What to do with your mail when traveling longterm

What to do with your mail when traveling longterm

Planning on traveling long-term? Not sure what to do with your mail when traveling long term? Before I left for my new nomadic life I spent a lot of time looking for a good alternative to my family having to deal with my post in my absence.

As I no longer have a ‘fixed abode’ and don’t intend on returning anytime soon I needed a cost-effective way to deal with my mail long term. That’s when I discovered postal services as the perfect way to deal with your post if you aren’t planning on returning to your home country anytime soon. 

I personally didn’t want my family having to deal with my mail, it’s a bit much to ask long term. So I began looking at ways of receiving mail without a permanent address.

Go Paperless

Step one was to make everything I could paperless. I changed all of the settings on my bank accounts and credit cards etc. Even doing this I would still need a permanent address for new cards etc.

Postal Services

I then came across UK Postbox. In short, you sign up for their services. NB you will need a fixed address for this and to send them proof or residence at this address along with ID to prove you are who you say you are. Once signed up they have different rates and services you can choose from. I chose an all-inclusive basic service. This means I can receive up to 30 letters per month. Every time a letter comes in they scan the envelope and email me to ask me how I would like them to deal with it I tend to do the following:

  1. Open and scan
  2. Forward or Shred and Recycle 

On my plan opening and scanning is included, so I normally do this. Then once I’ve read it I get them to destroy. If it’s a bank card you can ask them to forward it to a family member for safekeeping or any address you like.

It is so simple to use and I didn’t have any issues at all changing my bank accounts to a PO Box address. which I thought I might. I really can’t recommend this service enough it has been a life saver for me on the road. This company and post are more geared towards people from the UK, however, most countries offer similar services so just do a quick search for your country and I’m sure you will find a few companies offering this service.

 

What to do with your mail when traveling longterm

 

Final Thoughts

Having used UK Postbox since 2016 I can safely say it has been a total success. They have forwarded replacement bank cards to Mexico, legal documents to the USA and even a special birthday card to Colombia!  Everything I don’t physically need they simply scan and shred. Perfect!

This post was proofread by Grammarly

 

Book your trip now

Are you ready to book your trip?  To help you get the best deals and service here are the companies that I personally use to book all of my travel online. I always shop around before booking anything, but these are my tried and tested starting places.

  • Skyscanner – I’m a bit fan of Skyscanner, it is who I use to book all of my flights. I often will check other like Google Flights or Momodo, but I always go here first and it is who I book 99% of my flights with. 
  • Booking.com – I LOVE booking.com especially when I can book and cancel free up until a certain point, mostly because my plans are forever changing. It’s easy to use and has one of the widest selections. 
  • Airbnb – I’m not a huge user of Airbnb, but sometimes I do like to use it, and I ALWAYS check it before I book anything else. You can get some really cool places to stay here, and it is especially good in places like Cuba. If you don’t have an account and you click on this link then you will get $36 off your first booking.
  • Hostelworld – If you are looking for hostels then this is a great place to check first. They often have additional places that you won’t find on Bookin.com.
  • Agoda – Although I don’t use it as much as booking.com, Agonda is especially good if you are traveling in Asia as they really do dominate there. 
  • Worldpackers – If you want to travel on the cheap and save money on accommodation then you need Worldpackers in your life. You can read more about it here. If you click this link to sign up and use the code CLAIRESITCHYFEET then you can get a 40% discount on your membership! 
  • Book a Way – If you are traveling in Asia and want to pre-book your transportation then bookaway.com is a fantastic site to do so. They have buses, trains, and cars.
  • RentalCars – Looking to rent a. car while you are away? I always book through Rental Cars as they do a search of all of the big sites and find the best deals. 
  • Welcome Pickups – Very occasionally getting from the airport to my accommodation is a total pain in the butt, or I’m traveling in a group and it makes sense to arrange a pickup. When I do I use Welcome pickups.
  • World Nomads – If you are looking for flexible travel insurance then it’s World Nomads all the way. I wrote all about insurance here if you want a more thorough review. 
  • SafetyWing – AsI’m a Digital Nomad and not moving around quite so much anymore I personally use SafetyWing now for my health insurance. I wrote a full review here
  • Viatour – Sometimes it can be a little expensive, but I like Viatour for somethings, especially if you can get a discount code! It’s also great for inspiration. 
  • Klook – If you are traveling in Asia, then Klook is great! You can book all kinds of tours, activities, and train tickets, plus they even have sim cards and WiFi.

Claire Summers

Dancer, producer, traveller, photographer, cake maker, dog lover and knitter of Christmas scarfs.

This Post Has 21 Comments

  1. When I’ve been traveling for a few months at a time, entrusting my family members with the mail has never worked out. My parents don’t seem capable of differentiating between letters from the IRS (true story!) and junk mail. Thankfully these days all the important stuff is paperless and I’m usually only traveling for 2 months or so at a time, so I just put my mail on hold. It’s good to know these services exist, since if I had anything important coming in the mail I’d be signing up for it!

  2. I have never traveled long enough that this has been an issue, but it is a great idea. There are so many things to consider that you simply can’t think of everything. It is great to learn from others beforehand so that things like this don’t become an issue when you should be enjoying yourself instead of worrying about things back home.

    1. I know if I wasn’t away so much it wouldn’t be an option. But I have no plans in returning and having no ‘home address’ is a huge issue. Maybe one day I’ll have a read address again haha

  3. This is a good tip about dealing with mail whilst traveling. I must confess I’ve been traveling for about 12 years and still let my mum deal with my mail, although all my banking is paperless. As I’m also from the UK a mail service could work for me, I was unaware of the scan and send as well as destroy options. I’ll read more into this so my mum doesn’t nosy my mail!

    1. I think my Dad would probably do this for me too as he does it for my sister who lives in France. But if she goes overdrawn at the bank he goes mad haha. So I decided I’d just let the POBox deal with it instead haha. Plus if I need something forwarding they send it straight away, sometimes waiting for a family to send things while woking full time it can be a bit of a pain. I’ve changed it to Pay as you go now so it’s really cheap as I hardly get any mail!

  4. Going paperless is the way to do it and we believe even for the non travellers. Everything is online now so why not save paper? Never used a Postbox before because we never really need it though.

    1. Yes, I have everything I can paperless. Sadly that doesn’t work for everything though. Mostly it’s things like certificates, bank cards and other important documents I need that get sent to the PO Box…plus I need an address for my bank accounts and other accounts I open. Having no address can be a huge issue so using this Postbox has been a life saver. I only get maybe 2-3 things sent there a month. But I use the address daily.

  5. We generally put our mails on paperless mode while on travel mode. Also my address of letters are of my office so they are kept by office boy and when I return i can read all. Good you have described UK Post Box as I was totally unaware of it. I will also try UK Post Box.

    1. Sounds like a great way to deal with it. I don’t plan on going back to my ‘home country’ for at least 2-3 years so it’s not really an option for me. If I didn’t have this address I wouldn’t have one haha. Everything I can is paperless but I need it for things like bank cards. I lost mine and it took only 3 days for the new one to be forwarded to me in the USA, I was so impressed!

  6. Useful information for those doing long term travel without a permanent address. Paperless is the way to go, saves so much on waste! I personally use a PO box, though I understand this isn’t an option for everyone.

    1. I know it’s crazy how much paper is wasted if you don’t go paperless! I used to get so much post! I get maybe 2/3 letters a month now max.

  7. Such a helpful and thoughtful post. It is indeed a pain to manage mails when traveling. Going paperless is the best solution. I wish there was something similar to UK Post Box here. Sounds very helpful.

  8. Interesting! I will have to see if there is something similar in the states. In the meantime, I’m planning to have my mom handle my mail, but I like the idea of having other options!

    1. I’m sure there is. I remember when I was looking into it I found something similar in the US. It’s such a useful service!

  9. This is an awesome service! I do not travel as much as you do. However, I checked out their website because I am eager how this process works. It looks efficient and resourceful. They can even upload to cloud services. I would recommend this to a friend who lives in the U.K.

    1. I know it’s great right! Good to know things like this exist if you ever need it 🙂

  10. Is nice to know that such things exist whenever someone would need it. I never knew about this and your tips is helpful though I think most of the things can be paperless in today’s world. I am not a long term traveler and travel for a month at one go so I never had to do far deal with it but you never know. Thanks for sharing

  11. I try to sign up for paperless version whenever it is possible so I don’t have to deal with overflowing mailbox when returning home. For long-term travelers, the UK postbox sounds like a good option. I like that it scans the envelope and ask you how you want to deal with you so you know what mail has come in while you’re on the go!

    1. They also give you the option to shred and recycle all your mail too which I love.

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