One of my favorite things now is to get packages from home! Let’s temporarily disregard the fact that I’m definitely not going to be able to get all my stuff back… there’s no way I’d get it all in my suitcase and worse under 50 lbs. But still, it’s so nice to get packages from your family, and silly cards from your dad or sweet notes from your sister.
For me, these packages have been a combination of the simple things in life, and some necessities. From my mom and sister, I got a rainbow loom kit so I could make bracelets like my sister! (I’m pretty silly and love to do whatever my little brother and sister are doing – even though I’m 11+ years older.) From my dad, shoes and animal crackers. Shoes in the UK were way more than I thought they’d be and it was significantly cheaper to get them in US. Though I’ll admit probably not cheaper after shipping.
So what’s the best way to ship from the US to the UK? Firstly, make sure you mark your items as “personal effects” and not as “gifts.” If you do, you’re bound to have insane fees (any imports of gifts over the value of £45 are subject to VAT charges and anything over £135 are subject to customs duty) that have to be paid in order to receive your package. You’ll also need to make sure you attach an itemized list to your package – just ask at the shipping center and they should be able to help you out.
Speaking of shipping centers, use a shipping agent like UPS, TNT, FedEx, DHL – they generally give you a chance to stop any charges from being applied to your package by contacting you before proceeding with the shipment.
How much did a small padded envelope containing the above cost to ship priority (it arrived 2 days later)? $150. Don’t ask how much the box of shoes cost to ship though… my dad told me I didn’t even want to know.