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Shipping extras from France to US

Any guidance on sending some extra clothing home will be appreciated.

We have another 2.5 weeks in France but as we have been in various climates, we have some clothing that we don’t need for this last part. There have also been a few purchases made and our luggage is getting stuffed and we have one more train trip ahead of us.

I thought about sending the extras via UPS or similar. Thoughts?

Thanks!

Posted by
3172 posts

We’ve done that on several long trips across seasons. It’s pretty easy. Just go to a Poste office and see what size boxes they have for weight and price. It used to be that you could fill it up, light or heavy for a flat rate. They will have supplies to buy like tape and all the labels you’ll need there. On the customs declaration page list Used Clothing, books, etc so it won’t get held up with inspection if that’s what your contents are. I would put another address inside the box also, not all the customs paperwork.

Posted by
5752 posts

Yep, been there, done that, from multiple European countries. As stated above, the postal service should have all the supplies you need, available for purchase. You might also try UPS, DHL, etc. but they may not be as convenient/accessible. Make sure that it's not going to sit on your front porch for days before you (or someone else) grabs it.

It's also possible that the package may take a while to get there, so don't send anything you'll need immediately as soon as you get home (I once sent a box from Morocco, by the time it finally arrived at my house, I had been back for so long I had forgotten that I sent it!).

You may find that the cost to ship that box is surprisingly high, but you'll probably pay it gladly to be rid of that extra stuff. Remember the cost -- it'll help reinforce that "pack light" voice in the back of your head for the next trip.

Posted by
295 posts

As noted above, La Poste is by far the easiest way to ship -- you can find post offices in most towns above about 3,000 to 5,000 people in population. La Poste's website has a postage calculator on it for you to estimate the cost.

It won't be cheap: if you were to send a 5 kg box (11 pounds) it would cost from 63,90€. Add another kilogram (6 kg, or about 13 pounds) and the cost jumps to 120,80€. That's for a box with total dimensions (length+width+height) of 150 cm or less, with no dimension exceeding 100 cm. You can pay more if you'd like express service.

Shipping to the U.S. from France is always entertaining. Sometimes stuff arrives in a week, sometimes it never arrives. We had one Christmas gift to relatives in the U.S., shipped in early December from France, that never was delivered to the recipient but was returned to us in France, complete with both La Poste and US Postal Service stickers, in late March. A friend who splits time between the U.S. and France had a box of clothing shipped from France take a detour through Russia before being delivered in the U.S.

Posted by
214 posts

Yikes on the cost! I have an extra soft duffel that I can put the extras in and it won’t be that burdensome to tote along with our other luggage so I may just do that. And I don’t have to pay for checked luggage (we are in the try to pack light and don’t check luggage sect) so I may just selectively pack and check one bag on the flights home).

Posted by
3172 posts

That’s what we are doing on our current trip. Just popped out the soft bag for some bedding I bought today. Only one more train trip to go and we can manage to get our now 5 things around efficiently. The soft sided, collapsible bag even has a sleeve that allows it to ride around on top of a suitcase for the short remainder of our trip. One suitcase will need to be checked for our flight home. When I do ship something home on a trip I always factor in about 50€ per box and just add that mentally to the price of what I’m buying here that I can’t get in the US.

EDIT: I see that I’ll need to adjust my price for inflation. I always bring my collapsible bag and use it towards the end if I can to save time and money shipping.

Posted by
2541 posts

I’ve done that from Croatia and it is not cheap. A small Box, and I mean small, cost me 80€ and that was a few years ago.

Posted by
736 posts

Just returned home from France…..we ALWAYS ship a box from wherever we are to help with the weight before we fly home….the 2 boxes offered to us in Amboise, France at their post office were about $50 and $75……they sell the box to you, you take the forms to your hotel and fill out the info and fill the box full….weight does not matter….they are hard cardboard boxes that can withstand the international shipping……we took the postal box back to the post office in Amboise, they taped it up, took our forms and we left….that was day 9 or 10…….we left Paris on day 16…..when we got home the box was delivered to us on day 17 when all of our held mail came in together. I have posted this in another post but the joy of international travel to me is the fun of purchasing momentous you want to keep that are memories of your trip…..so I want to feel free to do this! The 2 of us each pack a flat collapsible carryon in our checked baggage going……we have 1 checked bag each and a backpack carryon to our destination…….we break out the flat carryon the night before we pack to come home, fill it with dirty clothes and it becomes a carryon for each of us…….my checked bag is free to fill with purchases I have made…..on the way home we each have a checked bag, a soft carryon filled with cloths/dirty clothes and our backpacks……this works beautifully. This trip some of what I put in the mailed back was a pair of shoes I was through using, a coat I no longer needed and 3 tins of JOSEPHINE’S hot cocoa mix that could go on home ahead of us in the box sent early from Amboise……hope this helps!

Posted by
214 posts

Many thanks for the information. As I’ve been packing today for our train ride tomorrow, it seems manageable to use the extra bag I brought for overflow and just check it for free on the return flight home. Or carry on the extra and check one of our wheelie bags. And I still have some room for additional purchases. 😊

Posted by
439 posts

If you are shipping a suitcase back, there is a service called Luggage Free. We've used them a couple of times and have always been satisfied. If you're sending from the US overseas, they pick up at your house. Not sure about vice versa, but it wouldn't be hard to find out.