A few people have asked me how we got all of our belongings from Germany back to the U.S. Unfortunately, there is no truly cheap way to do it – especially when, after purchasing our separate set of plane tickets, we learned that my husband didn’t even get a second checked bag on his Air Berlin flight. Here are a couple of places to start:

1. Check your airline’s policy on extra checked bags. For example, if you’re flying economy on IcelandAir, the price for extra baggage is pretty clearly more expensive than shipping Deutsche Post, but this isn’t always the case.

2. Check the Deutsche Post rates. You can pay a flat fee for a box up to a certain size and weight. This ended up being the cheapest option for us.

The less-exotic part of international travel (Mpopp)

The less-exotic part of international living (Mpopp)

We weren’t shipping furniture or any other large items. Families with larger, more valuable, or more numerous items might find freight shipping to be a good option. Also, before we packed, we ended up giving a lot of clothing and home goods away to places like the Rote Kreuz (the Red Cross) dropboxes and Oxfam in Muenster. In Bielefeld, there is the Recycling Börse, as well as many dropboxes throughout the city for clothing donations.

Any other recommendations for affordable ways to ship things to the U.S. or other countries?

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