A common practice for people working abroad is to send boxes of goodies back to their families back home. Families with members working in other countries also like to send care packages as a way to comfort those relatives who are living so far away.
However, there is no denying the fact that sending an international package can be expensive, especially when the cargo is heavy. That said, we’ve come up with some of the best ways to save money while sending goodies to your loved ones back home.
- Take advantage of shipping discounts
Shipping can be just as expensive as the contents of your box, especially if you are at a great distance away from your home country. For this reason, taking advantage of any available discounts from couriers can slash off a significant amount from the total cost of your international cargo. For example, some even offer significant discounts for door-to-door shipping to the Philippines and other destinations. Although you may have to wait for couriers to offer discounts for international cargo, getting to save money on shipping costs can make it a worthwhile wait.
- Shop at warehouse stores
Warehouse stores, especially in the United States, offer great discounts for bulk purchases. Retailers sell goods at lower prices compared with traditional markets. If you want to save money on the contents of your box and take advantage of bulk offerings, consider filling your package with products from these stores instead of smaller retailers or supermarkets.
- Check out dollar stores
Dollar stores, although cheap, can have great items that are not available or are overly expensive in your home country. Consider checking out dollar stores and other discount stores when shopping for the contents of your package.
- Split costs with another overseas worker
If you have a friend, a relative, or a co-worker who also wants to send items back home to your country, you can opt to share one box to save on shipping costs. This tactic is especially cost effective if you’re only sending a few items or can’t fill an entire cargo box on your own. If you don’t know anyone who wants to split the costs, you can try looking for someone in an online group in your city or state that caters to expats or overseas workers from your country.
- Look for someone going home
Some travelers returning to your home country may be willing to bring your contentswith them for an affordable fee. Then, they'll ship or bring the goodies to your loved ones when they arrive in the country. Find someone you can trust, be it a friend or a relative, to bring your package or items in their luggage back. Just make sure that the items you are sending are not restricted by border customs (e.g. meat, vegetables, fruits, illegal substances, etc.)
- Take it easy on the packaging fillers
Packaging fillers keep the contents of your box secure while in transit, and it is especially important to use fillers when shipping internationally because of the journey your box has ahead of it. Examples of common fillers include old newspapers, packing peanuts, bubble wrap, and styrofoam chips.
Although fillers may be light, don’t underestimate the weight they can add to your entire box. That said, only use an adequate amount of fillers when securing your box — no more no less. If you are also shipping clothes in your cargo box, you can also use them as a protective covering for your more delicate items.
- Think about practicality and necessity
Many overseas workers like sending items, such as soap, lotions, and canned goods, to loved ones back home because they are practical and cheap. However, if these items are readily available (although a little costlier than local brands), you may not be taking advantage of the shipping cost’s value by filling your box with these items. Other people may also send appliances, clothes, and other things that may not be as useful in the country, such as winter clothes (if you live in a tropical country) or appliances that require different voltage back home.
Sending care packages or cargo boxes back to your home country shouldn't have to be overly expensive. If you want to make the most out of your money, follow these tips when preparing, packing, and shipping your international package. Most importantly, choose a courier that offers great shipping rates and has great customer service so that you can save money on shipping and easily keep track of the location of your cargo.