Holiday Blog

Tips and advice for packing, shipping and more during the holiday season.

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Holiday Packing Tips

holiday shipping tips

Are you planning to ship your holiday gifts? Here are some helpful tips from our packing pros:

Don’t reuse old boxes when packaging your items. Always use a new, corrugated box as old ones may weaken and break apart during the shipping process.

Do use a new, clearly visible label (with the complete address for both the sender and receiver) to help get your item where you want it to go.

Don’t wrap or seal your boxes with string. String can get caught during the process and damage your box.

Don’t wrap boxes in gift or kraft paper. Gift or kraft paper will tear easily and may cause your labeling to be lost, thus leaving your package without delivery instructions.

Do use proper packaging material. Wrapping delicate items in newspaper or tissue paper will not protect your cargo because it doesn’t have “memory,” which means it doesn’t bounce back upon impact. Pack your box with Styrofoam or packaging peanuts, which are specially designed to protect your precious items from the rigors of shipping. Cushion all sides of the package with a minimum of two inches of packaging material. The more delicate your cargo, the more padding you may require

Don’t use masking or cellophane tape to seal your box. Secure each seam of your box with three inch packing tape on both the top and bottom, in addition to reinforcing the sides of the box.

Do treat gift cards like cash. Don’t send them by regular mail and risk loss. Look for a shipment protection plan, like The UPS Store’s Pack & Ship Guarantee, to protect your gift cards from loss in transit. Have the shipment protected for the face value of the cards (up to $500), along with the cost of shipping.

Do make sure all food items are sealed in an airtight container or plastic bag before putting them into a gift box and shipping box. If air pockets are in these containers, items could vibrate, break and/or crumble.

Don’t rely on the original packaging to ship electronics. Electronic equipment should be double boxed. Ship in its original packaging, add cushioning materials such as packaging peanuts, and then place inside another larger box.  The original packaging isn’t enough protection for the item because these boxes are meant to be on shelves, not sent through conveyor systems. Get more shipping tips here.

Do remove the batteries inside your items and package them separately and carefully. They generate a lot of heat inside an item and can cause a fire if jostled a lot.

Do consider the shipping restrictions of your destination country. For example, fragrances make lovely gifts but some countries will not accept them because they contain alcohol, which is flammable. Meanwhile, a Canadian-inspired wreath with dried pine cones may look beautiful but any relatives in Australia would not be able to receive it since pine cones are on the list of prohibited items for that country. When in doubt, ask the experts at The UPS Store.

Do consider professional help to package and ship your gifts and goodies for your out-of-town family and friends. The certified packing experts at The UPS Store will ensure that when your recipients open the gift that you selected with love and we packed with care, the thoughtfulness will shine through.

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