Shipping items home when travelling

Shipping items home when travelling

During a six-month overland trip, I shipped items home 3 times, from Nepal, Calcutta and Singapore.  When our journey on the truck ended and we were moving on to SE Asia, I posted my Thermarest, down sleeping bag and walking shoes home from Calcutta via DHL and I think it cost me around £120.  Expensive, but the value of the items inside were 3 times that.

I also posted all my winter items home from Nepal.  This cost around £70 but the items inside cost me about £500.  I used this as an opportunity to ship home items I’d purchased en route.  Depending on the import rules of your country, you might be expected to pay duty on some items.

Be warned, anything electrical or with a battery seems to get stopped and someone on our trip had to retrieve their items en route in India. It was a right pain and only possible because they were posted locally and we happened to be going through the next big town and they were notified.

Posting items ahead

If you know your plans and need the items at a later date, it’s worth considering posting things on.  A fellow traveller posted his tent and all his walking gear to New Zealand from India to save lugging it around SE Asia.

Is it worth it/do you really want it?

A final note on posting.  Many items I posted back I discarded upon return…t-shirts I bought, trinkets that just didn’t seem so appealing when back home and other items that really, I just should have gifted or discarded en-route.  So think long and hard about what you’re sending.  I carried a summer dress with me through 15 countries, posted it home from Singapore only to open the box upon my return and immediately put it in the goodwill/charity shop pile.  Why?  Because it didn’t quite fit me when I left and it definitely didn’t fit me when I returned!

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Much of the information and advice expressed on this website is the personal opinion of the writer. If you choose to follow any advice you do so at your own risk with no recourse to the writer or Adventures in Overland.

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