How to pack for Wine Travel
Here's why I choose to carry-on and use wineskins for my wine travels:
When you travel internationally, you can expect to roll our bag over cobblestone streets, carry it up flights of stairs and search to find a spot where it will fit on a train. If these reasons aren't enough to pack light, a couple of "misplaced" baggage incidents will convert you to a carry-on person. This can be especially dreadful if your arrival city isn't the place where you'll be staying. Often times we find ourselves jumping in a rental car and traveling over two hours from our arrival city. If your luggage is lost, it can blow up the best-laid plans.
So given I'm a carry-on person here’s my packing tricks. First I pack a foldable, lightweight duffel bag, which I can later use for clothes I’ve worn and providing me suitcase space for my wine purchases. This becomes my carry-on by the end of the trip, and our bags are then checked.
My trusty Travelpro luggage has held up so well over the years. I love that it is so lightweight, and the outside pocket is convenient for the duffle and my wineskins.
Although I've shipped wine back to the states, it can be pricey adding on average another $8-12 per bottle; that's why I bring wineskins. Instead of wrapping your clothes around the bottles and praying for the best, this bubble-packing is easy and the perfect answer to wine travel.
I’m often asked how much you are legally allowed to bring back. The answer is probably not much, but with two of us traveling I can easily bring back 8 bottles (and knock on wood, with no issues to date).