Full-time traveling has its drawbacks, and one of them most definitely, is getting mail while on the road. When I first started out I thought this was going to be easy – just make everything electronic and call it a day. Well, that is true in theory. What ended up happening though is companies send about 75% of correspondence electronically, but the really important stuff, they still send out via snail mail. The problem is, and I bet you guessed it, you are nowhere near that snail mailbox to even know the important stuff existed until six months later. From talking to countless full-time travelers, here are how most full-time travelers get their mail.
How Full-Time Travelers Get Their Mail
Electronic is the Way To Go
This is a no brainer! Before hitting the road as a full-time traveler, changing all billing, magazine subscriptions, and anything possible to electronic delivery is the way to go. Just note that places like banks, auto lenders, and anything to do with monetary transactions will still want to send important information via snail mail no matter how often you tell them you can't check it.
The best thing to do for that impossible-to-get-rid-of-snail mail is an online mailbox. Traveling Mailbox manages your mail so you can be traveling anywhere in the world. The way it works is simple and brilliant. Once you complete a USS 1583 Form you then update your mailing address to Traveling Mailbox. As the mail arrives, they scan it and upload it to your online mailbox. You can then have them forward you that mail or shred it. Easy, right? Check out their site for more information to see if this is right for you with plans starting at $15/month.
The Old Fashioned Method
The first year I was on the road, all of my mail went to my best friend. Well, she wasn't exactly on top of sending it to me. I would let her know ahead of time that I was going to be somewhere and asked to have my mail sent there. It never came. I flew back to Phoenix about three months in to see a box of old mail and changed my address to my parent's house. Same exact thing happened! This time though, my parents were better if I gave them ample notice of where I was going to be. Sometimes though, the postal service took an extra long time to get it to me as my name was different than the friend's house it was being sent to. It was a hot mess.
In Alaska, I have my mail sent there to my temporary address. While in Arizona, it comes to my parent's. I just signed up with Traveling Mailbox though as quite a few of my other full-time traveling friends have recommended it.
How do you like to receive your snail mail while traveling?