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How to send children's books to school on RS Eastern European Tour in Eger, Hungary

We were captivated by the tour of an elementary school tied to the university in Eger, Hungary on the Best of Eastern European Tour this summer. The teacher/guide gave us the address of the school at the end of the tour and asked for donations of English children's books, any level. It seems this school is on all of the Eastern European tours, so I figure hundreds of us have heard the plea and recorded the address. My question is has anyone gone ahead, collected books and sent them to Hungary?
Shipping costs are steep and I'm wondering if there are other ways of sending the books without paying so much for the postage.
Please let me hear from you!
Susan

Posted by
19160 posts

Perhaps James E will have an idea. My only thought is that I wonder whether Amazon has a Hungarian branch or Amazon.de ships to Hungary. The shipping cost from Germany to Hungary shouldn't be excessive. Then the next question is whether English-language childrens' books are available.

Shipping the books from the US would be exorbitantly expensive, I fear. It doesn't sound as enticing, but I think it would make more sense to send money (via TransferWise.com, perhaps) unless books can be bought from a European website.

Posted by
640 posts

Perhaps contact the Rick Steves tours office. They may be aware of other tour participants who have responded to this request in the past (assuming they know the teacher/guide is asking tour participants for books)

Posted by
5011 posts

Books are damn heavy (can't think of many things heavier than a large box packed with books - I've moved those too many times) so most places will charge an arm and a leg for shipping such heavy things.

The US postal service has a "book rate" for sending boxes of books (at least they used to, I used it some years ago). Of course, this was for domestic mail (and v-e-r-y slow). I have no idea if they offer a book rate for overseas but it's worth a try. Ask at your local post office about "book rate" or possibly "media mail".

Posted by
19160 posts

No international book rate anymore. Went away a long time ago. There's something called an "M-Bag" for printed material (including books). Airmail M-Bag service is available to many countries, including Hungary, but I wouldn't consider it affordable for this purpose. Rates are here.

Hungary's in Price Group 4, so shipping up to 11 lb. of books would cost $70.95. Each additional pound over 11 costs $6.45.

Posted by
1621 posts

How about purchasing the books on Amazon and having them delivered to the school in Hungary? It's free to do this within the US (over $25 or prime), not sure about sending something to another country but you might want to check it out.

We're doing this tour in 2020, can't wait!

Posted by
2907 posts

If people like Donna and others in upcoming tours know about this desire prior to their tour they might each be able to take one book/picture book in their suitcase and present it to the teacher on the day of the tour. I’d be happy to take one book to donate if I knew about this in advance. Thanks for getting the word out through this forum.

Posted by
5011 posts

It does sound like the cost to ship "free" books could be prohibitive.

If people like Donna and others in upcoming tours know about this desire prior to their tour they might each be able to take one book/picture book in their suitcase and present it to the teacher on the day of the tour.

What a great idea. If only there was some organization that might be able to coordinate such an effort, that regularly visited the school in need of the books, and which was in regular contact with folks who would be going there... (where's that smiling-eyeroll emoji when I need it...). Hello, Edmonds, can you hear me?

Posted by
2258 posts

Ordering from somwhere in EU sounds better, it also means the school does not risk having to pay any customs fees.

Posted by
12341 posts

My Amazon Prime account works for free shipment of goods ordered on the European Amazon websites ( Amazon.de, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.fr) within those respective countries. But I don't know if it works across borders, such as ordering from Amazon.de for shipment to Hungary.

You could try the regular Amazon.com site and see what the rate would be for a few childrens' books. Apparently they have special rates for shipment to Europe, as shown here:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=202075890

Posted by
1621 posts

Mona, that's a great idea. I will commit to taking a few children's books to the school. Already on my packing list!

Posted by
12538 posts

I've used Amazon UK a lot for similar things. It's a great thing you are doing.

I am not as good at this as I should be. But whenever you are traveling to a developing country it is a wonderful idea to look for ways to contribute. At the very least, when you go to a church, put $25 or $50 or more in the contribution box. If you need something tangible in return, find the priest and as for a blessing. Then put $100 in the box.

Posted by
1 posts

Susan, thanks for the heads up! As a retired teacher, I was looking forward to interacting with the school children. Mona, I think that's a great idea! Donna, I'm booked for this trip in May and I'm going to take a few books with me, also.

Posted by
6 posts

Thank you for the excellent ideas and links sent through this forum to get the books to the Esterhazy Karoly Gyakorloiskola in Eger, Hungary!
Finding books on this side of the Atlantic has been easier than I thought. ie. library books sales; using credit at used book stores; estate sales. There is certainly an abundance for any who want to provide a great lit foundation for their children.
Personally, I would have chosen the option of ***taking*** a couple of books with me if I had known about the request on the Eastern European Tour. However, in response to the dedication and hard work of the school staff (who also provided us with a substantial lunch), I am going to go ahead and plunk down the money for postage with the USPS.

Yours, Susan

Posted by
305 posts

I'm in agreement with Mona. We are signed up for the Eastern Europe tour this year. And both my husband and I will each try to take a couple of books. I like having items in my suitcase that will NOT be coming back because that way I KNOW I should have room available for things I pick up during our trip.