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Receiving Packages
JKMiles
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Hey everyone, I’ve been trying to find information about how to receive packages while in Europe but have come up with next to no solid info. Anyone know any resources or tip about receiving packages while backpacking? This is more of a way to get forgotten supplies, spare clothes, seasonal wear, etc). Any information would be great, thanks!
 
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CComeau
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an additional question to add to that: how do you send packages home from europe, is it a huge, expensive pain? I’m going to amsterdam first and I wanted to get some wooden clogs (i know, i’m a tourist!) but I don’t want to carry them around for a month.  Thanks.

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There are several options for international shipping. Major carriers such as Fedex, DHL and UPS service Europe. They are especially good for express shipment of documents and smaller packages. Deliveries may be made to a specified address, your hostel or hotel, or held for pickup at the shipper’s local office. There are office services establishments that pack and ship as well as shipping agents who specialize in smaller shipments. National postal services often provide economical international freight delivery – sea freight is usually least expensive, but slow. Finally, many merchants will arrange shipment of your purchases. 


oldlady
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Package shipping can be very expensive, particularly if you use the faster option.  It may be cheaper for you to buy things in Europe than to have them shipped from home.  

JKMiles
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Thanks for the input, particularly regarding the parcel companies (DHL, FedEx, etc.) cause after reviewing their sites I gotta agree that maybe its not worth trying with such a high price tag. Anyone ever shipped to the states from Europe? How did that work out for you?

eggywegs
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Not only do Shippers like UPS, Fedex etc. cost more, there is more of a chance that you will have to pay duty on what you send.  You can send things air mail through the postal service, but that takes 8-10 days and is less reliable. 
 
It is pretty much a sure bet that it will cost more to ship what you forgot/need than to replace it in Europe. 

oldlady
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For sending things back to the states you may be able to use the slower options like the post office and surface shipping.  If you buy things in Europe the shop will often ship them “free.”  That’s because there’s no Value Added Tax if it’s shipped out of Europe and the VAT is often higher than the shipping fees.

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Occasionally I had things shipped for me from Europe to States by “surface” (sea?) mail. It takes 1-2 months. If you want to minimize your shipping costs surface mail is the cheapest, especially if you can chose which country to mail your items from. My recollection is that postal rates from Germany to the US are nearly three time higher then those from France.
As far as the VAT goes, a store shipping an item directly outside EU should not be collecting it at all. However if a package clearly comes from a store with a customs label marked “merchandise” you are more likely to have pay import duty.

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    Also remember shipping stuff home there is the chace of being hit with a customs bill when the items arrive in the states depending on the value of the items.
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howie

I am leaving from nyc with $2000 for 8 days
London, Leeds, Manchester