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1 minute ago, dpenezic said:

How do cruisers handle mail on long cruises?

We put a vacation hold and pick up at post office when we get home. However we've never been gone more than 3 weeks...which may not be long to you.

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Just now, dpenezic said:

How do cruisers handle mail on long cruises?

I think it depends on where you live, how long you’ll be gone and the nature of your relationship with your regular mail carrier.


With the understanding that the normal max USPS vacation hold is 30 days, you may have a primary mail carrier like ours who will extend that time and birddog that commitment.

But, the potential problem, particularly with high density urban locations, is not wanting multiple folks (beyond that trusted mail carrier) to know you’re away from home.

So, my preference is for, whoever will keep tabs on our home (we have a plant-care et al. friend) to also collect the mail for us). But, DW doesn’t share that thought. So, we most often just do the USPS hold.

 

Of course, we also use the USPS “Informed Delivery” email notifications. So, daily, we see what’s coming to our mailbox and, thus can handle some expected items electronically over the internet or over the phone if necessary.

 

Somewhat related to this is the importance of checking your homeowner’s insurance about possible coverage exclusions related to lengths of time your home may remain unoccupied. You may need to arrange for regular house/condo checks by a friend/neighbor/etc to comply with your insurer’s dictates.

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1 hour ago, dpenezic said:

How do cruisers handle mail on long cruises?

We have family living around the corner - so that is simple. Our son checks the mail & lets us know if there is unexpected first class or bills.

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When we started cruising longer, we simply asked our friends or relatives to pick up our mail.

When we started cruising even longer, asking friends or relatives to pick up our mail did not work.

We then asked the post office to hold our mail...good for 30 days.

 

Knowing we will travel/cruise more and even longer, we decided to go "paperless" and pay all our bills online...less mail.  We were still concern about theft of mail...ultimately, we decided to rent a P.O. Box at a nearby post office.  We now receive very little mail and not have to worry about being away for more than 30 days.  Hope that helps.

 

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I had my brother pick up USPS mail before the 30 day time limit and to turn in a new hold request, that got us through our 38 day cruise. I considered having mail forwarded to our out of town offspring until our return, that would have had the added benefit of culling everything that wasn't first class mail.

 

You might browse the world cruise forum for more suggestions on dealing with plumbing, health insurance, pets, etc on longer cruises.

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1 hour ago, lenquixote66 said:

We have a family member pick up our mail and save it for us to return.

This is the practical approach - rely on family or trusted friend who will hold, and advise you periodically of anything which seems pressing,  or else have a full time staff to do that sort of thing.

 

 

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9 minutes ago, navybankerteacher said:

This is the practical approach - rely on family or trusted friend who will hold, and advise you periodically of anything which seems pressing,  or else have a full time staff to do that sort of thing.

 

 

In all our 54 years of vacationing there has never been a need of anyone to open an envelope addressed to us.

I have a friend who lives on my block who has his mail held at our local post office .

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3 hours ago, whogo said:

I had my brother pick up USPS mail before the 30 day time limit and to turn in a new hold request, that got us through our 38 day cruise. I considered having mail forwarded to our out of town offspring until our return, that would have had the added benefit of culling everything that wasn't first class mail.

 

You might browse the world cruise forum for more suggestions on dealing with plumbing, health insurance, pets, etc on longer cruises.

This is a great idea of a way to extend the 30 days...thanks.

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There are many options (some of this has been said).  The US Postal Service will hold you mail up to 30 days, however some Postmasters and postal carriers have a more liberal attitude and will hold mail for much longer time periods (you need to complete 1 card for each 30 days).   If your post office will not go beyond the 30 day period you can simply rent a mailbox (at the post office).  Even if you rent the smallest cheapest box you are covered.  Once your mail no longer fits in the box the post office has no choice but to store the overflow.   Another option is to have your mail forwarded to a private mailbox facility such as Mailboxes, UPS Stores, etc.  

 

Of course there is much to say for having a trusted neighbor of family member collect your mail and periodically check on your property.  That being said, we have a relative who did this and their "trusted" friends used their home to have a party (which caused some damage).  So you do need to know your friends/relatives.

 

We have routinely gone away for 3 months trips for over 15 years.  Over the years it has all become much easier because most bills can be handled online from anywhere in the world.  Many utilities will also allow you to arrange direct debits (to your bank account) for their bills.  Having done all this for many years I can say that it gets much easier once you have some experience.   When it comes to bills I suggest that "first timers" go through their checkbook and look at the activity for the same time period for the previous year.  If there are some bills such as insurance premiums that you might be paying by check, look to see what other payment options are available.  Some of my friends will even prepay some of these annual or quarterly items.

 

I will end this post by saying, thank goodness for the Internet and the move towards electronic transactions.  In the past 20 years it has become so much easier to take long trips.

 

Hank

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Posted (edited)

Note: this was before Trump's new Postmaster General.

 

I've overheard this conversation a dozen times at my local post office when I pickup my PO Box mail. The clerks tell everyone that wants a "vacation hold" or "change of address" to request it online. They will not accept a card or provide one.

 

When I was out of the country for a couple of weeks (I didn't have a vacation hold), I found a note in my PO Box that if I didn't pickup my mail within 30 days of the note, everything will be returned to sender.

 

I asked my friendly carrier about this and he said there's some regs that say they can do that and HQ wants anything that can be done online done online. The station manager was really OD about this.

Edited by Philob
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I used to have a PO Box for exactly this reason. But we get so little mail now - almost all bills are via email - that now we just put a hold on mail to house address - I think the limit is 3 months in NZ - if we exceed that -we get it delivered to a friends. 

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20 hours ago, dpenezic said:

How do cruisers handle mail on long cruises?

We engage house sitters who inspect/remove daily from the outside mailbox and place inside an old trunk in the hallway.  Mail can wait for us.  If there was ever a time banded problem, we have a legitimate reason.

 

 

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19 hours ago, Philob said:

I've overheard this conversation a dozen times at my local post office when I pickup my PO Box mail. The clerks tell everyone that wants a "vacation hold" or "change of address" to request it online. They will not accept a card or provide one.

I would stand my ground against any USPS employee who refused an in person request for a vacation hold when the USPS website says:

 

"Please visit your local Post Office™ location and complete Form PS Form 8076, Authorization to USPS Hold Mail." https://faq.usps.com/s/article/USPS-Hold-Mail-The-Basics

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What we do for extend time away... ( we live in an apartment ).

All bills are now via the internet.... except council rates... so mail box we have checked every 2 weeks...a long with quick check of outside of apartment.

Turn off water and most thing electric,   Only turn fridge off if longer than 6 weeks...

Relax..... also our insurance has no problem we us being away in the apartment block.

 

Don

 

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For 7 or less, I don't do anything. The mailbox fills up and life goes on. I've switched as many things to digital mail as I can, so it really isn't that much.

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10 minutes ago, Joebucks said:

For 7 or less, I don't do anything. The mailbox fills up and life goes on. I've switched as many things to digital mail as I can, so it really isn't that much.

 

Mrs Ldubs uses the mail hold.  I agree with your approach.  Actually, now that I think about it, there is very little that comes to our mail box that I would really worry about.  Let it pile up or even better, send it directly to the recycle bin! Haha.  

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On 5/13/2021 at 9:24 AM, Flatbush Flyer said:

Of course, we also use the USPS “Informed Delivery” email notifications. So, daily, we see what’s coming to our mailbox and, thus can handle some expected items electronically over the internet or over the phone if necessary.

 

It wasn't of course for me!  I had no idea this was available.  Thanks for posting.  For others that weren't aware either here is a link to the FAQ:

https://faq.usps.com/s/article/Informed-Delivery-The-Basics

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On 5/13/2021 at 6:21 PM, Philob said:

Note: this was before Trump's new Postmaster General.

 

I've overheard this conversation a dozen times at my local post office when I pickup my PO Box mail. The clerks tell everyone that wants a "vacation hold" or "change of address" to request it online. They will not accept a card or provide one.

 

When I was out of the country for a couple of weeks (I didn't have a vacation hold), I found a note in my PO Box that if I didn't pickup my mail within 30 days of the note, everything will be returned to sender.

 

I asked my friendly carrier about this and he said there's some regs that say they can do that and HQ wants anything that can be done online done online. The station manager was really OD about this.

 

I was talking to someone today about the post office.  Just about everything can be handled on line.   So what essential role does the post office fill other than delivering packages and filling the recycle bin.  I think Ive come to the conclusion we no longer need the current post office.  At least, I don't see a need for the postal truck to be driving around the neighborhood 6 days/week.   

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48 minutes ago, ldubs said:

 

I was talking to someone today about the post office.  Just about everything can be handled on line.   So what essential role does the post office fill other than delivering packages and filling the recycle bin.  I think Ive come to the conclusion we no longer need the current post office.  At least, I don't see a need for the postal truck to be driving around the neighborhood 6 days/week.   

 

Once per week mail delivery would be plenty good for me.

 

DON

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21 minutes ago, donaldsc said:

 

Once per week mail delivery would be plenty good for me.

 

DON

Especially when the Amazon and UPS vans are on the street about 10-20 times per day.  

 

1 hour ago, ldubs said:

So what essential role does the post office fill other than delivering packages and filling the recycle bin

Very little mail makes it in the house these days.  Fortunately the recycling bin is very close to the mail box at our house!

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2 minutes ago, SelectSys said:

Especially when the Amazon and UPS vans are on the street about 10-20 times per day.  

 

Very little mail makes it in the house these days.  Fortunately the recycling bin is very close to the mail box at our house!

 

Other than a Mother's Day Card that Mrs Ldubs enjoyed, I can't think of a single thing we have received from our USPS mail person in the past month that I care about.   Everyone should go paperless.   

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