How To Travel With Artwork

Traveling with artwork, whether it is your own or is bought, requires proper care and packaging to avoid damage during transit. Packaging methods vary based on the art medium and the delicacy of this piece. Determine the safest way of traveling with the artwork and verify all of the regulations, fees and security plans available before selecting a travel approach, and remember to consider all options whilst travelling with your precious artwork.

Art Handling Services

For large, valuable, or breakable art, consider shipping it to your destination through an art handling service. Handling services have trained staff to handle your artwork, and have the correct equipment to package and transport the artwork safely, whether to a house, gallery, or museum. Normal shipping companies may also offer artwork shipping solutions, although they might not be as proficient at the right handling of the art. Art packing and crating services are typically more costly than general shipping firms or traveling with the art yourself, but for precious pieces the cost might be worth it.


Packaging needs may vary depending upon the medium of the art you are traveling with. Generally speaking, a plywood crate works well for big canvases and three-dimensional functions, like statues. However, a custom-sized travel crate for your art does ensure your artwork will not move or change its position during transit. Use only archival, acid-free packaging paper and materials, because substances containing acid can lead to degradation of the art. Bubble wrap, foam packaging inserts and packaging tissue should fill all open spaces inside the packing crate. These substances provide protection and cushioning so the art doesn’t change during travel. Contain instructions for unpacking the art.

Air Travel Factors

You might have the ability to bring modest pieces of artwork as carry-on products. Package the artwork in a cushioned box or bag, and make sure it is packaged well; you don’t want your precious artwork being damaged on your short flight. Make sure to check with the airline before flying to guarantee the packed artwork meets carry-on conditions and the plane has the capacity to stow the artwork safely. Most airlines allow you to travel with crated art on your checked luggage if checked through the scanner and it meets requirements. Baggage fees will probably apply if the crate is of a certain size, particularly for oversize or heavy items. Multimedia pieces should also fit into safety guidelines and can’t include any substances on the transportation security administration prohibited-items list.


Whether you decide to ship your art or travel with it through airplane, car, or train, it is advisable to properly cover the artwork. The methods for insuring depend on the traveling method. Purchasing travel insurance is needed if you are traveling with the art. For sent artwork, the shipping company likely provides supplies or may even offer you an insurance option for costly artwork. Take pictures of the art so you can record any harm that might occur.

When travelling, it is always best to look after your belongings, including your beloved artwork pieces, especially when travelling for a longer period of time. Consider the tips and tricks above to make your travels more desirable, and less of a worry if you are carrying around expensive artwork from country to country. Insurance is really one of the best options for travel, and can give you some peace of mind that your artwork is covered – you never know what could happen during your journey, and it really is better to be safe than sorry.