One of the most common questions that we are asked is “What do you do about mail while you’re traveling?”
It is actually a whole lot easier to manage mail than you may think. There are a few options out there, but we have recently chosen Traveling Mailbox:
Traveling Mailbox is a service that provides you with a physical address, and receives and manages your mail for you. As they receive your mail, each envelope is scanned to PDF. You are notified when you have new mail ready for review. This can be done online or through the Traveling Mailbox App. As you review each piece of mail, you can use drop down menu options to communicate how each and every piece of mail is to be managed.
Your options consist of having the service open the envelope and scan the inside contents, shred it, hold it, or forward it to you at a specified address. You can wait and have a whole bundle of your mail sent to you or just have certain pieces sent.
Another service that Traveling Mailbox provides is check depositing. They will open, stamp your checks “For Deposit Only” along with your account number, and mail it directly to the bank on your behalf. This requires an additional fee per check deposit, but can be a great solution for travelers.
Plans begin at $15 a month and can go up to $55. Here are the basics:
*Note – Most of the available addresses are considered “Premium” addresses, unless you choose the Sanford, NC location. Premium addresses are an additional $4.95 per month.
What you will need to get started:
- Credit Card Account Information
- 2 Forms of Identification scanned to a PDF or Image File.
- Acceptable forms of ID include a valid driver’s license or state ID card; armed forces, government, university, or recognized corporate ID card’ passport, alien registration card or certificate of naturalization; current lease, mortgage or Deed of Trust; voter or vehicle registration card; or a home or vehicle insurance policy.
- Access to a local notary
or Read my Quick Setup Guide Below
Quick Guide to Set Up Your Traveling Mailbox:
Select your billing cycle. You may pay monthly via a credit card, or annually, earning two free months up front.
Select a plan that meets your needs. Keep in mind that you can alter your plan if you decide that you have more or less mail incoming each month than you first predicted. They do their best to sort through junk mail so that it doesn’t count in your monthly allowance.
I personally chose the Extended Plan, which gave us 5 recipients. This allowed me to have myself, my husband, our 2 kids, and our business as the 5th recipient.
Choose an address location. These are not P.O. Boxes, they are physical addresses. You can select from over 20 locations. The standard address is based in Sanford, NC, but for an additional $4.95 per month, you can choose a premium address from locations across the country.
Enter your three above choices on the Online Mailbox Subscription page and hit Subscribe Now.
Enter Your Payment Method. Fill in your name, billing address, and credit card information. You will then receive the following message with a Subscription number and billing details:
Activate Your Account through your Email. You should have now received an email that designates your Mailbox Number, instructions on how to address your mail and packages, and a link to activate your Traveling Mailbox account. The email will also include instructions detailing your next steps. Scroll to the bottom of the email and click the bright green button Click here to activate your account now —>
Designate a Username and Password. Once you have activated your account, you will be asked to chose a username and a 12 character password.
Fill Out USPS Form 1583. Traveling Mailbox needs your permission to receive your mail.
Click on the Start my USPS 1583 form.
This form is filled out online, and includes your current address, business name if applicable, any minors who will be receiving mail at this address, and your telephone number.
You will need to upload your 2 forms of ID as PDF or Image Files, one of which must include a picture.
*Acceptable forms of ID include a valid driver’s license or state ID card; armed forces, government, university, or recognized corporate ID card’ passport, alien registration card or certificate of naturalization; current lease, mortgage or Deed of Trust; voter or vehicle registration card; or a home or vehicle insurance policy.
Once you finish the online form, you will submit it for review by Traveling Mailbox. Look for an email to indicate their approval and instructions for your next steps.
Download the approved form and print it. You can visit a local bank or a UPS Store to have the form notarized. Make sure to bring your two forms of ID along with you.
Upload the form to Traveling Mailbox and wait for the approval email. It will look like this:
Change your address at the Post Office and notify others of your new address. Now you are ready to have your mail redirected to your new address at Traveling Mailbox. You may want to download the App so you can access your mail from anywhere!
This entire process was completed for us in about 24 hours.
* This page contains affiliate links. This is a product that I personally use and recommend.