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Shipping things home to US

Hilo, Hawaii
Level Contributor
140 posts
38 reviews
Shipping things home to US

Before we move on to warmer weather we would love to lighten our backpacks by shipping home some clothes and shoes and a few souvenirs. We don’t want to simply donate them as they have a lot of wear left. Would it be easiest and cheapest to simply find a post office? If so, will they also sell boxes there? Thanks.

13 replies to this topic
Level Contributor
355 posts
71 reviews
1. Re: Shipping things home to US

You can buy boxes and tape at the post office.

Destination Expert
for Cotswolds, Rome, London
Level Contributor
4,279 posts
109 reviews
2. Re: Shipping things home to US

Some larger post offices sell cartons & envelopes. Having said that the post office service may not be the cheapest.


Staples have a tie up with DHL for delivery services - and they sell all the boxes, cartons, etc to put your stuff in.

New Mexico
Level Contributor
14,569 posts
111 reviews
3. Re: Shipping things home to US

It will be expensive

U.S. expats
Destination Expert
for Windsor, London, Dry Tortugas National Park
Level Contributor
20,854 posts
235 reviews
4. Re: Shipping things home to US

It will be VERY expensive.

First, sit down and figure out how much value your items have--the cost to replace.

Just to give an example. I once tried to ship a shoebox full of spices to the US, and it was going to run 40 GBP. More than the spices were worth.

You can probably check out the prices for shipping online, and hopefully the cost of shipping will not equal or exceed the cost to replace. (But I bet they will)

I don't know anything about your itinerary, but your cheapest option is to keep it with you.

London, United...
Level Contributor
4,069 posts
76 reviews
5. Re: Shipping things home to US

Note that on top of shipping charges, you may also have to pay customs duties on the souvenirs in particular. You have a duty free allowance for goods carried with you when you return to the US. But this does not apply to goods shipped.

London, United...
Level Contributor
595 posts
111 reviews
6. Re: Shipping things home to US

You can get quotes on Royal Mail if posting things from the Post Office : https://www.royalmail.com/price-finder

Another alternative is Parcel2go, can give you quotes for third party companies. They re-sell other courier products at competitive prices. Put in a few sample sizes weights to get an idea of price. You may need access to a printer to print off labels. Or you can do that before you leave.

If you know people who do a lot of business with the big international courier companies, TNT, FedEx, UPS etc.. you may be able to use their discount rates. They will pick it up directly from you or the hotel.

The other option are parcel forwarding companies.


(I have not used these companies). You basically post your stuff to them at their UK and they forwarded to you in the US....

Then there are relocation companies. They may be able to help you with a smaller packet.

There are specialist companies who do what you what.

I found this company https:/…

I have not used it, so carry out all checks.

You may be better off donating things to homeless people. We seem to have quite a few on the streets.....

Monterey Bay...
Level Contributor
1,155 posts
62 reviews
7. Re: Shipping things home to US

I'm shipping a 50 pound suitcase back to the US (California) from London through a luggage forwarding company. Door to door service and all the companies seem to run about $250 US.

San Francisco, Ca
Level Contributor
21,920 posts
79 reviews
8. Re: Shipping things home to US

If you're coming back through London, what would be the cost of taking them as checked luggage on your flight home? If that's cheaper than shipping, and you're not going to need storage for months, you could check with your hotel in London to see if they'd hang on to a suitcase or two for you until you return. Or there's some sort of peer-to-peer storage app where shops with extra room will store things relatively inexpensively.

England, United...
Level Contributor
3,592 posts
195 reviews
9. Re: Shipping things home to US

There’s many ways of keeping luggage to a minimum, and one of those is layering clothes. Even in warmer weather it’s worth having one warm cardigan for evenings and a waterproof just in case, to that add a thermal vest and you have cold weather clothing. A good pair of walking shoes will do for both winter and summer. Souvenirs? Can you buy these online when you get back?

Hilo, Hawaii
Level Contributor
140 posts
38 reviews
10. Re: Shipping things home to US

Thanks for the feedback. I know I won’t be wanting to layer with jeans and tennies when it gets warmer - I run warm to begin with! Souvenirs are part of the fun for me. I’ll definitely look at a few options mentioned. Thank you again.

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