When I was in Duras in September I bought way too much stuff to fit in my small carryon bag. I can’t leave France without multiple jars of mustard, salt and definitely cosmetics. I didn’t want to have to check a bag, which would have meant dragging all my possessions to Paris so instead I mailed myself a box at the post office.
There are two sizes of international shipping boxes that can be used to send goods back to the States–5 or 7 kilos. I chose the 7-kilo (15.4 lbs.) box which was about the same size as my carryon bag . When you pick it up at the post office they will also give you two forms to fill out for customs. You’ll have to list each item, it’s weight and value. They only give you a few lines to do this so I grouped things like foods, antiques and art, clothing and gave an estimated value and weight of each grouping. The cost to ship the box was €56, or about $65. It arrived in the States in four days and I was happy to have all my treasures at home.
Get the box and the forms first at the post office–you will be charged at this time, then take them back to your accommodation (hopefully it’s the Clocktower Cottage!) to pack up and do the forms. When you return to the post office, just give the clerk the sealed box and paperwork and rest assured that your purchases will be in good hands.