not recommend the 'mesh bag full of vibrators' technique, but you do you

(Image credit: Pexels / Anna Shvets)

How to travel with a sex toy: keeping things safe

Batteries aren't the only thing to worry about if you're on the road. Many toys are made of soft materials that quickly collect lint and dirt, and they are as likely as any other device to take a knock or two when rumbling around your bag. It's important to keep these things pristine, particularly for hygiene reasons, so place your toy into a zip-lock bag to keep it clean in transit, and think about covering that bag with a few pairs of socks or similar.

Consider the other side of taking care, too: make sure you pack some toy cleaner, and any lube you need, so you're not going to the effort of furtively carrying your toys overseas for no reason.

How to travel with a sex toy: preventing accidents

If you have a battery-based toy with a non-removable battery we'd recommend ensuring it won't be able to set itself off by accident. Some more advanced toys include a flight mode, a way to lock them in the off position for transport, but this is pretty rare. Packing standard toys with plenty of padding will definitely help, and potentially disguise unwanted vibrations should things get switched on inadvertently.

It might be tempting to absolutely ensure a vibrator doesn't vibrate by, well, vibrating it until it can vibrate no more. That's a good idea, if a little flawed. You can run down the batteries before you leave, but be sure there's at least a little juice left (we'll get to why shortly). Just make sure you also pack a compatible charger and cable to use when you reach your destination.

Don't worry too much about aviation authorities' limits on battery capacity, as you are not likely to come anywhere near them with a sex toy. Packing a large power bank to keep things charged is fine too, though bear in mind the TSA starts its restrictions at 100 Watt hours and gets more prescriptive from there.

Vibrator with batteries removed

If you can remove the batteries, that's perfect – stash that vibrator in your hold baggage

(Image credit: Pixabay / RJA1988)

How to travel with a sex toy: styling it out

If you're carrying a battery-powered toy in your hand luggage, there's every chance it'll look mighty unusual under an x-ray. So unusual, in fact, that gate security may wish to take a look. 

There are generally no rules which say you need to remove a sex toy from a bag and put it into a tray, but if you are asked to show it you may also be asked to switch it on to prove it is what you say it is - which is why you should leave at least a little charge remaining.

In terms of awkward conversations, we suggest being honest and open; there's no sense in beating around the bush, as it were. As robotic as their daily grind might make them seem, airport security agents are humans, after all. 

Ideally explain what's going on before removing the toy from any padding you've put it in, which could save you a little embarrassment, but you could always try the neck massager excuse if you're feeling shy. That doesn't work so well if the device is large and penis-shaped, however.

How to travel with a sex toy: stealth mode

If you really want to fly under the radar, there are a few super-discrete toys you could try. For example, the somewhat iffily-named I Rub My Duckie looks (yes) just like a rubber duck, so as long as you're careful to keep it away from kids it'll seem innocent enough.

Wearable vibrators might also be a fun choice, particularly if you're looking for some mile-high stimulation; just be sure to put them in place after the security checkpoint, to avoid any awkward searches.

James is T3's sex toy and male wellness expert who's been exploring the topic of sexual happiness for a decade. He knows it's not what you've got, it's how you use it – and how clean you keep it.