How To Send Care Packages During Lockdown

The COVID-19 virus shook the world in 2020 and sadly it is not over yet. The ongoing global pandemic has lead to a series of national lockdowns and other regulations in a bid to slow the spread of the virus. This means in places like the UK, most non-essential businesses have had to shut down, travel is limited and people are advised not to spend time with anyone outside their household.

As challenging as this has been, it has also meant that people have found new ways to show their loved ones they care – but from a distance. This has seen an increase in the use of technology and tools such as video calls, instant messaging and gaming apps that are helping to bring people together.

It has also seen people turning to more traditional methods to connect such as sending cards, letters and gifts through the post.

So, with the UK now in its third lockdown, we thought we’d take the chance to look some ideas for care packages and how you can put these together. We’ll also look at how you can send a care package to your loved ones right now to let them know you’re thinking of them in these difficult times.

Ideas for care packages

There are so many lovely ways you can show your friends and family you care. If you’re good at the personal touches, you might have already sent a care package or two in previous lockdowns but if you need a little bit of inspiration to get started, we’ve got you covered!

Below are just six ideas for care packages and gifts that you can send to your loved ones during lockdown:

  1. Flowers – Who doesn’t love flowers? And with so many great delivery services out there, you can have these sent straight to their door. And most of the time you can add extra gifts with these like boxes of chocolates or bottles of champagne. To do this, either call up their local florist if they’re still operating or use sites like Bloom & Wild to help you find the perfect bouquet.
  2. Vouchers – Why not write them a card or letter and include some vouchers so they can choose what they want. These could be for local shops, restaurants, hotels or entertainment venues. This can be a great way to give them something to look forward to after lockdown and also helps to support local businesses.
  3. Subscriptions – Give them a gift that keeps on giving! Monthly subscription boxes and care packages cover everything these days from monthly gin clubs to cheese deliveries, beauty products and so much more!
  4. Food delivery – Whether you have someone pick the shopping up for you or place an online order with a local supermarket, nothing shows you care like a package of their favourite comfort foods and drinks. And some essentials (like toilet roll), of course! This can be particularly great if they’re unwell or having to self-isolate and can’t leave the house.
  5. Pay for a takeaway – Do they love a takeaway pizza or curry? Why not place their favourite order and have it delivered to them as a nice surprise (but maybe just let them know in advance so they don’t start cooking something else!).
  6. DIY care packages – If you want to give your care package a real personal touch, order in/shop for some goodies and put these together in a box or package to send to your loved one. This might be some of their favourite snacks, beauty products, games, magazines and anything else you think would cheer them up in lockdown.

The best way to package these up

Although essential stops are still open, it can be trickier to get your hands on packaging, especially if you’re trying to limit how often you leave the house. So we thought we’d put together a few suggestions for packaging your gifts.

If you want to save money, you could purchase vouchers and simply put these in a card. This will only require you to buy a postage stamp and pop it in the postbox. Alternatively, if you’re making your own care package, find an old box you have either a shoebox or from a parcel you’ve received in the past. These are always great to keep!

If you’re not sure how you’re going to package and send your parcel, then you could order directly from a supplier or local business online. Most sites allow you to specify if you’re sending a gift so they can package this properly for you and ensure the price tag is left off.

How to send your care package

Post offices, supermarkets and other small essential shops are still operating as normal. So if you have a local post office nearby, you can always pop in there to send off your parcel. You might also have Parcelshops nearby for couriers like Hermes. Most offer free label printing services, so you can go in-store pay for your parcel and drop it off. The courier will do the rest!

As we’ve said above, smaller cards or letters can just be popped in the postbox but if you’re including anything bigger than vouchers don’t risk a postal fine. In that case, it’s best to go to still go to the post office and check whether your letter is too big for the usual service and whether you’ll need to pay more for the postage.

Similarly, as we’ve said above, some businesses will be able to package and post your item for you if you’re going directly through their website. So if you’re not sure what to do, this can save you a lot of the hard work!

Last but not least, if you live nearby your friend or family member, you could just drop your care package off in person. That said, if you’re going to do this you must make sure you’re abiding by all rules and regulations. This usually means dropping it off without any human contact and certainly without going inside their house.

Posted in Parcel Shipping | Comments Off on How To Send Care Packages During Lockdown

NI Parcels Brexit Update

Updated 30th of December 2020

The information below is subject to change and should not be taken as 100% fact given that there are still many unknown factors and likely changes to come in the next weeks/months.

NI Parcels is not a customs broker and cannot answer specific questions regarding your shipping circumstances, you may need to seek the help of an external company for such advice.

On the 1st of January 2021, the UK and the EU will terminate its transition period after the UK left the EU on the 31st of January 2020.
The trade deal agreed between the UK and EU mean that significant changes will be introduced for the shipping of parcels. This is not the outcome NI Parcels would have preferred for our customers however we will work to make any changes as easy as possible.
We would advise all customers sending between the UK and the EU to please be aware of potential delays due to this unprecedented change and also due to a potential backlog in the processing of shipments due to this change.
How will Brexit affect bookings on NI Parcels?
If you are sending from the UK Mainland (including Highlands and Islands) to an EU destination, you will now be required to complete the customs paperwork for your shipment.
This paperwork will be available in your “My Orders” section after booking.
This will not be required for shipments to or from Northern Ireland due to its special status.
Will I have to pay customs charges?
Yes – Goods entering the UK (including Highlands and Islands) from the EU (and vice versa) will be charged customs charges such as Import VAT and Import Duty. We cannot predict or foresee how much your customs charges may be.
The recipient in the destination will be liable for any customs charges –  NI Parcels is not liable for customs charges.
What happens if I do not pay customs charges?
Your shipment may be refused delivery and held with further daily storage charges until paid.
Customs also have the right to dispose of a shipment if they feel the situation may not be resolved. If your item is disposed of by customs, you cannot claim for loss due to this. NI Parcels cannot control the decisions made by customs authorities.
Will this affect shipping between Northern Ireland and the UK Mainland?
At the moment, the current working agreement means that shipments coming from the UK Mainland to Northern Ireland will require checks of some sort however these checks have not been detailed as of yet. Paperwork may be eventually required on shipments going GB to NI.
For shipments going from Northern Ireland to the UK Mainland, no additional paperwork or checks will be required.
Will this affect shipping between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland?
There will not be any new checks or paperwork on shipments moving between NI and IE.
What about shipments going from Northern Ireland and EU Countries e.g NI to France?
Northern Ireland will be the only part of the UK without new checks or paperwork for shipments to and from the EU however this may change. At the moment only shipments to and from the UK Mainland and other EU nations will require formal checks. This will include shipping between UK Mainland and the Republic of Ireland.
Can I send my shipments from the UK Mainland to Northern Ireland to have then shipped onwards to Ireland without checks?
No, as shipments from the UK Mainland to Northern Ireland will require checks, this will not benefit your shipping experience. We recommend shipping directly from the UK Mainland to Ireland and dealing with any potential checks.
Will I still need to pay VAT on shipments to and from the EU?
VAT will not be paid at the point of sale for your shipping costs for shipments going from GB to EU destinations and vice versa.  However, customs charges may still be applicable and you as the sender are ultimately responsible for any customs charges. If you are sending to an EU country you must make your recipient aware of potential customs charges as, if they refuse to pay them, you will become liable for these charges.
VAT will still be paid on shipments travelling from Northern Ireland and the EU (and vice versa).
What is an EORI number?
In the UK, an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number is assigned to importers and exporters by HMRC and is used during the customs clearance process for both import and export shipments travelling to or from the EU and countries outside the EU. In a post-transition world, it will be a mandatory requirement to have an EORI number to ship into the EU from the UK.

You can apply for an EORI Number by clicking here: We recommend applying for this regardless of the outcome of any trade deal negotiations.

Posted in NI Parcels News, Northern Ireland | Comments Off on NI Parcels Brexit Update

Making The Move From Traditional Retail To E-Commerce

Ecommerce site

Amidst the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, businesses are desperately doing all they can to try and stay afloat. Whilst Government funding might pick up a bit of the slack, it can only go so far and as a result, many retailers that have been forced to shut their shop are turning to the digital world for help. Some are keeping it simple by just sharing their products on social media and doing contactless drop-offs or pick-ups. Others are setting up websites so they can take their business fully online.

If you’ve found yourself in this situation and you’re desperate to make the move from traditional retail to e-commerce in time for the Christmas rush, we’re here to help. If you’re new to e-commerce it can feel a little overwhelming and you might not know how to get started – and that’s OK.

In this guide, we’ll take a look at how you can pivot from traditional retail to e-commerce as easily as possible and just in time for the festive season.

  1. Choose the right e-commerce platform

If you’ve decided that you need to get your website up and running as soon as possible, you’ll need to choose the right platform for the job. Luckily, there are several e-commerce platforms and marketplaces out there that make setting up a site for your business easier than ever. For example, you could set yourself up an account on Etsy, eBay or Amazon to sell your products. Alternatively, if you want a selling space that’s all your own you could use a website builder like WordPress or Shopify.

Which you choose will largely depend on the functionality you’re looking for, your budget and how confident you are in your abilities to set this up yourself. Although you don’t have to jump right in at the deep end, it’s worth looking at what plugins or functions are available for enabling reviews, SEO, adding blogs and other improvements you might want to make in the future.

Once you’ve chosen your platform you can build your website or pages (most will have built-in themes you can choose from) and get ready to start adding your products.

  1. Add your products

Next up you need to add all your products to your pages and make sure you give each one a description. These don’t have to be long, but make sure they include relevant keywords and give a good and accurate overview of the product. Most website builders will have simple ways you can add your products and will prompt you where to put your descriptions – so don’t panic!

It’s also important that you add photos of your products as this will boost your chance of making a sale. Think about it, in-store your customers can see and hold your products and they’re unlikely to purchase anything if they have no idea what it even looks like.

If you wish to and you have the skills to do so, you might even want to add videos of your products being showcased or demonstrated.

  1. Decide how you’re going to ship your products

If you choose to offer delivery to your customers (and you should because click and collect will only get you so far) then you need to choose how you plan to ship your items. Our courier comparison service will help you find the best deal for you. There are lots of couriers out there that are working their hardest to keep things going despite the pandemic. How you choose to ship your parcels will likely depend on the volumes of sales you’re making and what’s available to you.

Ni parcels

NI Parcels is used by hundreds of local small businesses in Northern Ireland and beyond and we are committed to keeping costs as low as possible. We specialise in Postage to Northern Ireland

  1. Let everyone know you’re open for business

Once your website or marketplace is up and running, you need to let people know that you’re open for business. The final step in moving from traditional to e-commerce retail is to market your business effectively online to help you draw in customers. After all, you can no longer rely on foot traffic and people simply passing by your shop, you need to work that bit harder to drive traffic and make sales.

Open for business

But don’t worry – while marketing might be almost entirely new to you, the good news is that it doesn’t have to be hard work. There are several ways you can do it:

  • Put a sign up in your store – One of the easiest ways to let your regulars know that your business has moved online is to put up a sign in your shop window. This might also catch the eye of passers-by and could help to drive traffic to your site. You might also want to take this as an opportunity to encourage them to follow you on social media.
  • Shout about it on social media – It’s likely that you’ll already have a social media account of some kind, but if you don’t it’s a good idea to set up accounts in your business’ name and begin building a following. You can use these platforms largely for free (unless you want to use paid advertising) to promote your business, products and any offers you have on.
  • Work on SEO – Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the technique of optimising your web copy with keywords to make it appear higher on search engine results pages. But the good news is, you don’t need to go too deep into this, you can quickly get to grips with the basic skills and make a good start on boosting your online visibility. Alternatively, you could hire a professional service to do this for you.
  • Utilise remote working – one of the good things to come out of the global pandemic is that it has shown many people the benefits of working remotely. When you embrace e-commerce you will be able to open your business up to using a remote team around the country (or even the world) so you can hire the best people without being limited to those who work within a few miles of your shop.
  • Pay for advertising – If you’ve got a bit of budget aside for marketing, paid advertising can help you to get your brand out there. You might want to use this in the run-up to Christmas to promote any seasonal sales or products you have on offer.
  • Partner with other e-commerce businesses – You could also do partnerships with businesses in your niche or local area and work together to promote each other. This can open you up to a whole new audience, especially if they already have a good online following.
Posted in Small Business Tips | Comments Off on Making The Move From Traditional Retail To E-Commerce

A Guide to Parcel shipping with NI Parcels in the wake of COVID-19

In the wake of the global pandemic many things have had to be put on hold, but shipping your parcels shouldn’t be one of them. In this article, we cover everything you need to know to help guide you on shipping your items during Covid-19.

Are shipping locations affected?

The current situation is always changing, so it’s important to stay on top of current advice from the UK Foreign Office.

Cargo shipping is largely unaffected at present, leading to most shipments being delivered on time however we do recommend people allow an additional 1-2 days for delivery in case of any delays. We cannot predict or foresee delays in advance.

Europe and the UK

The majority of shipments are arriving on time, but due to high demand on our courier networks, your items may incur delays and we recommend tracking online for the most recent updates.

  • In France, the majority of collections and deliveries have resumed as normal. There may be smaller areas still affected by service suspensions, if your shipment is affected by this, we will let you know.
  • In Spain and Italy shipping has resumed as normal.
  • In Greece, there may be additional restrictions for shipments coming in from outside the EU. This may involve the recipient attending a customs office to self clear the shipment or appointing a broker to clear the shipment with customs. Please do not send time-sensitive items.


There are not currently any restrictions on cargo shipments going to or from the USA.


Shipping has resumed as normal across China from the UK.


Shipments to and from Australia are operating however expect delays as the courier may use alternative routes to ship items to and from Australia.

South Africa

Only essential shipments may be shipped to and from South Africa. Please do not send without having checked with SA customs in regard to the essential status of your items.


Currently, the following countries have suspended their services:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Antigua, Comoros, Greenland, Guinea Bissau, Iraq, Mauritius, Mayotte, Nepal, Reunion Island, Rwanda, Seychelles, St Lucia, Uzbekistan.

As the situation is ever-changing we cannot guarantee circumstances will not change and cannot be responsible for delays caused due to the impact of the pandemic.

Are there size and weight restrictions?

Yes, but each service will differ. You can discover if your items adhere to the size and weight restrictions when getting a quick quote here. If your item is oversized or too large contact us directly for a custom quote for your shipment.

What packaging can I use?

You are able to use your own packaging, providing that it is able to transport your items safely and is sturdy enough for the journey. If you are using the NI Parcels Economy or Express service items must be packaged in cardboard boxes or crates as per these guidelines. For large items please check these specifications. NI Parcels does not offer a packaging service, so this is your responsibility. It’s important to note that suitcases or bags are not accepted as packaging and your items will not be suitable for collection.

Do I need labels?

Yes, all shipments will require labels, but the process couldn’t be simpler! All you have to do is go to the My Orders section of NI Parcel’s website. Here you can log into your order and access your labels. They will differ depending on the courier, some will include barcodes and some won’t.

You will receive an email when your labels are ready to print. Print off your labels and attach them to your shipment. If you have more than one label per parcel, only attach one and give the rest to the driver. Make sure that your labels do not cover any addresses or barcodes which are essential for delivery.

Do not give your shipment to the delivery driver without attaching your labels. You may be charged an admin fee or your items may end up being returned if labels are not attached.

Do I need customs forms?

Yes, if you are sending your item to a country outside of the EU, you will need to fill out customs forms. We will provide these for you, they are available under the, ‘My Order,’ section on our website.

When preparing your parcels for shipping ensure that you have included 3 copies of your custom forms in a clear documents wallet and attach it to your parcels. If you don’t have a clear document holder then give your customer paperwork directly to the driver who will attach it to your shipment for you.

Are there any items I cannot send?

Yes, there are items that are prohibited. These items include;

Aerosols, Air Bag, Alcoholic Beverages, Ammunition Animals Of Any Form (Alive Or Dead), Batteries (All), Biological Samples, Car Batteries, Car Bonnet, Car Bumper, Cash, Credit Cards, Debit Cards, Cheques, Christmas Crackers, Compressed Gas, Counterfeit Currency, Dangerous Goods, Drugs (Including Prescription), Filth, Fire Extinguisher, Fish (Live Or Dead), Flammable items, Gun, Hazardous Goods, Human Remains, Infectious Substances, Juice, Liquid, Lottery Tickets, Meat, Money/Cash/Currency, Nail Polish, Oil, Paint, Passport, Perfume / Aftershave (All), Perishable Goods (All), Plant, Pornography, Printer Toner (International Parcels Only), Replica Weapons, Settee, Sinks, Slush Syrup, Sofa, Stamps (Unless Franked), Tobacco, Toilets, Water, Weapons, Windscreens.

There is also a list of non-compensation items, which can be sent, however, would not be covered by our compensation cover.

Covid-19 safety procedures

Our couriers have brought in extra measures to ensure your delivery is shipped safely, with contactless delivery and all drivers have access to sanitizer and protective equipment if needed.


Interested in sending a package with NI Parcels? Get a quick quote here

You might also like:

How To Send A Parcel Via Courier Service

7 Things To Remember When Shipping Heavy Or Large Items

4 Expert Tips For Sending A Parcel To The USA

Posted in NI Parcels News, Parcel Shipping | Comments Off on A Guide to Parcel shipping with NI Parcels in the wake of COVID-19

Common Phrases You Probably Use If You’re From Norn Iron

Naturally, we don’t tend to pick up on what phrases we use or how often we use them in our own country. It makes complete sense as we are speaking with people with the same accents and turns of phrases, inevitably we get habituated to it.
However, I am a Scotsman living in Northern Ireland and over the last few years I have definitely picked up on a lot of amazing phrases people from Norn Iron use, some of which you might not even realise you use. I’ve compiled a list here of common phrases you probably use if you are from Northern Ireland!

God Love Em

The classic term of endearment for someone who has done something good or is trying hard or is just lovely. I always hear the phrase, “Aww, God love em!”.

Sure at the end of everything

One of my favourite phrases is that lots of sentences begin or end with sure. “Sure, it’ll be fine.”, “We’ll go later, sure.”


Catch Yourself On

I have been told this many times, especially when I’ve said something stupid…


And All That There

I spoke to a few friends of mine about this one and they had no idea they used it. Just the other day I heard, “The insurance will cover that and all that there.”


Describing people as a Melter Or Melt

I had never heard of this before and was completely confused when someone said, “Aye, they are such a melter.”


What You For Doing

One I am asked on nearly a nightly basis by my girlfriend. It is a brilliant Northern Irish phrase for, “What are you planning on doing?” I always get asked, “Right, what you for doing?”


A Wee Dander

“You up for a wee dander?” Is a much better way of asking to go for a walk.


That’s Grand

A lovely way of saying, “that’s fine”. “It will be grand, sure” or “Sure, that’s grand”.


So It Is

Another brilliant little phrase that comes after many sentences!


Of An Evening

This is another one some people are completely oblivious to. One example is, “We watch TV of an evening.”



The affirmation of choice in Norn Iron.


What’s The Craic?

The greatest of all greetings and a better way of asking what you have been doing.


Are you from Norn Iron? Do you need to send a parcel or a care package? Grab yourself a quote here, you can send parcels door to door with NI Parcels, within Northern Ireland and to over 200 countries and territories worldwide.


Posted in Northern Ireland | Comments Off on Common Phrases You Probably Use If You’re From Norn Iron

Best Events In NI Before 2020

Can you believe it’s only 90 days until 2020!

Here are some of the best events coming up for the rest of this year in Northern Ireland; perfectly scheduled to skip your daily tasks and discover the beauty and originality of our counties.

Belfast Restaurant Week (23-29 September)

This fantastic food event makes accessible for everyone a huge variety of dishes from restaurants around Belfast. You will have the chance to try the Mediterranean, Asian, Italian or Northern Ireland produce and more than 600 mouthwatering menus.

The best part of the event comes during the weekend (28 and 29 September) when the city starts to get busy and with a very nice vibe: Different food demonstrations will take place at Writer’s Square and there will be local chefs cooking with the freshest of Northern Ireland ingredients accompanied by inspiring live music.

From Monday to Friday daily lunch prices are only £10 (between 12pm and 2pm) and from Monday to Thursday evening meals for just £15 (between 17pm and 19pm).


 Gourmet Golf, Newry (27 September)

Gourmet Golf is definitely another way to make golf even more exciting. Gourmet golf gives you the opportunity to enjoy a different tasting experience on each hole: 9 holes with 9 unusual Tapas and local drinks from the Newry Mourne.

Producers include Mourne Mountain Brewery, Whitewater Brewery, Killowen Gin, Neary Nogs Chocolate, Little Meat Company, Helen’s Jams & Preserves, Crawford’s Rock Seaweed, Castle Screen Farm, Mange Tout and Leafy Green.

Prices for members are £25 and for visitors £35. Location: Warrenpoint Golf Club, Lower Dromore Road.


A Taste of Titanic Belfast (28 September, 26 October and 30 November)

Do you want to be immersed in an authentic and historical experience? A taste of Titanic offers a 2 hours tour through the Titanic galleries accompanied by different and typical culinary delights from the era.

If you choose this tour you will have the chance to try from a shipyard worker’s hearty snack to a First-Class champagne treat (only local produce is used).

In this experience is included: entrance to the Titanic Experience galleries, a Guided Tour and Food and Drink tastings. The price is £40 per person.


Whitehead Sea and Food Tour, Whitehead (27 September onwards)

A fantastic experience for kayak lovers! You’ll have the occasion to do a tour around Blackhead Lighthouse and The Gobbins, with qualified instructors, and see a different perspective of The Gobbins Cliff path and the Seven Sister Caves.

It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner kayaker; it’s suitable for beginners and advanced kayakers as well.

The 2 hours kayaking tour also includes a delicious lunch after the adventure, provided by the award family-run Light House Bistro. The price is £55 per person.


Cinemagic International Film & Television Festival (1 October-3 November) 

The festival has unveiled over 30 days of unmissable activities and events in various cinemas and art venues in Belfast and across Northern Ireland.  It’s suitable for ages between 12 and 25 years and it offers an incredible feast of classic and modern cinema.

The program features over 100 public films and events, 30 industry workshops and masterclasses and 75 film education workshops. You will also find actresses such as Saoirse Ronan, Saoirse Monica Jackson, Hayley Mills and actor Tchéky Karyo among others.

The film program will officially close with an 80th-anniversary screening of cinematic classic The Wizard of OZ in Belfast Cathedral. Don’t miss the chance!


Belfast International Arts Festival (15 October-3 November)

 The Belfast International Arts Festival reflects the changing city and the continuing evolution of creative practice from all around the world. There will be performances from artists all across the globe.

In this event, you will find lots of different activities: world-class theatre, dance, visual art, music, films, literature and talks. Cultural walking tours will be available to discover no less than 28 different venues around the city.

There are free events, but the majority of them need booking.


Derry Halloween (26 October-1 November)

Voted the Best Halloween Destination in the World in 2015 by “USA Today” and reviewed by hundreds of people; this event guarantees an incredible and unique Halloween experience amongst the walled city of Derry.

During the festival, the town is transformed with colourful and scale site decorations creating an inimitable atmosphere and buzz. There are over 100 events with more than 1,400 performers in 40 different venues.

All you need here is a stunning costume and the motivation to have an amusing night (that for sure you will have).


Halloween Monster Mash (27 October)

This Halloween celebration will be located in Titanic Slipways. The best point about it is that tickets aren’t needed, so there’s no excuse to bring your costume and enjoy the spooky party.

What would you find here? Freaky street shows and performers, breath-taking fire shows, themed arts and craft workshops, Monster fairground rides and live music on stage. The city’s biggest fireworks display takes also place in Titanic Slipways and begins at 6.45pm, lasting for 15 min.

Do you dare to astonish your friends with your most creative costume?


Twilight Market (12/13 November) 

From 4pm to 11pm each day you will have a large variety of Northern Ireland food and continental foods from around the world combined with live music at St George’s Market.

At Twilight Market you will also find chef demonstrations, handmade arts and crafts. This is the perfect place to have a fun time with your family and friends (all Twilight Market events are strictly over 18s after 9pm).

If you like food and are curious about different cuisine meals, you must try and go to this award-winning Twilight Market.


Christmas market (16 November-22 December)

 One of the best events to spend a nice evening with the family. What you would find here is over 30 international traders offering spectacular foods and curious gift ideas for your Christmas presents.

The shops will be all around the City Hall. You would visit Santa in his festive grotto, take a ride on the vintage carousel or a slide down the Helter Skelter.

Do you have a sweet tooth? You will be pleased by the number of sweets and French crepes, Dutch pancakes and Belgian chocolates in this market.


Are you looking forward to any of these events? Don’t doubt about going or not, this is a perfect occasion to try them. We are sure that you will have a really good time there. Don’t fall asleep, time is running!

Posted in Northern Ireland | Comments Off on Best Events In NI Before 2020

Top 3 Pepe’s Favourite Mexican Restaurants

La Taqueria


Just off a major thoroughfare in the centre of Belfast, we can find this very refined Mexican style restaurant.

The specialties, of course, are the tacos; made with extreme passion and amazing ingredients personally shipped from Mexico. La Taqueria serves real Mexican street food and they have demonstrated it with facts.

Want to try something different? Here, you can also find Mexican beverages, typical beers and artisan tequila and mezcal. The perfect ingredients of happiness!

The service is excellent, which makes you feel comfortable and relaxed, and the clear proof of it is the big number of positive testimonials and reviews.


Boojum arrived on the scene in 2007 as one of the most disruptive food concepts to hit the high street in a long time. Considered the restaurant that started the Mexican trend in Belfast, continues to be the best option for burrito addicts.

If you don’t want to wait and feel starving, this is the perfect place for you. The people behind Boojum are complete burrito experts, so they guarantee a well-personalized service.

Take your colleagues, your parents or even your fusspot friend; they will feel delighted with this masterpiece.

Most people recognize Boojum as the best Mexican fast food in Belfast because of their huge and tasty burritos, tacos and bowls combined with rice, beans and meat. What else can we say about Boojum? In one word: SCRUMPTIOUS!

Acapulco Restaurant

Open for the busy lunchtime traffic, this colourful and inviting establishment is situated downstairs in the canteen and is ready to please its costumers since 1998. Here you can grab delicious takeaway Burritos, tacos, pots and more!

What can you discover here? From mouth-watering fillings including: Chipotle Chicken; Shredded Annatto Pork; Seasoned fajita steak; or Vegetarian Chilli, to GIANT flour tortillas or delicious sweet potato fries.

If you fancy spreading your taste bud wings, Acapulco has an amazing variety of Chimichanga, Enchiladas, Fajitas and Ensaladas (to name just a few!)

Those thinking of visiting Acapulco won’t be disappointed with the tasty meal selection, the creative and warm environment and the friendly staff. This is quickly becoming a favourite for Mexican cuisine enthusiasts throughout Belfast.

Posted in Local Restaurants | Comments Off on Top 3 Pepe’s Favourite Mexican Restaurants

NI Parcels Christmas 2018 – Send By Dates and Contact Information

Untitled design (18)

Do you need to send a gift or an important parcel over the holiday season? NI Parcels can help!

NI Parcels offers convenient and affordable parcel delivery services across Northern Ireland, to Ireland, to mainland UK and to over 200 countries worldwide. We provide fantastic low rates for both domestic and international shipments, and fast transit times. You can easily send parcels to your nearest and dearest this festive season.

Read on to find out absolutely everything you need to know about booking a courier service to send a parcel with us this Christmas. Please be sure to take note of our Christmas send by dates, as well as our holiday office closure information.

NI Parcels Christmas Send By Dates

Below you can find our recommended send by dates for the Christmas period. If you would like your parcel to arrive in time for Christmas, we recommend sending on our before the following dates listed. Please note that these are the latest dates we advise. You may still book a collection after the listed dates, however, we then cannot guarantee that your item will arrive in time before Christmas. Please note that all NI Parcels services are estimated and can be subject to occasional delays.

Please note that we recommend allowing 1 extra day than normal during December due to high volumes of shipments, and also to consider any adverse weather conditions. Deliveries will take place until 21st December.

NI Parcels Express Services

UK – 20th December

UK Express 12.00 – 20th December

Europe – 13th December

Worldwide – 17th December

Parcelforce Services

Express 48 – 18th December

Express 24 – 19th December

DPD Services

DPD Next Day – 20th December

DPD 48 – 19th December

Europe – 18th December

CAE Delivers

NI/UK – 18th December

Find out more from each courier’s website: Parcelforce, DPD, CAE Delivers.

NI Parcels Christmas Closure Dates

Below you will find the NI Parcels office opening hours during the Christmas period. You can also see on which days collections and deliveries will be taking place.

Screen Shot 2018-11-21 at 13.32.30

IMPORTANT NOTE: You can place a booking on our website anytime. Our online booking system is available 24/7.


NI Parcels Contact Information

You may contact our office directly from 9am-6pm on any of the days we are open, as listed above. However, if you need to query your shipment when our offices are closed over the holiday period, please find contact details for our couriers below:

NI Parcels Express: Please call 0844 248 0844 and have your collection reference number ready. You can find this number by logging into your account on the NI Parcels website, clicking ‘My Orders’ and selecting ‘Track’.

Parcelforce: Click this link and use your postcode to find the number for your local depot. You’ll need to have your tracking number ready. This can be found in your emails from NI Parcels, and also by logging into ‘My Orders’. It begins with two letters, followed by seven numbers.

DPD: Click here to find the number for your local depot. You’ll need to quote your “CR101” reference number when you call. This can be found by logging into your account and clicking ‘Track’.

CAE Delivers: Please call 028 9043 9333 and provide your address details.

How To Book With NI Parcels This Christmas

Whether you run a small business and are in need of a reliable shipping solution to run over the festive period, or you’re an individual sending a thoughtful gift to a loved one – anyone can send a parcel with NI Parcels this Christmas.

Booking with NI Parcels is easy. Simply start by getting a quote straight from our homepage. We’ll compare quotes from leading courier companies to give you the lowest prices and fastest delivery times for your shipment. All you have to do is select the option that best suits your needs!

After that, we’ll collect your parcel and deliver it straight to where it needs to go. We provide a convenient door to door parcel collection and delivery service, as well as full online parcel tracking so you can monitor your shipment every step of the way.

NI Parcels can help you save both time and money this Christmas. Our service is pay as you go, which means no complicated sign up processes, and all shipments are priced individually based on their weights and dimensions, meaning you’ll always receive the best value for your money.

Booking your parcel delivery with NI Parcels is up to 80% cheaper than booking with the courier directly. Get a quote today to see how much you could save!

New to NI Parcels? Learn more about us…


Learn more:

Parcel Delivery Northern Ireland

International Parcel Delivery

Small Business Shipping

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A Guide On Shipping Parcels To Australia


Shipping parcels to a destination such as Australia can seem like a daunting and complicated process.

The thought of sending a parcel to a destination such as Australia can seem like an all-too-overwhelming process. Here at NI Parcels, we know a thing or two about shipping all kinds of parcels across the globe. Whether you’re a small business in need of an international shipping solution, or whether you’re simply sending a one-off parcel to a loved one on the other side of the world. We’re here to shed a bit of light on shipping to Australia to make the whole process much more digestible.

Although it certainly doesn’t have to be as daunting and as complicated as it appears on the surface, when sending a parcel to Australia there are a number of things worth knowing before you even start comparing international courier quotes.

Here’s the essential things you need to know before shipping to Australia:

Why Ship To Australia?

There are a number of reasons why businesses or individuals may want to ship parcels to Australia. As a small business, you might be aiming to expand your services internationally, and as such, find yourself researching the best shipping solution to fit your needs. On the other hand, you may have a loved one residing in the Land Down Under and perhaps wish to send them a touch of home in a thoughtful care-package. The possibilities are endless – however, regardless of what your reason might be, it’s essential to do your research before going ahead with it.

Australian Customs Information

When importing goods into Australia, you are legally required to complete and attach a customs invoice to your shipment. Whether you’re sending business samples, gifts or personal effects; if your shipment is not accompanied by a customs invoice, it will not make it past your local country border, and you may have to pay hefty return charges to get it back (unless you’re sending only documents).

What is a customs invoice and what is it used for?

A customs invoice is used by the destination country’s Customs authorities to access and inspect the imported goods, and to levy any duties or taxes that they may deem applicable to the goods being imported into their country. It is important to understand that it is not the courier who is applying additional charges, is it the Customs authorities. When shipping to Australia, you must comply with this.

Sending goods temporarily into Australia?

If you know that the goods you are importing into Australia will leave again within 12 months, this is referred to a a ‘Temporary Import’. It is unlikely that you will have to pay any duty and tax on this type of shipment, however, there are strict conditions in place for these shipments. If you do not tell Customs when the goods leave Australia, then you will likely have to pay the duty and tax that would have been payable when you first imported them into Australia. Be sure to research this!

Shipping Gifts To Australia

Thinking of sending a thoughtful gift to a loved one residing in Australia? When shipping to Australia, gifts are their own entity, and are not classed as personal effects. Therefore, any and all gifts imported into Australia go through normal Customs clearance. Unfortunately, there is no duty or tax concession for sending gifts to Australia; this means that, regardless, your recipient will have to pay duties and taxes in order to clear the goods through Customs. This is a regulation imposed by the Australian Customs authorities and is not subject to dispute in any case.

Shipping Personal Effects To Australia

Any and all luggage shipments imported into Australia are considered to be unaccompanied personal effects and, in certain circumstances, may be subject to duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) – however, you may be exempt from duty and tax on your personal effects shipment if you:

  • Personally owned and used the goods for at least 12 months before shipping to Australia
  • Have arrived or intend to arrive in Australia
  • Are a permanent resident (returning to Australia) or are a first time migrant from a place outside Australia taking up permanent residency

Goods that can be declared as personal effects and which can be exempt from duty and tax usually include; personal clothing, furniture, rugs, books and bicycles.

When completing your customs declaration, it is important to do so properly and clearly. In order to demonstrate that your shipment consists of personal effects, you will be required to accurately describe each item included in the package. For example, if it is a shipment consisting of personal clothing, you would declare this as: “5 x t-shirts, 2 x pairs of jeans, 3 x dresses” etc, as opposed to “10 x clothing”.

Personal belongings that do not qualify for exemption:

  • Alcohol and tobacco products
  • Parts for cars, motorcycles or other vehicles
  • Goods you intend to sell (commercial goods)
  • Goods you have purchased from overseas while you are in Australia (including internet purchases)
  • Goods which were bequeathed to you

Although NI Parcels does not specifically specialise in shipping personal effects, there are many reputable companies offering convenient luggage shipping services to Australia, including My Baggage, who offer door to door luggage shipping.

Prohibited Goods, Restricted Goods and Packaging

For security, quarantine and customs reasons, there are certain items which may be prohibited or restricted from importing into Australia. It is very important to note that some restricted items can still be sent, however, they may require your recipient to obtain a permit or import license in advance for customs clearance. This will require some in-depth research to avoid disappointment further down the line.

It is important to be aware that any shipments containing any restricted items such as foodstuffs or wooden products may result in the shipment having to be cleared by Australian quarantine, which can result in delays and potential additional charges.

As a general rule, you can be sure that the following items are prohibited:

  • Aerosols
  • Animal Products
  • Cash, Credit Cards, Debit Cards
  • Dangerous Goods
  • Hazardous Goods
  • Liquids
  • Medicines
  • Passports and other confidential personal documentation
  • Perishable Foods
  • Plants

It is also worth noting that import allowances, security and customs processes differ all over the world. As such, it is strongly recommended that you do your own personal research into what may be prohibited in your destination country before getting ready to send your parcel. Australia goes to great lengths to protect its stunning natural environment and habitats from harmful diseases; this means that many products, goods and even some packaging materials are prohibited.

To avoid any major issues, avoid the following packaging materials:

  • Egg cartons
  • Wooden boxes*
  • Cardboard boxes that have been used to hold fruit, vegetables or meat
  • Straw material
  • Dried plant material

*It is important to note that all wooden boxes, crates or pallets must be fumigated and also be accompanied by a fumigation certificate for entry into Australia.

What type of packaging can be used?

As is standard with all parcels, it is advised to invest in new, sturdy, double-walled (or even triple-walled) cardboard boxes as they are most durable and suitable for transporting all different types of items. If you are sending any fragile or delicate items, it is recommended to use internal packaging to protect them during transit. You can use a range of materials such as bubble wrap, foam or newspapers.

Hopefully our handy guide gives you some further insight into shipping parcels to Australia. If you have any questions about the process or wish to enquire about shipping parcels to Australia with NI Parcels, give us a shout or find out more below!

Need to send a parcel? Learn more about NI Parcels.


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How To Send A Parcel Via Courier Service

courier service

Need to send a parcel?

If you don’t send parcels regularly, needing to send one might seem like a bit of a head-scratch. Where do you even start? Especially if you’re sending it halfway across the world; the whole thing can really seem like a rather complicated process.

Don’t panic. At NI Parcels, we happen to be rather experienced in shipping parcels (the hint is in the name). As such, we’re here to share our expert advice about sending a parcel via a courier service. We will take you through every step so that you know exactly what you have to do to send a parcel anywhere in the world!

Step 1: Package it up!

First thing’s first; you’re going to need to package up whatever it is you’re planning to send. No reputable courier service will take items without packaging – it poses too great of a risk to not only your item, but to every other item being transported.

When we send a parcel with a courier, we all like to imagine that our item is very carefully carried by one person from A-B. The truth is that your item will be transported through a courier network; it will first be sorted by a machine and then placed into a van with tens (or even hundreds) of other heavy and large parcels and driven to its destination. Of course, if you’re sending your parcel with a reputable courier (like our providers) any damage to your item in transit is very unlikely.

However, it can happen on very rare occasions and for that reason, you’ll want to ensure you’ve done everything humanly possible to protect your item.

The way you package your item will, of course, depend on the item itself. For example, if you’re planning to send documents, paintings, or bigger items such as electricals; you will need to package all of these in different ways.

That said, a general rule of thumb is to make sure your item is packaged properly and as securely as possible. Use sturdy materials; a double-walled cardboard box is less likely to collapse or tear. You might also want to add some internal packaging, such as bubble wrap or packing peanuts to give your items some extra cushioning.

You’re also going to want to have a read over your courier service’s prohibited and non-compensation items list to ensure what you are sending can be carried and whether it can be covered in the rare event of loss or damage.

Step 2: Measure your parcel!

Many, if not all, courier services will require you to provide the details of your parcel, such as the weight and dimensions, at the point of booking. These details are required as it is how the price of your shipment is actually determined.

You’re going to want to ensure that these details are as accurate as possible, as you don’t want to end up paying more for the shipment that what you actually need to. Similarly, you don’t want to pay too little, then receive a hefty oversized charge later down the line. It will also help to prevent any delays or complications.

Step 3: Book your shipment!

Now that you have your parcel ready, it’s time to book your shipment. You can either go directly to a courier company to avail of their courier services, or you can save yourself a pretty penny by booking through a third party such as NI Parcels.

When you book with NI Parcels instead of going directly to the courier company, you can save yourself up to 80% on the cost of your courier service. That’s because we’ve negotiated fantastic low rates with our network of reputable couriers; which means you still receive the same high-quality service, but for a fraction of the price.

What’s more, booking with NI Parcels is easy peasy. There’s no complicated sign up process, all you need to get started is a valid email address. Our online booking system is straightforward and only takes a few short moments to complete.

Step 4: Print and attach your shipping labels!

When you book a courier service, you’ll be sent some shipping labels that you’ll need to print and attach to your item. At NI Parcels, we email these labels through to you.

If you’re sending parcels internationally…

Bear in mind that if you are sending parcels internationally, such as to the USA, Australia or otherwise, there may be additional forms that you’ll need to fill out to send with your item. That’s because, with international shipping, you are technically exporting goods, which means it can be a more complex process and requires careful thought and, most importantly of all, some research on your part.

When you’re sending a parcel outside of the EU, you’ll need to fill out a customs invoice. This is a document that travels with your parcel and contains information about the items inside your parcel. The invoice is required for customs clearance – to put it bluntly, your shipment cannot and will not leave the country without one.

When you book an international shipment with NI Parcels, we provide these customs documents to you, along with some advice on how to fill them out. However, again, it is entirely your responsibility to do some research on this and to fill out these forms correctly as no courier is directly associated with customs.

Step 5: Sit back and relax!

That’s it – the courier takes care of everything from here! You can simply sit back and relax whilst your shipment is collected and delivered to its destination.

When you book a handy courier service with NI Parcels, there’s no need to leave your items off at a drop-off point, and no need to venture out to collect them when they arrive. We offer a fully door-to-door service for your convenience.

As well, we provide full online parcel tracking so that you can monitor the progress of your shipment every single step of the way. You’ll be notified when your shipment is out for delivery, so you’ll know exactly when to expect it.

If you happen to have any questions or concerns along the way, NI Parcels dedicated customer support team will be happy to help with any query you might have.

New to NI Parcels? Learn more about us…


Learn more:

Parcel Delivery Northern Ireland

International Parcel Delivery

Small Business Shipping

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