Love buying souvenirs while travelling? From fridge magnets to furniture, wine bottles to billiard tables, the options are endless. But what happens when you fall in love with something too large or heavy to fit in your suitcase?
Strict baggage allowances on airlines can spoil your foreign shopping fun, but there are ways around it – here are a few tips that will help you transport even the most lavish of souvenirs home.
Museums and tourist shops will often arrange shipping directly for you for a small fee. The beauty of this is that beyond choosing and paying for your items, the leg work is taken care of until you get home. If you’re in the UK, these items may be eligible for a VAT rebate, which the shop staff can help with paperwork. When choosing this option, check that the carrier the merchant uses provides tracking information so you can see where your purchase is during its journey.
If you find the car or vehicle of your dreams during your travels and you have the funds available, car shipping makes it possible to send it back home. A run-of-the-mill Toyota or Ford will not be worth the money and effort of shipping, but some cars and motorbikes are exceptional. An enthusiast who finds that unique classic car they’ll never find back home will see the benefit of arranging international or interstate shipping.
Flat Rate Boxes
The postal services in many countries, including the USA’s USPS, offer flat rate boxes that are cost-effective ways to send items home. These boxes are an excellent way to stock up on treats if you only have hand luggage or send multiple gifts around holiday time. Coming in varying sizes, fill your chosen box until full, drop it at the post office, and it’ll arrive a few days later. All you need to be aware of is any weight limits and to wrap items against damage.
As you tour around at first, you may not intend to pick up many souvenirs as they’re heavy and space is limited. But the more you see and experience slowly, you notice you’ve filled your suitcase with Spanish olive oil, books, knickknacks, and other exciting items. Investigate the local courier services for a reputable international shipper and send a box of goodies home. Reliable couriers offer insurance on shipments, so if the worst happens to your package, you should get the monetary value back.
International shipping isn’t cheap, so if there’s even an outside chance that you’ll find yourself sending things home, budget for it. Impulse buys that don’t fit in your suitcase will result in a regretful waste of money if you don’t have the spare funds to ship them home. Customs fees can also eat into the souvenir budget if you’re not expecting them.
Not all souvenirs need to be light and transportable; with enough resources in place, you can enjoy souvenirs of any size and shape.