We might not have gotten through Halloween yet, but we’re coming up on the holiday season. What is usually a time of great joy and celebration can sometimes feel a bit lacking, though, for Military Families. Unfortunately, too many Military Spouses and their families know the heartbreaking feeling of spending a holiday apart while a loved one is deployed. But just because some of our servicemembers can’t be with us during the season, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t receive some holiday cheer, too.
Luckily, we aren’t the only ones that think our servicemembers abroad need to be a top priority this time of year. The United States Postal Service (USPS) is offering discounted rates on packages being sent to troops around the world — all packages sent via Priority Mail Flat Rate Box to any Air/Army Post Office (APO), Fleet Post Office (FPO), or Diplomatic Post Office (DPO) around the world. You can get your Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes online, free.
Demand will be high during the holiday mailing season, and busier post offices usually means slower mailing times. To ensure you beat the military mailing rush and your package gets to its servicemember by Christmas (December 25, 2018), the USPS has some suggested mailing deadlines based on where your package is going:
- USPS Retail Ground mail (the slowest way to go, formerly known as Standard Post): November 6.
- Space Available Mail (SAM): November 27.
- Parcel Airlift Mail (PAL): December 4.
- First-Class and Priority Mail (letters, cards, and packages): December 11
- ZIP 093: December 4.
- Priority Mail Express Military Services: December 18. Not available for ZIP 093.
If you want to make sure your packages arrive by the start of Hanukkah (December 2, 2018), simply subtract 23 days from the deadlines above.
So the good news is you still have plenty of time to get your holiday care packages and gifts out in time for the season. Not sure what to send your servicemember? Don’t worry. We’ve got all kinds of ideas for care packages, especially for Christmas, and awesome gifts for your Military leader on SpouseLink.
To get the full breakdown of the USPS’s military mailing deadlines and discounts, read their full holiday mailing statement here. For postage, labels and customs forms, check out Click-N-Ship.
More of Our Holiday Ideas:
Solutions for Your Military Family:
Life Insurance, Wealth Management, Mortgages, Survivor Services, and more.