Travelling With Alcohol? 7 Things To Keep In Mind

If you’re travelling with beer, wines or other spirits, it pays to be mindful of packaging and temperature. Even if you’re not travelling with glass bottles or have ensured your cans have sufficient padding around them, you may need to pay extra attention to your alcohol supply while travelling, especially if you’re travelling by air.

Airlines tend to have strict regulations about how much liquid you can carry. For domestic and international travel, 3.4 ounces (100 millilitres) of alcohol is usually allowed, while larger quantities of alcohol must be packed in checked luggage. To transport delicate spirits or bottles and cans you must pay attention to temperature changes and invest in suitable bags, especially if you’re planning a long journey. Here are some basics you should know about packing alcohol for travel.

It’s Best To Avoid Re-Sealed, Opened Bottles And Cans

It’s ideal to avoid already-opened or resealed alcohol bottles while travelling. Once a bottle has been opened, it's susceptible to leaks, spills, and potential contamination. Additionally, resealing a bottle may not provide sufficient protection against breakage or leakage during transit. Transporting opened or resealed alcohol bottles can also raise concerns at security checkpoints and customs inspections. To avoid any issues, it's best to consume or dispose of opened bottles before travelling and only transport securely sealed alcohol bottles when you’re travelling.

Check Transportation Regulations

Different modes of transportation, such as airlines, trains, and buses, have specific rules regarding the transportation of alcohol. Before packing any alcoholic beverages, it's crucial to check the regulations of the transportation provider you'll be using. Airlines, for example, typically have restrictions on the quantity and type of alcohol you can bring on board. Moreover, some countries have strict regulations on importing alcohol, so be sure to research the customs regulations of your destination.

Pack Securely to Prevent Breakage

Glass bottles are fragile and prone to breakage during travel. To prevent any mishaps, pack your alcohol securely in your luggage or carry-on bag. Use padded bottle sleeves or wine bottle protectors to cushion the bottles and minimize the risk of damage. If you're packing multiple bottles, consider placing them in a hard-sided suitcase or a dedicated wine travel case to provide extra protection.

Hard-Shell Luggage Is Best For Bottles

A hard-shelled suitcase is the best option for carrying alcohol bottles. Hard-sided structures can shield glass or fragile bottles from breaking whereas bags with soft or collapsible bags offer minimal protection especially when bags are being piled on top of each other at the baggage carousel. 

Screw-top caps or cork closures are generally more secure than traditional corks for travel purposes. If you're concerned about leakage, you can also use plastic wrap or tape to seal the bottle's opening before packing it in your luggage. Alternatively, consider purchasing travel-sized bottles of your favourite spirits or wines to ensure compliance with regulations and minimize the risk of breakage.

Be Mindful of Temperature Changes

Extreme temperatures can affect the quality of alcoholic beverages, particularly wines and delicate spirits. When packing alcohol for travel, avoid exposing the bottles to prolonged periods of extreme heat or cold, as this can alter the flavour and composition of the liquid. If you're travelling during hot weather, consider packing your alcohol in an insulated cooler or using gel packs to maintain a stable temperature. Similarly, avoid storing alcohol in the trunk of a car for extended periods, as temperatures can fluctuate dramatically in this location.

Declare Your Alcohol at Customs

If you're travelling internationally and bringing alcohol into a foreign country, it's essential to declare your purchases at customs. Most countries have specific allowances for the amount of alcohol you can bring in duty-free, and anything beyond that limit may be subject to customs duties or taxes. Failure to declare your alcohol purchases can result in fines or confiscation of the items, so it's best to be honest and upfront with customs officials about what you're bringing into the country.