Well, so far, they've been to Hong Kong and Beijing. LOL! (We're getting there, we're getting there. Momma just has to save up some more.)
Anyway, since we always fly budget nowadays (yes, yes, that's 5J for you folks, but can you beat P2,700 for 3pax, RT to Hong Kong? I didn't think so.), we've had to find ways around the baggage allowance. Lately, it's been easier, given that RL has to have his own seat now. That means, an extra 15kg! Yes!
But what I haven't mentioned on this post is this: I am the only adult when we travel. Well, most of the time. Yes, the only adult with 2 kids. It was harder last year, since you couldn't ask RL to hold on to anything. T'was easier this year, with A being a more responsible Ate. She helped me lug 9 bags to the bus stop. Yes, 9 bags. LOL! She had 3, I had the rest, plus pushed the stroller with RL on it.
But I digress from the main point of this post. See, we may have had a ton of bags with us, but they were either empty or light. Two were filled with junk food. One had an ergonomic pillow and 4 plush toys from Disneyland. Relatively light, albeit bulky. The heavy stuff went inside a box we had shipped to Manila on the last day we were in Hong Kong.
Shipped, you say? Yes! Hong Kong has a number of Philippine-based couriers that ship off balikbayan boxes to Manila. They cater to OFWs and regular Hong Kong travelers. My favorite company is called Worldwide Elite Express or Worldwide EEC. We first used WEEC in March 2009, when during a buying trip with my brothers and a friend, we had no choice but to ship off textile samples back to Manila. We had heard about balikbayan box shipping from a friend based in Hong Kong and ventured to Worldwide House in Central to check all those couriers out. The shipping companies are all on the 3rd floor of Worldwide House, right next to each other. I don't remember how we chose WEEC, they were the cheapest, I think.
Others had promos if you planned to ship a combo of boxes. Others had referral promos, tracking points, etc. WEEC just seemed okay, and came highly recommended by Filipinos around the area. That was the start of our business friendship with Kuya Steve. The guy who mans WEEC in Central.
|Worldwide Elite Express at 3F Worldwide House, Central. Look for Steve!|
Today, every time he sees me in his store, he doesn't need to ask. He already knows. And yes, that's how often I've been to Hong Kong since that day in 2009! LOL! Shipping usually takes a week or two, depending on the day of the week you have your packed box picked up, and/ or if their shipping container is full and ready to go. The fastest I've ever had to receive a box would be a record 5 days! Bilis no?
Here's how to ship a box from Hong Kong to Manila:
1) CHOOSE A BOX. You can either go to Worldwide House in Central to pick up a box, or have them deliver a box to your hotel. Boxes vary in sizes, so make sure you know which size you need. If you choose to have them deliver an empty box to you, take note that the prices below reflect pick-up box discounts, so you have to add at least 20HKD to the shipping price (30HKD for D'King).
|Current Rates still applied today. :)|
2) PAY FOR YOUR BOX AND SCHEDULE FOR PICK-UP. I usually pay for the box and shipping in full when I pick up my empty box at Worldwide House. That way, I don't have to worry about waiting to pay the guy who will pick up my box from the hotel. I also make sure to schedule pick up with Kuya Steve so I don't have to pay storage with the hotel's concierge, in case I leave the box with them after I've checked out.
3) PACK YOUR BOX. A box comes with at least 2 rolls of packing tape. I wondered why there were 2 rolls once, and Kuya Steve mentioned that some Filipinos liked to wrap their boxes with tape. I saw proof of this on my recent trip to WEEC in Worldwide House, when an oversized Jumbo Box was literally covered in tape. Remember that you ship these boxes regardless of weight, so fill your box with the heavy stuff. Make sure you wrap the fragile ones in paper or cloth before packing those in.
4) SEAL YOUR BOX. I like to line the edges with tape as well, just to secure the box from bumps and accidents. Write your complete mailing address on all sides of the box (I also write down the tracking number from the waybills to make sure the number's on the box, if in case the stickers come off). Stick all five (5) Waybill Tracking stickers on the 4 sides and top of box. Stickers will be provided when you pay for your box in full.
5) CALL FOR PICK UP. Or if you've scheduled this when you picked up the box, just bring down the box to the concierge. Tell them WEEC will pick up the box from them, leave a contact number, in case the box doesn't get picked up on time.
C'est tout! I know, I know. Why ship? Well, if you're traveling budget like we do and there's a cap to baggage allowance, the cheapest way to go about getting all that shopping back to Manila is to ship them all back. The biggest box, D'King, which can fit a huge automatic washing machine costs only 600HKD to ship, that's roughly P3,500 or so! Beats paying overweight charges, I tell you. I paid about the same amount getting breastmilk back to Manila in 2009. That, plus I don't have to take everything back when there's only one little ol' me to pack and lug everything back to the airport.
|Jumbo Box vs. D'King, with monoblock chair for comparison.|
WORLDWIDE ELITE EXPRESS is at...
Shop 342/ 343, 3F Worldwide House
19 Des Voeux Road, Central, Hong Kong
Tel. No.: 2774-9736/ 2578-2773
Look for Steve and tell him Kaye Catral referred you. :)