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Mailing souvenirs back to US


Friends no Strangers
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2016 PRIMITIVO 2022 LE PUY 2023
Does anyone have knowledge of how to ship back souvenirs such as a pocket knife or corkscrew to the US from France?
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Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Although I never check my backpack when traveling to the Camino, I almost always check it coming home. The last time we checked our knives and poles in a separate equipment bag, it didn’t arrive in SdC when we did. As we were immediately leaving for Ferrol, that was a minor problem, but one that was easily addressed at an outfitters shop. At least we had our packs! I now buy a knife and poles in France or Spain upon arrival. As I am less concerned about my pack arriving with me on the same plane returning home, I check it so that it carries knives, corkscrews, poles, etc. I also carefully pack a bottle or two of my favorite vermouth from Madrid. Although my pack upon return has been delayed or misplaced, it has never been lost and usually shows up at my house within a day or two. So, rather than mail things home, check your pack with the airline with the items that you can’t bring in the cabin.

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
Yes, my husband took his items to Correos in Santiago and mailed them home. He was going to Spanish school there and bought things we asked for at home (such as Santiago metal crosses for cakes) to be mailed home. The clerk took plenty of time with him and it was not terribly expensive as I recall. Unsure about France. Fill out the customs form and if it is under a certain price, no problem.


Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2021, Norte/Primitivo 2022, VF 2023
Well, you could always check your luggage with items like what you listed. That is the safest way to ensure your items make it home. But as far as shipping - I have shipped items home to the US from all over Europe, including in France and in Spain. Usually it is pretty simple - go to the local post office. They usually will sell you boxes which you can throw your belongings in at the post office. Most boxes I have bought at post offices in Europe are self sealing, but when they aren't they will usually let you use some tape. They will have you fill out the mailing label which usually asks what is in the box and the approximate value. Pay - and they will ship it. I usually end up paying around 30 Euros to ship the box. The one thing I do suggest is to ask for tracking. The one time I didn't - my box never made it home. Luckily in that box there were no souvenirs, but less fortunately - it contained my less expensive down sleeping bag and an expensive down puffy jacket among other items. Thankfully it is the ONLY time my package didn't make it home.


Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2021, Norte/Primitivo 2022, VF 2023
Although I never check my backpack when traveling to the Camino, I almost always check it coming home.
I usually do the Same! Also - if you packed light - you can usually bring your backpack and a personal item as carry on - assuming your souvenirs aren't against TSA regulations as Carry on - so I do that too if I don't have items that need to be in the luggage hold below the plane. My backpack can usually hold quite a few souvenirs once I no longer need to carry water/snacks
John Brierley 2023 Camino Guide
Get your today and start planning.


Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Mailing most anything from Europe to the US or another continent will certainly cost more than the value of the item. My suggestion, based on experience, is to ship souvenirs ahead to Ivar at Santiago, for collection when you arrive.

Then, either check your rucksack on the flight home, OR purchase an inexpensive piece of luggage at one of the many Oriental / China shops in Santiago. Check that bag, then donate it on the home end. The folks at the Pilgrim House can help you locate a nearby Oriental / China strore.

Hope this helps.

Time of past OR future Camino
September 2022 CF
Because we were travelling in Europe for 2 weeks after our walk, we shipped a box home from the Correos in Santiago. Mostly hiking stuff we would not need, including poles, warm weather hiking clothes (this was early November), knife, etc...

It was not cheap, but it was nice to send home stuff we did not need.

We found some "consignment" shops in Santiago and bought some warmer, casual clothes for the rest of our trip, which we now had room for in our packs.

The Correos estimate for our package arrival was 2 months, but it was delivered in just 3 weeks. We just barely beat it home.

But, if we did not have other travel planned, I would have packed poles in the pack and checked it on the return flight.



Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2013, 2016
Does anyone have knowledge of how to ship back souvenirs such as a pocket knife or corkscrew to the US from France?
We mailed a box of stuff from Santiago but it took probably 3 months to recieve it. Not sure about France. Just be aware.


Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015, St. Jean Pied de Port to Burgos
2016, Burgos to Ponferrada
2017, Ponferrada to Atlantic Ocean
In 2015, I successfully mailed a small Opinel pocketknife from the Correos office in the Madrid airport. It arrived in my home mailbox about a week later. I think the shipment cost about 5 Euro postage.

I tried to do the same thing in 2016, but the airport Correos office would not accept the Opinel pocketknife. I tried a couple other shipping companies such as FedEx and DHL in Madrid but they also refused shipping the Opinel knife. I left the knife behind at the hotel in Madrid, since I did not want to check a bag.

There was limited use of English at the shipment offices, combined with my limited Spanish, so I never understood the reason for the refusal.

Does anyone know the rule? Could it be the locking blade feature of the Opinal knife that makes it illegal in some countries? There are plenty of Opinel knives available on Amazon.

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