The common practice is to bring along extra bags specifically designated for souvenir items and gifts for loved ones back home. However, this is not an economical option anymore because most cruise and airlines charge for baggages that exceed the weight limit. Sometimes, tour operators also limit the number of bags you can bring.
Thus, it is important to consider other means to get your shopping items back home without spending too much or breaking your back carrying them. Here are some tips on how to ship your souvenirs from travels back home so you van enjoy your trip to the fullest.
Planning about how to manage your excess luggage even before you depart for your vacation is a good idea. Research for information on how you can send you souvenir items safely back home. Look online for possible carriers or shipping companies from your destination and the rates they charge. Aside from your destination’s local post service, you may also consider private companies, such as DHL, FedEx, UPS or Airborne Express. Bear in mind that not all postal systems are efficient, and in some countries, valuable items sent through the mail never make it to their intended recipients. Also look for companies which does not only offer reliable service but also have an English-speaking staff to eliminate any problems and miscommunication.
Also check your itinerary and make sure you’ll have free time to go to a post office or shipping company during your trip. You don’t want to end up with a pile of stuff but don’t have the time to properly pack and take them to the local post office of shipping company. Also make sure that your destination’s post and shipping offices you are planning to use are not close for the weekend or on a holiday when you are there.
Shipping policies vary from country to country so make sure to be familiar with the shipping regulations of your destination. For instance, some countries only allow packages to be packed in certain materials. Make sure you bring along such packing materials with you or you have an idea on where to get them in your destination. To be safe, it is a good idea to find a local shipping company that offers these packing supplies and can even wrap the packages properly for you.
Other considerations are customs duty rates and taxes. They vary from country to country so you may want to familiarize yourself with your country’s duty-free exemption and customs duty requirements before you leave home. If you ship your souvenirs home, you may still be liable for customs duty and taxes on newly-purchased items, and personal exemption amounts may be different for mailed items and hand-carried items. Items you took with you on your trip may be shipped home duty-free. Study these factors very well and decide on which option you can save most money.
Avoid many problems by thinking this issue through before your departure date. Planning ahead and doing research will help you find the best way to get your souvenirs home.