Travelling can be stressful, especially when you’re worried about your luggage getting damaged. A common question many travellers have is whether they can wrap their luggage in plastic at home before their trip.

The quick answer is yes, you can absolutely wrap your luggage in plastic yourself at home before travelling. This article will provide a comprehensive guide on how to properly wrap your bags in plastic at home and explain the benefits of doing so.

We’ll cover everything you need to know, including what type of plastic to use, what technique to follow, tips to get it looking neat and professional, how it protects your luggage, if airlines allow it, and more.

We’ll also look at some alternatives to wrapping luggage in case plastic wrap isn’t feasible for your situation.

Why Wrap Your Luggage in Plastic?

When traveling, you may have noticed some people wrapping their luggage in plastic at the airport. This practice, known as luggage wrapping, has gained popularity for several reasons. In this article, we will explore why wrapping your luggage in plastic can be beneficial.

Protects against damage

One of the main reasons to wrap your luggage in plastic is to protect it from damage. Baggage handlers at airports are often rushed and may not handle your luggage with the utmost care. By wrapping your luggage in plastic, you create an extra layer of protection against scratches, tears, and other forms of damage.

It acts as a barrier, shielding your luggage from potential mishandling during transit.

Keeps items dry

Another advantage of wrapping your luggage in plastic is that it helps keep your belongings dry. Airports can be unpredictable when it comes to weather conditions, and your luggage may be exposed to rain, snow, or other moisture.

By wrapping your luggage in plastic, you add an extra layer of waterproofing, ensuring that your clothes, electronics, and other items remain dry throughout your journey.

Creates a sturdy shell

Wrapping your luggage in plastic creates a sturdy shell around it. This can help prevent accidental openings or breakages during handling. The plastic wrap holds your luggage together, reducing the likelihood of zippers bursting open or straps coming undone.

It adds an extra layer of security, giving you peace of mind that your belongings will stay intact.

Makes luggage easier to spot

Have you ever stood at the baggage claim, struggling to find your black suitcase among dozens of identical ones? Wrapping your luggage in plastic can make it stand out from the crowd. Many luggage wrapping services offer colorful or patterned plastic wrap, making your suitcase easily recognizable.

This can save you time and frustration, allowing you to quickly spot your luggage and move on with your travel plans.

What Type of Plastic Should You Use?

When it comes to wrapping your luggage in plastic at home, there are a few different types of plastic that you can use. Each type has its own unique characteristics and benefits. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common options:

Plastic Wrap

Plastic wrap, also known as cling film, is a thin, transparent plastic material that is commonly used for food storage. While it may seem like a convenient option for wrapping luggage, it is not the most durable choice.

Plastic wrap is prone to tearing and may not provide sufficient protection for your luggage during transit. Therefore, it is generally not recommended for this purpose.

Stretch Film

Stretch film, also referred to as stretch wrap, is a highly stretchable plastic film that is commonly used in the packaging industry. It is designed to tightly secure items together and protect them from dirt, moisture, and damage.

Stretch film is a more suitable option for wrapping luggage as it offers better durability and strength compared to plastic wrap. It provides a tight and secure wrap, keeping your belongings safe during travel.

Pallet Wrap

Pallet wrap, also known as pallet stretch wrap, is a heavy-duty plastic film that is specifically designed for securing pallets of goods during transportation. While it may be too thick and excessive for wrapping individual pieces of luggage, it is worth considering if you have multiple bags or larger items that need extra protection.

Pallet wrap provides superior strength and stability, ensuring that your belongings stay intact during transit.

Bubble Wrap

Bubble wrap is a popular packaging material that consists of small air-filled bubbles. It is commonly used for cushioning fragile items and providing protection against impact. While it may not be suitable for wrapping your entire luggage, it can be used in combination with other types of plastic to provide extra padding for delicate items within your suitcase.

Consider using bubble wrap for wrapping breakable souvenirs or electronics that require additional care.

Remember, when choosing the type of plastic to wrap your luggage, it is important to prioritize durability and protection. Assess the size, weight, and fragility of your belongings to determine the most suitable option.

Additionally, always ensure that the plastic wrap is tightly secured to prevent it from unraveling during transit. Safe travels!

Tips for Wrapping Luggage at Home

Clear a wide open space

Before you start wrapping your luggage, make sure you have enough space to move around. Clear a wide open area where you can easily maneuver the plastic wrap around your luggage without any obstructions. This will help ensure a smooth and hassle-free wrapping process.

Start with the bottom

When wrapping your luggage, it’s important to start from the bottom. Lay your luggage flat on the ground or a sturdy surface and begin wrapping the plastic wrap around the base. This will provide a solid foundation and help keep the wrap secure.

Overlap layers by 50%

As you wrap the plastic around your luggage, make sure to overlap each layer by at least 50%. This will help reinforce the strength of the wrap and prevent it from coming loose during transit. Overlapping the layers ensures a tight and secure wrap that will protect your luggage from scratches and damage.

Wrap corners tightly

Pay special attention to the corners of your luggage when wrapping. Wrap the plastic tightly around the corners to provide extra protection. This will help prevent the corners from getting bumped or damaged during handling.

Do multiple layers

For added protection, consider doing multiple layers of plastic wrap. This will provide an additional barrier against dirt, moisture, and other potential hazards. The more layers you add, the more secure and protected your luggage will be.

Wrap all sides

Make sure to wrap all sides of your luggage, including the top and bottom. This will ensure that your luggage is fully covered and protected from all angles. Remember to wrap the handles and any other protruding parts as well.

Finish neatly

Once you have wrapped your luggage, take a moment to tidy up the wrap. Smooth out any wrinkles or creases and tuck in any loose ends. A neat and tidy wrap not only looks more professional but also ensures that the plastic wrap stays securely in place during transit.

Wrapping your luggage at home can provide an extra layer of protection and peace of mind during your travels. By following these tips, you can ensure that your luggage is well-protected and ready to withstand the rigors of the journey.

Are there Any Alternatives to Plastic Wrap?

While plastic wrap is commonly used to protect luggage during travel, some people may be looking for alternative options that are more environmentally friendly or convenient. Here are a few alternatives to consider:

Duffel bags

One alternative to plastic wrap is using a duffel bag to protect your luggage. Duffel bags are made from durable materials like nylon or canvas, and they often have reinforced handles and straps for added convenience.

They provide a layer of protection against scratches and bumps, and they are easy to carry. Plus, duffel bags come in various sizes, so you can find one that fits your luggage perfectly.

Hard-shell luggage

Another alternative is investing in hard-shell luggage. Hard-shell suitcases are made from materials like polycarbonate or aluminum, which offer excellent durability and protection for your belongings.

These cases are designed to withstand rough handling during travel and can protect against scratches, impacts, and even water damage. Additionally, hard-shell luggage often comes with built-in locks and other security features to keep your items safe.

Luggage covers

If you want to protect your luggage from dirt, dust, and scratches, a luggage cover can be a great option. Luggage covers are usually made from stretchable fabric materials like spandex or polyester, and they come in various sizes to fit different suitcase dimensions.

They are easy to put on and take off, and they often have zipper or Velcro closures for a secure fit. Luggage covers also come in a wide range of colors and designs, allowing you to personalize your suitcase while protecting it.

Garment bags

If you are traveling with delicate clothing items, such as suits or dresses, a garment bag can provide an excellent alternative to plastic wrap. These bags are designed to keep your garments wrinkle-free and protected during transportation.

Garment bags are typically made from lightweight and breathable materials like nylon or polyester, and they often feature multiple pockets and compartments for organizing your accessories. Some garment bags even come with built-in hangers for easy hanging in closets or hotel rooms.

Remember, each alternative mentioned above has its own unique features and benefits. Consider your specific needs and preferences when choosing the best alternative to plastic wrap for your luggage. Happy travels!

Do Airlines Allow Wrapped Luggage?

Many travelers wonder if they can wrap their luggage in plastic at home before heading to the airport. The answer to this question depends on the specific airline you are flying with. While most airlines do allow wrapped luggage, there are some important considerations to keep in mind.

Most airlines allow it

The majority of airlines do permit passengers to wrap their luggage in plastic. This can provide an extra layer of protection for your belongings and can help prevent damage during transit. However, it’s important to note that not all airports may have facilities to wrap luggage, so it’s advisable to check with your departure airport before making any arrangements.

May need to unwrap at security

Although wrapping your luggage can be beneficial, it’s crucial to be aware that security checks at airports may require you to unwrap your luggage. This is done to ensure the safety of all passengers and to allow security personnel to conduct thorough inspections.

It’s worth noting that the plastic wrapping can hinder X-ray scanners from getting a clear view of your belongings, potentially leading to a manual inspection of the luggage.

Check with your airline

To avoid any inconvenience or confusion, it’s always best to check with your specific airline regarding their policy on wrapped luggage. Airlines may have certain restrictions or guidelines in place, such as the type of plastic wrap allowed or any additional fees that may apply.

Checking with your airline in advance will ensure that you comply with their regulations and prevent any unexpected surprises at the airport.


Wrapping your luggage in plastic before travelling can be a great way to protect your belongings from damage and keep them clean and dry during transit. With the right type of plastic, using proper technique, and checking airline policies, you can easily wrap your bags at home before your next trip.

Just be sure to leave time for unwrapping through security when required. Safe travels!

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