Top countries to BYO alcohol

Stephanie Yip 7 February 2018

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The destinations that let you pack your luggage to the brim with booze.

If you've ever brought alcohol back into Australia from another country, you'll know full well that the legal limit is 2.25 litres per person. But bringing alcohol into other countries is a whole 'nother ball game.

Thinking of travelling with a cheeky bottle or two (or 10) to either enjoy while away or gift to family and friends? While some countries live by a similar 2 litre rule for checked luggage, others allow you to bring up to 10 times that amount.

The findings:

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Germany tops this list with an alcohol allowance of 22 litres. This can be broken up into 16 litres of beer, 4 litres of non-sparkling wine and 2 litres of liquor under 22%.

The UK comes up as a strong second. Here you can take in up to 18 litres of alcoholic beverages, with a breakdown of 16 litres of beer OR 4 litres of wine, plus 2 litres of liquor under 22% OR 1 litre over 22%.

In North America, Canada allows you up to 8.5 litres, while New Zealand offers a checked luggage limit of 7.8 litres of alcohol.

Many Asian countries came up with the strictest alcohol limits. Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and Malaysia only allow each traveller to pack 1 litre of booze in their suitcase.

Vietnam and Singapore were slightly more generous, each with a limit of 3 litres. Japan is not far behind at 2.28 litres spread across bottles of no more than 760mL.

Depending on where you're travelling, bringing your own booze could save you a pretty penny, particularly in places like Asia, where alcohol is more expensive. However, it doesn't always pay off when you're travelling to a more affordable country like Germany, where the price of beer can be up to 40% cheaper than it is in Australia.

Our tip? Compare local prices against Australian pricing before you go to town at the shops. You never know how much you could save (or lose) just by buying your drinks overseas.

If you do go down the BYO route, keep in mind that limits are heavily driven by alcohol percentage, so be sure to check the country's customs website before you leave or you might risk losing that bottle at the airport.

It's also important to check the legal age restrictions of your destination country before taking off. For most countries its 17 to 18 years old, however, in places like the US and Canada, it's higher.


Top 10 countries with the highest alcohol allowances

  1. Germany: 22 litres
  2. UK: 18 litres
  3. Canada: 8.5 litres
  4. New Zealand: 7.8 litres
  5. Fiji: 4.5 litres
  6. France: 4 litres
  7. Singapore: 3 litres
  8. Vietnam: 3 litres
  9. India: 2 litres
  10. Italy: 2 litres

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