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Ever needed to request private possessions from home?

Before I started travelling seriously I stored all of my belongings at my parents' house. I was very lucky that I could count on them as my "homebase" during my adventures. I told them it might happen that they have to send me a parcel at some point. For example when your travel pharmacy runs out of items that are hard to get where you are. Or if you find a place where you decide to settle down for a bit longer and you need a few personal amenities to feel more at home.

Until now the only thing they had to do was to forward me a new credit card because mine got blocked during the journey. But in my mind it felt like I could request any object from my possessions at home to my location anywhere in the world. Kind of like a military support airdrop (except it takes a few days longer).

Have there been any situations where you would have liked to request something from home during your travels? Or maybe you just wanted to order something online (like travel gear replacement) but it didn't ship to your current location, so you ordered it to a friend in your home country so they could forward it to you?

Did you do it or just consider it? International express delivery is not cheap - how did the price play a role in your decision?

Posted by
3534 posts

I have been on a trip and my newish sandals started giving me a painful blister. I was really wishing for my reliable Keen sandals from home. Luckily, this was a trip in the US, so I just ordered a new pair of Keens from Amazon with quick delivery.

When I’m on my European trips, I spend a lot of time preplanning, so I haven’t needed anything other than picking up a lightweight sweater in Verona on my first trip to Italy.

Posted by
3436 posts

I was lucky. My employer would allow me to extend my trips to Europe for vacation time (they were paying the round trip air anyway, I just had to pay for hotels and meals, etc. beyond my work days) and they would allow me to ship a prepacked suitcase or box to the office in the country I was working.

I would do this to swap out what I need for the personal part of the trip and then ship back my work equipment and clothes to my office here in the US. Since it was shipped through their chosen carrier from office to office, there was no worry about security. My company also took care of the customs paperwork where needed. I never knew what it cost, they didn't mention and I didn't ask.

I never shipped any medications either direction. This gets extremely complicated. You may not be able to find a specific item that is common over the counter in the US where you are because that drug is not legal or limited to prescription only there.

Beyond my pre packed item, I have so far never needed anything I couldn't get at my destination. Also, due to the slowness of international shipments at affordable prices, I doubt the item would have ever caught up to me from what I have heard from other's experiences.

Posted by
8791 posts

I don't have a home. Just a storage unit. I have friends who have access but have never had to ask them to send something.

I get my mail at a mailbox place that has virtual mail and mail forwarding. They could always forward something if I needed it or open it, scan it and send it to me. I've also found that the local Amazon in many countries can deliver almost anything.

I also take a backup for some items that I have trouble replacing overeseas. These are mostly toiletries that get used up.

Shipping on your own can be very expensive. I've sent a few things back from Europe and couldn't believe the cost. Unless you are in the remote amazon, you may be surprised what you can find locally.

Be careful requesting prescription meds or even some over the counter meds. The local laws where you are receiving it may not allow it and you could find yourself in trouble. It's best to carry the prescription with you and discuss with a pharmacist how to get it. You might have to see a local doctor for prescription. I had to do that in the UK.

Posted by
1116 posts

I haven’t and I don’t think I would ever need to. Of course, this applies only to travel in developed countries.

I always have at least 3 credit cards, two on me and one in the suitcase. Plus, I have phone pay. So, it would take a catastrophic situation for me to not have access to money.

I have a backup pair of glasses, if the worst happens, they have optometrists in Europe. My backup pair isn’t great for reading, but I’m not going there to read thick tomes or textbooks.

I bring plenty of asthma medicine, including a backup inhaler. Again, if the worst happens, I can always go to a drugstore abroad or a doctor if necessary. It’s not so bad that I need special drugs to control it.

I admittedly am not a RS ultra light packer.

Posted by
5997 posts

Several times we have had our credit card company send a new card overnight as the card we had was comprised by fraud.

Posted by
138 posts

Why am I sensing that the OP will be trying to sell us something?

Posted by
2116 posts

To answer the question in the title... never.

Also... I‘m with Ray.

Posted by
5429 posts

As the mother of a high-school exchange student spending an academic year in Europe (20 years ago) I sent many packages including vitamins (stopped by customs) and peanut butter -- most things were, in truth, more to make myself feel connected than anything she actually needed She did not ask for anything to be sent to her.
Used U.S. post office.
But in my own travels, no -- nothing I needed that we couldn't find there.

Posted by
20792 posts

Ya, I am been suspicious also. Strange subject for a first time poster. If I cannot purchase it in Europe, I don't need it. Am waiting for the punch line.

Posted by
1352 posts

During a long stay in Germany my wife requested something she left behind and her sister sent it. I can't mention what it was on a family forum.

Nowadays with Amazon ruling the world it's easy to get what you want within a day or two.

Posted by
5997 posts

I sent my daughter packages when she was studying abroad and was sick, wanted US over the counter medications.

Posted by
2 posts

@suki I heard medicine can be troublesome, even if it's OTC. Did you or your daughter have any problems with customs?