Traveling Tip Tuesday – Tip #5:
And by request, a step-by-step guide to packing your precious wine bottles for the long trek home in your checked luggage! These tips also work for other sorts of liquids in glass bottles (e.g., spirits, sodas, mineral water, etc.). Of course there are professional methods of packing a bottle, but we travelers take what we can get. And that usually means junk and dirty clothes.
1. Gather your basic items:
- Paper products (local newspapers, old magazines, extra brochures, tissue paper from purchases)
- Masking/duct tape (packed courtesy of Travel Tip Tuesday #3!)
- Dark scarves and clothes
- Plastic bags
- Tenderly chosen bottle of wine
2. Place your wine bottle into one of the plastic bags and wrap extensively with tape. This layer is the best protection for the other items in your bag in case there does happen to be a crack in the bottle. Better to throw away a wet plastic bag than your whole suitcase of ruined clothes!
3. Wrap and tape a thick layer of paper around the neck and mouth of the bottle. This gives a little extra cushioning to the narrowest and most delicate part.
4. Liberally wrap and tape the paper all the way from the mouth to the punt (that conic indentation in the bottom!). Go ahead and overdo it. Tape it horizontally and vertically. The layers should feel very thick and spongy and will begin to resemble a very bizarre potato/baseball bat.
5. Put the entire contraption in another plastic bag and tape your heart out. At this point I begin to feel like a tape maniac… taping faster and faster, eyes bulging, palms sweating. It’s quite a scene.
6. Lovingly wrap your bottle in an item of clothing. Make it a dark piece in case, heaven forbid, your suitcase goes through a tornado and there is some staining. I prefer scarves because they are easy to wrap around an item a few times while not getting too bulky.
7. In keeping with the theme of cushiony layers, place your baby into another item of (dirty) clothing like a sweatshirt or pair of jeans.
8. Pack the bottle into your checked luggage with your other clothes. Put it somewhere in the middle of the suitcase in a horizontal position so the bottle will then be standing vertically and upright when the suitcase is stood on its wheels. Don’t put any heavy objects to the side of the bottle that will then be “on top” when the suitcase is stood up. Make sure you surround the bottle on the left, right, bottom, and top with clothes. Your suitcase will surely be thrown around so provide as much padding as you can!
9. When you finally get home and, crossing your fingers, open your suitcase, you can easily cut away the layers with a pair of scissors.