Are you like me and have to constantly knock things out of your Wife’s hands as she tries to buy anything and everything she sees? You find yourself in Hoi An trying to talk your wife out of buying leather oxford shoes just because she can? You end up having to remind her that living out of two backpacks doesn’t allow for non-essential items due to the lack of storage space. Then she hits back with “Fine, we’ll just have to ship it back home.” That leaves you standing there looking like a dumbass because you forgot that was even an option. Go to the next scene where you’re standing inside the International Post Office in Hanoi with a backpack full of goodies that you and your now stoked wife stockpiled through your travels.
So here I am about to walk you through my experience shipping things back home from Vietnam.
At our hotel in Hanoi, Lisa and I emptied out one of our backpacks and filled it to the brim with everything we wished to part from. Extra clothes we realized we didn’t need, two of Lisa’s hats (the rice picking hat and the army helmet), packs of Vietnamese coffee, a hammock that we never used, and random little trinkets. With the backpack loaded, we made our way to the International Post Office to ship the heavy bastard to Lisa’s mom’s house in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
At the International Post Office we were asked to fill out a form indicating what we were shipping, how many items, and where we were shipping the package. We were also given the option of shipping the package by air or by sea. Shipping by air was more expensive, but was much faster than shipping by sea. Because we were shipping to Thailand, air shipping wasn’t that much more than shipping by sea (normally the price gap is much larger).
Lisa handed the completed form to the clerk at the counter which she then input into the computer system. After printing out the correct postage, the clerk brought us a large cardboard box in which to put our stuff in for shipping. Lisa took charge of placing everything in the box neatly ( I swear she is the queen of Tetris-ing things) while I handed her stuff. The post office clerk supplied us with tape in which Lisa graciously accepted and began taping the box up like the Ark of the Covenant going to Area 51. Needless to say, Lisa made sure that box wasn’t going to open no matter what.
Box sealed shut, I brought it over to the scale to have it weighed. The overall price of shipping depended on the actual weight of the entire box. All in all the priced turned out to be 1,300,000d ($57.30 USD) to ship the package by air to Chiang Mai, Thailand. We were told that our package would take three weeks to ship from Hanoi, Vietnam to Chiang Mai, Thailand.
It was as simple as that. Now we know there’s an easy way to get rid of excess luggage and continue to travel lightly. We were able to dump a 45 liter backpack worth of things into a box to ship back home. That’s a whole backpack we don’t need to lug around any more! It may cost a bit more, but hey it’s worth it.