Being a full-time traveler definitely has its pros and cons. You see amazing views, visit different cultures, and taste foreign cuisines. On the flip side, you never have a fixed address. Jumping from hostel to backpackers on a continuous basis, will make it difficult for mail to reach you successfully. This can cause a whole lot of problems, especially if you need important documents sent to you or want to stay in touch with your home country.
Watch this video for more information on virtual mail and how it works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItB1Z7zzxUo. If you are a traveler and interested in signing up for this kind of service, then follow our traveler’s guide to virtual mail services.
Why Should Traveler’s Use a Virtual Mail Service?
For those living a nomadic lifestyle, it’s difficult to have a fixed physical address. In many cases, travelers will provide banks, governing bodies, and financial institutions with an address that belongs to either family or friends. This results in giving friends and family extra responsibility to make sure they don’t lose your mail or that they forward it to you wherever you might find yourself.
This usually causes a great inconvenience to friends and family, especially if they are also prone to moving quite often. Getting a virtual mailbox will take the burden off of your friends and family’s shoulder and allow you to control your own post.
Luckily, those who travel long-term or full-time can sign up for a virtual mailing service. This service gives travelers a permanent physical address to which all mail can be sent to. Packages and envelopes will be directed to this address. In most cases it will be received by someone trusted who can sign on your behalf for receival.
Another main reason why travelers invest in a virtual mail service is to give the appearance that they have a physical address. Especially for digital nomads who run online businesses from a laptop, no matter where they are in the world, it’s a great tool to give the appearance of running a business from an office.
Virtual mail boxes can give travelers with online businesses a prestigious address that even have a full office service complete with phone numbers, receptionist, and office spaces.
There was a time when virtual mailboxes used PO boxes for customers. As time went on, financial institutions, courier services, and government bodies stopped delivering to PO boxes. This was mainly due to post getting lost or stolen.
It is extremely beneficial for travelers to have a physical address allocated to them through a virtual mailbox service.
How Does it Work?
There’s no need to worry about the specifics, as this service is very straightforward and simple. Once a traveler receives mail, the virtual mail service team will send a notification to the owner. This notification will typically be a photo or scan of the package or envelope.
A trusted employee will handle your packages or envelope. Since, all mail is handled with the utmost privacy and security, you can request that they take any of the following actions:
Open the envelope, scan the document and email it to you; this will allow you to read the contents from the comfort of a computer without holding the physical letter in your hands.
Shred or recycle; if the letter is no use to you, or if you don’t have any need for it, you can request that the employee shred or recycle the paper.
Mail forwarding; when it’s an important parcel, government correspondence, important documents, or a new bank card, then you have the option of the service to forward it to your new address.
You can learn more about virtual mail services by asking other travelers and locals in the country you are currently residing in. Although, it is recommended that you use a virtual mailing service that is based in your home country, there are other services available all over the world.
How Much Does It Cost?
Especially if you are traveling on a budget, you don’t want to end up spending hundreds of dollars on envelopes and packages. It’s therefore important to shop around for a few options before signing up for a specific one.
Depending on which company you opt for, the fees will vary greatly. Some even offer extra perks like faxing, emailing, and depositing cheques into your bank account. For extra monthly fees you can take advantage of more office-related services too.
Although most virtual mailing companies provide the same primary service, some are more focused on businesses rather than individuals. For these companies, there are stronger security and privacy regulations set in place which means that they are more expensive as well.
For most companies, you will be expected to pay a fixed monthly fee. Some additional charges might be billed for receiving and scanning letter, depositing cheques, forwarding packages, and receiving more the monthly quota letters.
Monthly fees will usually include the ownership of a physical address, basic mailing services, and receiving a specific number of letters each month. Read this article by a true vagabond who has been using virtual mailing services for years, follow the tips to set up your virtual mailbox successfully.
It’s important to note, that it is a criminal offence to open up someone else’s mail in many countries. Envelopes can contain highly confidential information that is not allowed to be seen by anyone else but the receiver.
If you are looking in to signing up for a virtual mail service, then you shouldn’t neglect authorizing the company. This will give them the legal permission to sign for packages and post on your behalf. As well as give them the permission to open up and scan your documents.
To authorize the service, you need to visit a legal notary such as the U.S. postal office. If you are already traveling around the globe, you can do an online notarization.
Getting your mail shouldn’t be a headache, when you sign up for virtual mail services, you’ll experience all the benefits while zipping around the world.