We’ve been looking into this option since most of the airlines started hitting travelers with hefty checked baggage fees. But if you’re one of those travelers, like Dusty is (she travels with camera & laptop as well as clothing and other essentials), who just can’t travel light, then shipping your luggage might be an option.
These are a number of luggage clubs and door to door services but some of them can be more pricy than just paying the baggage fee. If you opt for one of these services, be sure to check with your destination to make sure they accept shipped baggage and where you can retrieve it.
Dusty has shipped shopping home using good old USPS. It was as souvenir walking stick from the Grand Canyon. It wasn’t too expensive to send it but since the walking stick was not very expensive in the first place, it doubled the price of the walking stick. Still Dusty felt it was money well spent since she didn’t have to deal with it at the airport. It was waiting for her when she got home.
If you buy large pieces or expensive pieces often the seller will ship them to you.
Shipping home from overseas is even trickier as you may have to pick anything shipped up at customs. We have no experience with this and did not research this as we travel primarily within the US.
If your idea of a souvenir is to collect brochures and books the postal service has a magazine / book rate. The service is one of their slower one but since these items are heavy and can push a bag over the weight limit, you might find this a good option for shipping.
There’s also Parcel post, FedEx and UPS. Each situation is different but speaking from experience, shipping those extra things home makes the return trip so much easier than trying to stuff things into already crammed bags.
So consider shipping on a case by case basis and do your homework. Will the cost to ship be worth the difference to pay an overweight charge or avoid a hassle at the airport? Keeping that in mind should help you with your decisions.