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Checking a bag with liquids on the way home

Hi. I am planning on traveling to Italy in the fall. I have a 30L backpack that I think will be good for me. I was planning on a packable daypack for EDC. However, if I buy olive oil or wine, I do not want to check this backpack. Has anyone checked a daypack with liquids like oil/wine? Did everything make it back intact? Thanks.

Posted by
8613 posts

I was planning on a packable daypack for EDC

"EDC"? My decoder ring fell into the street drain yesterday.

Not done it myself, but have seen reports here of folks having success doing what you propose, having taken care to have the 'cargo' well padded by ones clothes

Posted by
11237 posts

A packable day pack is not enough protection for a botttle. You'd be better off shipping it home. The airline may not accept something that small for check in baggage.

Posted by
722 posts

I'd be very reluctant to check an EDC size/style bag. Between straps getting caught in baggage handling equipment and there not being a whole lot of room for padded packing in that smaller bag.

Will your carrier let you check a medium-sized box?

Posted by
186 posts

A possible solution would be a wine jacket made of bubble wrap. You will find them in wine shops or on Amazon. We have used them successfully to bring home wine and EEOO but usually in a suitcase with our clothes for padding. We now have a wine suitcase that holds 12 bottles and can be checked. No breakage after several international flights.

Posted by
795 posts

I travel with a 38L backpack and a lightweight 30L packable duffle. If I buy liquids while traveling I wrap them in my dirty clothes and shoes and any other padding I can get my hands on (sometimes things come in cardboard boxes that lend rigidity), put them in the 38L bag, stow the backpack straps and check the bag. Anything leftover (or that I want on the plane) goes in the 30L duffle as carry-on and away I go. Knock on wood, it has all worked out fine.

Posted by
6627 posts

We pack an empty duffle bag in our carryon, on the way over, so that we can check it on the way back with any bottles of liquids or things like jam or honey, and with all our soft clothes for cushioning. Extra precautions of putting bottles in socks, and using the special plastic wine bottle protectors (WineSkins is one brand) as well. You could just as easily buy a duffle or even a cheap hardshell over there for this purpose. But I wouldn't use a good daypack for this purpose - not enough room for cushioning, and straps get damaged.

Posted by
21709 posts

Over the years we have generally done well by using a standard carry on size bag and wrapping the bottles well with dirty clothing, bubble wrap, etc. A couple of trips back we did lose one bottle. It was the middle of three, all equally padded. Our conclusion is that a bag with a sharp edge must have hit our bag just right to shatter the center bottle. Wore a lot of pink underwear for the next couple of years. You do need some space for proper padding. Don't think a small day bag would be enough.

Posted by
18 posts

Thanks to all for the advice. I had a feeling that the daypack would be a fail. I think it would work best if I travel with a carry on and check it. If I travel backpack only, I may just drink the wine while I’m there! Thanks again.

Posted by
5540 posts

I bought some port and olive oil in Portugal and brought it home (well packed) in my checked in Samsonite suitcase. Both bottles had burst and the case was damaged. Most of the clothes in the case were shredded. The rest were soaked in oil. It was a mistake I wouldn’t make again - just buy the stuff at home.

Posted by
4686 posts

You may want to bring a special bag for the wine that will reduce the chance of the bottle breaking and leaking all over your bag. Google ”wine diaper” or ”wine jet bag” to see what I mean. They are sealable bags with absorbant padding.

Posted by
3344 posts

I’ve brought home olive oil from Italy & Pumpkin Seed Oil from Ljubljana in my checked bag. (Not a backpack). The olive oil was vacuumed packed. The Pumpkin Seed Oil were small & bubble wrapped. I packed them in a zip lock bag securely in my suitcase. All came home intact.