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jj Dec 28th, 2002 12:51 PM

Shipping to the US
My wife and I are visiting 4 cities in Europe. We (she) usually bring a ton of luggage but this time, with so many destinations, we are cutting it down to a minimum. So this leaves the question of what to do with souvenirs, etc. that we pick up when we're there. There is no room in the luggage... is shipping from Paris to LA super expensive? I've never shipped internationally. <BR>Any info would be greatly appreciated.<BR>Thanks!

g Dec 28th, 2002 01:00 PM

We do it all the time. It's not cheap, but not super expensive either. We bring folded mailing boxes (like you buy at Target) that lie flat in the bottom of our suitcases. And we bring a roll of packaging tape. Neither takes up much space, and when you're done mailing, you have a little more space in your suitcase. We also mail back bulky clothing (used for mountains) when we are finished. It might be a little costly, but better than lugging things around. Also, if you can speak the language in the larger cities like Paris, you can get them to mail it a cheaper rate for the slow boat.

jj Dec 28th, 2002 01:15 PM

How long does this &quot;slow boat&quot; take vs. regular shipping?

PB Dec 28th, 2002 11:53 PM

jj,<BR><BR>In theory, priority mailing takes 6 to 8 days and economy takes 15 to 18 days.<BR>I've found that in recent months, because of all kinds of new US customs practices, packages are taking longer to arrive in the US - often up to a 6 weeks via economy.<BR><BR>The post office has various size boxes that you can purchase that include the postage... you can also find boxes here without too much problem, so I don't know if you want to bother to bring your own.<BR>PB<BR>

George Steed Dec 29th, 2002 03:46 AM

Good ideas! Bring tape and labels. European post offices usually have an assortment of boxes. Otherwise, collect as needed from shops. Take box to PO. Find the right window. Predetermine desired service. Surface mail is very slow but inexpensive. Do not ship anything valuable. Check your air baggage limit. Economy class allows two containers of up to 70 pounds.

tina Dec 29th, 2002 06:31 AM

What a great idea!! Bringing your own packaging materials, I mean. I always mail things home when in Europe because I hate lugging stuff around, but I end up buying a box or mailer at the post office and sometimes communication can be less than clear. I will definitely use this tip next time I go. P.S. ( My stuff usually beats me home and I've never had any trouble with damage or lost articles)

Rick Dec 29th, 2002 10:54 AM

You can also try mailing in the other direction if vacationing for a longer trip. For a 4 week trip last year with a country break in the middle I arranged with the hotel we had reservations at to hold a box for serveral days prior to our arrival that contained tour guides and maps for the second half of the trip along with a fresh paperback for each of us, packing tape along with some other items I don't recall. We used this same box to return mail items back home using the packed tape to seal with. We have also just find a local post office when we fill up on souvenirs, purchase a box from them, ship and we're off again.

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