For my son’s birthday, I decided to buy him some new cycling gear and some running shoes. He loves his sport and has gone to train in China for a year with an athletics team. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and we were all very excited to see him do the thing he’s wanted to do for years.
However, it did mean that for the first time ever, I had to send a parcel overseas, and it was surprisingly straightforward.
Firstly, weigh the items you intend to send and measure the size when you put them together. I actually found that I could slip a couple of pieces of the cycling equipment into the trainers to save some space. The price to send parcels is often based on size and weight. There isn’t much you can do about the weight of items, but package them tactically.
If, for example, you were sending two pairs of shoes, don’t put each pair in a separate shoebox as this would waste space. Instead, find a box just big enough to fit both pairs in.
Also, regardless of the nature of the item, always put it in a sturdy cardboard box. Even if it’s only a t-shirt you’re sending, flimsy parcel paper won’t cut it on its lengthy journey overseas. If it gets ripped, your item could fall out or get damaged or dirty, meaning it would either not reach the recipient at all or would arrive in a bad state. Keep your items protected and properly packaged.
Inside the box, regardless of its size, you’ll want to use some packing material. This could be polystyrene, paper or bubble wrap. I decided to use lots of bubble wrap to keep the delicate bike equipment safe, but super-fragile items like glass will need to be packed tightly with foam shapes or polystyrene shapes to minimise the room for manoeuvre. Another fun way to fill a parcel box is with popcorn – just remind the recipient not to eat it!
It’s also absolutely crucial that the address is clear. My handwriting is terrible, and after a couple of attempts at some illegible block capitals I decided to print out a label which I then stuck on with tape to make sure the post handlers would be able to read where the parcel was supposed to be going.
Thankfully, a couple of weeks later I received a lovely email thanking me for my son’s birthday present, so clearly I was doing something right!