What are some tips OFWs can make use when it comes to packing and sending their balikbayan boxes home?
- Make a checklist and send a copy to your family
- Carefully pack fragile things
- Use the right box
- Label your balikbayan box correctly and thoroughly
- Choose a trusted courier to deliver your balikbayan box
The holidays are a busy time for most Filipinos abroad, especially for OFWs who’ve just moved there after landing a job abroad--- many of which found theirs through conducting overseas job search in the Philippines. Most likely, they are preparing to go home or preparing to send some gifts to their loved ones back in the Philippines.
Those who are going to send some gifts to their relatives back at home will use balikbayan boxes to deliver them to their doorstep. This practice has become a tradition to some; they send these boxes during special occasions or they send them in advance so they don’t have to carry much in the luggage if they decide they are flying home.
However, packing a balikbayan box is not that easy. In fact, it is a learned skill among those who live overseas. But if you are not confident with your ability to pack a balikbayan box, there’s no need to worry because listed below are some tips that you can follow.
1. Make a checklist and send a copy to your familyBefore you start packing things, you first must have a game plan. Know exactly the items that you are going to send out. If possible, write them all down. This should help you keep track of the items in there. Once you’re done, send a copy to your family at home.
Before you send the box, you may also check and discuss the items that are inside with your family. The checklist you sent them should be helpful in also double checking the things included in the box. If there are any missing or broken items, they could immediately report them.
2. Carefully pack fragile thingsHowever, if it is inevitable for you to send fragile objects, make sure to cover them in bubble wrap or other packing material. To save space, you can wrap breakable items with the t-shirts and towels you’re sending. Doing so will save you a lot of worry and headache.
As an added tip, it is not a good idea to put bulky items (i.e. appliances and furniture) in a balikbayan box because they would take up most of the space.
3. Use the right boxBe sure to find the right size of balikbayan box. Keep in mind that if the box is bigger than you need, you’ll probably end up paying more just to send it. On the other hand, if a box is too small, the items you’ll send won’t fit.
For your reference, here are 4 different balikbayan boxes accepted by various cargo companies:
- • Mini box: 1 cu/ft. or 12x12x12 inches.
- • Medium box: 3.0 cu/ft. or 18x18x16 inches
- • Large box: 4.5 cu/ft. or 18x18x24 inches
- • Extra-large or Jumbo box – 6.0 cu/ft. or 24x18x24 inches
4. Label your balikbayan box correctly and thoroughlyEnsure the correct full name of the recipient and the correct delivery address are written on the sides of the box. Provide contact details in case local couriers in the Philippines cannot find it.
5. Choose a trusted courier to deliver your balikbayan boxThere are many couriers that will offer to deliver your balikbayan box to your family. However, not all of them have a good reputation. In fact, you may have read some of them on news sites, often stating that they did not maintain their promise of delivering your package properly.
This is why you should choose well and do your research online. For sure, there will be useful information that will clue you on which couriers are trusted by your fellow OFWs.
Key TakeawayFilipinos, who live overseas, and OFWs, who found work through an online job search in the Philippines, often find themselves busy during the holidays. Some of them may be gearing to fly home to be with their family while others are content to send a package through a balikbayan box.
The tips and tricks listed above should help out those who are planning on sending a balikbayan box to their loved ones at home!