Don’t Be a Hoarder When You Travel. Ship Baby Ship!
As part of our Travel Hacker series we wanted to share an important tip for wanderers and families on the road.
What you carry and how you pack is an incredibly important part of your travel strategy. Shipping souvenirs and unwanted clothes will keep your relationship healthy and it makes for great surprises when you get home.
Depending on how you travel there is a great chance you are going to encounter budget carriers or smaller regional airlines that are very strict with baggage sizes and weights. 14 pounds for carry-ons and 32 -42 pounds for checked in bags are pretty standard weight limits you will encounter with many airlines. Remember being a hoarder has a cost and it increases your travel expenses when this isn’t managed. Hoard experiences and passport stamps not souvenirs.
We are traveling with some camera gear and laptops so it is pretty easy to go over the 14-pound limit. We have had to stuff our 3 year olds bag with hard drives and lenses to get through some check in Czar’s station. So, when your bag gets a little heavy and you have some memorable keepsakes ship it home. Plus, there is this incredible feeling of fulfillment once you clean up and get your bags organized.
Your baggage becomes a bigger issue if you are doing a bit of overland travel or trains, buses or backpacking. After six months on the road we can pronounce that there is a direct correlation between happiness and moderate baggage.
Pack as light as possible and shop to your heart’s content and find out where a local post office is located when you are on the road. It will make moving around from town to town much easier on the family and transportation logistics. We have been very surprised on the experience you will get in some countries and their postal services.
Basically, you have 3 types of mail hacks when traveling internationally.
- If you have anything that has some value or has some type of time constraint you can use the DHL’s and Global Logistics companies but there is a steep price for this type of service. There is a great chance you will receive your package when you ship with these types of companies.
- Regular postage will be much cheaper and your package will most likely end up on a few planes. You have a pretty good chance of receiving everything you sent and it a cost effective hack for travelers. We have had postal services take our items and help pack them with boxes and their shipping material. It is a crazy experience for Americans when comparing to our postal service.
- The slow boat is our best friend. Your packages will be cheap and it might take 3-6 months depending on the route and country. But who cares by the time you actually get your package you will have forgot you sent your swag anyways. We usually put our clothes, dead or broken devices and cheaper souvenirs on this adventure. There is a possible chance you won’t receive this package and if you do it is going to be beat up and or searched.
As a travel reminder you really shouldn’t be traveling with things that you aren’t prepared to part with. The same goes for shipping with local postal services don’t put anything in a box you care much about.
Don’t forget about airports often have a post office so if you aren’t shipping items back don’t forget to ship yourself and friends post cards. It’s an old travel trick but in this day an age we still like to go vintage for the scrapbook once in a while.
Be careful how much you send and what types of things you are shipping back to your home as your packages can get held up in customs, which can be an expensive and painful experience.
The more we travel the more we realize we don’t need a lot of personal possessions. Remember to leave half your luggage and bring twice the money and you should be set for a great adventure.