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Old 12-29-2016, 12:36 PM
 
Location: Pie Nellas
114 posts, read 118,856 times
Reputation: 185

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USPS will not temporary forward mail overseas. They will only 'vacation hold' mail at the Post Office for 30 days.

We are contemplating renting a house in Italy for 5 months this spring and summer.

We aren't worried about bills (they are all on billpay or autopay with bank), but there's always something unexpected that could need our attention.

We looked into CMRA's (Commercial Mail Receiving Agencies)....they offer great services at reasonable prices...including scanning the outside of every envelope, emailing you daily about what's in your 'box' and you can also have it opened and the contents scanned to your email. There are many of these companies with very positive reviews, many by full-time RV'ers who use them year round, year after year.

However, the USPS requires these CMRA's to file a notice with the PO that you have opted for this service and are thus permanently changing your address. AND the USPS will NOT allow you to make a COA (Change of Address) from a CMRA to any other address (i.e., back to your house). For these reasons, CMRA's won't work for us.

Years ago when we traveled overseas for 3+ months, we had friends who would pick up our mail and email us about what we had received. We offered to pay them, but they wouldn't take any money, but we sent them gift cards and brought them a nice gift from France.

However, we recently moved to a new city and state and don't have anyone we know well enough to either burden or entrust with dealing with our mail.

We'd be happy to just have it 'held' somewhere but our local PO staff made it quite clear that after 30 days on hold, if we don't pick it up, it will go back to sender.

What do others do with their mail when going overseas for extended periods?
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Old 12-29-2016, 12:53 PM
 
Location: Upland, CA
3,660 posts, read 6,481,485 times
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Not sure if it would meet your needs, but, what about opening up a mailbox at a UPS Store? You could have someone go by here and there to empty it and to make sure nothing there is too pressing?
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Old 12-29-2016, 12:57 PM
 
Location: Pie Nellas
114 posts, read 118,856 times
Reputation: 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by IonRedline08 View Post
Not sure if it would meet your needs, but, what about opening up a mailbox at a UPS Store? You could have someone go by here and there to empty it and to make sure nothing there is too pressing?
A UPS mailbox is a CMRA.
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Old 12-29-2016, 01:00 PM
 
9,776 posts, read 4,991,647 times
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It will come at a price, but you can research local errand/personal assistant/concierge services to collect your mail once or twice a week and contact you to let you know what you've received. They can also check around the house to make sure everything is secure and there are no problems.
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Old 12-29-2016, 01:02 PM
 
Location: MMU->ABE->ATL->ASH
9,123 posts, read 17,121,718 times
Reputation: 9974
Quote:
Originally Posted by franniejacks View Post

Years ago when we traveled overseas for 3+ months, we had friends who would pick up our mail and email us about what we had received. We offered to pay them, but they wouldn't take any money, but we sent them gift cards and brought them a nice gift from France.

However, we recently moved to a new city and state and don't have anyone we know well enough to either burden or entrust with dealing with our mail.
Can you still use your Friend from before?

USPS can forward anywhere in the US.
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Old 12-29-2016, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Pie Nellas
114 posts, read 118,856 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hertfordshire View Post
It will come at a price, but you can research local errand/personal assistant/concierge services to collect your mail once or twice a week and contact you to let you know what you've received. They can also check around the house to make sure everything is secure and there are no problems.
We have paid a property management company to check out our home when we were gone twice last summer, each time for a month. Charge is $45 a visit (we paid for 2x a month). However we don't want our mail in our mail box for 2+ weeks....we get a lot of junk mail (many are inserts that aren't addressed to any address...weekly grocery ads, etc.) and worry the USPS carrier will deem our box 'full' and not sure what he'd do next...return mail to sender??
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Old 12-29-2016, 01:10 PM
 
Location: Pie Nellas
114 posts, read 118,856 times
Reputation: 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyonpa View Post
Can you still use your Friend from before?

USPS can forward anywhere in the US.
That was over 5 years ago (and 2 cross-country moves ago); we've fallen out of touch.
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Old 12-29-2016, 01:26 PM
 
9,776 posts, read 4,991,647 times
Reputation: 33717
Quote:
Originally Posted by franniejacks View Post
We have paid a property management company to check out our home when we were gone twice last summer, each time for a month. Charge is $45 a visit (we paid for 2x a month). However we don't want our mail in our mail box for 2+ weeks....we get a lot of junk mail (many are inserts that aren't addressed to any address...weekly grocery ads, etc.) and worry the USPS carrier will deem our box 'full' and not sure what he'd do next...return mail to sender??
I don't know if this is official policy, but I've noticed that when I've been gone for a a week or two, and my mailbox fills up, all of the unaddressed inserts have been removed, and the first class mail and catalogs/magazines left behind.

When the mailbox fills up, they bound it all up and send it to the local post station, and leave a notice in the box that the mail needs to be picked up. Not sure how long it's held.

You may want to consider contracting a property management company to respond on an "as-needed" basis if there are any problems (repairs to be made, etc), but hiring a personal assistant/concierge type to collect and report on mail and check on the condition of the house. It might be more cost efficient.
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Old 12-29-2016, 01:33 PM
 
9,249 posts, read 11,799,248 times
Reputation: 14504
Don't cheap out on your mail!

Use the USPS Premium Forwarding. Have them send the mail each week to a designated location such as a trusted relative or friend. When you comeback, stop the service. You can also leave instructions for this person to be on the lookout for anything that may be important or urgent.

All it will cost you is the initial setup fee and the weekly service fee to pack and ship to this person. As a quick suggestion, if you do use this, don't go all tourist cheap on whatever you bring back for that person. No Italy T-shirt or pillow, make it nice!
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Old 12-29-2016, 10:36 PM
 
74 posts, read 104,967 times
Reputation: 84
I had an out of state move and rented a mail box at a local UPS store before I moved. The staff set up scheduled monthly mail forwarded to my temporary address where I live now until I relocate permanently. There is a fee associated with this, but I feel better knowing that my mail is being handled by professionals and at least is being held in a secure location.
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