There are lots of benefits to travel: The experience, the worldliness, the culture, the food, the people, the relaxation – and the wine. As someone who loves a bottle of wine, I know that when I go on vacations there are many times that I want to bring back a bottle of wine for myself to remember the trip later on. But how do you get the bottles back without breaking in my luggage?

This must be something you’ve thought about… You’re sitting somewhere in Europe, or California, or Australia, and you’re enjoying a glass of wine at a local winery or bar and you think: I know someone who would love this – or more likely “I myself would like to drink this at a later date”.

But you don’t have the room in your bag, or more likely you don’t want to run the risk of having wine bottles exploding in your bag.

Can I pack wine in my checked luggage?

It’s always important to start with the legal and practical questions. Yes, you can take wine on most (if not all) flights if you check the bag. You won’t be able to get this bag on as hand luggage with you because it’s filled with much too much liquid, so you need something sturdy to check in with your larger suitcase.

It’s always important to check with your airline before planning to bring back a wine suitcase but I’ve not had any issues myself bringing back twelve bottles on many occassions.

Twelve bottles comes in JUST under the allowed limit per bag in your luggage, so it works perfectly even if you’re traveling economy (with me).

Filled with 12 bottles of wine (3lbs each) the suitcase typically weighs less than 50lbs.

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Will wine explode in checked luggage?

No. Turns out the luggage hold of most commercial planes are now pressurized and even heated because of the number of pets they transport as well as the other items that go in luggage. That’s why all your food and drink that you’ve brought with you hasn’t been spoiled by sub-freezing temperatures.

Even champagne should be fine in the hold below the plane, and as long as you store your wine bottles in a safe and comfortable way, say, in a wine suitcase, you’ll be set to get your precious cargo back home (or away with you). 

How to transport wine bottles in luggage

So here’s how to do it. Voila! Introducing the wine suitcase from FlyWithWine’s VinGardeValise range!

The ultimate luxury wine suitcase designed to give you confidence when you travel with your favorite bottles of wine, beer, or spirits that they will arrive safely at your destination.

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At it’s core all it is – is a reinforced hard-shell suitcase, with a dense foam lining which allows you to squish bottles in your luggage safely and securely so that they don’t bump around and don’t break on a flight.

How to transport wine bottles in luggage Wine Suitcases FlyWithWine
Photos by Fabian Jauregui

My wife and I have had one of them for some years now (the 12 bottle version because wine is important) and we take it on all our trips that might cross closely with a wine region (or even just a country that is known for wine).

The amount you pay for foreign wine at the stores here in the US is crazy compared to what you can buy wine for if you bring it back yourself. Just make sure that you declare everything wherever you go and tick all the right boxes when it comes to customs.

The wine suitcase is built for wine, for spirits, and for beer, so it doesn’t matter what type of bottle you’re bringing back, you know it will make it home safe.

There are three different size options: Grande which holds 12 bottles, Petite which holds 8-bottles, and Piccolo which holds 5-bottles, and each of them come with security locks and each in three color options.

How to buy a wine suitcase with a discount

As the lucky reader of America Josh, we’ve got a deal going with FlyWithWine for one of these suitcases: 15% off any suitcase using the code AMERICAJOSH.

Just click here, add the wine suitcase you want and then use code AMERICAJOSH for 15% off!

Wine travel bags and packing wine for air travel

The most important thing with these bags is to lay everything out, push all the bottles firmly into their spots, reinforce with the supplied foam inserts, and then zip it up tight.

Wine travel bags and packing wine for air travel VinGardeValise
You will notice that this is my personal collection from Australia!

Honestly, it’s not difficult because all the spots are laid out there for you but it’s important that you take a little time preparing your precious cargo because you don’t want broken bottles at the other end.

Won’t I have to take an empty suitcase with me to bring wine back?

Great question! Yes and no – You do have to take a suitcase with you, but it doesn’t have to be empty.

When we’ve traveled with the wine suitcase, we either take some items that we will consume on the trip, some wine if we want to take our favorites with us for the holiday, or most effectively we take gifts for people in our wine suitcase. All of these items will be gone by the time we’re ready to pack and return home so it works perfectly.

That being said, the suitcase itself only ways a few pounds when it’s empty so it’s no big deal to just take the empty suitcase and carry it around with you.

If you’re backpacking, then we might need to find a different option for you…

For those of you who travel light – you can also pack your clothes in a wine suitcase

For those of you who travel a bit lighter and are just going on a short trip, because the bag safely keeps your wine in place, you can actually remove half the foam and fill it with your clothes, reducing the number of bags you need to one (without sacrificing wine transport opportunities).

For those of you who travel light - you can also pack your clothes in a wine suitcase
Photo by Fabian Jauregui

Don’t forget to use the code AMERICAJOSH at https://americajosh.com/refer/flywithwine for 15% off!