Today I'd like to share another very informative article by Marcela De Vivo. I have featured an article by her before and she always shares such excellent tips. I hope you enjoy this article about shipping gifts to loved ones who are far away from home. Enjoy!
Sending gifts and care packages to family abroad can be both fun and harrowing. While it’s exciting to buy gifts that you know they’ll love, it can also be worrisome as you don’t know whether or not the package will arrive in one place.
When you send a package to loved ones abroad, you want to make sure that none of the items in the shipment are damaged or broken. By following these tips on how to pack and ship your gifts carefully, you can ensure that your parcels will arrive safely, with the gift wrap and ribbons still intact.
Before you start the shipping process, decide when you want your gifts to arrive. If you have a particular date, like a birthday or Christmas, keep in mind that the amount of time the package will take to travel to its destination will depend on both travel time and several custom checks.
Ask the shipping service you are using or research online how long the estimated shipping process will take. Also, by sending the presents earlier, you may save money on shipping since you won’t need to use an express delivery service.
While you may want your gifts to arrive as you would personally deliver them—that is, prettily wrapped in gift paper and bows—these gift boxes, while attractive, are generally not the most durable and will most likely not withstand the rough handling and transit.
Additionally, any wrapping paper is likely to get torn and ribbons lost en route. You can still wrap your present in nice gift boxes and wrapping paper, etc., but place that box inside a standard shipping container to help keep your present in good shape. An additional benefit of placing the gift-wrapped item inside a shipping box is that it disguises how valuable the gift may be, reducing the chance of theft.
Arrange the presents strategically inside the gift box, carefully wrapping and filling the box with tissue paper so that items don’t move. The more the objects move around, the more likely something is likely to get broken. Or, pack each item individually in gift boxes, making sure that they are carefully wrapped and padded, and then pack those boxes into a larger shipping container.
If you are packing multiple items into one gift box, place the fragile presents in the middle, where they are less likely to be jostled and broken.
When packing the gift box or boxes into the more durable container, be sure to fill the shipping box with Styrofoam peanuts, newspaper, bubble wrap, etc. The rule about making sure the boxes don’t move apply here as well; fill the shipping container with extra cushioning to make sure that the precious cargo arrives in one piece. Once the outer box is full, close the top and shake it a little to check if items shift around inside. If things do move, add more padding until there is no movement at all in the box.
Tape the box up with packing and shipping tape—masking tape can come undone if exposed to heat or moisture. Use tape that is at least two or three inches wide and cover all the seams of the box. Make sure there is nothing protruding from the box that can catch on machinery and other packages.
Insurance and Tracking
If you are sending a large quantity of items, especially those of value, you should get the package insured. Keep a copy of your receipts. You may want to even document the contents of the box prior to packing for your records.
Most shipping services provide tracking information for packages. Depending on the service you choose, tracking may be provided at no cost. This is an excellent way to keep an eye on your parcel and get an estimated time on the delivery, and is a worthwhile investment.
Another way to track your package is to keep a copy of all of your customs forms, which can be tracked without additional cost.
With these tips, you can ensure that your gifts to family members abroad will arrive on time and undamaged.
Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer from California whose writing covers several different topics, including travel, technology, special needs education and health. When sending gifts to family and friends abroad, she is sure to follow these tips. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.