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Nov 18th, 2013, 08:30 AM
  #1
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Shipping to a destination in Europe without a specific address

We are traveling from the U.S. to France to ski. Due to luggage restrictions we cannot check our ski boots and helmets on our flight over so we want to ship them and have them be there when we arrive. However, we are renting an apartment and there will be no one available to receive the package. Is there a way to ship overseas to a general post where we can then go and pick them up. Seems like people who travel extensively would have mail forwarded to them to somewhere... Any ideas would be appreciated!
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Nov 18th, 2013, 08:33 AM
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Ask the person providing the apartment if he will accept a package from you.
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Nov 18th, 2013, 08:38 AM
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You are not making sense here. No airline will refuse to take your boots and helmets. Are you trying to say that you will have to pay for excess luggage? That isn't a 'cannot' that is a 'don't want to pay the airline' issue.

Ignoring for the moment the possible cost difference between paying the airline and paying a shipping service, there is the whole hassle issue which is what you are now looking at getting yourself into. I just don't see the sense in that.

Please clarify what you mean by, 'Due to luggage restrictions we cannot check ........"
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Nov 18th, 2013, 08:38 AM
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>>Due to luggage restrictions we cannot check our ski boots and helmets on our flight over<<

My guess is you can check your gear on the flight - you'll just have to pay for it.
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Nov 18th, 2013, 08:44 AM
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Maybe you should consider renting boots and helmets on arrival if you don't want to pay to check them. You should look into how much it costs to post them vs taking them vs renting.
It is probably possible still to send things poste restant but I have no idea how you do it. Your local post office can probably advise you.
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Nov 18th, 2013, 08:48 AM
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http://www.discoverfrance.net/France/DF_postal.shtml tells you how to address things poste restante for France. LaPoste will charge you for this service in addition to the cost of posting from your home.
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Nov 18th, 2013, 08:50 AM
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This should be very helpful. http://www.ups.com/content/fr/en/shi...ing/index.html
You should be able to pick them up at the UPS center in France if there is no one to sign at the apartment.
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Nov 18th, 2013, 09:41 AM
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I think it's a bad idea to ship something expensive to Poste Restante. And I also don't believe you can't check them on the plane and can't imagine it is cheaper to ship them.

But is it really that important to carry your own personal skis and boots to Europe? Think of the cost and potential for loss/damage. I assume this is very expensive custom equipment, as otherwise, you wouldn't be that attached to it to insist of using it whenever you ski.
I have my own boots and skis for short local trips, but rent when going for a major ski vacation long distance, it is a whole lot more convenient in many ways.

OH, and I always carry my helmet on board a plane (I do always take that with me), don't tell me you can't do that. There isn't a single airline I've ever heard of where a helmet wouldn't pass the carryon standards, I just put it in the bottom of a shopping bag and then put my coat or somethign on top of it when settling in on the plane.
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Nov 18th, 2013, 09:51 AM
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You may well find shipping costs as much or more than paying excess baggage charges.

Another wrinkle is Customs. We've virtually given up on shipping from the U.S. to France--everything has been held in Customs for several days with fees collected (check required) by shipper or La Poste.

Biggest insult was a fee of 35€ for two watercolors a friend had done. To protect them he shipped them in a cheap used IKEA plexiglas frame. I don't think Customs noticed the watercolors as they were back to front, the charge was for the frame!
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Nov 18th, 2013, 10:27 AM
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Good point Catherine. You will probably pay duties on them, as well as the other costs.

Hire the boots. Take your helmets.
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Nov 18th, 2013, 12:03 PM
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contact FedEx or UPS or DHL and see if they will hold the package until you arrive - all serve Europe.
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Nov 18th, 2013, 01:08 PM
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Thanks for the many responses! We will check into some of your suggestions and let you know what we find out.

The reason that we have luggage restrictions is that we are flying standby on airline employee passes so we won't know til the last second what flight we will be on. Therefore, we are limited to one carry-on bag which would not leave much room for clothes, as well as boots and helmets! Though I am thinking that we can at least stuff clothes in the helmets, which just leaves boots to deal with. Unfortunately there is no one that will be available to receive our packages at the apartment that we have rented.
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Nov 18th, 2013, 02:04 PM
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We have long since given up bringing our own equipment--except for your helmets.
Are you flying buddy--or are you the employees? When we have done this we've been able to even check luggage--some we had to go find, I admit, but not often. But think about the reverse also--that ain't easy either to find the packing stuff, etc.
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Nov 18th, 2013, 02:13 PM
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As Cathinjoetown pointed out you will have to pay tax- import duty and VAT on any parcel you send, plus a fee for whoever collects the taxes.
Most people hire boots. It won't be difficult to arrange that, and must be cheaper and easier than either lugging your own, or posting yours.
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Nov 18th, 2013, 02:30 PM
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must be cheaper and easier than either lugging your own,

Not if it fits in the luggage, which could be done with some imagination. Moreover, if the OP is an expert skier with boots that were specially fitted, a rental won't do, or it has to be a special one that will cost quite a bit.
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Nov 18th, 2013, 03:38 PM
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Wear the boots on the plane.
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Nov 18th, 2013, 04:06 PM
  #18
 
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Well at least the reason given seems to make some sense now. They have to fly carry-on only. If that is fixed then they have no choice but to ship or rent on location.

To ship both there and BACK is probably not going to be cheaper than renting. The Customs issue is another story as well.

I suspect as Gretchen asks, that you are flying on a 'buddy pass'. An actual employee would probably not have any problem getting any number of items onto the plane via the crew.

A buddy pass is a great deal but it has one major issue. You have to be INCREDIBLY flexible. This is a case where using one has an obvious problem.

The ONLY reasonable solution I see is to rent your gear at the slope.
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Nov 18th, 2013, 04:22 PM
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Immimi nailed it, wear your boots on the plane. Ditto for the helmets.
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Nov 18th, 2013, 08:08 PM
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Actually, that might work. There is no rule I know of that says you can't wear boots and a helmet. LOL
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