It’s the most wonderful time of the year…
Actually, it’s the busiest time of the year. Even mail companies have their busiest shipping days in the month of December. So if you’re planning to mail holiday packages this year, you need to start planning now.
We’ve put together a quick guide on how to ship your packages and choose the best and fastest delivery options.
So let’s get started!
How to Package Your Holiday Gifts This Year
Shipping holiday gifts this season all starts with proper packaging. Don’t ignore this step. Otherwise, your gifts might not make it to their final destinations in one piece.
But packaging isn’t always the “easy part.”
Some items need more than a cardboard box and a few packing peanuts. Here’s a quick look at a few things that need special attention when it comes to packaging.
Glass is fragile, so you need to make the package as secure as possible.
The best way to do that is to use two boxes.
One of these boxes should be big enough to fit your glass items. The second box should be a few inches wider, longer, and deeper.
Start by putting a layer of packing peanuts in the bottom of the bigger box. Then place the smaller box on top and fill the extra space with more packing peanuts. Spread another layer of packing peanuts in the smaller box.
Wrap your glass item in at least three layers of bubble wrap. If the glass item as any empty space, such as the inside of a vase, fill it with bubble wrap, too. Then put the item inside the smaller box and surround it in packing peanuts.
Tape the smaller box closed and put as many packing peanuts on top as you can. Then close and seal the larger box.
Thin or brittle foods can fall apart during the shipping process, so for best results, stick with cookies or cakes that are nice and firm.
Place your baked goods inside an airtight plastic container. If you are sending cookies, wrap each one in wax paper to keep them from sticking together.
Once your plastic container is closed and sealed, put it inside a cardboard box. Make sure there is a layer of packing material, such as bubble wrap or packing peanuts, on every side of the container.
If you don’t keep meat at the right temperature, it can become a breeding ground for dangerous bacteria, such as Salmonella and E. coli. Because of this, you’ll need a lot more than a cardboard box when you send it through the mail.
In fact, you’ll need more than a few frozen gel-packs, too. The best way to ensure meat stays frozen in the mail is with dry ice.
But this is considered a “hazardous material,” so you’ll need the proper labels. You can learn more about the right way to ship meat in this guide.
Oversized, Bulky Items
Want to ship a large item, such as a snowboard or a guitar?
You should start by talking to your shipping company. They might have custom boxes that can fit these items.
If they don’t have any boxes big enough for your items, ask them about other packaging methods. They’ll let you know the best option for your item.
Understanding Your Shipping Needs
You can find shipping options that take less than a day to deliver. But that doesn’t mean you should spend the extra cash to get this speed.
For example, while the glass is fragile, it’s not going to go bad. Spending an extra day in the mail might be worth the money you’ll save.
Think about what you’re shipping before you pick your delivery method.
The Fastest and Most Reliable Shipping Options
What’s the difference between different shipping methods? We’ve broken it down below.
Here’s what you need to know.
Standard shipping can take anywhere between three to five business days. But this all depends on how far you’re shipping your holiday packages. It can take even longer.
Expedited shipping is faster than standard shipping.
However, that doesn’t mean your package will be delivered in less than three days. It simply means the package will get there somewhat faster than normal. It can still take four (or more) days to ship.
Express shipping is faster than expedited shipping. This shipping method won’t take more than two days in most cases. Your package might even reach its final destination the next day.
This shipping method is as fast as it sounds.
If you choose overnight shipping, your package will arrive on your loved one’s doorstep the next day. This is a good choice if you got caught up in the business of the season and you’re running out of time to send your gifts.
You might be able to choose a same-day shipping option. But keep in mind, this option will be much more expensive than any other method on this list.
It also comes down to where you live and where you’re shipping. If you’re sending packages across the country, you might not be able to use same-day shipping.
How to Ship Your Holiday Packages This Season
Before you can decide how to ship your holiday packages this year, you need to understand the fastest delivery options. If you stick with the methods on this list, your packages should make it to your loved ones in time for Christmas morning.
Want some other holiday planning tips?
Make sure you check out more of our blog posts!