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Old 04-12-2015, 07:26 PM   #1
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Mail while on the road

We will be taking our first trip this summer and will be away for 3+ months. What do folks do about their mail? Its too long to stop. We will be in one place for two months but traveling the rest of the time.
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Old 04-12-2015, 09:49 PM   #2
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Forward to a trusted friend or neighbor.


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Old 05-26-2015, 09:51 PM   #3
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We are usually gone for two to three months at a time. I Have my mail forwarded to my daughter and I send her some of the postage prepaid boxes. When we are going to be in one location for at least a week, I get the general delivery post office address and have her send it to me. It works great. As an example, the address would look like this:

Good Sam
General Delivery
Tucson, Az. Zip

Be sure to check with the post office to make sure they accept general delivery. In major markets, it's usually only one post office that does.
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Old 05-27-2015, 06:06 AM   #4
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General delivery acceptance can be hard to find in rural America....it is generally not an option.

We also traveled up to four months at a time. Our first year of retirement, we had mail forwarded to UPS and a box there. They would then forward it to wherever whenever we requested.

The problem we found was that Priority Mail could take 7-10 days to someplace like Beulah, WY. Not good. We would find ourselves hanging around an area, or coming back, to get the mail. Not good.

We had first class mail forwarded to my son for awhile, he would scan anything we needed to see, but the machines that sort wouldn't always do that properly, so there were problems there, and things like bills missed.

Now, we just have it delivered to the house and my son, who lives a mile away, comes by a couple of times a week, looks at it and sets it inside. He scans anything we need to see and sends it via email.

He would do it for free, we have always given him a bit of money every month to check the house and now deal with the mail....because it's the right thing to do.

If you have a trusted family member, friend or neighbor....this latter plan is probably the safest and most predictable if you are going to be gone for an extended period or time.


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Old 05-27-2015, 07:44 AM   #5
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We are going away again this summer and I am very concerned with what to do with the mail. The last 3 times I have had mail forwarded with the PO they have really screwed it up and I still do not have it all straight. I filled out a temporary fowarding form but the PO sent permanent address change forms to many of the people who send me mail. Of course I did not know they did that and a lot of the mail just went missing. No bills from the water company, the phone company, some of the state retirement, etc. And I could not straighten it out on the internet because they changed the zip code that is needed to log in on many of the sites. Not looking foward to it again this summer but I guess I have to try.
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Old 05-27-2015, 08:13 AM   #6
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We have opted to do auto-pay for as many recurring bills as I can. I do on line payment for a few others and can do that whenever we get decent Wi-Fi service. So far this has worked out for us. The remainder of the junk mail just accumulates in a milk crate sitting below the mail drop in our garage door. Very, very little of it is anything that needs immediate attention. In fact last long trip none of it.
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Old 05-27-2015, 09:11 AM   #7
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I have automatic bill pay set up for all regularly recurring bills, too, which helps immensely. Also try to sign up for electronic billing for things like medical bills, etc.

Having all mail "held", rather than forwarded, is an option if you have someone to collect it once a month and go thru it. They will only accumulate it 30 days at a time.

We have done that, too, but with son a mile away and working from home, him just coming over here 2xweek or so is simplest, and gives him a chance to get out of the house.


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Old 05-27-2015, 10:35 AM   #8
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We've been out for a month only once so not much experience here. What I did do was open accounts for all the utilities, cable, credit cards and other regular expenses at their web sites so I could pay them online using their e-check facility (it's like a debit card payment but no surcharges). Most don't charge any extra fees, but the water company did. I think it was $2.50, the cheapskates.

I save the previous month's bills and carry them with me so I have the address for things like insurance payments. You can call them and give them a credit card for payment. I do have a regular pension check that comes to the house. I need to set that up for direct deposit. Most of the rest of our mail is junk mail.

This winter, after the month long trip in Jan-Feb, when we got back I found only one bill I had missed, a credit card I rarely used but forgot my Hulu account was charged there. I closed that one and move Hulu to my regular Visa card. I was good on everything else.

When we go out longer I'm going to arrange something with our neighbor who shares the same mailbox area. I'll ask her to just toss it on a bucket inside the front door.
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Old 05-27-2015, 11:07 AM   #9
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All of my regularly recurring bills are set up to a) bill to email, and b) debit automatically from the checking account.

I then don't have to remember to pay them or be someplace where there is adequate wifi to do so. This is utilities, vehicle insurance, motor home payment, etc.

You can really streamline that list of things your fingers must be on.



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