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Mail Clothes/Laundry to/from Europe/USA

Mail Clothes/Laundry to/from Europe/USA

Old Oct 17, 12, 12:47 pm
  #1  
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Mail Clothes/Laundry to/from Europe/USA

Finally getting a chance to use points next spring for a European vacation (Paris and various parts of Italy).

I'm curious if anyone has experiences with pre-mailing clothes to Paris, Venice, Florence, and Rome and sending laundry back to avoid lugging 4 people's clothes for 1 month trip from City to City....and spending valuable time doing laundry or paying hotel prices.

Have you ever heard of anyone doing this or will the European consierge look at me like I have 3 heads when I try to get assistance? I'm Platinum Premier Elite status.

Thanks!
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Old Oct 17, 12, 1:46 pm
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Originally Posted by Louisvillejoe View Post
Finally getting a chance to use points next spring for a European vacation (Paris and various parts of Italy).

I'm curious if anyone has experiences with pre-mailing clothes to Paris, Venice, Florence, and Rome and sending laundry back to avoid lugging 4 people's clothes for 1 month trip from City to City....and spending valuable time doing laundry or paying hotel prices.

Have you ever heard of anyone doing this or will the European concierge look at me like I have 3 heads when I try to get assistance? I'm Platinum Premier Elite status.

Thanks!
No worries, but shipping will be somewhat expensive, as you can imagine. But I can see, if you mail a 10-lb box to each hotel, how this could save you money. I would, however, not mail it back out from EU-US - that can get really prohibitive.
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Old Oct 17, 12, 7:00 pm
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We left a very light sweater in our room at the Rive Gauche in Paris in September. The hotel was very nice about locating it and returning it via the French postal system. The cost to us was E 28. When it comes to going out of pocket, it is unlikely that a hotel will absorb the cost regardless of status. I have had a few things returned to me gratis over the years, but it was always within the US and something that could be sent via the USPS.
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Old Oct 18, 12, 11:23 am
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Originally Posted by Louisvillejoe View Post
Finally getting a chance to use points next spring for a European vacation (Paris and various parts of Italy).

I'm curious if anyone has experiences with pre-mailing clothes to Paris, Venice, Florence, and Rome and sending laundry back to avoid lugging 4 people's clothes for 1 month trip from City to City....and spending valuable time doing laundry or paying hotel prices.

Have you ever heard of anyone doing this or will the European consierge look at me like I have 3 heads when I try to get assistance? I'm Platinum Premier Elite status.

Thanks!

Now the most fun solution would be to fly over in a suit and buy fresh clothes as you go along.

However, practically speaking, what you've suggested makes good sense and is relatively common. All you're doing is having a hotel receive and hold a package on your behalf. I just wouldn't ship valuable clothing without insurance on the box.
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Old Oct 18, 12, 11:48 am
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might be a good time to clean out the clothes that you don't wear/like or kids are out growing...

i usually leave items on board at the end of a cruise...
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Old Oct 18, 12, 11:53 am
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You can ship stuff, nobody will care, just get a box someplace, fill it up and drop it off to be shipped.

It won't be cheap.
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Old Oct 18, 12, 12:32 pm
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Speaking as somebody who frequently ships to overseas from the USA, I absolutely agree with what others have said: it will usually be quite costly (e.g., $50-$60 or more for a flat rate priority mail box, and that's only getting it over there).

Why not simply pack fewer items (essentials only) and do laundry during the trip? There are plenty of excellent tips for light packing all over this site, and a Google search will reveal many more tips elsewhere. It's only a month, so unless your family has unusual needs, you really should be able to get by with washing things out in the sink and doing "real" laundry only once or twice.

Even if you were to pay for hotel laundry service (rather than doing your own at a public laundry), you almost certainly wouldn't spend more than what you'd have spent in shipping costs.

Don't ignore that suggestion of bringing as many near-retirement items as possible to simply leave behind as you go. Not only is it efficient, but it's very liberating to lighten up as you go!

Pack those items in lightweight duffles that can be stashed in your regular suitcase when empty, or used to bring back dirty laundry, souvenirs, etc.

Have a great time!
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Old Oct 18, 12, 12:50 pm
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On a long trip What I do is to bring old clothes , underwear and shoes that I planed to get rid of , and just throw them after I use them. This free suitcase space to buy some new stuff
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Old Oct 18, 12, 6:06 pm
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Take fewer clothes and do laundry along the way - most hotels will do laundry and if all else fails spend a couple of hours in a laundry while you plan your net couple of days.


BTW for those who take old clothes and just leave them behind - really think about the location especially if visiting small islands where garbage disposal can an issue (i.e. it just collects on the island). Personally, my philosophy is pack it in and pack it out.
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Old Oct 18, 12, 6:19 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyingUnderTheRadar View Post
BTW for those who take old clothes and just leave them behind - really think about the location especially if visiting small islands where garbage disposal can an issue (i.e. it just collects on the island). Personally, my philosophy is pack it in and pack it out.
I use the throw-away technique often, however, all my trips are to urban areas - I agree that remote areas might need a different apporach.

One thing if disposing of a number of things is to put them in a bag or some other container, rather than just leaving loose clothing around. I write the local word for "trash" on a notepad and put it on the top, just to be sure that the housekeeping staff understands that these were not things mistakenly left behind.
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Old Oct 18, 12, 9:57 pm
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Originally Posted by Louisvillejoe View Post
Finally getting a chance to use points next spring for a European vacation (Paris and various parts of Italy).

I'm curious if anyone has experiences with pre-mailing clothes to Paris, Venice, Florence, and Rome and sending laundry back to avoid lugging 4 people's clothes for 1 month trip from City to City....and spending valuable time doing laundry or paying hotel prices.

Have you ever heard of anyone doing this or will the European consierge look at me like I have 3 heads when I try to get assistance? I'm Platinum Premier Elite status.

Thanks!
+1 for the doing laundry there.

On a month-long trip you're going to eventually need some down time. I've done laundry all over Europe and had some very interesting conversations with locals that I would not have ordinarily met otherwise.

Bring simple fabrics, especially things that don't require much ironing and you won't even notice the time it takes.
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Old Oct 18, 12, 10:07 pm
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Originally Posted by SCEflyer View Post
We left a very light sweater in our room at the Rive Gauche in Paris in September. The hotel was very nice about locating it and returning it via the French postal system. The cost to us was E 28.
Clothes in France are very expensive so they probably thought it was worth it for you to pay for the postage.
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Old Oct 19, 12, 11:50 am
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The US actually has funky laws about sending clothes to the US. It is years since it happened, so I can't recall the exact way around it was, but I think it was basically, if the clothes do not have a 'made in US / Canada / Mexico' label, despite the fact they are your clothes, and worn, you may well be dinged for duty on them.

We had a contractor from the US in Canada, and he returned to the US one weekend, had a family tragedy, and was not going to return anytime soon. As was the then custom for these guys, he left a bag of essentials including clothing, at the office so he didn't have to schelp everything (he took dirty laundry, but left anything clean or dry cleanable (and did it locally to the project). We had to ship it back to him, and the shipping guys told us about this rule and we weeded out everything non North American, and had another contractor take it across the border and ship it USPS instead! We were going to have him take the lot, but it would have exceeded his carry on limits (there was a lot of dry cleaning!)
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Old Oct 19, 12, 2:03 pm
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I agree with the comment " pack it in, and pack it out."

Laundry skills:
Since most travellers to Paris, Venezia, and Firenze stay at hotels, what is the problem with allowing the hotel to launder your clothes, or taking the time to do your own laundry ? Is it the fact that your Mother is not here ? Are you truly that busy all day ? Our Persil soap is just as good, if not better than your famous Tide.

It is not necessary to pack and bring two weeks of clothes and jackets (Winter has arrived here now) without ever doing any laundry. Pack lighter, and consider your laundry an positive effort and component of your own personal hygiene. We do notice and it is appreciated.

At the price of € 35-40. or CHF per 5 kg. box to ship your unclean items homes, have your hotel get you clothing cleaned for one-fourth the price, or do it yourself for next to nothing.
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