I really don't want to take it all with me.
August 18, 2008 5:04 AM   Subscribe

What is the most secure and cost effective way to start moving a small number of things to the US from France?

Last year, I moved to France for a job. Hooray. I'm not renewing my contract and moving back to New York. Yay!

I brought more clothes that I should have, and I have some books and things I would like to send back before I move home. I will be traveling a bit before returning to the States and don't particularly relish the idea of lugging my crap around with me.

While I will be doing some local pruning of the clothes, I know there will still be stuff to send back. What is the best way to send it back from France?

All the other posts on Ask that I saw dealt with moving from the US, not to. They also typically dealt with furniture and larger amounts than I am dealing with.

Is my best bet to load up a few boxes of clothes at La Poste and ship them back? Or is there another, cheaper yet just as safe alternative?
posted by tip120 to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Do you know anyone flying from France to the US anytime soon, or even after you leave? As far as I know you can still check two bags, maybe they only have one? Might be a long shot, that.

Otherwise, I'd say pack it as tight as possible, tape it 'til it screams, and insure it if it's important. I don't think it's that expensive, I've heard of people mailing their luggage instead of putting it on the plane for fear of lost/manhandled/burgled bags.
posted by troika at 5:17 AM on August 18, 2008

My wife and I moved to Brussels from the US a couple of months ago. We shipped most of our stuff by sea, but still had several boxes worth of stuff that needed to get to Belgium that didn't go on the boat. We found that simply packing the stuff in a few big boxes and paying for excess baggage on the plane was, by far, the cheapest option, with the added bonus that there was no waiting around for mailed stuff to show up when we arrived.

So even if you had to pay for excess baggage, just hauling everything on the plane may still turn out to be the cheapest option. Mailing luggage is quite possibly a good option for domestic travel, but it's ridiculously expensive for international flights.
posted by dseaton at 5:46 AM on August 18, 2008

Many countries no longer do sea freight, so check out the excess luggage department of your airline or excess services at the airport. As you are going to the US, see what the rates per piece are - it may be cheaper than excess which is charged per kilo and also has customs charges at the end.
posted by wingless_angel at 6:43 AM on August 18, 2008

This is not new news, but it used to be that the only post office that shipped overseas at economy rate was at rue de l'Epée de bois in the 5th. Anyway, that's what you want — tarif économie.
posted by Wolof at 12:50 AM on August 19, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions everyone. trokia, I am going to try and unload some things on my parents when they come to visit next month, hopefully that will get rid of the winter stuff.

dseaton & wingless_angel, I am really trying to avoid dragging my things down to Barcelona for a week and then the UK for a month, then to the US. If I were leaving straightaway I'd probably swallow the baggage fee.

And Wolof, thanks for the suggestion, but I'm not in Paris, but in the south.
posted by tip120 at 1:35 AM on August 19, 2008

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