Shipping luggage internationally is a science all of its own. From packing to customs paperwork, suitcase sizes to insurance - we’ll help you nail the process with some simple tips and tricks. Whether it’s the perfect way to pack travel suitcases (spoiler: it’s just like Tetris!) or straightforward insurance solutions, we’ve got you covered in this guide.
Why consider shipping luggage internationally?
The airport shenanigan of desperately scanning the baggage carousel as the last few bags trickle through, slowly realising yours isn’t amongst them. We’ve all been there. The sinking feeling as you search for your misplaced bags as your fellow travellers head off to their accommodations and begin exploring. Even if your bag does shoot out of the baggage carousel as expected, you’ll have already gone through the hassle of navigating the airport weighed down with luggage. Then there are the queues for baggage reclaim, the stress of customs paperwork, and the constant, nagging doubt that your items could be damaged or lost in transit.
Instead, you could ship luggage and bags internationally and have that hassle and stress taken off your hands, get your items picked up and dropped off, and track their journey in transit. No-brainer!
Pros & Cons of shipping luggage internationally
Just like everything in this world there are pros and cons to shipping luggage internationally.
Pros of shipping
1. Convenience: Shipping luggage ahead of time can make your travel more easy and convenient, more so if you are carrying a lot of luggage. With shipping, you will not have to worry about lugging your bags through airport checks or dragging them onto trains and buses. You can easily carry one check–in bag and a hand bag while the bulk of your luggage chugs along in a ship.
2. Space: you are able to pack more items than you would if you were limited to the dreaded airline baggage allowances if you instead choose to ship your luggage. Shipping really is helpful if you're travelling for extended periods (especially over large distances).
3. Reduced stress: Shipping your luggage reduces the amount of stress you take while you are travelling, as you will not have to worry about losing your bags or having them damaged in transit or just huffing and puffing as you lift them.
Cons of shipping
1.Cost: Shipping luggage internationally can be rather expensive, especially if you are shipping large quantities or heavy items. You may also be required to pay extra fees for a customs clearance, which can add onto the cost.
2. Delivery time: Shipping luggage internationally can take several days or even weeks sometimes to arrive, which may not be ideal if you are on a tight schedule. Planning ahead and initiating shipping early will help you circumvent the delivery time.
3. Risk of damage or loss: going by Murphy’s law, there is always a risk of something going wrong. The risk of your luggage being damaged or lost during shipping is something that may occur (we hope not). This can be absurdly frustrating and costly so make sure to choose a reputable shipping company and purchase insurance to protect your belongings.
Cost of shipping luggage internationally
The cost of shipping luggage internationally can vary widely on how you choose to ship them as well as a number of factors, including the weight and size of your luggage and the destination. Some general estimates of the cost of shipping luggage internationally are given below and the actual cost may change:
Send luggage internationally through postal services like USPS, Canada Post, or Royal Mail which are relatively affordable for smaller and lighter items. For instance, USPS's Priority Mail International service starts at around $35 for a small box weighing up to 4 pounds, while Canada Post's International Surface service starts at around $25 for a small parcel weighing up to 2 Kg. However, these services may not be as fast or reliable as other shipping methods, and they mostly do not offer as much tracking or insurance.
Courier services/Third party services
Shipping luggage internationally with third party services as a student is the most convenient experience, make sure you have your starter pack sorted beforehand. International courier services like DHL, FedEx, and UPS tend to be faster, highly reliable, and more comprehensive in terms of tracking and insurance. However, they can also be more expensive, especially for large or heavy items. For example, shipping a 30-pound suitcase from the United States to Europe via DHL could cost around $200, while shipping the same item via FedEx could cost around $250.
Airlines / Excess Baggage
Shipping luggage internationally via airlines seems to be a good idea until you realise that most airlines allow passengers to check at least one or two bags within a specified weight limit for free on international flights, however excess baggage shipping is a hassle if you have more bags than your airline allows or if the bags exceed the weight or size limits, you may be able to ship them as excess baggage. These fees can vary widely depending on the airline and the route, but they can range anywhere from $50 to $200 per bag on international routes. It's important to check your airline's baggage policy and fees before you book your flight to avoid any surprises. (let the only surprise be the new fun chapter of your life)
Things to be aware of while shipping luggage internationally
Which Boxes or Luggage Should I Use?
The best luggage bags and best travel bags are the ones that are sturdy and stable. That applies to both hard and soft cases. You’ll also want to tuck in all straps and tape down any that can’t be tucked away. Finally, leave your case unlocked just in case customs needs to verify its contents. For boxes, go for a double-walled box, and be sure to bubble wrap any of your fragile items.
Shipping Boxes & Luggage with Sherpr
When you ship with Sherpr, a shipping company with international student services to send luggage abroad, you’ll get a handy pack that contains everything you need. So you don’t need to worry about sourcing fussy cable ties and label pouches. There are a few things to keep in mind for the size and type of luggage or box you plan on shipping.
Sizes and Weights
Dreaded excess charges. When shipping luggage internationally with Sherpr it’s really easy to avoid those nuisance extra costs. Just stick to the weights and dimensions which are clearly laid out. As a general rule of thumb, Sherpr delivers luggage and boxes weighing up to 30kg.
Paperwork and airports. a stressful combo that you can swerve when you ship with Sherpr. Basically, when you ship items abroad you might be asked to provide information on what it is that you’re sending. Bagging shipping with Sherpr, and they’ll get all the paperwork ready for you. So you can cruise straight through customs and concentrate on your trip, not tick boxes.
For added peace of mind, adding insurance into the mix is non-negotiable, really. The good news is that when you shipping luggage internationally with Sherpr there’s free £100 / $100 / AED360 insurance added to every journey. Not enough? Don’t worry, you can purchase up to £3000 / $5000 / AED 18,000 worth of extra insurance cover.
What can’t I send in luggage overseas?
What you choose to send is your responsibility, know the do’s and don’ts of shipping luggage. So it makes sense to be clued up about the items on the prohibited list. Don’t sleep on this step! Your items will be x-rayed at security. In order to avoid any delays in the process or having your items turned around and returned to you - read the list. You can find a full list on the Sherpr website but some of the biggies include bleaches, acids, sprays, flammable liquids and lighters.
Additional Tips for shipping luggage internationally
Some things to keep in mind before shipping luggage internationally to ensure a safe and speedy delivery are:
1. Choose the right shipping company that offers international shipping services.
2. Make a packing checklist.
3. Pack items properly with protective layers to avoid damage during transit.
4. Label luggage clearly with your full name, address, and contact details.
5. Declare all items in your luggage to customs and check for any restricted items in the country you are shipping luggage internationally to avoid any hold up.
6. Purchase adequate insurance for your shipment to protect against loss or damage.
7. Use a lock to secure your luggage.
8. Keep all important documents and valuables in your carry-on bag like identification documents.
9. Consider any restrictions on size, weight, and items that may cause a hindrance during shipping
10. Allow enough lead time to account for transit and customs clearance such that by the time you arrive, your luggage is already waiting for you.
11. Check the company's policy on tracking and delivery options to ensure a hassle free shipping experience.
To sum it all up, it's pretty easy to see that shipping luggage internationally for students is a smart move. It takes the stress out of the airport experience, allows you to get organised ahead of time, and there’s the potential to save money. Moreover, shipping luggage internationally with Sherpr for door-to-door pickup and drop-offs - be it one-way travel or return trips is rather convenient as you’ll have help navigating customs and be provided with everything you need for seamless shipping. The best bit? Sherpr’s luggage shipping services are cheaper than you’d think. Kick off the process and get a luggage shipping quote for your travel luggage here.
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