Planning | Using Postal Services | What to do with your mail when traveling longterm

Planning | Using Postal Services | What to do with your mail when traveling longterm

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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.

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!

Claire's Itchy Feet Email Signature - Love Claire x


Planning on travelling long-term? Not sure what to do with your mail? 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.


Here are my other planning guides


How to Save Money for Travel

How to to find the best deals on accommodation

How to find the best flight deals online

Do you need travel insurance for longterm travel and backpacking

12 Travel apps to download before taking your trip

 A step by step guide to planning the perfect trip

Are You Traveling soon?

Be sure to check Skyscanner for the best flight deals.

I never travel anywhere without Travel Insurance. If you are looking for insurance be sure to check World Nomads first.

This post was proofread by Grammarly




  1. February 15, 2017 / 10:56 am

    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. June 11, 2017 / 3:59 am

    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.

    • June 11, 2017 / 5:55 pm

      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. June 11, 2017 / 8:24 am

    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!

    • June 11, 2017 / 6:01 pm

      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. June 11, 2017 / 4:35 am

    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.

    • June 11, 2017 / 5:57 pm

      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. June 11, 2017 / 3:24 pm

    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.

    • June 11, 2017 / 6:05 pm

      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. June 12, 2017 / 12:01 am

    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.

    • June 12, 2017 / 2:32 am

      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. June 12, 2017 / 2:20 am

    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!

    • June 12, 2017 / 2:33 am

      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!

  8. Indrani
    June 12, 2017 / 4:33 am

    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.

    • June 12, 2017 / 4:49 pm

      Yes also so much better for the environment!

  9. Iza Abao
    June 12, 2017 / 6:50 am

    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.

    • June 12, 2017 / 4:54 pm

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

  10. Monica
    June 12, 2017 / 8:26 pm

    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. June 13, 2017 / 1:26 am

    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!

    • June 13, 2017 / 7:12 pm

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

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