If you have ever purchased a holiday gift online you are probably aware of how long it can take to receive your package. Ordering online is a great alternative from having to deal with the holiday crowds when shopping for things but delivery can become especially annoying. You can expect to receive your holiday gifts from days after ordering, all the way to after New Year’s.

Tracking your packages can be hard enough let alone being home to receive them. Here are a few tips for tracking your packages during the holidays.

Tracking Options

The Deliveries app, allows you to track dozens of packages that are being shipped. All you have to do is enter the tracking number and the information will tell you exactly where it is. If you have the tracking number already on your smart phone, it will automatically show up and add the expected delivery date to your calendar. Delivery is integrated with Amazon to give you updates on your package even if it hasn’t shipped yet.

The Slice app, can integrate with your Gmail, Hotmail, AOL, iCloud or Yahoo account so you can automatically track all of your packages on your smart phone. If you ordered multiple packages from different retailers, Slice will remember each tracking number and add it to your information so you don’t have to search in multiple places. If you are anxiously awaiting a package, you can add push notifications on your phone to alert you when a package is being shipped or delivered.

A Google shortcut is possibly the easiest and quickest way to track a package. By simply pasting a tracking number into the Google search bar, you will be redirected to the carrier’s tracking page. This method is extremely easy and efficient but is really only useful for one or two packages. Any more deliveries and using one of the suggested apps would probably be best.

Utilize Delivery Options

It can be surprisingly difficult to be home when a package delivery is scheduled between multiple hours during the day. A huge benefit to using UPS or FedEx that seems a bit under-used is their delivery options. You are able to customize the delivery to better fit your schedule by rescheduling a delivery if you know you won’t be home or even just placing a package on hold. This can be especially useful for a surprise gift that you don’t want seen by others in the house. If you don’t mind a package waiting outside your door while you’re not home, you are able to pre-sign for packages. You can even leave instructions for where to place the package.