Filipinos who travel overseas or move overseas often send care packages full of trinkets and collectibles from the trip to relatives and friends in the Philippines. These care packages are called balikbayan boxes. Balik means "come back" and tayan "town." A balikbayan is someone who just came back to town. Sometimes these travelers carry back care packages from other Filipinos abroad, but often the balikbayan boxes are shipped using a cargo carrier.
Pick a traditional size for a box -- either 20 inches by 20 inches by 20 inches; 7 inches by 20 inches by 23 inches; or 24 inches by 24 inches by 24 inches. Purchase a box that size from a shipping supplies store or find a used box that size at a retailer. If you can't find a box that size, any sturdy box will suffice. Some carriers provide the box.
Pack items from the country you're visiting in the box. Items that remind you of the people back home or trinkets from your trip are good to pack as care packages. Wrap anything fragile in bubble wrap.
Make a list of everything in the box for insurance purposes in case the box is lost or stolen.
Tape the top of the box with packaging tape. Write your address and the receiver's address on the top of the box in clear, large printed font.
Take the box to the shipper of your choice. Because the boxes are awkwardly shaped, shipping by sea is cheaper. The United States Postal Service, UPS and FedEx all ship to the Philippines. Shipping via the postal service takes much longer, but using a private carrier is more expensive. Prices range from a few dollars a pound to $50 a pound.
Items you will need
- Bubble wrap
- Packaging tape
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