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Shipping stuff back to the US

DurhamParish

Un Cerveza, Por Favor
Year of past OR future Camino
Caminho Portuguese 2012 & 2018
Camino Frances 2014, 2015, 2015, 2017, 2018
In June my nephew and I will be walking from Leon to Santiago. After that, we will then be touring around Europe for another couple of weeks. We will be bringing some items appropriate for the Camino and some other items more appropriate for backpacking around Europe. We will mail the items not necessary for the Camino to Ivar once we arrive in Spain. (Thanks Ivar).

Now, my question is, once we reach Santiago and collect the items appropriate for backpacking around Europe, how can we ship the "Camino" items back to the US?
 
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Bajaracer

Camino Frances 2013 Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2013) Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Just box it up and check it in for your flight back, you're allowed one check in of 22kg/50lbs with your ticket, if it's a second check in, it will still be cheaper than shipping it over and you won't have to deal with customs fees and other headaches.
 

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
The Spanish post office is very reliable, and you get a tracking number that you can use to follow the parcel on its way.

But, be careful what you ship... I am helping one pilgrim now that shipped all her pilgrim things home to the USA from Santiago. Got on the plane and found that her parcel was stopped at the Spanish border, then retuned to the post office in Santiago. Why? "Suspicious content". It turns out that Spain is now scanning all parcels leaving Spain, and returns things to the sender (the post office) if anything suspicious is fund.

So what is not allowed to send? In the case of this pilgrim, I had to take out of her box her walking poles, her shampoos, cosmetic, a swiss army knife and a head lamp. I was told at the post office that anything with a battery is a problem. Also liquids and sharp objects. :rolleyes:

This pilgrims received her box (minus the stuff listed above) the other day, so this one was sorted out. But another pilgrim contacted me with a similar problem with a box sent from Logroño, and this is more complicated for me since it is a long way from Santiago to Logroño to go and get that box.

Anyway, short story... mailing it home is fine as long as you think twice what you put in the box.

Buen Camino!
Ivar
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I have mailed a lot of things within Spain without problem, but I hear at least a couple of stories a year from pilgrims who used Correos to mail a box home to the US or elsewhere and found that a lot of the stuff had disappeared in transit. Maybe spending the few extra euros for insurance would be worth it.
 

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
I have mailed a lot of things within Spain without problem, but I hear at least a couple of stories a year from pilgrims who used Correos to mail a box home to the US or elsewhere and found that a lot of the stuff had disappeared in transit. Maybe spending the few extra euros for insurance would be worth it.
Yes... and maybe not put your "compostela" in the box.

Just to clarify, this is not the fault of Correos. It is Spanish customs that refuses the parcel after a scan and order correos to send it back. Last year I have shipped out over 1000 mailings to all over the world using Correos (mostly the credentials) and have only lost a parcel twice (and I am convinced it was due to wrong address).

I talked to MailBoxes ETC. in Santiago yesterday (they ship stuff with FedEx and UPS) and they can send sharp objects and things with batteries (not liquids) to the USA. But, they would charge €69,- (!) to send a pair of poles and a head lamp.
 
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Bajaracer

Camino Frances 2013 Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2013) Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Ship the items you don't want to carry for the rest of your trip to the hotel you'll be staying on your last night before flying back and have them hold it for you.
 

DurhamParish

Un Cerveza, Por Favor
Year of past OR future Camino
Caminho Portuguese 2012 & 2018
Camino Frances 2014, 2015, 2015, 2017, 2018
Thanks everyone. That is all VERY helpful.

One other question for Ivar. When I mail these things to you for you to hold until I arrive in Santiago, where do I get a box to put them in? Will the Correo have them, or should I get one in a store somewhere first?

Thanks.
 

DurhamParish

Un Cerveza, Por Favor
Year of past OR future Camino
Caminho Portuguese 2012 & 2018
Camino Frances 2014, 2015, 2015, 2017, 2018
And one other question, totally unrelated to anything else in this thread. I have noticed in recent pictures that the towers at the front of Santiago Cathedral are cover for cleaning or refurbishment or something. When is that work scheduled to be done and the towers uncovered? I'll also be there in April with a slack-packing group and I would love for them to see the front of the cathedral in it's full glory.

Thanks.
 

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
Thanks everyone. That is all VERY helpful.

One other question for Ivar. When I mail these things to you for you to hold until I arrive in Santiago, where do I get a box to put them in? Will the Correo have them, or should I get one in a store somewhere first?

Thanks.
Correos sell them... 3-4 euros.
 

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
And one other question, totally unrelated to anything else in this thread. I have noticed in recent pictures that the towers at the front of Santiago Cathedral are cover for cleaning or refurbishment or something. When is that work scheduled to be done and the towers uncovered? I'll also be there in April with a slack-packing group and I would love for them to see the front of the cathedral in it's full glory.

Thanks.
I have a feeling that the restoration will take longer than that. You will probably see it covered as it is now. :-(
 
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DurhamParish

Un Cerveza, Por Favor
Year of past OR future Camino
Caminho Portuguese 2012 & 2018
Camino Frances 2014, 2015, 2015, 2017, 2018
Thank you Ivar. You are truly a God-Send for us pilgrims. I hope that you feel our appreciation for your efforts.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Yes... and maybe not put your "compostela" in the box.

Just to clarify, this is not the fault of Correos. It is Spanish customs that refuses the parcel after a scan and order correos to send it back. Last year I have shipped out over 1000 mailings to all over the world using Correos (mostly the credentials) and have only lost a parcel twice (and I am convinced it was due to wrong address).

I talked to MailBoxes ETC. in Santiago yesterday (they ship stuff with FedEx and UPS) and they can send sharp objects and things with batteries (not liquids) to the USA. But, they would charge €69,- (!) to send a pair of poles and a head lamp.

Ivar:

Would you add the UPS, FedEx shipping option to your list of "Ivar's Santiago Services?" I would recommend a cost example for for sending a parcel / box about 50 to 60 cm long by 30 cm wide by 30 cm high, weighing not more than, say 15 Kg.

If both shippers have a bracket or maximum size or weight in this range, perhaps you can use that as an example. Walking sticks can usually be taken apart or shortened to less than 50 or 60 cm. Heavy boots and other items will fit in this size box, as will all soft clothing.

As you know, the biggest problem, beyond restricted items is that the volumetric weight of the box may exceed the value of the items in the box. It is up to the sender to make that determination.

However, this is a valuable service for many people, especially if you are fronting it, or referring people to the nearest Mailboxes, etc. location. BTW, where IS the nearest location to your office.

Thanks for considering this.
 

nreyn12

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Walked (2005) (2007) (2008) (2009) (2010) (2011) (2012) (2013) (2014) (2015); Guide 2013-2016
Here is the whole story on how to send parcels using the Spanish Correos: http://thecaminoexperience.com/Correos-post-office-Camino-de-Santiago.php

If you send anything home from Europe, just be sure NOT to send anything you truly value or that can't be replaced. One of my pilgrims from September lost all of her Camino mementos (plus her hiking boots and a few other things), taken out of the box she got from the Correos office, somewhere between Santiago and home.
 

vgen5122

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (August 19-sept 30,2013) (8/2017)
In June my nephew and I will be walking from Leon to Santiago. After that, we will then be touring around Europe for another couple of weeks. We will be bringing some items appropriate for the Camino and some other items more appropriate for backpacking around Europe. We will mail the items not necessary for the Camino to Ivar once we arrive in Spain. (Thanks Ivar).

Now, my question is, once we reach Santiago and collect the items appropriate for backpacking around Europe, how can we ship the "Camino" items back to the US?

All i can tell you about is what happened to me. we had walked from SJPDP to Pamplona and decided that our backpacks were far too heavy for our journey. We decided to ship the items that we didn't really need home. For what it costs, you might as well have donated them to a local charity. For what it cost We could have brought everything new when we got home. Sending your items to Ivar is smart and that is what I would do. Shipping them home could prove costly.
 

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