Dos and don’ts in Balikbayan box

Put food in your balikbayan box.

With soaring food prices in the Philippines, you might want to consider shipping some food over. Pack some typical cuisine from wherever you are in the world, as well as some hard-to-find goods, such as novelty flavored noodles. Just make sure to avoid liquids and stick to non-perishables.

Keep glass out of your balikbayan box.

Unfortunately, a balikbayan box takes a long time to get in the hands of your loved ones. During that period, you won’t know how the couriers are treating your valuable goods. Putting something made of glass inside is asking for trouble, especially if the glass is liquid-filled. If you really must, buy in plenty of bubble wrap or cushion it between objects such as shirts or towels.

Don’t overfill your balikbayan box with clothing.

A couple pairs of shoes, a dress, and some pants are great, but filling a whole balikbayan box with clothes is such a waste. Even in the Philippines, clothing is plenty if you know where to look. Furthermore, the customs officer may perceive such a haul to be commercial rather than personal.

Never put cash in your balikbayan box.

Different hands will be handling your box, and you will be completely unaware. Some unscrupulous person may have the notion to do a ‘surprise inspection’ and view the cash. It’s far preferable to stick to pasalubong things and avoid temptation. There are alternative, more safer methods of sending money back home.

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