Christmas presentsAll You Need To Know About Sending A Christmas Parcel To Europe

Friends and Family abroad love nothing more than personalised gifts at Christmas. But what items can you send and which is the best international delivery method?

Summer has just ended, so surely it’s too early to start thinking about Christmas? Not if you’ve got friends or family who live abroad. Christmas is a time when many expats particularly miss home, so a carefully packed parcel full of hand selected gifts is especially welcome. Give yourself plenty of time to choose the right items and prepare your package with care. If you have friends or family who live in Europe, then here’s a guide to sending them the perfect Christmas parcel.

Hand-Selected Gifts

Although online shopping sites such as Amazon and Marks and Spencer are quick and convenient, they lack the personal touch. Also if you want to send a variety of items and you’re using Amazon, you may find yourself dealing with different sellers who have different delivery times and costs. Your loved ones may end up receiving their gifts at different stages and it could end up costing you far more.

A collection of beautifully wrapped, thoughtful gifts, packaged in one parcel is far more meaningful and ultimately, cost-effective.

Packaging

Choose a double or even triple corrugated cardboard box. New is preferable but if you’re using a used box, ensure that any labels are removed. Individually wrap each item in Christmas wrapping or gift bags but leave the outside of the delivery box plain.

Wrap fragile items in bubble wrap and place them in the centre of the box.  Fill any spaces left with styrofoam packaging chips.

Use high strength packing tape. It’s stronger than regular masking tape or sellotape.

To address an item to Europe you’ll need the recipient’s name, street address and postcode. Ensure the sender’s address is also marked clearly on the outside of the box. For European (EU) countries there’s no need for customs documentation.

Food Parcels 

Seasonal foods are always popular at Christmas time. A hand-picked hamper with favourite treats from home make a thoughtful gift, especially if packed with items that your loved ones can’t get in Europe.

It may be tempting to send homemade delights, but be aware that there are strict regulations regarding what you can send:

  • Choose shop bought items that are packaged and sealed in the original manufacturer’s packaging.
  • Foods should have a ‘use by’ date longer than 6 months.
  • Don’t send chilled items such as meat, cheeses and dairy products.
  • You can send wine beer and champagne, but items with an alcohol volume over 24% are prohibited.

Other Restrictions

Perfume and after shaves are popular Christmas gifts, however they are flammable liquids and therefore prohibited.

Electronic items and toys are also popular but ensure batteries are housed inside the device. All electronic items and toys must bear the CE approved mark.

Delivery Services

Most people automatically choose the Royal Mail to send parcels. However, price increases and a limit of 2 kg, means it’s not necessarily the best option. A quicker and cheaper option would be to send large parcels via an independent courier service; we recently discussed the growth of intra-European imports, many service providers do smaller parcels too. If you are sending a range of gifts to an entire family, grouping them together and using a courier service will save you time and money. You’ll only pay for one delivery service and your parcel can be tracked for extra peace of mind.