43 Things Only Northern Irish Adults Will Remember

Things Only Norn Irish Adults Will Remember

For a small country, Northern Ireland sure has a lot of history…

And we thought we’d get all wistful and nostalgic today by looking back at some of our wee country’s most notable moments and memories.

If you can think of any more to add to the list, be sure to let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

43 Things That Only Northern Irish People Will Remember

1. Watching Give My Head Peace on a Friday night.

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2. The horrific anti-terror TV ad that scares the bejeesus out of us all and ruined Cats In The Cradle forever. 

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3. The Kelly show.

4. The John Daly Show.

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5. When May McFettridge was new on the scene.

6. School around the corner.

7. Getting sent home from work or school because of another bloody bombscare.

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8. If you lived outside of Belfast, going to city was like going on a foreign holiday.

confused where are we

9. Police checkpoints.

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10. Getting your bag checked going into Welworths.

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11. When Welworths existed.

12. Leisureworld.

13. This slide at Newcastle.

14. Getting a beating with one of these if you gave your ma back cheek.

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15. When the first McDonald’s came to your town.

mcdonalds movie 90s food fast food

16. The In Shops.

17. When your TV just stopped working after 12 o’clock.

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18. When you just had three channels on the TV.

tv glitch vhs rad trees

19. When Jim and Our Elizabeth first arrived on the street.

20. When Catchphrase was presented by Roy Walker.

21. When Dale Farm lollies were 30p.

22. When a packet of Tayto was 30p and had that creepy Mr Tayto head.

23. These crisps.

And these.

5s

And these.

6s

24. Taz Bars.

25. Having Creamola Foam at birthday parties (which is now banned because it is basically crack for children.)

26. When Victoria Square didn’t exist and there was basically just a tower block in its place.

27. When Bill Clinton turned on the Christmas lights.

spinning bill clinton the simpsons cartoon excited

28. Police 6.

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29. When Eamon Holmes was just a wee young thing with a mop of dark hair presenting GMTV with thon Anthea Turner.

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30. When Patrick Kielty was just a wee young thing.

31. Staying out playing Kerbsy until it was dark.

32. When the Westlink was even more of a nightmare than it is now.

The Hills driving traffic lauren conrad lc

33. When George Best played for Manchester United.

34. When George Best City Airport was just called Belfast City Airport. 

35. Calling a doughnut a gravy ring.

36. When you were playing outside at tea time and your ma would open the front door and shout your name down the street so you would come in an eat your dinner.

kids playground butler cat kids playing kids cute

37. Summer holidays meant a week at the caravan in Newcastle or Portrush, not going abroad.

38. When the lemonade man would come and deliver to you.

39. When you would leave your old milk bottles out for the milk man.

40. When dinner was not dinner unless there were spuds on your plate.

41. The wee fella from the Coleraine Cheddar ad.

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42. Crazy Prices.

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43. Yellow Pack items in Stewarts.

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More Blog Posts:

Top 50 Northern Irish Foods

15 Amazing Beauty Products That Are Actually Made In Northern Ireland

40 Things Only Northern Irish People Do

32 Things You Have To Do In Northern Ireland Before You Die

Learn more:

Parcel Delivery Northern Ireland

Cheap Shipping To Northern Ireland

International Parcel Delivery

Small Business Shipping

NI Parcels – Our Couriers

Import Services To UK

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14 Amazing Health Food Brands Based In Northern Ireland

Top NI Health Food Brands

Summer is well and truly here…

Which means the impending pressure of having a rock hard beach body is upon us.

But let’s face it – no one can bare the thought of going for a run, munching carrot sticks and chugging coconut water in this weather. We’d much rather be enjoying a big old poke in the sun (with a chocolate flake and sprinkles, please and thanks).

So to help motivate you to get in shape for your holidays abroad, or your next trip to Portrush strand, we thought it would be a great idea to take a look at some of Northern Ireland‘s top health food brands, that aren’t just good for you, but taste amazing too.

Get some of these names on your shopping list and you’ll have abs in no time without even trying. We promise.*

*This is not an actual promise.

1. Forest Feast

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Based in Portadown, Co. Armagh, Forest Feast are a supplier of healthy fruit and nut snacks that you’ve probably seen on the shelves of your local supermarket or corner shops. Their Street Food nut packs are a great substitute for a naughty bag of Tayto and their Sour Mango (a firm favourite among the NI Parcels gang) tastes just like Haribo!

Find them at Forestfeast.com.

2. Suki Tea

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There is nothing better than a nice hot cup of tea (milk and two sugars if you’re offering), but if you’re gulping down multiple cups a day, you could be unwittingly adding a significant amount of calories to your daily intake. For instance, of you like your tea milky and sweet, each cup will contain around 50 calories!

Suki Tea, however, is a much healthier and more delicious alternative. Based in Belfast, they produce an enormous variety of ethically sourced loose leaf teas in an abundance of flavours.

Find them at Suki-tea.com

3. Linwoods Health Foods

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Linwoods, based in County Armagh, produce these incredible varieties of super seed packs which are incredibly good for you. Put them in your porridge, on your cereal, in your yoghurt, use them to bake break or pour the packet directly into your gub if you want – they are jam packed with nutrients to fuel your body.

Find them at Linwoodshealthfoods.com

4. Abernethy Butter

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In 2005, Will and Allison Abernethy decided to take their buttermaking skills, learned from previous generations, and turn it into a family business. Now based in Dromara, County Down, and sold in the likes of Fortnum and Mason (grocer to the Queen, don’t you know), Abernethy is a well respected brand with many fans. Not only is it the most delicious, luxurious butter ever, but it is handmade and additive free and comes from grass-fed cows which is known to protect against colon cancer.

Find them at Abernethybuttercompany.com.

5. Keen Nut Butter

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Bangor based brand Keen Nut Butter will be favourite among any peanut butter addicts out there. We swear, when you buy this stuff, you’ll be tying your hands behind your back just to stop yourself devouring the whole thing with a spoon. Founder Aimee Beimers is a nutritionist and sought out to replace traditional sugar laden nut butters and spreads with something much healthier and tastier. And, by God, she achieved it.

Find them at Keannutbutter.com.

6. Skinny Malinkys

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Skinny Malinky’s are NI’s premier raw cold pressed juice providers. And if you’re in need of a bit of a detox or cleanse, this is the answer. The juices are full of yummy nutritious goodness to fuel your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs. Based near Titanic Quarter in Belfast, owner Paula uses NI Parcels to ship bottles daily to her hundreds of happy customers across the UK and Ireland.

Find them at Skinnymalinkys.com

7. That Protein

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Created by Northern Irish nutritionist Darlene McCormick, That Protein gives you premium organic plant protein powders and superfoods in one product, completely natural and organic, cold pressed and pure. They are free from sugars, sweeters, GMO and anything artificial. That Protein have some irresistible recipes on their blog too, which will make you want to buy the whole range and try everything at once.

Find them at Thatprotein.com

8. Flavour First

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We’re all for convenience here at NI Parcels, so Flavour First’s delivered fresh fruit and veg boxes are a godsend! Order your selection online from products grown on the family run businesses’ Donaghadee farm. Your box will then be delivered to your home or work address. It costs from as little as £9 and delivery is free!

Find them at Flavourfirst.com.

9. Free’ist

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We could probably all do with cutting some sugar out of our diets but stepping away from the biscuits and snacks to go cold turkey is a terrifying prospect. Thankfully, local brand Free’ist have created a range of yummy sugar free snacks to satisfy even the sweetest tooth. This means you can have your daily dose of chocolate, cookies or popcorn and not feel even the slightest bit guilty about it.

Find them at Freeist.co.uk

10. Oh So Lean

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Oh So Lean are a Northern Irish company which provides premium low fat products including beef, chicken, turkey and pork as well as soups and sauces and easy cook meals. They also have a gluten free range to serve those with more specific dietary requirements.

You can find them at Ohsolean.co.uk.

11. Moditions

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Moditions gluten free baked goods started out as a bit of a passion project when founder Christine wanted to create some delicious food for her coeliac husband. As interest in her food grew, a business was born and now her amazing baked creations are stocked in Tescos stores as part of their Local Choice options.

You can find them at Moditions.com

12. Heavenly Tasty Organics

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Shauna McCarney-Blair started Heavenly Tasty Organics shortly after weaning her first child. She wanted to feed her baby the best, most nutritious and fresh allergy sensitive food but as there was nothing on the market, she decided to create her own. Heavenly Tasty Organics then became her newest baby and her delicious healthy foods for kids are now available nationwide.

Find them at Heavenlytasty.com

13. Mash Direct

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Ah the humble spud – you can’t beat ‘em! If you’re a fan of a good creamy mash, you’ll love Mash Direct. Launched back in 2004 they are the market leader when it comes to convenient vegetable and potato dishes. If you’re in a rush and on the verge of stepping foot into the takeaway for a portion of chips, Mash Direct could be the healthier alternative you need. Their products are made fresh on their County Down farm and are free from artificial preservatives and low in salt.

Find them at Mashdirect.com

14. Broighter Gold Rapeseed Oil

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Here’s a fact for you – Broighter Gold Rapeseed Oil was actually created by accident. When Leona Kane and her husband Richard were preparing dinner one night, they ran out of olive oil for the salad dressing. So, Richard brought up some unfiltered cold pressed rapeseed oil to use instead. They were immediately hooked to its gorgeous nutty flavour and developed the idea to create a healthy all-rounder oil for cooking, frying or making dressings. The company have gone onto win numerous awards and have a long line of fans, including Obama!

You can find them at Broightergold.co.uk

 

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More Blog Posts:

Top 50 Northern Irish Foods

15 Amazing Beauty Products That Are Actually Made In Northern Ireland

40 Things Only Northern Irish People Do

32 Things You Have To Do In Northern Ireland Before You Die

 

Learn more:

Parcel Delivery Northern Ireland

Cheap Shipping To Northern Ireland

International Parcel Delivery

Small Business Shipping

NI Parcels – Our Couriers

Import Services To UK

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12 Really Weird Customs Regulations That Make No Sense

Bizarre Customs Regulations

We’re going to admit something here…

Even though we’re in the business of delivery (some would call us experts), when it comes to customs, there are a lot of rules and regulations that leave us scratching our heads.

Most of the time, it’s common sense – don’t send guns or weapons, drugs or perishable foods etc. But in other instances, the laws are really and truly bizarre.

So we thought we’d take you through some of our favourite weird customs regulations from around the world.

1. If The Shoe Fits…

Weirdly, it is forbidden to import matching shoes to South Africa, Mexico or India. This is in order to maintain control of their own shoe market and applies manly to shoe manufacturers – so don’t worry about having to wear odd sandals on your upcoming Mexican holiday; personal shoes are fine.

shoes lol humor circle rotation

2. Pencil It In

For some reason, pencils are banned in Tunisia.

3. Something To Chew On

You can not send chewing gum to Singapore, nor are you even allowed to buy it or consume it there. This is due to a 1992 ban in order to promote civic cleanliness.

gum bubblegum movie grease stockard channing

4. Sink Your Teeth Into This One

The country of Algeria has put a ban on the import of toothpaste and all dental products. This is down to the use of fluoride, which is regarded as poisonous by many nations.

5. An Unholy Rule

Pilgrims of Fiji can not bring back more than one pint of Holy Water after a pilgrimage. If  your amount of Holy Water exceeds one pint, you will require a certificate to say that it is disease free. This is in order to prevent the spreading of water borne diseases.

6. Milking It

Milk powder and baby formula can only be imported to China as personal effects and you can only bring around 5kg (or about 6 cans) with you.

milk piglets baby pigs

7. Wheely, Wheely Weird

Thinking of sending a wheelbarrow to Nigeria? Eh, you might want to rethink that as they are strictly forbidden in an attempt to strengthen the country’s own manufacturing industry.

8. Feeling Horny

Saudi Arabia has many restrictions on noise and loud items, such as car horns, have therefore been banned from entering the country.

9. An Eggcellent Law

The beloved (overpriced) Kinder Egg that children beg their parents for, is unfortunately banned in America, as the yellow plastic part is considered to be a choking hazard. The American Federal Government take the ban so seriously that a Canadian family was once fined $12,000 for trying to take ten of these chocolate eggs into the US.

chocolate food easter kinder egg

10. Not In The Mood

We’re not exactly sure why, but Malawian authorities have completely banned the import of any and all aphrodisiac products. Sorry lovers…

11. Quit Clowning Around

If you’re travelling to the lovely village of Vendargues in the south of France, don’t take your clown costume with you. Due to a wave of panic, caused by pranksters in clown costumes, they are now banned. These incidents have lead to a wide-spread anti-clown vigilante movement across the whole of France, which may soon see the costumes banned throughout the country.

12. Eye Can’t Believe It

Imports containing eyeglasses and foreign spectacles are completely banned from entering Uruguay.

cat frustrated glasses

 

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Write For Us

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Write For Us

Interested in writing for the NI Parcels blog?

We accept good quality guest posts on a wide range of subjects, so if you have some content you’d like to submit, get in touch!

About The NI Parcels Blog

NI Parcels is a Belfast based online courier service which helps small businesses and individuals save time and money on their parcel deliveries.

We also happen to have a pretty nifty blog. We know – parcel delivery doesn’t seem like the most fun and exciting topic on the planet but many of our blog posts have been hugely successful and a handful have even gone viral!

While we do like to write about the courier industry, shipping and parcel delivery, we write blog posts on many subjects, such as:

What we’re looking for…

So if you think you could write a great blog post on any of those subjects mentioned, here are a few things to bare in mind.

Originality 

We will only post content that is original. This means it must be your own work and it must not be published on any other websites.

Value

The one thing we’re looking for is value. If you want to write a post for us, it must add value to our audience. It must be worth reading. It doesn’t matter whether it’s funny, inspiring, informative or education – if it adds value in any way, we’ll be happy to publish it.

Guest Posting Tips

Format 

We prefer to publish posts that are over 800 words. It’s also best to break your post into sections so readers can scan it easily if they have to. ‘How To’ and ‘listicle’ style posts are really popular among our audience, but if you have any other ideas, we’re very open to them.

Links

You can include outbound links in your posts but ONLY if they add value to the reader. If you are including 10 links to your own website, just for the sake of linking to your website, we won’t publish your content. If you’re linking out, it must be to a good quality website and it must be beneficial to the reader. If you want a link to your website, we will put on in your author bio.

Images

You can include your own images, but they must be free to use. If you do not have access to your own images, that’s no problem – we can source them for you.

If you would like to guest post for the NI Parcels blog, please send your ideas or completed content to our blog editor Katy: [email protected].

 

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6 Tips To Ensure Your Parcel Arrives Safely

Ensuring Your ParcelArrives Safely

Without question, ensuring your parcel arrives safely at its destination is the priority when shipping items.

Whether you’re a small business needing to ship and distribute products throughout the world, or if you’re an individual sending a gift to a loved one – you want to make sure that the parcel arrives safe and sound. As the sender, it’s your responsibility to complete all of these necessary checks before handing your item over to a courier.

At NI Parcels, we know a thing or two about shipping packages all across the globe. So we’re here to shed a light on how you can do all that you can to ensure your parcel arrives safely.

6 Tips To Ensure Your Parcel Arrives Safely

1. Secure packaging.

Securely packaging your parcel for transit is absolutely vital. It’s important to take into consideration the many stages of transit that your item will go through on its journey – it will be sorted by machines and loaded on to a van for delivery alongside dozens of other items, big and small.

Although damage to your item is extremely unlikely when you choose to send it with a reputable courier (like our providers) it’s still a good idea to take extra precaution, for that extra peace of mind.

We always advise our customers to send items in strong, double-walled cardboard boxes as these are sturdy and less likely to collapse, tear or open under pressure. You can read more of our tips on how to properly package your parcel on our blog: How To Properly Package A Parcel – 8 Expert Tips.

2. Attach labels securely.

Once you’ve got your item all packaged up, it’s important to make sure that your shipping labels are securely fastened on to the item. You don’t want to risk these labels coming off, as this could cause problems during transit and may result in the item being severely delayed or even lost. Place the labels inside a poly-pocket and secure them with packaging tape.

3. Do not send prohibited items.

One very important factor in shipping parcels is ensuring that your items can be carried on the service. Particularly when you are sending items overseas, as every country has different rules and regulations about what can and cannot be imported. Sending items that are restricted or prohibited can cause all sorts of problems with your shipment, and may result in packages being refused at the point of collection, returned to the sender, or even destroyed.

Most couriers will have a list of these items that are easy to view. If you need to take a look at our list, you can find it on the NI Parcels website here.

4. Take compensation cover.

Following on from that, if your courier provides a form of compensation cover (most do), be sure to take it to make that extra step in protecting your parcel against damage or loss.

Again, before booking your compensation cover, it’s so important to read through that list of prohibited and no-compensation items to ensure the items you are sending will be covered.

At NI Parcels, we provide £50 free compensation cover on every single shipment. This value can be increased right up to £1,000 for a small additional fee during the booking process.

4. Correct address details.

Although it sounds fairly straight-forward to ensure that all of your address details are correct, mistakes can be easily made. Surprisingly, incorrect delivery addresses cause the majority of courier issues. To prevent this, always be sure to double check the address details you are providing.

The format of addresses will vary depending on each country, so if you’re feeling even a little bit unsure, always check with the recipient or try researching the address yourself to make sure it’s absolutely correct before handing it over to the courier.

4. Book with a reputable courier.

Before selecting your courier, do some research to make sure that you’re getting the very best value for your money. Taking the time to find a reputable courier means you have that extra peace of mind knowing that your items will be handled with the utmost of care and will be in safe hands during transit.

At NI Parcels, we work with only the best couriers in the industry to ensure our customers receive the highest quality delivery services. You can see a list of the couriers that we work with here.

5. Online parcel tracking.

It’s always a good idea to send parcels with a reputable courier service that provides online tracking. That way, you’ll be able to monitor the progress of your shipment as it makes its way to its destination and so will be able to see any potential issues for yourself. You’ll also be notified when your item is out for delivery, so you’ll know exactly when to wait in for it.

If you spot any red flags, contact your courier provider immediately and they will be able to offer guidance and help resolve the problem.

At NI Parcels, we provide full online parcel tracking on all of our shipments. And if you happen to have any questions or concerns at any time, we have a dedicated customer support team who can help via phone, email and live chat.

6. Fill in customs documents.

This will apply if you are sending items outside the EU. In this case, you will be legally required to complete customs documents in order to declare the contents and value of the items contained in your parcel. Taking the time and effort to accurately fill in these documents will ensure a smooth process as your item travels through customs clearance. If you do not include these documents or do not fill them in correctly, this can cause serious issues with the shipment and may severely delay the parcel.

At NI Parcels, we will provide you with customs documents if you are sending an item outside of the EU. However, it is always the sender’s responsibility to complete and attach these documents to the item being sent.

So that’s our expert advise on ensuring your parcel arrives safely at its destination. If you still have any questions after reading, please get in touch with us and we’ll always be very happy to help!

New to NI Parcels? Learn more about our low cost courier services…

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21 Things Northern Irish People Do When It’s Sunny

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Let’s be honest, it’s not often that we’re blessed with sunny weather in poor wee Northern Ireland…

So when it reaches over 15 degrees, you can be sure we’re going to make the most of it.

15 Things Northern Irish People Do When It’s Sunny

1. The taps come aff.

The Sunflower Bar, Belfast
The Sunflower Bar, Belfast

2. Sunbathing knows no limits.

sunbath

3. Seriously, we’ll do it anywhere.

Even outside the Mater Hospital, apparently…

via @an_fear_ciuin Twitter
via @an_fear_ciuin Twitter

4. We start the day with a good tanning sesh in the garden.

5. The entire population then flocks to the shores of Newcastle or Portrush.

6. The entire city of Belfast ends up in the Botanic Gardens.

7. When it reaches a socially acceptable time to drink (after 1pm), we go to the nearest pub with a good beer garden.

beer chihuahua dachshund national beer day thirsty

8. It’s too hot to eat food, so we feed on pokes.

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9. And complain about how expensive they are nowadays.

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10. Or we buy a bunch of Dale Farm ice lollies for everyone.

11. And complain about how expensive they are nowadays.

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12. The entire day is spent talking about the weather.

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13. The only story on the news is about our ‘heatwave’.

And the front page of the Belfast Telegraph will undoubtedly list all the European countries we’re currently hotter than.

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14. You hear  this at least 1,000 times during the day.

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15. Even though we’re delighted, we’ll still complain about it.

swet

16. People will blast horrendous dance music from their cars.

music video demi lovato car cool for the summer devonne

17. For tea it’s either a barbecue…

The Simpsons happy season 11 episode 7 apu nahasapeemapetilon

18. Or a ‘Northern Irish Salad” (ie. few leaves, coleslaw, ham, boiled eggs and chips)

food honey boo boo salad here comes honey boo boo i hate salad

19. You put about ten washes on because, let’s face it, thon’s quare dryin’ weather.

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20. Everyone and their ma will be posting pictures of their ‘fun in the sun’ all over social media.

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21. Meanwhile everyone in work is counting down the seconds until the working day ends and reading posts like this to make time move faster… we feel ya.

 

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4 Expert Tips For Sending A Parcel To The USA

4-expert-tips-for-sending-parcels-to-the-usa

Shipping parcels to the United States of America can seem rather daunting.

Whether you’re sending a parcel to a loved one, or perhaps you’re a small business owner needing to ship and distribute products across the states – there are a few things worth knowing about sending items to the USA.

Sending a parcel to a destination such as the USA can seem almost too overwhelming, but when the right research and preparation has been completed, shipping your parcels to America can be a surprisingly easy process.

At NI Parcels, we know a thing or two about shipping parcels across the globe. We’re here to shed a light on shipping to the USA to make the whole process much more digestible and a lot less scary…

4 Expert Tips For Sending A Parcel To The USA

1. Research country-specific restrictions and regulations.

Every country has its own country-specific restrictions and regulations when it comes to shipping, and America is no exception. Like many countries, the US has a list of prohibitions and restrictions on what can be imported. It’s so important to read through these lists before booking a shipment, to avoid any additional fees, delays or problems with the parcel.

2. Suitable packaging.

When your item is being transported to a destination such as America, it’s important to consider the many stages of transit that it will go through. The reality is that the item will be sorted by a machine, before being transported alongside tens or hundreds of other heavy packages.

So when it comes to shipping a parcel anywhere in the world, we always recommend that our customers send their items in strong, double-walled cardboard boxes – especially if the item is heavier than 5kg.

For added protection to your item, it’s always a good idea to have some internal packaging such as bubble-wrap or polystyrene. Although damage in transit is pretty rare, it most often occurs when items are not securely packaged.

Read even more advice on how to properly package a parcel.

3. Customs paperwork.

Customs is one of the most important factors to consider when shipping a parcel to the USA. Customs clearance plays a huge part in all shipments going in and out of the US, and therefore it is absolutely vital to adhere to customs requirements. This means that you will need a customs invoice for your shipment – the only exception to this is if you are sending documents.

In a nutshell, the customs invoice will inform the customs authorities of what you are shipping, the value of each item, as well as the reason you are sending the item (eg. gift, business samples). The invoice will determine how much tax and duties you will need to pay, so it’s important to ensure it is completed accurately and clearly.

One important thing to remember when sending parcels to America is that duty and tax is imposed at point of entry into the USA, so any charges cannot be included in courier quotes. It will also be the responsibility of the parcel recipient to resolve these charges, should they be imposed.

When you book your shipment with NI Parcels, you can easily generate your customs documents to fill in, print, sign and attach to your parcel.

4. Transit times.

When it comes to shipping across the globe to a destination such as the USA, we always recommend to ship a few days early, just in case there is a delay at customs clearance. Courier transit times won’t be able to take any customs delays into account, so if the items you are sending are particularly time-sensitive, it’s always best to ship them as early as you can to avoid disappointment.

So those are our expert tips on sending your parcel to the USA like a pro. By following our advice, getting your items to the USA will be a piece of cake.

If you have any questions about sending parcels with NI Parcels, give us a shout or find out more below!

New to NI Parcels? Learn more about our low cost courier services…

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How To Properly Package A Parcel – 8 Expert Tips

Packaging

How To Properly Package A Parcel

One of the most common questions we get asked at NI Parcels is: “How should I package my parcel?”

It sounds like a fairly obvious question with a straightforward answer – put it in a box, seal the box, put the address on it and Bob’s your uncle. 

However, there are a few little extra steps and precautions you can take to ensure that your parcel arrives in the best condition.

We Should Mention…

All of us, when we send a parcel with a courier, we like to imagine that our precious item is very carefully carried from A – B, as if on the wings of doves.

The truth is, your parcel is first sorted by a machine and then placed in van with tens or hundreds of other parcels and driven to its destination.

Of course, if you’re sending your parcel with a premium, reputable courier (like our providers), any damage to your item in transit is extremely unlikely.

However, it can happen on very rare occasions and for that reason, you’ll want to ensure you’ve done everything possible to protect your item and prevent any damage from occurring in the first place.

5 Tips For Packaging Your Parcel Securely

1. Choosing Your Packaging

At NI Parcels, we ALWAYS urge our customers to package their items in strong, double-walled cardboard boxes – particularly if the item is greater than 30cm squared, or over 5kg. A double-walled box is sturdier and less likely to collapse, tear or open under pressure. Crisp boxes are not suitable.

You can send your item in a plastic box, but we usually advise against this, as plastic is known to split. And, even if the contents of your parcel aren’t particularly heavy, if something heavy is placed on top of your item in transit, your box could break.

It is also possible to send items in suitcases. Again, we recommend that it’s a sturdy suitcase, and make sure that all wheels, handles and zips are either tucked in or taped up to prevent damage.

2. Wrap It Up

Once you’ve chosen your box, ensure that your parcel contents are held securely inside, by wrapping them in bubble wrap, polystyrene or packing peanuts. If you send a lot of parcels, you can buy these in large quantities on eBay or Amazon.

You can also use material or fabric – anything with spring that will cushion your item if, on the off-chance, it is knocked against a surface. Newspaper will NOT work; when flattened, it will offer no protection.

Insufficient packaging, leaving items to move around inside the box, is the cause of most damage.

3. Mind The Gap

And on the flip side, damage can also occur if you stuff your box to the point of being fit to burst.

A good rule of thumb is to first wrap your item in bubble wrap and then leave about an inch between the wrapped item and the box itself. You need to create a bit of a ‘cushioning gap’ between the item and the surface of the box. If not, the vibrations of the vehicle it’s being carried in might affect your item and cause it to break if it is particularly fragile.

For extra safety, you can line the inside walls of your box with bubble wrap.

4. Tape It Shut

Once your item is packed and secured, seal all the edges of your box closed with proper packaging tape; vinyl or nylon. Ordinary sellotape will not suffice.

5. Fragile!

If your item is breakable, use a fragile sticker. The use of a sticker like this won’t mean that your parcel is treated more carefully than others, but it may remind the driver, in particular, to be that extra bit cautious when lifting it in and out of the van.

Also, for fragile items, we recommend ‘double boxing’. This means placing your bubble-wrapped item in a box which is then placed inside another slightly larger box with a once inch filled gap between the surfaces of each box. If you do this, MAKE SURE this gap is filled with bubble wrap or polystyrene, otherwise double boxing is completely ineffective.

6. Out With The Old

If you are sending your item in a box which has been used before, make sure you remove all old address labels or barcodes from the box. The last thing you want is for your item to be missorted or delivered to the wrong address and therefore delayed.

7. Attach Your Labels

When you book a parcel delivery with NI Parcels, we will provide you with labels to attach to your parcel.

Make sure that these labels are attached securely and all details are visible. We recommend first placing the labels inside polypockets or plastic wallets and securing them with packaging tape.

8. Return To Sender

And finally, always include a return address on your item just in case.

 

So, those are our top, expert tips on packaging your parcel like an absolute pro. By following our advice every time, your items *should* arrive in the best possible condition.

If you have any questions about sending parcels with NI Parcels, give us a shout or find out more below:

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How To Save Money On Courier Costs – 10 Creative Tips

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How To Save Money On Courier Costs – 10 Creative Tips

Sending parcels isn’t cheap.

No matter whether you’re posting a birthday present to a relative abroad one a year, or perhaps a small business owner shipping products daily – courier costs are ones we could really do without.

With that in mind, we at NI Parcels thought it would be a good idea to write an informative post with our tops tips for saving money on courier costs.

We understand that, as well as being an expensive task, sending parcels is often a boring, frustrating and stressful one too. Few people have time or motivation to sit down and research how to spend less on their deliveries.

So as it is our area of expertise, let us do the work for you and take a read of our Top Ten Tips For Saving Money On Courier Costs.

1. Be organised

Being well organised with your parcel deliveries can help you save some cash. We always recommend booking your deliveries as far in advance as you can and selecting the courier’s Economy service instead of Express when possible, as it is considerably cheaper and in most cases, there is just one day difference in terms of delivery times.

2. Size matters

When booking a delivery with a courier, the price of your parcel will often be based on its size. For that reason, it’s a good idea to package your item in as small a box as possible to keep the costs to a minimum. Just ensure that the box is not too small and can withstand the weight of the item it’s carrying.

3. Weight matters too

Likewise, weight will affect the price, so remove any unneccessary items which may make your parcel heavier. For example, package your item with lightweight materials like bubble wrap or packing peanuts what will not add to the kilos.

4. Be accurate

You will need to be as accurate as possible when booking your parcel delivery with the courier. If your parcel is even just the slightest bit larger or heavier than you originally described, you could face unpleasant oversize charges or worse – the courier may refuse to collect your parcel altogether. We’ve seen this happen with parcels that are just 1kg heavier than they were claimed to be.

We recommend purchasing a set of shipping scales if you frequently send parcels as these are more accurate than other kinds of scales.

5. Buy packaging in bulk

Buying a single box every time you have a parcel to send can add up and contribute a significant amount to the overall cost of your deliveries. Buying packaging in bulk works out much cheaper if you do send items fairly frequently.

And, if you purchase quality packaging, you can reuse your boxes and save even more money in the long run.

6. Claim your VAT back

Taxable businesses should always remember to claim VAT back on deliveries at the end of the tax year. Just make sure to keep all your receipts!

7.  Mind the excess charges

Always make sure that the price you are originally quote by the courier, is the final price you pay. Some couriers may add in fees for compensation, VAT maybe excluded from the end total or there may be an NI surcharge. Do your research to avoid nasty surprises on the checkout page.

8. Take out compensation

Speaking of compensation – always take it out to ensure your items are protected from damage or loss. If not, you may not be eligible for a refund or be able to claim anything back, forcing you to lose money overall.

Many couriers will offer a level of free compensation. For example, at NI Parcels, we offer £50 free compensation cover per item, which you can increase up to the value of £500 for a small additional fee, if you wish. Before choosing your level of cover, always check out the courier’s list of prohibited items to ensure that your parcel contents are protected against damage or loss.

9.  Stop driving to the Post Office!

It’s not just the postage costs that put a dent in your wallet, when sending parcels, the fuel it takes to drive to the post office/depot and the time out of your day are also added expenses.

Avoid wasting time and fuel by using a door to door service that can collect the parcel directly from you.

1o. Use a courier comparison website

When we make a purchase of any kind, we tend to shop around (usually online) to find the best deals. Booking a courier is no different.

Never book with the first courier you come across –  see which company offers the lowest price and the best value for money. The great news is that there are websites out there who do the shopping around for you – like NI Parcels!

We provide a courier comparison service which allows you to enter the details of your parcel and view a list of reduced rate quotes from top providers like Parcelforce, DPD and City Air Express. Booking with a courier comparison website like NI Parcels can be up to 80% cheaper than booking directly with the courier.

 

We hope this money saving advice piece helps you cut back on your delivery costs and if you have any questions, please get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to help.

Got a parcel to send? Get a quote quote from us now to see how much you could save.

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5 Things To Remember When Shipping Parcels Internationally

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When it comes to shipping parcels internationally, we know a thing or two here at NI Parcels.

There are so many factors to consider when sending a parcel abroad – whether you’re a small business exporting internationally or simply an individual sending a gift to a loved one across the globe – whatever your reason may be, doing your homework is super important.

Sending items overseas can be a little bit daunting, whether it be the cost, the shipping times or mind-boggling country specific regulations – it can be quite a lot to get your head around.

Thankfully, we’re experts at this kind of thing and we’re here to shed some light on sending parcels internationally to ease your worries.

Here are 5 things to remember when shipping parcels internationally.

1. Researching country specific restrictions and regulations is so important.

One of the most important factors of shipping items internationally is doing your homework on country specific restrictions and regulations. For example, you’re not allowed to send a pair of matching shoes to South Africa, Mexico or India. That’s crazy, right? But these are the kinds of things that you should make yourself aware of before sending any parcels.

If you’re sending a parcel outside of the EU, it’s absolutely essential to complete and attach a customs declaration to the package – and it’s just as important to fill in the declaration correctly. Not doing so could cause major problems for your shipment.

2. Understand international shipping costs so you don’t pay more than you have to.

One of the most off-putting factors about sending parcels internationally is the cost – but would you be surprised if we told you that you shouldn’t be so scared?

You absolutely do not have to break the bank when sending items overseas. Courier comparison services (such as NI Parcels!) is a guaranteed way to save money on international deliveries – no matter who you are or what your reason for shipping may be.

We work alongside some of the best couriers in the industry such as DPD and Parcelforce. We have negotiated fantastic low cost deals with these couriers, so that means you get the same high quality service for a fraction of the price! In fact, you can save up to 80% on your international courier costs, by booking with NI Parcels.

You can get a quote for your international parcel delivery any time from NI Parcels!

3. Secure packaging is absolutely essential.

It’s a no brainer that you want your parcel to arrive at its destination safe and sound. If you’re using a reliable courier renowned for their high quality services, the chances of damage to your parcel during transit is incredibly low – and most would offer some sort of compensation cover in the unlikely event that it would happen. At NI Parcels, we provide £50 free compensation cover on every single shipment, which can be increased during book if you feel it necessary.

However, for peace of mind, always remember to select appropriate packaging that best suits the contents of your packet. Hard, double-walled cardboard boxes are usually the best option if you’re shipping items in a box, as they’re sturdy and are less likely to come undone during transit. Consider the items inside too, ensure that they are fastened securely and enclosed from damage.

4. Don’t forget a return address.

In the occurrence that your item can’t be delivered and needs to be returned to you as the sender, it’s vital to include a return address on the parcel. This way, it’ll be returned to you free of charge and you will avoid any kind of hassle.

5. Research restricted/prohibited goods.

Relating back to the first point about country specific restrictions and regulations – when sending a parcel anywhere in the world, ensure that you’re not sending any prohibited goods. Not every item can be carried on every service – and all countries have their own individual rules and restrictions. For example, a general rule is that liquids and perishable items cannot be sent abroad – so be sure to check your chosen courier’s list of prohibited items before booking your shipment.

Need to send a parcel overseas? Get a quick quote from NI Parcels today!

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