How To Get Your Amazon Packages Delivered While On The Road
If you’re anything like us, Amazon is our go-to shopping outlet. We have been a member of Amazon Prime far longer than we’ve been RVing.
For us, the biggest feature is the free shipping. There are far more features than this, though, including access to Prime Video, over 2 million songs on Amazon Music, and even thousands of e-books, digital magazines, and audiobooks available.
Amazon even offers unlimited, full-resolution storage of your photos with Amazon Photos for Prime members. What an excellent backup choice. These are all free with your Prime subscription.
Plan your purchases in conjunction with your travels
We try to stay in a single location for about a month, and our schedule is usually planned out far in advance. At a minimum, we certainly know our next location! If we suspect we’ll be ordering from Amazon, one of the first things we do is add our shipping address into the “Your Addresses” account section. This is easier than adding the address repeatedly for each shopping experience to determine shipping time.
You should delete out old addresses from time to time to minimize mistakenly choosing an old address or having to scroll through too many to be manageable. Access your addresses by clicking on “Hello, [Your Name] Accounts and Lists” in the top right corner. On the next screen, in the second section, click on “Your Addresses”.
Once you have your address added to Amazon, select “Set as Default Address” to allow Amazon’s product pages to show you estimated delivery dates.
You should know that the more rural of a location where you’re parked, the location can cause a longer delivery estimate. Being closer to major cities, where Amazon maintains one or several distribution hubs, will almost always guarantee a speedy delivery.
Always check with the campground or resort before you place an Amazon order. This is very important!
For starters, the address you drove to might not be the same as the shipping address. Currently we are staying at a casino campground in Kinder, Louisiana. We certainly did not drive to “PO Box 12345”, but the shipping address does have that. As a follow up to this point, any time the address contains “PO Box”, you can expect Amazon to ship with USPS rather than other carriers. This can have an impact on delivery speed.
As customers, we aren’t able to choose our shipping method with Amazon, only an estimated delivery date.
Do campgrounds allow RVers to have Amazon packages delivered?
The second reason to confirm with the campground is to determine whether they allow mail and packages for guests. There are many campgrounds that absolutely refuse shipping or simply have no office staffed to receive Amazon packages for you. We’ve even been at campgrounds that the office told us to add our parking site number and had UPS and FedEx trucks drive right to our site.
This also means that if you aren’t at the rig, the delivery carrier will usually leave the Amazon packages on your stairs. Depending on the area you’re staying, this may or may not be desirable for you.
Some locations may require special instructions. These could include gate codes, “deliver to site #89”, “leave at office”, or “close the gate, don’t let the cows out”! If you expect your Amazon packages to be delivered to a campground office, enter the delivery hours and days that the office is open.
Ask the campground office if they would like you to add any special instructions to help them help you.
Fight impulse buys on Amazon
One of the things we have found we like about Amazon is using “Lists”. We maintain multiple lists like “Wife’s Books to Read” and “Husband’s Books to Read”. If we see something that will make a good Christmas gift or birthday present, those items go into lists we can refer to when it’s time to buy.
We also have another important list: “Next Arrival Order”.
Often there will be something we just have to have, and if we were still in the sticks-and-bricks home, we would’ve simply clicked “Order Now”. However, when we only have a few days left at a campground, we’ll add the product to this list instead of ordering right away.
I find it amazing how often we arrive at our next campground, get the new mailing instructions, and then remove items from the list deciding that we really didn’t need them after all. Delaying an impulse purchase can be a powerful tool.
Choose your Amazon Delivery Date
When checking out, there are usually options for delivery dates. Sometimes selecting a later date with less rush can even result in an Amazon credit being provided. These are often for future digital purchases but have been useful for us from time to time.
Get Amazon coupons and promotions
Look for coupons. This is easy to overlook but can save you additional money. Once you’re in the product page, be sure to check the box before adding to cart to take advantage of the discount or it won’t be applied. Sometimes there might be promotions for adding multiple products from the same seller.
Have an Amazon order cut-off date
Unless you are permanently parked or staying put for a long time, choose what you consider to be your last valid delivery date. Give yourself some padding, too. If we are leaving a location on a Friday, for example, Wednesday would be our last valid receiving day. If a package would arrive on Thursday, we won’t order.
Shipping delays happen! You don’t want to delay a departure for an important shipment. Working with a campground later on the phone to re-ship an item is a hassle too.
Watch for Amazon “Subscriptions”
There are products available on Amazon that they consider to be something you might use up and need more of. Ensure you don’t allow yourself to be signed up for automatic shipping of more of the product if you relocate your rig periodically.
For instance, we are stringent users of rechargeable lithium batteries. If they’re good enough for our RV, they’re good enough for the toothbrush and flashlights!
Using a full-time RVer mail service
If you rely on a mail service, using your domicile address for shipping is not likely a good plan. We are completely fine with envelopes and “normal” mail being sent to our mail service.
When we ask them to re-ship to us as needed, the cost for regular mail is reasonable. Paying for re-shipment of large or heavy Amazon packages would be cost prohibitive.
If we are passing through our domicile area, and the dates work out, we might indeed have something shipped there. Otherwise, avoid this method to save money.
Another Amazon delivery option: Lockers and Counters
Are you uncomfortable shipping to your campground? Worried about packages being left on the steps while you’re out exploring? Consider the “Amazon Hub” program, which is comprised of Amazon Locker and Amazon Counter. This program doesn’t cost you anything to utilize, and it offers security for your deliveries.
Think of them a lot like post office boxes, except you get a digital code instead of a key to open the locker with your contents, and there’s no ongoing monthly rental fee. There are package size limits, but unless you’re ordering five new solar panels, you’re probably okay. According to Business Insider, locations of Amazon lockers and counters has grown to over 900 cities as of June 2021.
During a stay at a campground where we couldn’t receive mail and packages, we had our order shipped to an Amazon Locker located on a university campus. Most Locker locations are much easier than this, such as being located in apartment complexes, shopping malls, and stores. During a recent rig relocation, we saw this Locker location at a fuel stop.
Amazon Counter is similar but with human interaction. The delivery location could be a mail service like a UPS Store, a dry cleaner, or any other kind of business that Amazon has vetted and entrusted to hold your shipments for pickup. You just go to the counter and provide your information, and they fetch your package from the back.
Use a Chase Amazon Rewards Card
As a full-time RVer, you can even increase your financial benefits by getting an Amazon Rewards Card through Chase. This is our primary method of purchasing for just about everything from groceries to fuel, restaurants, and, of course, products on Amazon.
As opposed to something like cash back or airline miles, we get Amazon credits. These credits are automatically applied to our account after card payment and being pushed from Chase to Amazon.
Often we’ll visit the site to purchase something, and we’ll see a checkout amount of $100 automatically reduced to $50 because of the points we’ve accrued. For us, this makes makes good sense, as we know we will turn to Amazon again and again for purchases, and we don’t do too much flying these days!
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