How to pack wine or hard liquor in a suitcase

How to pack wine in a hardcase
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Some people plan a vacation around where they can go hiking or swimming. I plan mine around the good wine and spirits. If you’re going somewhere that makes great beer, whiskey, or other alcohols, why not bring some home with you? It’s easier than you think to transport liquids in your suitcase. Here are some simple tips for packing wine and hard liquor in your luggage for your next trip:

use a hard suitcase

How to pack wine

  • Use a hard suitcase during the plane journey. It should be smaller than the soft bag you would typically use for your clothes, so that it can fit in the carry-on space without being too heavy to lift. Hard suitcases have wheels and are much easier to move around than even the lightest of soft bags, so they’re ideal for making frequent flight trips between hotels or air terminals and your destination.
  • Get a handle on things. You’ll want to keep an eye out for suitcases with handles or pulling straps that are sturdy enough to support weighty bottles—most aren’t built for this kind of abuse! Just make sure there’s enough clearance room between your bottles and any handles/pulling straps before buying one online.*

stuff your suitcase

How to pack wine or hard liquor in a suitcase

If you have room, use your clothes to fill empty space in the suitcase. This can be done by rolling them up and stuffing them into corners or by folding them neatly, stacking things on top of each other as necessary. It’s also a good idea to store any items you don’t want broken near the bottom of your suitcase, such as glass bottles that may hit something hard if placed higher up.

If you have room for more than one bottle in your bag and aren’t worried about damaging it during travel (or just don’t mind if it gets broken), wrap each bottle in a towel before placing it in an empty corner of your bag. If there’s even more room, fold an extra towel over the wrapped bottle and place another item on top to protect it further from impact during transit (try using an old sweatshirt).

If there’s still space left over after packing this way—and we know there will be!—fold another blanket over everything else so nothing gets crushed while traveling through airport security checkpoints or bumpy rides home from airports with potholes everywhere (just kidding).

use bubble wrap to protect bottles

How to pack wine or hard liquor in a suitcase

  • Protect bottles by wrapping them in bubble wrap or putting them inside a soft-sided cooler designed for glass items.
  • You can also use bubble wrap to protect glasses, other fragile items, clothes (to keep them from wrinkling), electronics and books.

use a zip bag


But even if you can’t find a zip bag, you can still protect your bottles. If you’re using a suitcase or duffel bag, place the cloth items in first and then put your bottles on top of them. That way, if anything happens to break during travel, it’ll be the cloth that gets ruined instead of everything else.

You can also separate each bottle from its siblings with an additional layer of protection—zip-lock bags are great for this job! It’s especially important to separate any single wine from others in case one breaks or leaks (and believe us: it will happen). You don’t want your cabin luggage smelling like vinegar for the rest of your trip! Put those single wines into their own zip-lock bags and then put those bags inside another one before placing them next to each other in the suitcase. The same goes for liquor: if there are multiple bottles inside one container (like large bottles), use another container as a buffer between them too! This is also true when transporting bottled liquids such as olive oil or balsamic vinegar; don’t forget about those either!

separate the bottles from cloth or any soft items

  • Use a hard suitcase to protect your bottles.
  • Stuff your luggage as full as possible to avoid shifting while in transit. This will also allow you to use more bubble wrap around the bottles, which provides extra protection from bumps and bruises. A padded lid is another great option for added protection if you have room for it.
  • Use zip bags or other protective measures if you are transporting multiple types of liquids or glass containers that can shatter easily, such as wine and hard drinks. These liquids should be kept separated from other items in your luggage by placing them in their own baggie or container within a larger suitcase compartment that is designated for “fragile” items only (which may already be marked on some types of suitcases).
  • If traveling internationally, consider marking your luggage with a “fragile” sticker so that airline staff members are aware that there are breakable items inside so they can pack them accordingly during loading and unloading procedures (this step is not required but recommended).

put a fragile sticker on your luggage


  • If you are traveling to another country or during international travel, put a fragile sticker on your luggage. The best way to ensure that your bottles don’t break is by using a hard suitcase. If you don’t have one, invest in one (and use it only for this purpose). If you do have a hard suitcase but want some extra protection, consider wrapping bottles with bubble wrap or putting them inside of a zip bag.
  • Stuff everything else in there as well: Use the space between the bottles and other items like clothing to stuff any soft items into your suitcase. This will help protect the integrity of each bottle and make sure they don’t move around too much during travel—you want them packed close together so they’re not jostling each other around every time someone bumps into them at baggage claim!
  • Separate out the cloth from the glass: Place any towels or other fabric-based items in their own compartment of your bag so that when you close up all the compartments after loading up on liquor, these cloth things won’t get smashed against glass by accident!


Happy travels and cheers! If you’ve never had to deal with the stress of broken liquor in your luggage, then you’re lucky. Fortunately for you, we’ve been there and done that. We hope these tips will help keep your travel experience smooth sailing (or smooth flying?)


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