When it comes to shipping overseas, there’s really only one cost-effective way to do that (in my humble opinion, anyway): Priority Mail’s Flat Rate option. There are a few reasons for that, and they’re all about making your life a little easier. Ready? Let’s go.
The USPS offers Priority Mail services to APO/FPO/DPO addresses. Those addresses receive a discount on shipping, so the cost is a little bit below what you’d pay to send the same Priority Flat Rate package to a CONUS address.
You know the Priority Mail Flat Rate promise–“If it fits, it ships!” That’s still true when sending packages to abroad. And that makes a huge difference. Instead of paying by pound, you’re paying by size. In the long run, that definitely matters to your wallet when you’re sending care packages every few weeks.
The USPS’ Priority Mail suite of supplies and services pretty much leaves you with a ton of options for your mail needs. There are Priority envelopes (both flexible and cardboard) and boxes of various sizes, including shoeboxes, so you don’t have to waste space (and waste money).
USPS boxes and supplies are free (seriously, free) to you. You can pick up certain boxes, customs forms, and labels, at most post offices. You don’t need to check out and you don’t need to have an explanation. You can seriously just pick them up and go. (Make sure they’re the Flat Rate boxes! There are also Priority Express options, which cost more money to ship.)
Free stuff shipped to you
If you don’t mind waiting a few days, you can order boxes and supplies in bulk for completely free from the USPS website. That’s where you’ll find all of the differently sized Priority Flat Rate boxes that you might not otherwise see at your local post office.
Military Care Kit
Let’s keep adding to the free-stuff-a-palooza, shall we? The USPS also offers a free Military Care Kit that includes Priority Mail boxes, customs forms, labels, and Priority packing tape. You can order it online or by phone. Just call 1-800-610-8734 and request the Military Care Kit. You’ll receive it in the mail for free.