With Christmas officially just a few months away, most overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are probably preparing (or at least planning) the balikbayan box they will send their loved ones for the holiday season. Besides, Christmas is a time of giving and so we want to shower our families and friends with gifts to remind them of how special they are to us.
There are, however, several reminders you should keep in mind as you stuff a box with goodies and surprises.
Send it early.
The first rule for sending Christmas packages back home, of course, is to send it early. Do not wait until the busy month of December before sending the shipment because you will likely experience delays. As much as possible, send them at the earliest possible time.
Do some research.
Before you send it, however, make sure that you have already done your homework. The forwarder you pick should be reliable. Accredited ones should be preferred plus you might want to check out online feedback from other customers so you will know which ones are more dependable in terms of service provided.
Make a list.
Make a list of all the items that your balikbayan box contains. Keep a copy and then send the other one to your family just for the purpose of checking if all items were received. Also, having a list allows you to ensure that no family member has been left out or forgotten.
Observe the rules.
Some of your loved ones may have specifically requested some gifts but take note that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) prohibits certain objects in balikbayan boxes such as currencies, checks, money orders and traveler’s checks, jewelries, firearms, ammunition and explosives, prohibited drugs and other substances, pornographic materials, gambling cards and toy guns, pirated products (DVDs, CDs, tapes), and others.
Check the items.
When sending canned goods, for instance, take the time to check the expiry date to ensure that it will be safe for your family to eat once they receive it.
Fragile objects, on the other hand, should be well-protected. Wrap them in newspaper or bubble wrap to prevent breaking.
Secure the box.
Last but not the least, use a lot of tape so you can really secure your package. Seal not just the top of the box but even the sides.
With these pointers, you are now be finally ready to send that balikbayan box back home!