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Shipping Gifts & Purchases to US

Ok, this may be a dumb question. But, are there FedEx stores or some kind of shipping stores where I can ship purchases to US instead of carrying them on airplane? I am packing light, just a backpack. I want to buy things like textiles, gifts, books, whisky, and send them home ahead of me. I am not worried about paying $ for taxes or other charges. I just don't want to carry it.
Thank you.

Posted by
809 posts

I regularly ship things to friends in the States and just use the local Post Office to do so. Here in the rural Highlands there are no Fedex, UPS or similar. Just the good old Royal Mail (Post office!).

Jacqui (Skyegirl)

Posted by
4337 posts

Some businesses will ship for you. I would certainly try that with the whiskey as they will know how to pack it for you.
Otherwise, unless it is vintage textiles, you might as well mail order it from here. Not as romantic or sentimental, but as well as shipping, you will have customs fees, I expect.

Posted by
22596 posts

Shipping tends to be expensive and not worth it for lost cost items. If it is a major items often the seller can arrange to ship and most likely the value added tax is refund and often will cover the cost of shipping. We have shipped home large pieces of art work. It works and generally the VAT savings covers most of the cost of shipping.

Posted by
54 posts

Yep, I've used FedEx as well as the local post office to ship items back home from Scotland and England. Easy to do. As others have mentioned, it's not particularly cheap (often quite expensive), but I've done it several times when my purchases have exceeded the capacity of my luggage. I've also used it to ship home items like trekking poles, and hiking boots when that portion of the trip is over and I have more traveling to do so I didn't have to lug around items for a week I no longer needed with me.

Posted by
225 posts

We were in same situation. DHL wanted $300 or more for sending one box. They only did priority where we were. Czech Republic, Poland and then we gave up. We didn't want to waste any more time finding a DHL. We went to a "mailbox" type store that had all the various shipping ways available. Still over $300. I bought a small roller duffle that fit into overhead bin. We just used that. Air France allowed 3 carry on per person, so we had backpacks, tote, and then our roller duffle.

We had to send some stuff home from Germany. We spent about 200 Euro for 3 small boxes. It seemed like alot, until we got to CZ and Poland.

I guess it depends on where you are at. If the store ships, use them. If you DIY, be prepared to spend $300 on shipping. Especially with heavier weighted items. From our experience, buy a cheapo roller duffle and then carry it on or check it home.

I guess shipping depends on where you are at. However, be prepared to spend

Posted by
44 posts

I may need to play this one by ear. In Rome, I lucked out and found a cheap carry-on size suitcase the day before we flew home. I packed all my purchases in that. Then checked it because I already had my backpack carry-on. If I can find a cheap case in Edinburgh, that would work.

Posted by
7750 posts

Jeep-Girl, many of us will pack an empty duffle bag in our carryon for this purpose. Or buy one there. We pack any liquids (wine, olive oil, jam) in that duffle surrounded by dirty clothes and other stuff for cushioning. Even if there is a airline charge, it's going to be less than shipping.

Posted by
54 posts

Yep, play it by ear. Any place you take it will (or should) be able to tell you how much your packed box will cost to ship home via various levels of priority. You can then decide if it's what you want to do or not. One time, I decided to ultimately check my packed box instead of ship it due to the price. Other times, I've opted to pay the price for the convenience of not having to lug around another bag/box while traveling.

If you do decide to send something home mid-trip, make sure there will be someone who can retrieve it from your front door, or ship to another friend or family member so your stuff doesn't sit out for several days waiting for you to come home. For reference, if I recall, I've paid between 60 - 130 pounds to mail stuff home. And my boxes are always a random mix of things and stuffed to the gills (tins of shortbread, bottles of whiskey or wine, sweaters/sweatshirts, wool blankets that were on after Christmas sale and absolutely beautiful, hiking gear I'm done with, tea, books, etc...)

Have a fun trip!