I love to travel. I’ve finessed packing light, and fitting all toiletries into a ziplock bag not much bigger than my hand. On the other hand I hate checking luggage. (Have you ever met anyone who loves checking lugagge?) But I have never been able to not shop while on a trip.
To alleviate the airlines taking an extra $25 to $50 bucks off my hands on my return trip home (due to overweight luggage), I stop at the Post Office and pick up a couple of Flat Rate Shipping Boxes.
Say you are going to a conference, where you know you are going to come home with a lot of books, brochures and whatnot? Flat Rate is great, because no matter how much the box weighs, it’s still a flat rate. And the Post Office provides the boxes for FREE. You can also have the post office mail the empty boxes directly to you (again, FREE), and throw a few in your luggage before you leave. If you ship to yourself, you don’t have to drag that extra reading material from airport to airport or gate to gate-it will usually get to you within two days of shipping (yet another bonus, it’s Priority Mail!).
For you gals that love shoes, the last time I stopped in Vegas, I had a field day shopping the sales! I bought six pair, threw the boxes away, wrapped them in tissue, and fit at least four pair in one large Flat Rate Box.
On the day before my trip ends, I pre-pack everything I will need for the next day, and set aside whatever I don’t need that can be shipped. (If it’s work stuff that I picked up on the trip, I ship it my job, alleviating the need of dragging it from my house to work). I pack it up, and drop it at the Post Office. I even ship my toiletries (lotions, hair gel, etc.,) I may not need, or want to carry on the return back to myself also.
The best part is, sometimes it feels like an extension of my vacation when I get that box!