8 hours to pack a suitcase? That’s just nuts! No, it’s WINE! No-fail tips for packing wine, and other liquor!

Actually, it was more like 12 hours, but I had already experienced enough derision from my travel mates.  So, I didn’t fess up to the real amount of time.  But…

I had precious cargo to transport.  And I wanted it to survive the ravages of airline luggage wranglers, airline conveyor belts, and airline scales.

I was not about to leave my hand-selected New Zealand wines behind; but neither did I want to ship the bottles only to have them broken in transit.  And I didn’t want to pay an overweight baggage fee at the airport.  So, logistical plans take awhile.  Okay?

I have brought back many fragile things in my suitcases — with almost complete success.  Especially wine.  I haven’t lost a bottle, well, except one to an unscrupulous airport security inspector, but that’s another story…

A Quick and Easy Guide

Here is a quick and easy guide for the supplies you will need, and tips for how to pack your imported wine for safe and secure transport in your suitcase….

A true lover of the fruit of the vine won’t be able to resist picking up a bottle or two, or ten, when visiting a foreign country.  Some people will snort with derision and say, “Why bother?  Buy it at home.”

No, you cultural desert, not all wine is available at home.  Especially limited editions.  And besides, what’s the use in tasting wine, if you aren’t going to buy a bottle after discovering your palate’s appreciation for the new flavour.

Pack with complete confidence

So, enjoy.  Taste.  Buy.  And then pack…with complete confidence.  Here’s how:

Materials needed:

  • A roll of bubble wrap
  • Several sheets of tissue paper
  • A roll of clear cling wrap
  • Glad Snaplock or Ziplock plastic bags
  • Shock absorbent material used between china plates or to keep carpets from slipping.(These materials weigh very little  and are easily packed.  They work great for getting your bottles home safely.)

How to pack your bottles

  • First wrap each bottle tightly with cling wrap (in case of breakage, the glass will stay together).
  • Wrap a protective binding of bubble wrap or the non-slip carpet rubber around each bottle.
  • Seal each bottle in a Ziplock or Snaplock bag that is large enough to completely encase the bottle. Roll the excess bag around the bottle and wrap in tissue. Each bottle now has an adequate layer of shock absorption.

Now for your suitcase

  • Be sure to take along a suitcase that has some form of hard walls, not a duffel bag type; although many people have managed to bring glass bottles back in duffel bags, I strongly recommend against this idea.
  • Use your clothing to pad out the bottles. If in doubt (and I take no chances) I seal my clothing, in Snaplock bags, too. Just in case there is some breakage. Be sure to pack your suitcase tightly to keep the bottles from shifting when they are being tossed onto airport conveyor belts.
  • Jot down the names of the wines and their volumes as you pack. Keep this paper handy for when you go through customs.  This list will also come in handy for when you must make a claim because an airline security inspector has helped him or herself to one of your expensive bottles of wine.   (This just happened to me, but because I have my notes and descriptions, I knew exactly what had been taken. The dirty rats!)
  • Remember, too, the strict baggage weight allowance — that $20 bottle of wine may not be worth a $60 overweight charge.  Split up your bottles between bags to even out the weight.

Forget Carry On

Don’t even try to bring any wine in your hand luggage — you’ll be leaving it behind in the security clearance area.

PS   Check your country’s personal exemption limitson wine and alcohol.  The amount listed usually means the quantity of wine you can import, BEFORE paying taxes.  It does NOT mean the maximum amount you can import.  Be sure to accurately report all wine or liquor you are bringing with you, or that is following behind you via post or courier, and pay the taxes.  You’ll be surprised at how small the amount can be.  This up front management of your imported wine is a good idea; after all, who wants to have their precious wine confiscated.

Or lifted…but that’s another story.  It’s here if you are interested.

http://visualsbysheree.blogspot.com/2008/01/open-letter-to-inspector-101706-at-sf.html

Cheers,
Sheree Zielke

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4 Responses to “8 hours to pack a suitcase? That’s just nuts! No, it’s WINE! No-fail tips for packing wine, and other liquor!”

  1. Airline Security » Blog Archive » 8 hours to pack a suitcase? That’s just nuts! No, it’s WINE! No … Says:

    [...] unknown wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptI haven’t lost a bottle, well, except one to an unscrupulous airport security inspector, but that’s another story… A Quick and Easy Guide Here is a quick and easy guide for the supplies you will need, and tips for how to pack your … [...]

  2. David Aspirator Says:

    Great tips, having an over whelming fear of flying of any sort this will only be put into effect if i use the ferry or the Euro star useful all the same.

  3. Sheree Says:

    Hi David,

    Thanks for you comments. Yes, the packing tips will work regardless of your mode of transportation.

    Wishing you safe and happy travels,
    Sheree

  4. Stacey Says:

    Tried this wrapping and it worked great on a trip to Mexico~

    Wine on the way out and tequila on the way in, no problems either way.