If you’re thinking about going on the road for a season or for good, there’s one unglamorous detail you need to consider before you turn the key:
What will you do about your mail?
The paperless world we all envisioned when we got our first email address still hasn’t happened.
Each day, the U.S. Postal System still delivers snail mail documents, letters, and parcels to every U.S. resident. No matter how far we take our RVs into the back country, each day someone is sending us a hard copy of something, whether it’s a driver’s license renewal notice or a birthday card.
As you start to plan your extended RV getaway you’ll need to find a place for your mail to go and occasionally receive this bundle of (usually) joyless parchment. Here are two of the most common mail forwarding options for full-time RVers and temporary road trippers like us.
Ask a friend or relative to handle your mail
Some of us are lucky to have a good friend or kind relative who offers to handle our mail while we’re away. If you have someone like this in your life, their generous offer might seem like a good idea at first.
However the problem with this choice is that occasionally they will have to deal with inconvenient chores like picking up your parcel at the post office, opening mail that looks urgent, and putting everything in a box to send your way.
Consider their offer carefully before you agree to involve them in your personal affairs. Ask yourself if you really want to risk your relationship over postage and handling.
Pay a Mail Forwarding Service
Professional mail forwarding services are perfect for long-term travelers. The way they work is simple:
- You pay them a fee
- In return you receive a secure mailing address
- Use the address for everything from US mail to courier packages from Fed Ex, UPS, etc.
Each mail forwarding company offers different levels of mail handling depending on your needs. Most will open, scan, and email you copies of your documents.
You can have your mail forwarded on to your most current location, or you can save a few dollars by asking the company to shred the documents.
Each level of service comes with a corresponding price that depends on the length of your road trip. The longer you travel, the lower the price.
Long RV road trips are something many of us here dream about. If you’re fortunate enough to take one, plan wisely and talk to other iRV2 full-time RVers to ensure success.