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How one reader makes flying easier on her back and her sanity
Photo by Anthony DELANOIX on Unsplash

Each Friday, we feature a reader-submitted tip as our Travel Tip of the Day. This week’s tip comes from reader Christina, who shared how shipping her clothes in advance (I’ve written about that before) when she goes to Paris has made flying easier and more enjoyable:

“Last month incredibly I got a ticket for $288 roundtrip LAX to de Gaulle (Paris) via Montréal on Air Canada. Unbelievable! Since it’s a basic fare (no checked luggage and no prior seat selection unless I want to pay), I just mailed a box of clothes to my friend’s house in Paris (I used to live there). 22lbs for $119 with the U.S. Postal Service, but this way I don’t have to navigate the RER and Métro with a suitcase. Not all the stations have escalators, and there are many staircases. When I fly, I’m gonna take my purse, a shopping bag from Trader Joe’s with snacks, and a toothbrush, then enjoy the trip!

“The reason I’m writing to tell you this is that a traveler staying in a hotel can mail a box ahead of time to the front desk and save their backs and their sanity. It’s worked well for me the past several years and now I really enjoy going to the airport and flying, more so when not having to deal with large checked bags. One other pro tip: On top of my clothes, shoes and little gifts, I bring a backpack, because it’s an easy way to carry the contents of the box. My crash pad in Paris has one of those tiny skinny elevators. The post office just delivers to the lobby of the building, so it’s a real pain to get a large box upstairs to the 5th floor.

“For people with a lot of stuff they want to send over, or a large family, I also recommend checking the FedEx Great Rates Hotline. You need a (free to sign up) FedEx account, but their international shipping desk will call you back with a quote. Info here.”

Thanks, Christina. If you do ship your bag to your hotel ahead of time, make sure that the hotel doesn’t charge a “receiving” fee, which I’ve run into and is totally bogus. It’s just another way that hotels try to make money.

Christina’s tip, part two:

In her email, Christina also shared a way to do some good when you travel:

“What I usually do on my trips to Paris (I’m the boring lady who just goes to sit on the couch at my friends’ places and take their kids for burgers and ice cream), is take running shoes that are at the end of their life, ditto some inexpensive H&M T-shirts and socks, and donate the shoes and clothes to refugee organizations before I go back to Cali. Paris has kiosks all over the city to accept clothes and shoes. I do make sure to wash out my running shoes and put the clothes in the laundry first, as a courtesy.”


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1 Comment On "How One Reader Makes Flying Easier on Her Back and Her Sanity"
  1. Victor Riehl|

    Beware that the receiving country may subject your shipment to customs inspection/fees. This can result in delays and/or unexpected costs. For example, my wife bought a dress from Los Angeles and shipped it to Florence, Italy, for Easter this year. The dress cost US$265. The customs duties were Euros222 ($245) PLUS Euros 75 ($83) for storage in customs. PLUS there were delays in delivery long past Easter. We had to reject the delivery and the item was returned to the US.

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