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How to send gifts across the miles


February 14th – Valentine’s Day – is just around the corner. Are you already thinking about what to give your significant other? Spare a thought for those in long-distance relationships, for whom the pressure of finding the right gift might feel even more intense. All relationships require effort to some extent, but those who are regularly separated from their loved ones often have to put in a little extra work to keep the flame alive.

When you can't physically be together, there are few better ways to show you care than to exchange thoughtful gifts around the calendar's most romantic day. Sometimes it's just not enough to send a gift card in an envelope, or to tape money to the inside of a soppy greetings card. You've really got to put some thought into this to get it right. So here are a few ideas of what to look for, as well as some things you definitely shouldn't be sending in the post this Valentine’s Day.


Gifts you can send in the post


A picture's worth 1,000 words for your love
It's possible that this commonly quoted idiom overestimates the value of an image, but that's not to say it isn't a great Valentine's gift. Skype and Face Time are fantastic for communicating when distances are in the way of getting together, though if you already do this regularly, it might be time to switch it up for a more personal touch. 

Why not go a little old-fashioned and send a photograph, printed on beautiful glossy or matte finish paper? You don't have to get the camera out to send a nice picture to your loved one; you could get a little creative and use a photo you already have. It doesn't need to be a self-portrait either so don’t worry if you don’t have an image of yourself that you want to send them. Just use something relevant to your relationship, whether it's based on an in-joke or a favourite memory, or somewhere you’ve been together – or plan to go in future.

For an extra romantic sentiment, place a secret message behind the framed photograph, ready to be found in the future.

Remember to make sure you package the items carefully – especially if they’re on the more delicate side - see our helpful tips on packaging here and if the frame is more valuable than £25, you might want to increase the cover when you send it with DHL Parcel UK.

An old-school mixtape for Valentine’s Day
They say music is the food of love, so why not send some to the special person in your life? No doubt there will be plenty of songs you've grown to love as a couple, whether it's through seeing artists live or dancing nights away in bars and clubs. Either way, you'll probably have a good idea of what your partner enjoys, so go ahead and send some recommended tracks for them to enjoy!

A Valentine’s Day hamper
If you’re apart on Valentine’s Day, chances are it means at least one of you are away from home – so why not make them a hamper full of goodies; either from where you are, or where they’re from? It could be things that you’ve enjoyed together or just things you know they love; music, books and movies that will remind them of you and sweets or other foodie treats in sealed packets and are non-perishable are a great idea.

Don’t forget to check that everything in the hamper is allowed to be sent in the post – or into the destination country if you’re sending overseas; remember some countries have very strict regulations for import, so make sure you look into this before booking your parcel with DHL Parcel UK. See our UK Prohibited Items and International Prohibited Items information beforehand – and check the individual country restricted and prohibited items list too.

Jewellery for your Valentine
Something your loved one can wear is a sure fire way to have them thinking of you all the time you’re away from each other. You needn’t spend a fortune on expensive trinkets though; something bespoke or more personal will go a lot further anyway.

If you don’t feel you can make a gift yourself, there are many online marketplaces specialising in the more unique which will be sure to have something to suit – Not on the High Street and Etsy to name a couple. Something personalised with their name (or both of your names) engraved or stencilled on would be a lovely keepsake.

Note that jewellery can usually be sent throughout the UK with DHL Parcel UK, depending on the value of the item. If it’s greater than £25, you can increase the cover to suit. And remember, some countries don’t allow any precious metals or stones of any kind to be brought through customs, so check our restricted and prohibited items, as well as pages for the specific country you’re planning to send to.

Underwear for your Valentine
When you first think of underwear you might go straight to the more risqué, which is fine, but it doesn’t have to be. A set that can be something you both have one of can be a sweet thing to buy for your love; boxer shorts, tshirts, pyjamas or slippers with a ‘his’ or hers’ message would also work well. Take a look online for some inspiration to getting that perfect gift that your other half will adore.

The beauty of sending these kind of things is they usually don’t weigh very much, so sending them with DHL Parcel UK will not only be easy and reliable, but cheap too  - so the money you save on postage can be spent on the goods themselves!

What not to send in the post

There are a few things it's probably best to avoid sending through the mail in the build-up to Valentine's Day. Many of the usual gifts given at this time of year are actually prohibited or restricted when it comes to sending through the post so it will be definitely worth thinking outside the box and creating something bespoke.

Food and alcohol
Sweets are often a nice idea but think carefully before sending any foods in the post - especially perishable items; not only could they get spoiled in transit, but are also on the DHL Parcel UK restricted items list. Opt instead for foods still in their original packaging with at least six months in hand before the best before date. This is particularly important when sending internationally as many countries won’t pass foodstuff through customs otherwise. You should also ensure nothing in your parcel isn’t on the destination country’s list of prohibited goods, or it won’t be delivered.

Unfortunately, DHL Parcel UK can not carry alcohol (or liquids of any kind) through the network, so you won’t be able to send that bottle of champers or wine for Valentine’s Day – see our list of restricted and prohibited items here.

Unless they're artificial or pressed, flowers might not be a great idea either; they're likely to get damaged in transit. Also, you'll want them to arrive at the other end still fresh and fragrant, so it’s probably better to stick to ordering through a florist. Many botanicals can’t be sent internationally anyway, as some countries have very strict regulations in place to protect their biodiversity, so before you decide on a living gift, check our prohibited and restricted items lists, as well as the page on the country you’re sending to first.

Perfume or aftershave
As mentioned above with alcohol, DHL Parcel UK cannot carry liquids through the network; and this includes perfumes and aftershaves – no matter what the size. A number of countries also won’t clear perfumes and aftershaves through customs either, so it’s best to consider a different type of Valentine’s gift if you’re going to send it through the post.

So with the above in mind, you should be ready to woo your most loved one this Valentine's Day with something they’ll think is wonderful - whether they're in Bristol or Barbados, Sterling or Sydney, Cardiff or Krakow!