By Ilona Kauremszky

Q: We’ll be travelling to the US in the New Year to attend a sci-fi fair. I most likely won’t be packing all my purchases in my luggage but was thinking of using one of the parcel services. Can I do this?

A: Peter Greenberg who’s known as the “Travel Detective” for his insightful travel tips loves to ship his bags by Fed Ex. He says, “Save time by being a contrarian traveler: Don't check your bags. I send them ahead through FedEx, but there are 16 other businesses that do the same thing,” he recently wrote for the Kansas City Star.

For details on how to ship ahead visit or to get details. Prices depend on weight, distance, amount of luggage, and how fast you need it.

For the rest of us, if you wish to avoid paying the hefty over weight charges airlines like to charge for our baggage these days, then consider looking into one of the parcel services. Do the math first though to see if it’ll be worth your while. Over at UPS ( for instance, their web site has an “Import Prohibited Articles” list detailing no-no items such as industrial diamonds, ivory and stamps.

Just remember the packages you are sending back to Canada will be subject to duties and taxes even though the package you are sending may have no real value.


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