With the holidays coming up, many families are making care packages to ship out to their loved ones stationed overseas. If this is your first time, you’re probably wondering how you ship to an APO military address – let us walk you through it.
The first thing you should know is that the USPS has a process in place to make sending packages to our service members painless. In fact, they charge domestic prices for packages shipped to APO addresses, even if you’re shipping overseas.
Step 1: Review shipping restrictions
Your loved one overseas might be craving some homemade treat, celebratory cigars, or even over the counter cold and flu medicine. But be aware that not all these items can be mailed to every country. Be sure you double-check all shipping restrictions before you send out your care package. And remember—if it can’t be shipped in the U.S., then it can’t be shipped internationally. If you have any questions, your local post office should be able to help.
Step 2: Get your free supplies
The USPS provides free mailing supplies for military shipments. You can order them online or get them from your local post office.
Step 3: Fill out your forms
When you’re shipping internationally, you’ll need to fill out a customs form. See the image at the top of this article for detailed information, receive in-person help at the post office, or use the USPS online tool for assistance.
Step 4: Put together your care package
Now that you know exactly what you can ship and how to get it there, it’s time to put together your care package. Stocking stuffers are always a good idea, but if you’re looking for a bigger gift, we have a few suggestions.
If you’ve read our guide on the ECWCS Gen III system, then you know the importance of good base layers when temperatures start to drop:
A good military gaiter or snow gaiter can not only warm up your loved one, they can also use it as a mask to help protect against breathing in the freezing air. Some of our favorite gaiters are:
A balaclava will help minimize the amount of skin exposed to the elements. This is extremely important if working outside in cold weather and can help prevent cold-weather injuries. Check out some of the best military balaclavas here:
Military Cold Weather Gloves
The right cold-weather tactical gloves can be the difference between a functional grip and an ineffective one. Take a look at some of the extreme cold weather military gloves we have to offer and be sure to pack a pair in your care package!
Cold weather socks are always a great gift for a service member in the winter. Socks don’t just keep you warm, they can help protect against blisters, fight bacteria, and help keep feet dry. Luckily, you can find some of the best military socks for cold weather in one spot here:
A great care package can really brighten up the holidays for service members stationed away from home. Time to pack it full of their favorite things (and some surprises!) before shipping it out, because even the toughest soldiers have a soft spot for home in December.