If you travel frequently for work — or are constantly on the move in an RV or other form of transport, without a solid base of operations — keeping track of snail mail can be a hassle. Try these four strategies to streamline your postal delivery.
- Sign up for digital mail forwarding. Earth Class Mail, Mailbox Forwarding, and other digital mail-forwarding services offer a solution to anyone who can access email on the go. These services receive your snail mail (so be sure to update your contact details with whoever might write to you), then scan the front and back of every envelope or parcel and send you an emailed image, so you can decide whether any given item is worth forwarding to your current destination — or whether it should be held or recycled unopened. The services cost $15 and up per month.
- Use your local post office’s premium service. If you don’t want to go to the trouble of changing your mailing address, sign up for the USPS’s premium mail-forwarding service. For a $15 enrollment fee, your local post office will hold your mail and send it to you in a weekly bundle for $14.95 (per week). If you don’t have an address where you can receive mail on the road, you can arrange to have envelopes and parcels shipped to the nearest local post office and pick them up there.
- Use an American Express Travel Service office. American Express will receive mail for its cardholders free of charge (and for non-cardholders for a fee) in any of its travel offices worldwide. Give the address of the closest American Express office to people who are likely to send you mail — or ask a friend or colleague to forward any important mail. AmEx will hold letters for up to 30 days. Note: AmEx does not accept packages for customers. For specific details of what can and can’t be delivered, call the specific Travel Service office that you plan to use.
- Ask people to send mail to a post office’s general-delivery address. Take advantage of the “general delivery” or “poste restante” option offered by U.S. and international post offices. Ask correspondents to send mail addressed to you at the main post office of one of your travel destinations, with the words “general delivery” or “poste restante” written prominently on the envelope or box. Check out the USPS guidelines for details on general delivery in the United States. General-delivery mail can be held for up to 30 days.