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Author Topic: Handling US mail on an extended trip  (Read 1000 times)
Polish Prince
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« on: July 26, 2016, 09:16:53 am »

Ok, newbie question:  How do you stop your mail on an extended 6 week to 2 month trip?  The US Post Office will only institute a 30 mail hold.  How have you handled the mail when you have nowhere to forward to and the Post Office wants to deliver it after 30 days?
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« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2016, 11:21:14 am »

You are in an interesting predicament with a very good question.  What immediately comes to mind is a good size PO box to forward your mail to.  Ask your local post office for their thoughts about it.

Of coarse you also need to be on top of bill payment via the internet for your credit card payments and such.  There is only so much "Auto-Pay" you can setup in advance.  Hopefully the rest can be done on-line and over the phone, but you'll need to know that bill is due.  Things like real estate taxes can be paid in advance.  I suppose you could over-pay critical bills for the service to draw excess funds from.  I did that once which worked out fine.
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Polish Prince
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« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2016, 12:09:08 pm »

You have a problem if you have nobody to trust like a neighbor for example, with your mail for that long of a period.  What comes to mind is a good size PO box to forward your mail to.  Of coarse you also need to be on top of bill payment via the internet for your credit card dues and such, along with automatic payments for utilities and scheduled services.
Almost everything is done via the internet, but there are those few vendors but just don't participate.  The real problem is what to have the PO do.
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« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2016, 01:25:17 pm »

We have a service that visits the house once a week to water plants check for leaks etc. they also pick up and hold our mail. We used to have a neighbor pick up the mail and water the plants but after a while that seemed like an imposition and the service is pretty inexpensive and very professional. We switched as many of our routine bills to auto pay or e-bill and the house sitting service will forward the first class mail when we request it.
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« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2016, 03:18:50 pm »

Have you talked to your local post office?  They may be wiling to hold it for you longer then the 30 days.  Fortunately my sister lives on the same block as we do so she takes in our mail.  I too feel it is an imposition and talked to our mail carrier.  He told me to fill out more then one mail hold and he would submit it for us every 30 days.  I haven't tried that yet and would feel more comfortable talking to the local post master and see how they could accommodate us.

We are gone three months at a time and I do not miss any bills.  Those that need to be paid via US Mail (because I can't trust auto payment with them) I generally make copies of a prior statement, address envelopes, call them for the current amount and then mail as necessary. 
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« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2016, 08:59:13 am »

We lived in a fairly rural area where everyone knew their mail carrier and post office staff by first name.  Our carrier told us to do what Barry-Sue mentioned.  We were hesitant at first but no problems occurred.   Our carriers sorted their own mail and disposed of the weekly circulars with our permission.   That did cut down on the amount they had to hold.

I certainly understand  larger city post offices might have to adhere to the 30 day limit but may have an alternative suggestion.

Gail
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« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2016, 09:27:52 am »

We lived in a fairly rural area where everyone knew their mail carrier and post office staff by first name.  Our carrier told us to do what Barry-Sue mentioned.  We were hesitant at first but no problems occurred.   Our carriers sorted their own mail and disposed of the weekly circulars with our permission.   That did cut down on the amount they had to hold.

I certainly understand  larger city post offices might have to adhere to the 30 day limit but may have an alternative suggestion.

Gail
You make a very good point Gail.  Some post offices and/or carriers can be very accommodating.  It is surely worth asking the question.
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Ron & Irene Dittmer, 2007 Model 2350 Without A Slideout
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« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2016, 11:34:58 am »

Granddaughter  Grin
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Polish Prince
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« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2016, 11:47:22 am »

We lived in a fairly rural area where everyone knew their mail carrier and post office staff by first name.  Our carrier told us to do what Barry-Sue mentioned.  We were hesitant at first but no problems occurred.   Our carriers sorted their own mail and disposed of the weekly circulars with our permission.   That did cut down on the amount they had to hold.

I certainly understand  larger city post offices might have to adhere to the 30 day limit but may have an alternative suggestion.

Gail
Thanks for all the input, some good ideas.  We'll be taking to our Post Office, as we live in a very rural area and just lost our mail carrier of 30 years and don't know who will be the replacement.  Of course, part of the idea for being able to travel is to see our kids and grandkids who live 800 miles away.  It seems like a lot of work to put on our wonderful neighbors who live a mile away.  Seeing what the Post Office will do is the best idea.

Thanks again to all of our wonderful forum members.
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« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2016, 12:39:36 pm »

Have you checked out mail forwarding services? FMCA.com and Good Sam offers such a service. I have never used it but it sounds good as long as you plan on staying a one location for a few days.
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lmichael
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« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2016, 03:09:43 pm »

We use a mail forwarding service, America's Mailbox in South Dakota.  They hold our mail until we notify them online when and where to forward it. 
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HenryJ
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« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2016, 03:08:50 pm »

Every time I have paid for post office forwarding it went off the tracks..It is expensive to set up and the weekly charge is supposed to cover the forwarding to where ever. Well it works on first week and may never work again. I arrived in Spokane and no mail. I had a no to call and did so they did send mail and I got a partial refund. Last time 2015 aug. I got a full refund. It did not happen the guy who was to do the forward did not.. he had a few days off and no one else had fill in. Dumb .. what a way to run a business. So I give up. Pay bills ahead and hope. Note... to set up for forwarding to another address may take 2 weeks or more.. so do this in advance of your departure such as the service someone mentioned.
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« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2016, 08:07:08 pm »

I retired 2.5 years ago from the postal service after 38.9 years as a letter carrier. I had a few snowbirds that wanted their good mail forwarded and their bulk mail held till they returned in the spring, which I did for them cause I'm such a nice guy. Wink

They would have someone (family, friend, neighbor) stop in every few weeks to get what was there so it wouldn't pile up.

You can pay for priority forwarding if you want you mail badly. All your mail is held and then put into a priority box and mailed to you each week.

How we will handle it: Talk to postmaster if gone for more than 30 days. Authorise in writing, to have someone pick up held mail each week, take my stamps, envelopes, and bill addresses and phone numbers with us. We pretty much know what and when bills are due each month.

Waiting for Earl to tell us, they have rolled our chassis in he back door.  sad

Your letter carrier is working long hours trying to get all those fruitcakes from Aunt Flo delivered on time, and have you noticed how early it is getting dark these days?

Be nice to your letter carrier this Christmas, they really appreciate it!

My Best and Merry Christmas to all,

Hope to see ya on the road next year,

Bill and Karen Graser  Cheers

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