Travel Packing Essentials – Packing Tips for Wine

Short or Long Haul Trips With Wine or Beer

Local wine and beer is both a great gift when visiting someone, and also a great souvenir that you can later savour the happy memories of a trip.  More than not, I travel with fragile bottles of special wine, champagne or craft beer packed in my luggage. Here’s why…

How to Pack Wine or Beer in Your Luggage

This only works with checked luggage. Leave enough room in your suitcase for wine. Wrap breakable items carefully.  I always travel with a few empty large ziplock bags and several WineSkin bags.  WineSkins are contoured, bubble wrap wine wrappers that seal. Insert your bottle, seal it, and place it in your luggage and I’ll often nest it with my laundry or soft shoes around it. WineSkins are pretty inexpensive, getting a pack of 6 or 10 for more savings. Find WineSkins on


Travel Benefits – Tax Free, Duty Free Alcohol, and Personal Exemptions

Federal and state regulations allow you to bring back one American litre (33.8 fl. oz.) of alcoholic beverages for USA personal use duty-free.

When you return to Canada from a foreign country, you may qualify for a Canadian personal exemptions. This allows you to bring goods of a certain value into the country without paying regular duty and taxes. The Canadian personal exemption allows you to bring in up to 1.5 litres of wine or 1.14 litres of alcoholic beverages or up to 8.5 litres of beer tax free. That’s a two bottles of champagne, wine, or fine spirits, or a few bottles of nice craft beer.

Reasons to Pack Wine or Beer When Traveling

Sometimes it’s just cheaper to buy wine or beer in another city or country, and bring it home.

Who doesn’t need a spare bottle of Champagne for those unexpected special occasions? Keep in mind: some states or provinces have a lower tax rate for alcohol, and depending on foreign exchange rates, you might find some deals.

It’s a taste of home to enjoy with your out of town family and friends

We have some pretty great craft beer in Vancouver. I’ll often give my family craft beer tours when they’re here. And when I visit them in the UK or Japan, I’ll tuck a few bottles in my luggage to give to them. It’s a nice gesture to thank them for their hospitality too.

Enjoy a bottle of local flavour and savour the memories of a great trip

The least altruistic, most romantic reason, is because I want to savour the memories of a great trip.  Opening a craft distillery sake from a small Japanese town, or popping the cork on a UK Kentish sparkling wine that tastes of the local chalk, and hay, and earth –  I know it’s going to be an exquisite beverage, but it will also remind me of the beautiful memories of a great trip.