Leaving your host family can bring a bit of stress with packing. Whether it is because your year is ending or because you go into rematch. You might have bought a lot of new things and need an extra suitcase (or two) to fit in all your things. In some cases it is easier to ship luggage to your next destination. And we know because we had to do it twice.
In my two years as an au pair I’ve bought a lot of clothes and other things. This results in me having packing stress when it’s my time to go home. When I arrived in America I had 1 big suitcase, a small one and a backpack. Now, going back to Holland I am taking 3 big suitcases, a small one, a larger backpack and I’ll be wearing three sweaters because I didn’t have any space left.
Bringing four pieces of luggage with me on the plane is going to be way too difficult so I decided to look into shipping my luggage. It’s way too expensive to send it with a UPS, FedEx or USPS. Thats when I stumbled on two websites. I’ve used both, one for my own luggage and one for Lina’s luggage.
When Lina went home out of the blue I send her stuff in a suitcase with Luggageforward. This is a way cheaper option than we had looked into before. That was an almost 900$ deal with UPS/FedEx. This would cost only $254.00 for a 50lbs / 23kg suitcase to Holland and it was way less work.
The process to ship your luggage is pretty simple. First, you get a quote. You have to click on the type of luggage you’re sending (suitcase, box, golf gear, etc.) and how much it weights. You can also click on the date you want them to pick it up or which specific day you want to have it at your destination. After you paid they’ll show you the actions you have to take. You need to take a picture of your passport, they need to know what is in your bag (which is just marking off some lists and that’s done in a minute) and they need to have your flight information. They’ll also ask you to put a document inside your suitcase and keep one for yourself.
The flight information is very important because this is a proof that you’re actually planning on going to this location and are not sending it to sell (and thereby try to evade paying tax at the embassy). When you send it without your flight information there is a chance that they’ll have to send back the luggage OR that you have to pay extra money to the embassy.
Luggageforward will also send you a luggage tag you have to attach to your luggage. This is free of charge and it will arrive max 3 business days after you booked your shipment.
They’ll pick up the suitcase on the date you’ve set and from there you can track your luggage. It’s really nice to know where your suitcase is and it gave me a more relaxed mind to know that my suitcase arrived. The delivery takes max 14 days.
Click here to go to the site and send your luggage home.
This is the website I’ve used ship my own luggage. Because of the cheaper price, I would’ve also used it for Lina’s luggage but we found this one too late. The concept of Sendmybag.com is the same as the one above. You say where you are, where your luggage has to go and they’ll ship it for you.
Ship a 66lbs / 30kg suitcase costs $145.00. This is a lot cheaper then Luggageforward.com but with this site you have to do a bit more work. You have to write down on a packing list precisely how much you have in your suitcase. Not ‘clothes 30x’ as you can do with Luggageforward. You have to write ‘socks 3x’, ‘shirt 10x’ and so on. This is a lot more work and will take much more time than with the other site.
What is also different about this site is that you’ll have to pay if you want an official Sendmybag.com luggage tag. They are not mandatory, though reusable if you are planning to do this more often. I chose to not do it because the shipment date was too close, so they didn’t know if it would even arrive on time. I had to print out the documents, put one in my suitcase and the other one I put in a see-thru map (so it wouldn’t rip during the trip) and taped it on my suitcase with ducktape. Yes, it isn’t the prettiest and I don’t know if it will affect my suitcase. But this was the best option I had at the time.
After they picked up your suitcase you can track the whole journey. That way you know when your suitcase gets back home and hopefully won’t get lost.
Click here to go to the site and get a $6 discount on your first order.
We hope that this has been helpful to you and that some stress that comes with leaving your host family has been taken off your shoulders. Good luck and have a safe trip!