Sunday, October 21, 2012

Tip: Packing Wine in Checked Luggage

I'm in the middle of packing so this will be quick. One of the best souvenirs to bring back from Europe is....WINE. You can find great wine at any price point. A taste of Europe ya? But wait, that wine bottle needs to go in your luggage. Will it make the trip? Glass+Liquid+Int'l Flight= Anxiety. Last time I went to Texas I was adamant on bringing four bottles for my parents. This time I've got wine and some beautiful Romanian ceramics. Problem solving like this is a joy of mine. How could I make a cheaper version of this $150 wine carrier? Well, I'm here to tell you it is possible to make one using recycled materials and duck tape. Awesome! Ok this is what you need:

One 2 liter plastic bottle
One wine bottle
Strong tape (ideally duck tape)
2-3 plastic grocery bags
Knife blade
Optional: Newspaper (extra stuffing)  & Cardboard box (extra protection)

  1.  If you're really paranoid, like me, duck tape the top of the wine bottle.
  2.  Place the wine bottle in one grocery bag and tie securely at the top. Repeat but this time place the bottle so that you tie the bag at the bottle's base. Repeat as much as you want. This helps cushion things and makes it harder for liquid to escape should the worst happen.
  3. Using your knife slice off about 3 inches from the top of the plastic bottle. 
  4. Insert the wine bottle into the plastic bottle (which is now wrapped in grocery bags).
  5. At this point you need to use scissors and tape to form the bottom of the plastic bottle to the wine bottle. I usually cut 3 inch strips around the perimeter of the plastic bottle and tape it securely to the wine bottle.
  6. Placing the top of the plastic bottle over the wine bottle is optional. Depending on the shapes of both bottles it could be easy or difficult. Secure with more duck tape.
  7. Place the bottle(s) in the cardboard box with some newspaper around them for added cushion and tape it closed. I only do this if my luggage box is mainly empty and I need the bottles to not roll around.
NOTE: This packaging was used for a cross-atlantic flight successfully. All four wine bottles made it to my parents house. We had a great wine tasting night!


lady comquat says:
at: July 23, 2013 at 11:04 PM said...

hi viv.

so this is super interesting... the post, yes most definitely. but something else. i recall reading about an american freelance photographer recently moving to bucharest with her fiance in one of those in-flight magazines. i was reading it on my way to bucharest where i was moving.

anyhow, that was then, a year or so ago, and now i am moving back to the us after a wonderful year in this country. so i was searching google for budget courier services to ship a couple of boxes with books and ceramics back to the us before my flight. and of all the google sifting, i found only one website talking about sending from romania to the us, not the other way around, and it was your post on the expat blog! anyway it sounds ludicrous but to me it's kind of serendipitous, even though it's really only on my part since we never really met or nothing :)

anyway you seem super awesome and i really just wanted to ask you what you ended up doing with those boxes? i'm thinking of lugging mine to posta romana and seeing what they say since the ups/dhl/fedex quotes are insane!


My story:

Girl meets boy.
Love strikes.
Boy moves to Romania,
girl (now engaged) follows suit.

I'll be living abroad for the first time in my life beginning January 11th 2011. Follow this blog if you want to see my adventures.