Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Preparation: Managing Mail

One area of concern for anyone who travels is the mail. The post office will hold mail for up to 30 days for those on vacation. Since I am away for over 30 days, I have my neighbors pick up my mail and send it to me. To make this task easier for them, I get the Priority Mail Flat Rate envelopes and boxes. This makes it simple to put the letters into the box or envelope and just mail them. Since the price is based on the size of the box no matter how much it weighs up to 70 pounds, I can purchase the postage stamps ahead of time. I do not want to inconvenience my neighbors any more than necessary.

If they wish, travelers can put in a temporary change of address with the post office. They can also use a Premium Forwarding Service. For a fee they can receive their mail weekly for two weeks to a year. Visit the United States Postal Service website for more details.

Some have wondered why I do not have my mail forwarded to me. Sometimes when I travel I am gone during the end of the year holiday season when tax documents are mailed. Our postmaster told me that some of these papers have instructions on the envelope that they are not to be forwarded, so I do not take the chance.  Another reason I do not have things forwarded is I do not want to pay a weekly fee!!

Over the years I have tried to reduce the amount of mail that comes to the house, so I really do not receive that much mail. My bills are all paid online, so I do not have to worry about them. One area of mail that I do double-check is the expiration dates on all my credit cards so the replacement card does not arrive when I am away on a trip. The bank informed me that a credit card or bank card can arrive up to two months ahead of the expiration date on the current card. Now I am aware of those dates and make sure my neighbors watch for those pieces of mail if I am out of town.

(Photo taken in 2011)
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