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?
Friday 4th of May 2018
What do you do about your license and things that need an address? What about anything you need utility bills or proof of residency? We are about to go full-time and know that is definitely a concern we have had!
Tuesday 22nd of May 2018
So we were able to use a family member address for bills, our cars, and RV registration ect. If that isn't an option there are mail services through places like Escapees that offer the same thing and you get a real address. Make sure to pick a state like Florida or Texas where there is no state income tax and the homeschool laws are easy to deal with. You can find more info here: https://www.escapees.com/mail-service/
Monday 23rd of April 2018
My family camping trip in last summer at a campground in Michigan, We have been in 2 weeks. I have problems with mail because a few important emails they send via snail mail. Traveling mailbox is a solution. Thank you Kristi
Camping For Foodies Kim Hanna
Thursday 18th of February 2016
My husband and I love getting away in our RV for long weekends but have been considering the idea of going full-time in the future. We've heard about mail being a problem but never discovered great solutions. It sounds like Traveling Mailbox is the answer, thanks for sharing this information Krisit!
How Full Time Travelers Get Their Mail - The Frugal Navy Wife
Saturday 16th of January 2016
[…] wanted to share that over on Roadschooling with The Frugal Navy Wife this week I answered one fo the biggest questions people seem to have about traveling full time. […]