I am starting a trip around the world today! and my bag looks pretty full already. I am wondering were I will put new clothes/items if I decide to buy some while I am traveling.

Has anyone ever sent things back home (to the USA) in order to make room for new stuff? Which services have you used? I checked FedEx but they charge about $700 for a 6 Kg pack from Japan. Are there any economical/best options?

  • 1
    @JordanBell You say "back home", I am assuming because of the $ sign home refers to USA or Canada?
    – Simon
    Mar 7 '13 at 11:19
  • Thanks Simon, sorry for the omission, in this case back home would be USA.
    – JordanBelf
    Mar 7 '13 at 11:47
  • The reason I asked is because I was going to recommend shiply.com however they don't seem to include USA or Canada (strangely)
    – Simon
    Mar 7 '13 at 11:50
  • Have you considered just mailing it back? And how did you arrive at $700?
    – Karlson
    Mar 7 '13 at 12:19
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    I don't know what the rules are for the USA but be aware that in some countries (I know this applies to the EU) the customs allowances are much smaller for shipping items than for taking them with you. Jan 29 '16 at 14:58

Depending on the country, a box sent through the regular mail service works fine.

We had to do that when on vacation in the US, to ship back items to France since we also knew that these would not fit inside our suitcases.

UPS asked us $150. USPS did it for $40. If you ask DHL, FedEx which are in the premium range, it can be expensive.

Also, during another earlier trip, we simply bought an extra suitcase before heading home. If you expect to have "leftover" baggage allowance at your airline, this can be the solution. It costs you the price of the newly acquired piece of luggage, which can be reused later.

Anyway, take note of the restrictions of the local post system. For instance, USPS does not allow shipping batteries... thus disqualifying all tech items like cell phones, tablets, cameras.

  • I have been to USPS this week ant they told me that they don't do shipping by boat anymore. They do only by plane and the price is kind of expensive. I don't known what was the service you was talking about but for $40 you can probably only send some letters now.
    – ucsky
    Sep 3 '13 at 0:42

I've just checked on Japan Post for the rates on a 6kg international parcel.

The EMS (Express Mail Service) to Wyoming cost 9600 yen, which at current exchange rates is ~$100.

Of course the price could change with different declared values, insurance, etc. But in either case it will be $700 (FedEx)

Of course this may vary based on the country of origin, for example in former USSR I wouldn't use mail to ship internationally unless I know there is nothing valuable in the parcel.


Just use regular mail. It's pretty much always the cheapest option available. And if you ship from main post offices, even shipping from developing countries generally is reliable, if slow.

But, it never is extremely cheap. The few times I've done this, I used regular mail, but the cost is not always worth it.

  • beware of regular mail... While in many countries it can be trusted, in many other countries the chances of your expensive looking souvenirs "being mislaid" in some mailman's pocket are very real. And of course chances of that fragile piece being damaged are higher than when using a quality courier service.
    – jwenting
    Mar 7 '13 at 12:25
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    I find that while delivering to less developed countries is often less reliable, sending from less developed countries is seldom a problem, at least as far as your goods arriving is concerned. Regular mail does indeed tend to be less careful with the goods, though.
    – MastaBaba
    Mar 8 '13 at 15:02

Another option are luggage delivery services. You can call them and they come and pick up your luggage and drop it off at your destination/home. They work by the pound. Luggage free (www.luggagefree.com) is one of the cheaper options I found. From Japan to the USA it's about $7/lbs which comes out to be about $100 for 6kg. It might be a better value than EMS only because they include insurance up to $1000 and tracking.

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