The most sensible approach is that you discourage people to give you gifts on the day! However, you can’t always predict the kind thoughts of a well-meaning relative!
'We had some really nice things on our wedding list and had given our guests the option to buy from sites in China. Many of the items, like linens and towels were cheaper anyway and the companies delivered to Hong Kong very cheaply. Unfortunately, we didn’t reckon on so many presents on the day. Even my in-laws bought us a beautiful set of lamps, each weighing upwards of 25kg. There was no way we were getting all these gifts in our suitcase'.
Unfortunately, the well intentioned gift from family and friends can very soon start to cost you money.
'We really didn’t want to be rude and have to send the gifts back – actually some of the items were beautiful, in particular the lamps. But we just didn’t see how (with a weight limit of 50Kg between us) we were going to get the stuff home'.
How do you cost effectively fly your gifts back home?
'As it turned out there was no realistic and cost effective way to do this with the airline. All the surplus baggage and airline baggage rates were extortionate. We checked out a comparison site to see if it was feasible for a visitor to fly out with the presents on another airline at a later date - to be honest though, every airline charges hugely for this service. We then started to check out other options and stumbled across the excess baggage option'.
In fact using a specific excess baggage service is a really good idea. Many international courier services also offer this as an option. It is specifically designed for students with too many items for one suitcase but not enough for a shipment or for the business traveler who may need more than one suitcase for a medium term assignment. It also works brilliantly for all those surplus wedding and Christmas presents or that excess of clothing after a shopping trip to New York.
Most excess baggage companies have an on line booking process. You need to add the pick up location and time (or you can drop the bag off), final destination, weight and contents of the bag. Depending on the destination you may also have to fill in basic customs information. The bag or suitcase is then collected (or you can drop it off) in a similar way to a courier service and delivered back to you at a specified address. The whole process is not as quick as an overnight courier and you must be the sender and the receiver, but you can still receive your extra bag or suitcase (s) within 5 – 10 days or quicker for an express service. It certainly helped our newlyweds the Shellys.
'It was perfect for us as we needed to fly our stuff home at the beginning of the year and managed to secure ourselves a great deal with one of the companies. Fortunately, we also didn’t need to buy any additional suitcases as one of our presents (thank you Sarah Barry!) was a nice new set of luggage'.
So before you return your gifts and alienate your friends and relatives, have a look at all the options. There is usually an affordable solution to most excess baggage difficulties.