Best method to send 15kg of personal items to Europe?

My daughter will be studying in the Netherlands for 6 months, she is backpacking around for 3 months prior so doesn’t want to carry her laptop and winter clothing with her.

Anyone had experience with Australia post vs other couriers to get approx 15kg of personal items including an expensive item ($2000 MacBook) to Europe?

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Pay the airline for the extra baggage your daughter is taking with her. Your daughter can then use a locker service to store what she doesn’t want to carry around with her. It will be far cheaper than postage or courier services.

Winter clothing can be purchased over in Europe if your daughter doesn’t want to take it with her, I don’t think it will be cheaper to buy than it would be to take and store though.

Rough cost for 15 kg by Auspost is $200, DHL would be about $600 to $700 and others like TNT around similar to DHL (based on my sending a similar amount to Dresden in Germany this year), we went with Auspost. On top of that will be insurance which for at least $2,000 can be quite expensive as well regardless of who is used to transport the items. As an example Auspost for $2,000 would cost $76.00 (you should take out insurance).

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Valuables such as laptops etc tend to go missing in transit if not in your possession. The checked luggage can be very roughly handled, and can sometimes go missing for days or forever. Best to carry on board, from my experience.

Excess luggage would also be my preference, although there are reliable freight companies. You should be able to obtain quotes from several for comparison. They will offer insurance options, important if you ask about the MacBook. But insurance will not replace the loss of the contents on the device, or risk of loss through a hack?

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Thanks for your speedy response and advice… As she is backpacking around Europe for 3 months finding a suitable locker service in numerous destinations is not going to work for her. She really doesn’t want to carry around and worrying about her laptop and various other expensive items until she gets to her final destination in the Netherlands. Will definitely need to take out insurance and yes while expensive she is leaning towards AusPost. Thank you again for your response.

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No need to keep finding locker services, if possible find one in the city that the study will occur in and leave it there until the trekking is over. As an example BOXIE24 Self Storage | Storage Units with Free Pick-up | Boxie24

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Thank you so much for this research but she doesn’t start in Amsterdam. She is actually flying into Istanbul, then zigzagging across Europe, travelling very lightly with an iPhone and little else! She will be getting to Netherlands just as the wether cools down to start one semester studying.

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There are a number of shippers such as these examples.

Never having used one I cannot attest to one being better or more reliable than another. Online reviews from ‘review sites’ suggest they are generally reputable and reliable services.

The costs look between Auspost and the couriers. Avoid Auspost sea mail as there is no service level appropriate to your posted circumstances.

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Then Auspost will be your cheapest option, your daughter may have some delay in getting the items as Express is 6-10 days ($220 + insurance), standard 10-15 days ($200 + insurance), Courier is 2-3 days but is nearly $280 + insurance. Insurance whichever way with Auspost for $2,000 is $76 and for $3,000 is $116.

Prices are based on 15 kg, if heavier postage will be higher and a hard limit of 20 kg applies. Box size may also affect price.

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Thanks everyone- love the choice forum. She is leaving in a few weeks I’ll let you know what she decides and how it all pans out.

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Does she have any trustworthy friends in Amsterdam - or can her education institution accept a parcel delivery for her? It might be best getting them delivered to one of these before she arrives rather than trying to time delivery of the items in the window of time just after her arrival in Amsterdam. International parcel delivery can be delayed for unexpected reasons (Covid is a good example). This will ensure the items are there for use on her arrival.

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A PS, when one needs their goods in a timely manner, or needs service if they go astray postal services are not as crisp as using an end-to-end commercial service. When a parcel does not get timely delivered the recipient has to have the sender lodge a trace with Auspost who then follows it up with PostNL and potentially postal service(s) in between.

Auspost tracking can be hit and miss; I cannot comment on PostNL. If an insurance claim need be made it could be months for a lost item to be accepted as having been lost and they accept a claim. If not for the Mac’s potential use for studies, if one can replace goods out of their accounts it would not be a worry. If the cost (value and utility) of a lost or delayed Mac would be a problem consider that as a small but real possibility.

Sometimes parcels have been known to be delayed (or go missing for a period) well beyond those service level times and the most they are liable for is usually the cost of postage.

It is risk management albeit mostly the Mac and how it will be needed for the studies. If the answer is ‘cost’ as compared to ‘critical and required’ the postal service would be the obvious choice.

If the Mac is getting shipped back up all important documents, an image file, and applications installation files on memory stick(s) and carry it on person just in case she encounters the worst and has to replace the Mac in the NL or its storage gets corrupted in transit so recovery is possible, if it is key to her studies while in the NL.

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That is a good point. If sending ahead of expected arrival make sure there is a specific person at the destination who knows about a box to be delivered and will sign for it and look after it. Otherwise it could disappear into the undeliverable netherworld.

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I get palpitation when I’m waiting for some important local mail delivery by Auspost. Trusting a $2000 MacBook to them would drive me crazy, no matter how much expensive insurance I would get :laughing:

It is an individual choice, of course, but I would get a well backed-up Tablet to carry with me and to work on during the semester? Much lighter, less bulky, less attractive to be stolen… and most tablets are very capable nowadays.

Also, there are Internet Cafes everywhere in Europe if more complicated computing is needed.

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Unfortunately she doesn’t know anyone there, of course everything will be backed up etc.

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I tend to agree with you but she really doesn’t want to carry anything around during the 3 months backpacking and to quote her ‘it won’t be the worst thing in the world if it gets lost…”. :woman_shrugging:t2:

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Good advice.

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From my personal experience, do not take Australian winter clothing to Europe. Shoes are not water proof here nor warm and solid enough. There are lots of cheap stores like C&A to buy better quality clothes and shoes in Europe. Plus her friends will be envious at the nicer up to date fashions.
Laptop put in cabin carry on.
Lockers are available but i am not too sure how secure they are. Perhaps find an on line chat or google for information.

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This is what my son’s gf did (before they became a couple) He was going backpacking around eastern Europe, she needed her laptop for work in the UK. They’d originally met as backpackers so thats how they knew each other. Her parents sent the laptop to us (from northern nsw to southern qld) and he took it with him. His first stop was UK where he stayed a few weeks and delivered the laptop and he went on to his Europe trip. Thankfully he arrived back in Australia about 3 months before the covid lockdowns started.

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Yes, that would work if she knew someone travelling to the Netherlands in September and prepared to carry and meet up to deliver the laptop to her but she doesn’t. (Though it’s probably not a good idea to carry anything that ‘you didn’t pack yourself’ across borders). Still thinking that Aus Post is her best option.

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Hi, in case your interested, she went with Australia post. The box weighed 15 kg including the laptop, hike boots, sleeping bag, running shoes and some other lower value clothing/items. Total postage cost was $289 that included $2000 of insurance ( for the laptop). It took 26 days from Melbourne to The Hague in the Netherlands, she wasn’t at home when it was delivered and received an email to pick up from the local PO. The box was slightly damaged - I would use a sturdier box if I did it again - but no damage the goods. She’s happy and so I would recommend.

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