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My wife and don't have much stuff that we want to bring with us when when move. As such I have determined that it would be best just to check an extra piece of luggage each with the airline when we fly over.

Between my wife and I we only actually have 1 or 2 suitably large suitcases.
It seems like buying new (or even second hand) rolling luggage just for single use in the move is a bit of a waste. As such we are considering other options to fill out the rest.

One option I particularly like is the idea of buying some sturdy moving boxes, like you would use if having your stuff transported. Having used those before when moving house, they are not your ordinary box. Heavy duty, double-reinforced corrugated cardboard.

I feel like they would stand-up to the punishment of a flight no problem. They will be perhaps a bit of a pain to move about at each end when moving between plane, trains and taxis. But so would having extra rolling luggage, and at most of those points a trolley can be arranged.

Is this viable? Has anyone first (or second) hand experience of doing this?

  • Keep in mind that airlines have limits for dimensions and weight, even for checked baggage. For example, KLM's requirements are: weight less than 32kg, combined dimensions (L+W+H) less than 406cm, and fewer than 10 (!) pieces per passenger. Note that these are the maximum permitted, not what's included with the cost of a ticket; you'll still pay extra. Exceed this, and they won't even put it on the plane. – Mike Harris Aug 22 '18 at 12:57
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I have often seen people do that, so it's definitely possible.

If you value the content I would use a lot of tape and wrap it all around the box in all directions; tape is much more resistant to ripping than a cardboard box.

Of course, as others mentioned, check for weight and size limits. It might be a good plan to pick the airline according to extra luggage prices.

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I see it done a lot in Asia. People traveling (not necessarily moving, per se) with carton boxes instead of suitcases. Seems to work for them.

I did it myself a few times, to take some alcohol samples to a client. As I knew I wouldn't have check-in luggage on the way back, instead of taking a suitcase, I put my samples in a carton box, packed with lots of bubble-wrap, and checked that in. I asked for a FRAGILE sticker (not really sure whether it is worth the effort, but at least my carton box had a bright red sticker, making it recognizable). So far so good, nothing was broken.

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