Can You Carry Cardboard Box in Flight?


Packing for a trip is stressful. You have to take all the right things and you’re constantly wondering about whether the choices you made were correct. There’s clothes, skincare, shoes, and necessary items for any occasion that might arise on your trip.

Luggage is another added decision, and even though it might complicate things, you need to choose the luggage that’s best for you. You can choose the traditional luggage or you can choose to use a cardboard box. One of the things you might run into is whether you can carry a cardboard box in flight.

Can I Carry Cardboard Box In Flight

You can carry a cardboard box in flight. The only thing you might run into is if it fits the minimum weight and size requirements of the airline. Most airlines will allow you to have a checked bag and a carry on bag free of charge, and you’ll have to pay for a checked bag that will be flown to your destination. These are bags that you’ll have to pick up from the baggage claim, but otherwise you should be completely fine.

These bags have requirements. The maximum weight limit varies per airline and you should look at the email that you received from the airline that you’re flying with. Also, consider all the things you might pick up on your trip back and what you’re able to add to the luggage you’re bringing. For vacations, you might consider paying for an extra empty luggage so that you can fill it with the things that you want on your way back.

The common maximum size for luggage is usually 62 linear inches in total. The common size bag for checking is 27 x 21 x 14 in inches. If your luggage is overweight, oversized, or more numerous than allowed, then they’ll charge you a fee. These fees can become quite plentiful, but if you can pay the fee, you can have as much luggage travel with you as you want. If you want to avoid these fees, then you need to know the details of your airline so that you don’t fork over extra money.

Remember that all luggage is subject to the inspection of the airport and they’re usually very strict with their inspections. There are a lot of other options that can make your traveling smoother and easier so that you don’t have to struggle through your trip. If this is something that you want to do, you’ll need to consider using a cardboard box. It might be just what you’re looking for, but it also might be subject to its own issues that you run into.

Are Cardboard Boxes Better Than a Suitcase

Cardboard boxes are things that are commonly used in place of a lot of luggage. You need to ensure that the box you use is sturdy so that you don’t have it break and lose things in transport. The box would be a good thing on the trip since it can hold a lot but it might be subject to a lot of different fees. The fees incurred might be great, but you’ll have everything transported that you need. One way of making it sturdy is by shrink wrapping it because that will ensure that everything stays together, even when your box breaks. You have to remember that your box will need to be inspected so carry extra duct tape so that you can close it at the airport.

Suitcases are often a lot for people to handle at the airport. They are chunky and have a shape that you can’t change. Because of this, it might be hard to fit larger objects into your suitcase, especially if it doesn’t fit the shape of your suitcase. If you’re going to be flying with heavier items, a suitcase might be a bad choice to lug through the airport. Also, you’re going to end up paying the fee for a heavier suitcase anyway, so you might as well fit everything you need into a box.

If you’re flying internationally, then you might want to consider a cardboard box. For international flights the standard baggage allowance is usually a maximum weight of 50.71 lb and a maximum size of 62.2 inches. If you’re planning on carrying a suitcase, you should be aware that a large suitcase weighs 15 lb when it is empty. One of the smaller ones empty is around seven pounds. After you fill it with all of your items, it is likely to surpass the maximum weight. Because of this, you might as well carry a cardboard box and check it in with the fee so that you can have everything that you need from your trip.

Also, if you’re carrying something you need, like an antique or an instrument, it won’t fit in your general suitcase even though it will be within the maximum baggage size. It will be too heavy to be in a general suitcase, so you’ll need different packaging.

You can get a triple walled corrugated box and pack your stuff using fillers and tape. It takes about 30 minutes and then you’d be done packing. It’s also a very cheap option compared to luggage. One the larger luggages will cost over 50 USD, but you can also get a big cardboard box around 5 USD disposable recycling it when you’re done. This means you don’t have to purchase multiple luggages for one trip and you save money in the long run.

Now, before you do this, need to check if your airline allows cardboard boxes as check in luggage. Likely, no airlines would refuse cardboard boxes so long as you can follow the weight and size demands.

You also have to keep in mind that there are some things that you lose when you decide to use a cardboard box. You don’t have wheels or handles when you use the box. If you have something heavy packed in it, you’ll have to carry it to the airport. Getting to the airport is the hard part, but once you get there, you have carts available for your use.

You have to make sure it’s shielded shut. The boxes are made of paper, and they don’t do well when in a moist or humid climate. This is why you should make sure that you packed your boxes correctly. Bubble wraps, shrink wrap or packaging tape will make sure that it’s watertight and it shields the things that you have packed inside of it so it doesn’t get damaged.

If you package the box correctly, you should have a package lighter than the suitcase that you would have carried. While luggages and cardboard boxes each have their own advantages and disadvantages, you can carry a cardboard box in flight if you choose to. There are a few issues that you want to confront when using a cardboard box before you bring it with you. With these considerations, you can have the best packing possible.

Issues with Using Cardboard Boxes in Flight

Corrugated cardboard boxes are commonplace to carry for luggage. It’s a cheap and lightweight option that can hold many heavy items depending on its construction. A corrugated box may not always be the best option however. There are some inherent problems with these boxes that may make them an off putting choice.

Strength of the Box

You need to consider the structural integrity of box that’s used. The corrugated box is very strong but it is not for all products. Make sure if you’re carrying something heavy, you should consider something sturdy like a rigid box. Make sure the structure of the box is the only thing that keeps it together and most of the mass is pressured in one place on the box.

If you think about the fact that you’ll have to carry this with other heavy objects in the flight, you won’t know where the crew will stack your box. You need to understand that there’s a danger of getting your box damaged. The cardboard box will easily crumble and affect the items inside of it. This means that you need to understand that there’s a danger of your box being damaged. The cardboard box will easily fumble and affect the items inside of it, but a more rigid box would withstand all the weight pressed against it.

Odd Appearance

The boxes look nice when originally bought but when you pack in an irregular item, it might have an odd shape. If you have a vase or sculpture, it will have to be packed likewise which gives it a messy appearance. The wavy structure of the box is also called the flute and it is present between the two layers of the paper cardboard to bring it strength. This increases the strength but it also causes them to bend easily. Very few boxes will hold up their original appearance when transported, which gives it an untidy appearance.

Custom Packaging

Corrugated boxes hold their shape very well. If you want to cut the sheet to make a custom package for the item, it will make it look messy. The pressure while bending it will crush the flute making it weak and if you’re going to wrap the items with the cardboard, the flute will make it look messy and mushy. If you fold the cardboard, it’s structure will bend and curve in unintended ways. This is why cardboard may not be the best option for custom packaging, but you can consider transporting it in other ways. If you have odd-shaped items, consider all the ways that you can get it with you in flight before you choose luggage or a cardboard box.


Moisture is also something that you need to keep in mind. Cardboard is basically paper and vulnerable to moisture, even if it is thicker than normal paper. If it’s raining, your box might get wet while you’re loading or unloading the luggage. It will soften the paper and make it mushy, which affects the holding capacity of the box and any item inside of it. To avoid this, you need to shrink wrap the box, which is the easiest solution.

Packing or Wrapping a Cardboard Box

You need to shrink wrap a cardboard box and you need to treat all of your items like they’re fragile. When you’re traveling, you don’t know how your boxes will be handled or where they’ll be set. It needs to be able to withstand all the bumps and shocks and the crew handling it while it’s in the air. You need to consider an efficient way to pack your items so that they stay safe the entire trip.

You have to give it extra thought if it’s an especially fragile item. The box might be dropped or banged and your loose items should be packed extra with packing peanuts. Many people use towels or old clothes also, but there are better cushioning materials that you can use. Inflated bubble is a great option because it will cushion the item.

Polystyrene foam is also a good option if you’re carrying electrical equipment. Loose fill, which is made of polystyrene or biodegradable materials, to fill up space in the box so that your item places pressure against it while it moves. Paper is also a good idea, especially if they are crunched or wrapped. Old newspapers would do well, but you should consider using a heavy paper or kraft.

Now that you know how to deal with your cardboard box, that you’re carrying in flight, it can be a valid consideration for transporting items while you’re traveling. Although luggage has its advantages, consider the advantages of a cardboard box before you make a decision.


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