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English for Travelling

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  1. At The Airport
    3 Topics
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    3 Quizzes
  2. Arriving
    3 Topics
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    3 Quizzes
  3. Staying At A Hotel
    3 Topics
    |
    3 Quizzes
  4. Staying At AirBnB Accommodation
    3 Topics
    |
    3 Quizzes
  5. Talking To Locals
    3 Topics
    |
    3 Quizzes
  6. Sightseeing
    3 Topics
    |
    3 Quizzes
  7. Taking Care Of The Essentials
    3 Topics
    |
    3 Quizzes
  8. Food and Drink
    3 Topics
    |
    3 Quizzes
  9. Pubs
    3 Topics
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    3 Quizzes
  10. Safety Tips
    1 Topic
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    1 Quiz
Lesson 7, Topic 3

At The Post Office

Gemma November 20, 2019
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You’re having a wonderful time on holiday and you’d like to send your friends and family at home some postcards to tell them all about it. You’ve found some perfect postcards…now all you need to do is send them.

I know, I know. Postcards are less and less common now that we have mobile phones to communicate with our friends and family from anywhere in the world…but we still love to receive exciting letters and postcards, don’t we? If you want to send a postcard, letter or parcel, you’ll need to use the post office.

There are lots of different options when it comes to sending your postcard, letter or parcel. Which one to choose depends on how quickly you want it to arrive at its destination, how heavy it is and how secure you want it to be.

Let’s look at your options:

  • International Economy – This is the cheapest but it also takes the longest to arrive. This is a good option if you are sending something heavy but you don’t need it to arrive quickly.
  • International Standard – This is only a little more expensive than Economy shipping but it is much faster. This is the most common way to send mail internationally.
  • International Signed – Your mail will be tracked within the country you send it from, then when it arrives at its destination someone will need to sign for it. This can be quite expensive but it’s a great idea if it’s very important that your mail doesn’t get lost.
  • International Tracked – Your mail is tracked during its whole journey. This is the most expensive option but it means that if your mail goes missing, the mail service will be able to track where it is and hopefully find it again.

You may want to send mail to someone who lives in the country you’re visiting. In this case, you have a few options too!

First class – this is the quickest way to send mail.

Second class – cheaper than first class but a little slower.

Both first and second class mail can be tracked and/or signed for too. Of course, it’s more expensive to use the tracked and signed for options, but they give you peace of mind if you’re sending something important or expensive.

Now you’ve made your decision about how you want to send your mail…but what do you say at the post office counter? Don’t worry – it’s straightforward.

Usually it’s just a case of saying where you want to send your mail, and how you want to send it. Your mail will be weighed and you will be told how much it will cost. Then you just need to pay…and you’re done!

Here are some dialogues to help you:

Dialogue 1:

A: Good morning. How can I help you?

B: I’d like to send this postcard to Japan, please.

A: Would you like to send it by International Standard?

B: How much does it cost?

A: That’s £1.35.

B: How much would it cost to send it International Economy?

A: International Economy is £1.25.

B: Ah. I think I’ll send it International Standard, please. It’s almost the same price.

Dialogue 2:

A: I’d like to send this parcel to Germany, please.

B: How would you like to send it?

A: International Economy, please.

B: Please put the parcel on the scales.

A: No problem.

B: That’ll be £8.71.

Dialogue 3:

A: Good afternoon. I’d like to send this parcel to Singapore.

B: Certainly. How would you like to send it?

A: I’d like to send it International Tracked, please.

B: Just place your parcel on the scales, please. Ok, international tracking will cost £39.40.

A: Ah! That’s more expensive than I expected.

B: You could send it International Signed instead. That’s a lot cheaper and it will still be tracked in this country.

A: That’s a good idea. How much will that cost?

B: That’s £19.31.

The post office has everything you need for sending letters and parcels. You can buy envelopes, boxes and packing materials there. Convenient, right?!

Remember: Post Offices usually have a currency exchange service. You can do that while you’re here if you need to.

Did you know…? The post office isn’t just for sending mail! Locals can pay bills there, apply for their passport and driving license, and withdraw cash from their bank accounts.

Let’s send some mail!