Can You Check a Box as Luggage? (Travel Guide and tips 2023)

In the world of traveling, you have seen different types of suitcases, duffel bags, and backpacks. There are various options available for travelers to pack their luggage securely. Imagine checking in a box as your luggage at the airport counter – a cardboard box that contains all your travel essentials neatly packed within its cardboard walls.

Some travelers are practicing this fun and unusual idea! Instead of using traditional suitcases, they use boxes to pack their luggage for traveling. It’s unique, but it’s great for those travelers who want a more creative and convenient way to travel.

In this article, we will discuss the idea regarding, “Can you check a box as luggage?” We explore all the aspects, challenges, pros, and cons of using boxes as checked luggage. Also, we discuss the rules and restrictions imposed by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) on using a cardboard box as checked luggage.


Yes, you can use a cardboard box as checked luggage. Cardboard box is allowed by TSA and most airlines. Some airlines restricted the use of boxes as checked luggage. So, it’s better to check the airline’s rules and restrictions before packing your belongings in a cardboard box.

Your cardboard box is treated just like a standard suitcase. Ensure that weight and size limitations of your cardboard box are according to the airline’s policy. If you exceed the limits of weight and size, you must pay the extra fees.


 Most airlines allow the cardboard box as checked luggage, but you must follow the policies and regulations imposed by airlines. There are restrictions on the number of bags per passenger. Most airlines allow one or two pieces of luggage with you on the plane.

Most airlines have weight restrictions for checked luggage, usually between 20 kg (44 lbs.) to 32 kg (70 lbs.) per bag, depending on the airline and ticket class. If your luggage box is over the weight limit, you have to pay extra charges for your overweight luggage.

Airlines also have size restrictions for checked luggage, which applies to cardboard box luggage. The dimensions are calculated by adding the length, width, and height of the luggage bag and size limits of bag are around 158 cm (62 inches) in total.

It’s better to check your airline’s rules and policies before packing your luggage in the box. You must choose the size of the box accordingly to avoid any inconvenience.

Can You Use a Cardboard Box as a Carry-on or a Personal Item?

Usually, most airlines allow a cardboard box as your luggage box, either checked luggage or carry-on. Most airlines have restrictions on the size of bags as carry-ons and personal items, but there are no restrictions on the kind of material on which they are made of. So you can carry your cardboard box as a carry-on or a personal item.

Airlines have specific size and weight limits for carry-ons, which are usually stricter than checked luggage allowances. So it’s better to check the size and weight limitations of your airline before using a box as a personal item.


Packing luggage in a cardboard box is a creative, adventurous, and cost-effective option for travel. Here, we share some tips to ensure a successful and secure packing experience for your smooth journey:

Choose the Right Box:

You choose a sturdy and appropriately sized cardboard box that can accommodate your belongings without being too heavy or overstuffed. You can use good quality cardboard or plastic box as checked luggage boxes.

Reinforce the Box seats and edges:

If the box is not sturdy and solid, you can reinforce it with additional tape on the seams and edges. It provides extra strength to the box and saves it from breaking during travel.

Packing of Fragile Items:

If you are traveling with fragile items, Wrap fragile items, such as glassware or electronics, in bubble wrap or clothing. It provides extra cushioning and protection during travel.

Also, you can place all the fragile items in the center of the checked box surrounded by clothes, towels, or soft items to provide extra protection.

 Pack Efficiently and smartly:

You can pack your luggage smartly. Place heavier items at the bottom and lighter ones on top to keep the box balanced and avoid damage to delicate items.

Also, you can use an extra layer of cardboard on the bottom and sides to provide more support to the box.

Organized the items:

You can group smaller items in Ziplock bags to keep them organized and prevent them from getting lost or scattered.

Labeling the box:

Prominently label the box with your name, contact information, and destination address. Labels make it easier to identify your luggage and ensure it reaches the correct destination.

Consider TSA Guidelines:

You must follow the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) rules and restrictions for packing liquids, gels, and sharp objects in your luggage box.

Consider weight limitation:

Always consider the weight and size limitations of the box, as if it is overweight to the airline’s limit, you may be charged extra fees.

Also, avoid overpacking the box as it becomes difficult to close or might burst open during handling.

Use Compression Strap And wrap in plastic sheet:

You can use compression straps or cords to secure the box and prevent it from opening accidentally.Also, it’s great to wrap your cardboard box with plastic sheet for extra protection. It helps to protect your luggage from damage and stolen.

Insurance of your luggage:

If you have valuable items in the box, you can purchase travel insurance for extra protection. Also, you take photographs of your box or valuable items as proof to claim insurance in case of damage or theft of your valuable items.

Check Rules of Airlines:

Airlines may have different policies about size and weight limitations of luggage box. It’s better to check the airline rules and restrictions on using cardboard boxes as luggage boxes before packing to avoid any hassle.

Advantages of using cardboard boxes:

We usually use suitcases for traveling as they are easy to carry. But using cardboard boxes as checked luggage is also a good idea. Here we discuss the benefits of using cardboard boxes.


If your suitcase is already full and does not have enough space for packing more luggage, you can choose a cardboard box for packing of remaining luggage. Cardboard boxes are often more affordable than traditional suitcases or travel bags. They are cheaper and available everywhere, making them a budget-friendly option for packing your belongings.

Customizable Size:

Cardboard boxes come in various sizes, so you can choose a box according to your requirements. If you have irregularly shaped items that do not fit in your usual suitcase or need a specific size, it’s easier to find a box that fits than with standard luggage. Also, you can choose a cardboard box according to the number of items placed in it.

Temporary Use:

If you are traveling or need to transport items for a one-time occasion, using cardboard boxes can be a convenient and temporary solution. You can transport your luggage without spending extra money on purchasing an expensive suitcase.


Empty cardboard boxes are lightweight, so they won’t add much to your overall luggage weight allowance. So, you can pack more luggage items in a cardboard box compared to a suitcase within the weight limitations of the airline.

 Easily Stackable:

There are no handles or wheels on cardboard boxes which makes them easily stackable without worries everywhere.

So cardboard boxes are a convenient way of transporting luggage as they are lightweight, easily stackable, cheap, easily available, and customized in size.

The Risks of Using Cardboard Box as Luggage Box:

There are some risks involved while using cardboard boxes as luggage carriers. Some cons of using cardboard boxes are the following:

Lack of Durability:

Cardboard boxes are less durable as they are not made for rough handling and stacking that occurs during luggage transportation. They are easily prone to tearing, puncturing, and crushing, which can damage your belongings also.

Also, cardboard boxes are not waterproof, and easily exposed to water and moisture, so they can’t protect your luggage from water.

Limited Protection:

Cardboard boxes are not secure for use Cardboard boxes provide minimal protection for your items from impact, water, or other external factors. Also, your fragile and valuable things are not safe in cardboard boxes.

Risk of Theft or Tampering:

Cardboard boxes are easier to open, and access compared to luggage with secure locks. There are chances of theft or tampering, putting your valuable belongings at risk during the journey.

Difficult to handle:

Cardboard Boxes are difficult to handle as they don’t have any handles or wheels. It might be challenging to move around, leading to discomfort and inconvenience during your journey.


If you do not like the idea of carrying cardboard boxes as checked luggage, several alternatives offer better durability, protection, and convenience. Here, we share some popular alternatives for luggage boxes.

Travel Backpacks:

Travel backpacks are versatile and suitable for travelers who prefer a hands-free option and carry limited luggage. These travel backpacks come with padded straps and back support for comfortable carrying.

Some travel backpacks also have wheels and retractable handles, which makes them more comfortable when you are tired of carrying them on your back and want to roll them on the floor.

Specialized travel bags:

You can choose a specific travel bag according to your requirements. There are a variety of bags available in the market like hardshell suitcases, soft side suitcases, musical bags, golf club bags or sky packs, etc.

You can choose a travel bag according to your luggage so you can pack your belongings safely and avoid any damage during transportation.

Foldable luggage bags:

Foldable luggage, also known as collapsible or packable luggage. These bags are ideal for travelers who want to carry an extra bag during their trip without the bulk and weight of traditional luggage. Also, these travel bags are compact and easily folded down for storage when not in use.

Cargo or shipping services:

Cargo or shipping services companies provide transportation services for goods and cargo from one location to another, both domestically and internationally. These services are essential for businesses and individuals to move goods efficiently and safely across various destinations.

Some cargo services provide door-to-door delivery, so you have peace of mind, and your luggage can be transported to your destination without any hassle.

Final Thoughts: Can You Check a Box as Luggage

You can use a cardboard box as luggage is a cost-effective or temporary solution, but it comes with significant risks and limitations. You cannot pack your valuable and fragile items in a cardboard box. There is a risk of damage or theft involved while using cardboard boxes.

If you air travel regularly, it is highly recommended to invest in proper and durable luggage to ensure the safety and protection of your belongings during travel. If you need to transport items in a cardboard box, it’s best to consider shipping them separately or using the box as part of your checked luggage.

Also, it is advised to check the rules and regulations of TSA and airlines to use the cardboard box as a luggage carrier before packing your belongings in it to avoid any hassle.

Frequently asked questions: Can You Check a Box as Luggage

following are the frequently asked questions about Can You Check a Box as Luggage


 Yes, additional insurance is advisable when checking valuable or fragile items as luggage. You can claim for insurance in case of your damage or stolen valuable luggage.


You can lock your luggage box for the safety of luggage. It is recommended to use a TSA-approved lock to avoid any security issues as TSA need to inspect the contents of your luggage for security reasons.

For your cardboard luggage box you can use tape or plastic to wrap securely your luggage.


 No, airlines generally do not provide additional protection or insurance for checked you must pack your checked lukage in a secure way and wrap in plastic, if possible, for extra protection.