5 Shipping Tips & Tricks to Alleviate Holiday Stress

5 Shipping Tips & Tricks to Alleviate Holiday Stress The holiday season is joyful and stressful at the same time because there is so much to do, from gift shopping and figuring out travel schedules to meeting end-of-the-year work deadlines, and often so little time! If your holiday season includes mailing presents to friends and family who you won’t be able to see in person, check out these holiday shipping tips and tricks that may alleviate some of the stress and make your life a little bit easier.

Plan Ahead and Shop in Advance

Never put off shopping for Christmas gifts until the very last moment; if you want to avoid unnecessary stress and make sure that recipients get their Christmas gifts on time, holiday shopping should be high on you priority list. Besides, if you start shopping for gifts around mid-November, you will be able to take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals and discounts. Make a list of recipients to figure out which gifts you need to buy first and get to shopping!

Order Shipping Supplies Online

Ordering stuff online helps to save a lot of time. Most major postal and courier companies, such as the United States Postal Service (USPS) and UPS, allow to order free shipping supplies online, including boxes, envelopes, pouches, and sticker labels. Other supplies, like bubble wrap cushioning and packing tape, are not free but we still recommend that you order them while you’re at it. And don’t forget to order some holiday stamps for Christmas cards.

Check Out Delivery Cut-off Dates and Holiday Operating Schedules

Postal and courier companies do their best to ensure that packages arrive on time during the holiday season, but mishaps still happen because the holiday season is extremely busy. If you want your presents delivered before Christmas, you should mail them before delivery cut-off dates set by your shipping carrier of choice. Carriers usually announce their holiday shipping deadlines around October, so there’s plenty of time to plan everything, buy gifts, and order shipping supplies.

Be sure to also check holiday operating schedules. For example, USPS Post Offices are closed and there is no delivery and no pickup from Blue Collection Boxes on federal holidays, including Thanksgiving Day and Christmas. UPS also keeps it locations closed and offers no pickup or delivery service on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas. Business hours on the days preceding federal holidays may be modified, so you should check them out, too.

Print Shipping Labels Yourself

Mailing multiple packages from a Post Office or a UPS Store usually takes time because the employee at the service counter has to print a shipping label for each package. Besides, you may lose time waiting in line because shipping carrier locations tend to be busy this time of the year. If you purchase shipping labels online, you won’t have to wait: all you will need to do is print the labels, affix them to the boxes, and drop the packages off at the nearest drop-off location or schedule a package pickup.

Another benefit of printing shipping labels yourself is that it helps to save not only time and effort, but also money. To incentivize customers to purchase shipping labels online, carriers offer shipping discounts, and shipping label printing services may offer even bigger discounts to stay competitive. For example, PostageMaker offers USPS and UPS shipping labels at discounted rates up to 50% off.

Don’t Hesitate to Ask for Help

This advice doesn’t have anything to do with holiday shipping per se, but we feel like we should mention it. Don’t try to tackle everything on your own; if you’re feeling like you’re stretched too thin, don’t hesitate to ask your family to take over some of the holiday tasks and responsibilities. For example, your kids can help you with packing, and your spouse can drop the packages off at the nearest Post Office or UPS Store.