How to Travel with Breakables: Five Tips, Flickr: littledebbie11

Pack a Beer Mug in the Middle of Your Suitcase

Think past the typical souvenirs you pick up when you’re on the road. Sometimes, you stumble into a real find … only to be worried about how you’ll get it home. This can include art, wine or other cool reminders of where you’ve been. The thought of opening your suitcase when you get home to find leaking fluids, broken glass or a tattered memory can be a real downer – to the point where you give up on something that would otherwise make you happy.

Take control of the situation!

With some smart packing, you can reduce the risk of broken gifts when you travel. And, it doesn’t have to be as hard as you think! Some simple planning can go a long way. Here are five tips for you:

Pick the right bag: You need to make sure you have enough space for the breakables you’re going to pack – as well as extra space for padding and other soft materials. Trying to put a breakable into a small, cramped carry-on can be far worse than checking an appropriately sized bag.

Don’t be afraid to ask: You probably aren’t the first person to buy breakables where you’re traveling. If you purchase art, for example, get some advice from the artist or gallery. Find out if it makes more sense to ship your purchase home instead of carrying it yourself.

Use what you have: When I was in Reykjavik at the beginning of the year, I picked up a cool beer glass, and of course, I worried about what would happen to it. So, I put it in the dead center of my suitcase, using all the clothes I had as padding for it. Better than a little bubble wrap, I had an entire suitcase full of padding!

Space it out: If you put all your breakables in one bag (using the tip above), there may not be enough padding to go around, and glass items (for example) may clink against each other, leading to their mutual destruction. Spread your breakables out over as many suitcases as you can.

Know your limits: There are some cases where what you want to take home just won’t fit. You’ll wind up with two choices: take the risk or find another way. Make the right decision: although it may be a pain to ship something home, it comes with a lifetime of benefit.


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photo: littledebbie11

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