It's our favorite time of the year, here at Hero Care Packages. The holly is about to be hung, the snow is falling (in some parts of the country), and gift giving makes us feel oh so warm when it's cold outside.
Around this time of the year, a common question we get is when to ship to the military to make sure a care package arrives by Christmas. We'll do our best this year to give you the inside scoop. Here is our quick guide to keep you up-to-date.
If you're shipping to your Hero domestically, you can go based off of the USPS deadline posted in the post office:
Things get more complicated for shipping to APO addresses. The below chart shows the different dates, straight from the Post Office.
Things can end there if your Hero is at a military base that's always fixed, like the bases in Germany or Spain. But you should build in extra time for deployed members at non-fixed bases, like Navy sailors on ships, or troops based in Iraq or Afghanistan who are at temporary deployed bases. We also recommend giving a couple extra days because of COVID delays, which can be unpredictable, especially as the virus surges around the country.
The problem with these estimates is that it doesn't determine when the package actually gets to the service member. It only tells you when the package arrives at the military distribution unit. For example, sailors at sea must get the mail routed to where the (moving) ship is, which often requires lots of logistical hurdles on the military end. They often need to be placed on tanker ships and airlifted to the unit.
To be super safe, add an extra week for these logistical hiccups. That means sometimes sending packages early in December, but it will ensure your Hero gets your loving care package by the holiday. For New Years packages, add a week to the above timetable!
What to Send: If you're unsure what to put in a DIY care package, check out our 2022 Care Package Guide.
How to Send: If you're running short on time, you send our Hero Care Packages, which we send via priority mail, so it's getting there in accordance with the above timetable. If you're making a DIY care package, we also have you covered. Check out our guide on shipping care packages, and our guide on military restrictions. If sending it online, check out our guide to addressing a military care package online. Finally, here is our secret shipping technique to save money.
Any comments, advice, or questions? Comment below and let us know! Happy care packaging!