Offers Pack & Ship Promise, Extended Holiday and Weekend Hours Between shipping holiday packages, planning the family trip and baking cookies, the holidays can be anything but happy. Fortunately, the nearly 4,400 The UPS Store ® locations across the United States can help keep the holidays happy and hassle-free. "Whether it's helping you personalize and send out your holiday greetings, packing and shipping your gifts so they arrive safely or having someone sign for all your holiday packages, we're a convenient one-stop shop that can handle many of our customers' holiday logistics," said The UPS Store franchisee Clare Weil. With extended holiday and weekend hours to accommodate customers' busy holiday schedules, The UPS Store gives customers more time to get their packages out the door. Customers lacking the time, expertise or proper packaging supplies to prepare their gifts for shipment can bring them to The UPS Store Certified Packing Experts. Participating locations also offer The UPS Store Pack & Ship Promise, which reimburses customers for the item's value (subject to the lesser of actual value, replacement or repair cost, according to the UPS Tariff/Terms and Conditions of Service), the cost of packaging materials and service as well as shipping costs in the event a center-packed item shipped via UPS is lost or damaged. Visit The UPS Store Mobile for details. For customers who prefer to do it themselves, Weil offers the following tips: Begin with the proper materials: a new cardboard box designed for shipping, professional-grade packaging tape and packaging material like foam packaging peanuts or bubble cushioning (at least two inches all around). Include a label on the inside of the package with the destination and return addresses. Use a shipping option, like UPS, that provides a package tracking number. Take batteries out of toys, electronics, etc., before shipping and wrap them separately to avoid contact with metal. Seal home-made holiday treats in an interior airtight container or plastic bag before packing them. Use an expedited air service, such as UPS Next Day Air . Ship wrapped gifts and luggage ahead to your destination, especially if traveling by air. While many customers know they can rely on The UPS Store to handle the logistics of packing and shipping their holiday gifts, they're also discovering that they can check other items off of their holiday to-do lists at their local The UPS Store location, including printing holiday newsletters, invitations and programs. Customers can upload their documents to the online printing site, customize the printing and finishing options, preview the final project and submit their project from the comfort of their home or office. They can then pick them up when they come in to ship their holiday gifts. In addition, for those customers who do a lot of online and catalogue shopping, opening a mailbox at your local The UPS Store location is an added convenience. "Rather than leaving online and catalogue purchases sitting on your doorstep when you're not at home, let us receive them for you," suggested Weil. "Plus, we'll notify you via email or text message when you have a package waiting for pick-up, eliminating unnecessary trips." Weil said with only 20 shipping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, good timing is critical. Mondays are typically the busiest shipping days and Dec. 12-16 is expected to be the busiest week of the year, but she expects to see the holiday rush as late as Dec. 22 for delivery on Dec. 23. At participating The UPS Storelocations, you also can help mitigate the climate impact of your holiday packages. When shipping UPS, you can pay a small fee at the time of your transaction to offset the carbon footprint of your shipment. Many centers also accept clean packaging peanuts for reuse. To find your neighborhood The UPS Store location, please visit The UPS Store Mobile, or on-the-go customers can visit m.theupsstore.com. For additional tips and information on how The UPS Store can help lessen the hassle of the holidays, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.