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Chris Waits / Flickr

Can Snail Mail Be a Cheaper Way To Get Souvenirs Back Home?

Think of it as a delayed present, to yourself, from yourself.

Look, sometimes the shopping goes a little overboard. Then new questions arise: Should you buy a new suitcase? Should you buy a bigger suitcase and throw out the old one? (No!) Do you pay for extra luggage? Do you not bring it back AT ALL? (Definitely no!)

Maybe the best solution is a lot simpler than it looks: Shipping it back.

It’s often far from the most obvious solution because shipping packages from the United States to other places abroad is generally, well, exorbitant. But in my experience, shipping packages to the U.S.—in the other direction!—can be reasonably priced, something I discovered years ago living in Hong Kong.

Case in point: It cost £20.63 ($27.50 USD) to ship a 4.7 kg (roughly 10 pound) package from Margate, UK to New York City using Parcel2Go through Landmark Global. OK, maybe I bought enough tea to set up my own version of the East India Company. But it was also a lot cheaper than paying for a new suitcase or an excess bag fee, which would have been the same price or more.

(Government postal service prices are often somewhere in the middle of the road, but it’s possible to find cheaper prices by going through a commercial shipping company.)

The contents itself would probably have rang around £80 ($106.66 USD) in the States, if I could get them at all.

Sure, will it take three weeks? Most likely, but who cares. Besides, if you need tea, cookies, and salt right away, there are other problems in life that you need to be concerned about. 😀

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