Beer: Travel with Care

If you’re like me, you plan your vacations strategically to visit great beer cities. Which means, your souvenirs might be of the liquid variety and will require some TLC to get them home intact. Here are some tips to get your beer home safely.

Hard suitcase

Bring a hard shell suitcase for the beer or purchase a suitcase just for bottles such as the Wine Check bags (they even have a hard shell case now). If you’re using a suitcase, a hard shell carry-on works well to keep the beers from moving around while still staying within the 50 lb weight restrictions. A full suitcase of beer can fit at least 10 – 750ml bottles – or more if you’re packing smaller bottles or a combination of various sizes.

Once you have your bottles wrapped and clothing stuffed around the bottles to keep them from moving, your suitcase will be full and will hover around 48-50 lbs. If you use a larger suitcase, your bag with either have too much void space, leaving your bottles unsecure and able to roam around your bag, or your bag will be over-weight and incur extra baggage fees..

Extra luggage

To save on your baggage fees, pack your smaller suitcase inside of the larger one or travel lightly and pack a backpack as your carry-on for the ride home. That extra suitcase is for your beer, of course.

Bubble wrap

Bring lots with you. It’s light and easy to stuff in various areas for the trip there and is great protection for the bottles on the way home.


Wrap your bottles in bubble wrap and pack your clothes around the bottles and outside perimeter to make sure nothing will move. If you want a bit more protection, slide a bottle in a sock before the layer of bubble wrap.


If you’re concerned about the caps coming off or leaking, secure the caps with electrical tape or pack your bottles in bags such as Wine Skins or Jet Bags. These are padded, absorbent and reusable.


Check your duty-free limit and calculate your allowance in ml/oz, not in the number of bottles you’re bringing back. You could go way over your limit if you just declare the number of bottles as they base it on a standard can or small bottle.

Over Limit

If you are over your limit for duty-free, have your receipts ready with the cheapest beer you bought. You don’t want to be paying tax on the expensive bottles.


Bring a hand-held luggage scale to make sure your checked baggage doesn’t exceed 50 lbs. Overweight fees are hideous and drinking at the baggage desk may be frowned upon.


You need to be a bit of a suitcase-Tetris packer to get your belongings and properly packed beer home, but it’s worth it. Happy travels!


Post by: Lynn McIlwee