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Califaloha

USPS Mail Hold on Cruise over 30 Days

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My husband and I are planning to take a 48 day cruise in 2020.  Our post office will only hold our mail for 30 days.  I have searched for options (PO box, private mail services, etc) and haven’t found a way to handle this without asking friends or neighbors to pick up the mail before 31 days or have the mail delivered to their address.  Any ideas?

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If friendly with them, ask the neighbors to pick up the mail.  Easy peasy.   

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27 minutes ago, ldubs said:

If friendly with them, ask the neighbors to pick up the mail.  Easy peasy.   

 

1 hour ago, Califaloha said:

My husband and I are planning to take a 48 day cruise in 2020.  Our post office will only hold our mail for 30 days.  I have searched for options (PO box, private mail services, etc) and haven’t found a way to handle this without asking friends or neighbors to pick up the mail before 31 days or have the mail delivered to their address.  Any ideas?

 

I would agree with the poster above. If you have a neighbor (or nearby friend) whom you can trust, and won't be imposing upon -- that might be your best bet. If they say 'yes' when you ask them, take them a big cardboard box, and just ask them to toss all of your mail into it. That makes it easier for them to keep up with, as well as for you to drag home, when you return. You could also put something nice in the box, when you take it to them -- like flowers, or a batch of home-baked cookies, to show your appreciation. Sounds like a GREAT trip! Once my DH retires, we're hoping to take some longer cruises, too!😎

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3 hours ago, Califaloha said:

My husband and I are planning to take a 48 day cruise in 2020.  Our post office will only hold our mail for 30 days.  I have searched for options (PO box, private mail services, etc) and haven’t found a way to handle this without asking friends or neighbors to pick up the mail before 31 days or have the mail delivered to their address.  Any ideas?

I don't see why you can't give the post office a "change of address" or "forwarding address" notification to a UPS "Mailboxes, etc" box, and they will hold all mail until you return.  A USPS change of address can forward mail from 15 days to one year.  If your cruise isn't until 2020, you have plenty of time to get the change of address filed, and you choose the start date.

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How about you stop your mail for 30 days;  start for one day and stop for another 18 days.  

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One summer I was taking classes in Madrid and was going to be gone for six weeks.   I put in an order to hold mail and the postmaster told me that they could only do it for 30 days.  He told me to send him a postcard around the 30 day mark and ask to have the mail held at my address until the date of my return.  That would act as a second order.  I did it and it worked.  

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I'd ask a neighbor to pick it up for me.  I'd also ask them to check on my house a couple of times while I was gone.  Make sure there are no leaks, the HVAC is continuing to work, etc.  

If that won't work for you, go with chengkp75's plan--just make sure you let them know you probably won't be in for six weeks, and give them permission to throw away any junk mail such as catalogs, circulars, pizza coupons, etc.  If you box overflows and they need to store your mail for more than a week or so, most of them will charge extra.  Getting rid of the bulky junk will eliminate that problem.

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We used to have our local PO hold our mail while we were away, however after one 3-week trip, we went to claim the mail only to find the PO lost it! After a little investigation, they manage to deliver someone else's mail to our home. While talking with the postmaster, I looked toward the back bulletin board and could see our address posted [along with others] under a sign reading "requests to hold" - great notice for anyone who wanted to break into a house. Speaking with a few neighbors who also experienced missing mail while away, we now arrange for a neighbor to pick up all of our mail when we travel. Since most of the mail is headed for the recycle bin as junk, we feel much better knowing a trusted neighbor is looking out for us.

 

Darcy
 

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IF we are gone longer than the 30 days, we ask the helpful neighbor to pick up the mail for the days prior to the set date. I've noticed that the post office leaves a card in the mailbox of a neighbor who has his mail held indicating the residents are on a vacation hold. Best to see if the neighbors would do it the entire time.

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2 hours ago, dfish said:

One summer I was taking classes in Madrid and was going to be gone for six weeks.   I put in an order to hold mail and the postmaster told me that they could only do it for 30 days.  He told me to send him a postcard around the 30 day mark and ask to have the mail held at my address until the date of my return.  That would act as a second order.  I did it and it worked.  

 

Since the hold mail request can now be done on line, I wonder if one could now effectively do what you did, but on line. Perhaps there needs to be a gap of a day? 

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1 hour ago, Turtles06 said:

 

Since the hold mail request can now be done on line, I wonder if one could now effectively do what you did, but on line. Perhaps there needs to be a gap of a day? 

Not sure of that, but the Postmaster where I live said they would not resume delivery until the mail that was held was picked up. So, if you're gone for 40 days and pick up the mail on day 41, it should all be there.  

 

I don't have it held anymore.  A good friend picks it up and also checks out everything in the house, turns lights on and off, etc.

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When I was going to be gone on a 37 day cruise, but would actually away from home 40 days all together, I spoke with my mail carrier, He told me to put in my request for the first 30 days as usual, and give him one of the cards the USPS uses for vacation holds for the rest of the dates that I would be gone, and on the day that the initial 30 day hold expired, he would process the card I had left with him.

Apparently he did so and it worked okay, because he brought all my accumulated mail from the entire 40 days to me the day after I got home.

I gave him a Starbucks coffee card as token of my appreciation for him having gone the extra distance to help make my vacation problem-free.

 

You might ask your mail carrier if this could be a possible solution for you. 

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2 hours ago, dfish said:

Not sure of that, but the Postmaster where I live said they would not resume delivery until the mail that was held was picked up. So, if you're gone for 40 days and pick up the mail on day 41, it should all be there.  

 

We were gone for an unexpected long time due to medical issues.  

 

All they would do is forward all the mail, then start a new hold.

 

But I suspect, it will depend on the individual post office and postmaster.  And even the mail carrier.

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1 hour ago, SRF said:

But I suspect, it will depend on the individual post office and postmaster.  And even the mail carrier.

I think the postmaster is the key to it all.  

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1 hour ago, SRF said:

But I suspect, it will depend on the individual post office and postmaster.  And even the mail carrier.

 

My mail is delivered from a Branch Office of the city's main Post Office.  The service one receives is totally dependent upon the Postmaster (in my case, the Postmistress) of that Branch.  I don't even have an assigned mail carrier on my route.  It seems to be--and has been for several years--whomever is available when.

 

Living in a condo complex with neighbors that I do know and respect, I really don't want them to be aware of the mail that I receive.  I don't subscribe to adult publications, but I do receive much mail concerning my finances.  My neighbors don't need to know that.  As a result, I am reluctant to ask a neighbor to collect my mail unless it is an absolute emergency.

 

USPS offers a Premium Mail Forwarding Service for a fee.  They will collect mail on a schedule that you choose, box it and send it via Priority Mail to a friend/relative/or you wherever in the U.S. you choose.  I have used this Service several times and have my mail sent to a friend that lives nearby.  Returning home, I can pick up the sealed boxes from my friend.  No concerns about lost/misplaced mail, someone knowing more about me than I care that they know, and all of that wonderful junk mail as well🙁.

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Thank you all for your input.  Yes, we have wonderful neighbors but are considerate not to impose too much on them, although I know they would not see it as such.  Our issue with stopping and restarting is a problem because our post office will not hold mail beyond the 30 days, so to mail in another card for the last 18 days won’t work unless we have the mail from the first 30 days picked up or delivered.  They said they will “return to sender” if we don’t pick it up as they don’t have the storage space.  We have a wonderful mailman who has covered us for trips up to 38 days but he is retiring this year and we have no idea who will replace him so can’t depend on that at this point.  We do have a couple of friends who are willing to place the boxes of 30 day accumulation (we get a lot of mail) into our house and then resend another card for the last 18 days but they do not live nearby and is a major inconvenience for them.  Plus, our postal service isn’t always the best and has been lax on delivering all of the mail on the return date requested;  I would hate to have a friend drive several miles, paying a bridge toll, to find no mail on our porch.  To leave so much mail on the porch for even one day is not an option in our neighborhood.  The posting above, by rkacruiser, is the best suggestion for us so far and I plan on certainly looking into that option.  I truly appreciate all of the input from each and every one of you; keep the ideas coming!

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On our last extended trip (three weeks), we started a mail hold about a week after we left (the capacity of our mailbox can usually handle that).  Then we did a mail hold for the remaining two weeks. We returned to an empty mailbox. We had our mail restart a day after our return and they delivered the held mail and the mail that had accumulated before the hold. But, we still had a friend check the front door. Often unsolicited flyers are more noticeable than a full mailbox. 

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Posted (edited)

We travel too much and get too many packages to think of having mail (and common carrier shipments) delivered to our home. We have had a Private Mail Box since before we were married 29 years ago. After two or three independent ones went out of business, we are now at a UPS Store (on its third or fourth owner, but at least we didn't have to change our address!). 

 

This may not be an option in a small town (I mean a REAL small town), but neighbors are usually friends or friendlier in a town that small. 

 

Yes it is an expense, but for us it is part of the cost of living in a dense suburban environment. 

Edited by crystalspin

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3 hours ago, crystalspin said:

We travel too much and get too many packages to think of having mail (and common carrier shipments) delivered to our home. We have had a Private Mail Box since before we were married 29 years ago. After two or three independent ones went out of business, we are now at a UPS Store (on its third or fourth owner, but at least we didn't have to change our address!). 

 

This may not be an option in a small town (I mean a REAL small town), but neighbors are usually friends or friendlier in a town that small. 

 

Yes it is an expense, but for us it is part of the cost of living in a dense suburban environment. 

Yes, this is what I said earlier.  You put in a temporary change of address to USPS for the period of your trip to your mailbox at UPS.  They will do a temporary change for up to a year.  All of your mail is delivered to your box at UPS, not held by the post office.  UPS will hold all mail indefinitely, and when you return, you pick up your mail and cancel the mailbox and the change of address.

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On 6/21/2019 at 11:45 PM, Califaloha said:

My husband and I are planning to take a 48 day cruise in 2020.  Our post office will only hold our mail for 30 days.  I have searched for options (PO box, private mail services, etc) and haven’t found a way to handle this without asking friends or neighbors to pick up the mail before 31 days or have the mail delivered to their address.  Any ideas?

Talk to your carrier, ask how he would handle it. The postmaster is the last person I would talk to.  As a former carrier I would have two holds filled out and hold the mail until the person returned. 

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Skrufy, you are right.  Our current mailman, Marty, has been doing just that for years, but now he is retiring so we are in limbo.  Hopefully, our “new” mail person will be as kind as our current mailman but we are planning ahead in the event that this new person follows all the rules. Some great ideas coming on this post...thank you!

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On 6/22/2019 at 12:45 AM, Califaloha said:

I have searched for options (PO box ..., 

 

PO Box is not a solution, in fact more of a problem. Once the 30 days is done a government issued picture ID is required to pick up the pile of stuff.  My neighbors / friends don't qualify with their ID.  The Post Office doesn't take a "note" or whatever authorizing others to pick up the mail as they are in the business of delivering mail not managing it.  We live in one of the many areas of the U.S. that do not have rural mail delivery -- that means we have a P.O. Box or we have to pay for a private mail box service. Our choice is a  P.O. Box (because it is free and less of a hassle) so pretty familiar with how that option works. 

 

Our solution -- we don't put a hold on mail. Friends pick it up from the box as they have to go to the post office for their mail so grab ours. Not much of a chore as no one goes to the Post Office more often than once a week, usually every couple weeks not a daily thing so it really is pretty easy.

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18 hours ago, davekathy said:

Rent a post office box. 

 

That is what I would do.

 

Just forward to the box while traveling, remove forward when you are home.

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28 minutes ago, snowskier said:

 

 

PO Box is not a solution, in fact more of a problem. Once the 30 days is done a government issued picture ID is required to pick up the pile of stuff.  My neighbors / friends don't qualify with their ID.  The Post Office doesn't take a "note" or whatever authorizing others to pick up the mail as they are in the business of delivering mail not managing it.  We live in one of the many areas of the U.S. that do not have rural mail delivery -- that means we have a P.O. Box or we have to pay for a private mail box service. Our choice is a  P.O. Box (because it is free and less of a hassle) so pretty familiar with how that option works. 

 

Our solution -- we don't put a hold on mail. Friends pick it up from the box as they have to go to the post office for their mail so grab ours. Not much of a chore as no one goes to the Post Office more often than once a week, usually every couple weeks not a daily thing so it really is pretty easy.

 

 

Hmm, when we had a PO Box for our company, anyone with key could get the mail.

 

If there was too much for the box, they would leave a slip in the box.  If you had the slip (meaning you had a key to the box) they would give you the mail.

 

And there was no need to have someone else pick it up, they just held the box mail.

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