It has probably never been a thought that crossed your mind before, like “hmm.. I wonder how someone would get a package while on the road…” That is, until you are that traveler and you need to figure out how to pick up your mail! Then what?!
Well, I’ll save you some hours of research, and tell you what I’ve done (and all of the following options are completely free).
You know what’s ironic? I learned all this information NOT while traveling, but during my Tiny House endeavors. My tiny house is on a piece of property with no mail delivery, so I had to figure out how to get mail and packages (like a real home owner), that was convenient and free.
01 | General Delivery to Post Office
You can have mail delivered to any post office in the US even if you don’t have a post office box there. Here’s how it works:
If you have a PO Box, you would use the PO address and blah blah, doesn’t matter, this doesn’t apply to you…
If you do NOT have a PO Box, but want a letter or package delivered to you there, then you tell the sender to send it “General Delivery.” It would look like this:
Town, State, Zip Code
The Post Office will write the date it was received, and they will keep it for 30 days.
Pop in whenever is convenient for you within 30 days, and say you’re expecting a package general delivery. They will ask for ID, and hand you the package (and any letters that might have arrived, too).
It’s really that easy.
02 | Amazon Locker
If you’re ordering a package from Amazon, they have this really convenient service called “Amazon Locker.” It is literally a locker that your package is delivered to. You choose whichever locker is the most convenient location for you, and then you just show up, enter the code, and whichever locker your package is it will automatically pop open. Magic.
03 | Ship, Redirect, & Hold
Have it shipped to a real address, then once a confirmation email is sent that the item has shipped, call the carrier and have them hold the package at their closest hub, warehouse, or mail center.
For example, if it says it’s being delivered by UPS, then you can have UPS hold your package at the nearest UPS store location.
Note: If you have it delivered to the address directly, there may be a fee. However, if you have it shipped (anywhere), and then call and tell them to redirect it, it will be completely free.
I know, this is stupid. I have argued with them a lot about it when they’ve tried to charge me for sending it directly to the holding hub. I thought I was doing them a favor and relieving stress by skipping the middle step of redirecting. Apparently the redirecting is what makes it free. Direct delivery to the same location, most of the time, has a fee.
Make things easy, people need to pay. Make things a pain in the butt, and be rewarded. Really, America?