When spending a few months (or years) away from home it’s common that you will want to both send and receive some care packages with your loved ones. But sending courier packages internationally is never as easy as it sounds. Sometimes things get lost, or stuck in customs or just take forever to get to you. Unfortunately that’s just how it goes, especially in Spain! But don’t fret! We’ve compiled a helpful list of courier companies that narrow down the most reliable choices for sending or receiving packages abroad!

Important Things to Remember:

The most common problem that people face, especially when receiving a package from back home is that every package that goes through Spanish customs can be subject to fees. The Spanish government will tax anything they deem valuable and might even reserve the right to open and inspect your package. Even if the package was sent by an express, private courier company – the package will most likely stop at customs and await judgment. When you are waiting on a rather valuable parcel to arrive, chances are that you will receive a notification letter informing you of its arrival, along with a bill that must be paid before it will finally be sent to you. As you can imagine, these unexpected fees and taxes can add up. To avoid as many extra costs as possible try the following:

  • Try to find the product online first. Before buying the gift and then sending it overseas, check out if you or your friends can buy it online and have it sent to you. This can cut costs significantly and also eliminates the hassle of sending the package personally
  • Parcels that are marked as “gifts” with a value under 45€ are exempt from custom fees
  • When indicating the value of the package always make it lower that it really is, within a reasonable range 
  • clpackagesIf a package is insured, it is assumed valuable and will most likely be taxed and held at customs
  • Keep the descriptions of the items in the package as vague as possible. Use “toiletries” rather than “makeup” or words like “gift”, “used” and “old personal belongings”
  • Remove all price tags and plastic packaging before sending new items, just in case customs does open your package
  • Use UPS for express shipments, not FedEx, because UPS operates within Spain whereas FedEx hands off packages to local couriers
  • Do not send vitamins; they always seem to be stopped and taxed
  • Mailing several smaller boxes costs more than one big box (read: one heavy box)

Reliable Companies within the European Union:

If you think you might need to send some packages overseas during your time in Spain or you might want to send some things home at some point there are some things to consider. On average, it is much cheaper to just check an extra suitcase with you on the plane than it is to send a package internationally, especially bigger packages. If you have no choice but to send a parcel then you have several options. If you want to ensure that your parcel will arrive in good condition then check out ordering “Bolsas prepagados” or “prepaid bags”. If you choose to certify your shipment (certificado) for about 5€ more, you’re in less danger of things getting lost. Here are some good services to check out before sending your things:

CangoBox: Very reliable service at very competitive prices

Packlink: A way to compare options before picking a courier service

FedEx International: Reliable, but could get pricey

EcoParcel: Specific to Germany, but could be very useful for other EU countries

Eurosender: Also specific to Germany, but could be very useful for other EU countries. Get an additional 10% off by using the discount codeCITYLIFE“!

Voovit: Good for UK residents

ParcelsPlease: Another good UK option

Parcelhero: We recommend this as a platform for comparing different services based on your package specifics

Sendmybag: A good option for sending big bags or suitcases

DHL: Another standard option but tends to be the most expensive

Reliable International Companies:

If you need to reach countries outside European Union you’ll find a plethora of companies to choose from. A lot of them advertise themselves as private, express and direct. But, as mentioned above almost every package will have to get through Spanish customs and then be sent to you with a Spanish courier. To make it easier for you, we’ve narrowed it down to the most affordable and reliable companies that you can trust to send your packages with!

  • packagesCangoBox: Very reliable service at very competitive prices
  • Packlink: A way to compare options before picking a courier service
  • Parcel2go: Another parcel delivery comparison website
  • Pharos Parcel Delivery: These guys will pick up your package for you
  • Sendmybag: A good option for sending big bags or suitcases
  • UPS: A reliable service
  • Citibox España: These guys are the only FedEx dropcenters in Spain
  • Transglobalexpress: A UK based company they deliver all over the world


*If you need to ship something to or from Latin America then unfortunately your options are much more limited. The best options for you are both UPS and FedEx. If you’re sending to or from Mexico, you can use Transglobalexpress too!

– Your Citylife team!



6 comments. Leave new

I appreciate the heads up about possible fees. My friend’s birthday is coming up. I want to send her a surprise package.

will i need to buy a box and pack it by myself or i just go to the company and they will give me boxes and tell me what to do ?

How come Ecoparcel is German specific? I have used them all over Europe, sent my last parcel to Spain from uk – and wasn’t disappointed! Price/performance very acceptable: !

We are planning on shipping a care package to my husband’s brother who is currently in Japan. So thank you for telling us that we want to remove any tags on the items we’re sending. When we ship our package to Japan, I will personally inspect it to make sure no tags are on it in case it is stopped by customs.

Ruben Garcia
22/02/2018 03:25

My daughter is in Barcelona and we want to send her a package. Thanks for the good information. What about sending seasonings and dry foods

Rex Barnie
04/03/2018 02:57

Don’t please not worth it, would end paying too much tax on it

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