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How To Stop Mail For Vacation

So you have had a busy last quarter and are ready to go off the grid for a while to some exotic vacation place…great! Maybe the Maldives, or the Seychelles, or perhaps the Bahamas? Or are you more of a jungle holiday goer? Or a year-long volunteer kind of affair? Wherever you go, you’re going to have loads of fun. But it isn’t quite that simple, is it? There is still that one question playing on your mind.

 

What happens with your USPS mail while you are away?

 

Well, we have good news for you because in this blog we will be showing you how to complete a mail hold with the post office.

 

Make some notes, read carefully and, at the end of the day, have a wonderful vacation!

 

Mailbox is overflowed with mail

How To Hold Your Mail in 3 Simple Steps:

 

    1. Head over to the Postal Service website and click on “Hold Mail” under “Track & Manage”
    2. Enter your mailing address
    3. Confirm whether “hold mail” is available for your location

     

    See, the good news is, the USPS has predicted that you won’t be at home 24/7 all days of the year. And even though you can get a pretty nice and large mailbox these days, the capacity is not exactly unlimited. There is nothing that screams more “I am away” than an overflowed mailbox. That in return will set you up for some unexpected visitors that are curious why you haven’t picked up your mail in such a long time.

     

    Once you have completed all necessary steps on the Postal Service website and receive confirmation of the eligibility of your location, you will want to enter the travel dates and select from one of two options:

     

    • Get mail delivered when you return home
    • Pick it up at the Post Office

     

    After that step is completed, you will receive a confirmation number that will be e-mailed to you within a few seconds. You will be given the option to edit your travel information and delivery options as well. That is where that confirmation number comes in handy.

 

Post office clerk handling mail from customer

In Person USPS Hold Request

 

If you are more traditional and find that completing a mail hold online is too complicated, don’t sweat it; there is an option of completing a hold request in person or over the phone.

 

To complete a hold request in person, you will want to visit your local post office branch and complete a 8076 form that will Authorize the Postal Service to hold your mail. That form will ask you similar information that the online form would ask (e.g address, calendar days you will be away, and an option to get mail delivered once you are back home, or an option to pick it up from the branch location).

 

Business person looking at this watch

USPS Hold Request by Phone

 

If you did not already know, the United States Postal Service has a toll-free customer service number. Along with ringing them for problems, queries, and requests, you can also start your hold mail delivery option from here too.

 

All you have to do is call 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777) and you will be connected with their customer service team. Do bear in mind that their opening hours are 8 in the morning to half 8 at night during the working week, and Saturday from 8 am until 6 in the evening. To be honest, we think this is amazing.

How Long Does It Take?

 

This is an excellent question, and depending on how far ahead you thought of this, the answer could delight you!

 

Once you have confirmed eligibility and are able to complete a hold mail request for your location, the post office can start the hold process within a day. Having said that, we would recommend all “to- be” travelers to complete a mail hold order at least 7 days prior to the day you leave. If you do happen to remember it last minute, then we would recommend you visit in person the local post office branch that is responsible for mail delivery to your address. This will ensure that you fill out the paper form properly and there are no mistakes that could delay your mail hold.

 

The inside of a post office building

How Long Will The Post Office Hold Mail?

 

The Post Office will hold your mail for up to 30 days. It is important to keep in mind that hold mail is not done for an infinite number of days, and if you exceed the 30 day period, they will forward your mail to a temporary address you listed when completing the form.

 

Depending on where you will be travelling to and how long you plan on being there, you can always select the option of receiving your mail at your new location. Of course there will be an additional fee associated with that, but it may be a good alternative if you need access to that mail urgently.

 

Virtual mailbox on a desktop & smart phone device

Stopping Mail Delivery: When Does It Resume?

 

You will be given the resume date (30 days from stopping your mail) when you apply for the US mail stop service so we can’t really give you a set in stone date or anything here. However, we do have some tips that will help you avoid any upsets on the day your post will continue.

 

The main thing is to be at home on this date. Don’t be at work or just arriving back after the holiday of a lifetime. Why? In all honesty, it is simply courteous to the mailman since your packet is probably far too large to fit inside your mailbox.

 

Depending on the area you live (be it an apartment block or the like) you would probably rather pick your held mail up in person. Well, we would suggest you do that anyway. This ensures you get your hands on all of it before someone else does.

 

If you do decide to pick it up yourself, make sure to bring a government approved identification document. You can take your driver’s license, non-driver’s ID card, federal or state-recognized tribal card, citizenship or naturalization certificate, armed forces card, uniformed services ID card, or permanent resident card.

 

What If You Want Your Mail Vacation Hold for More Than 30 Days?

 

Annoyingly, the post office will not hold your mail for more than 30 days. We understand this though as it would be quite challenging (not to mention a huge burden). But you do have an option here.

 

Instead of requesting the stop mail services, you can opt into the premium forwarding feature. With this, you get your mail sent to your temporary address every week. Of course, it comes with a price. Plus, it is more complicated than simply asking to cancel mail delivery but we will walk you through everything you need to know right now.

 

So, How Does It Work? And What Does It Actually Cost?

 

Step One: You need to make a United States Postal Service account. If you were thinking of using the hold US mail delivery service then you probably already have one of these.

 

Step Two: Enroll in the premium forwarding service using the USPS website. The form is easy and quick to fill out.

 

Step Three: If you are enrolling online like we are here, you will pay a fee of $17.10. However, the retail price is $18.65.

 

Step Four: You will pay $18.65 every week then to receive your mail.

 

Although that is the bare bones of it the service, there are some more details you need to know. Take a look below:

 

  • Your mail is packed up each Wednesday. You should receive your package within one to three business days thanks to the priority mail shipping you acquire as part of this service. However, it does depend on the distance.
  • Any priority mail express items will be automatically rerouted to your temporary address.
  • Priority mail items are either sent straight to you or are included in your weekly packet. It depends on which option will arrive sooner.
  • Any first class mail letters, packages, or parcels that don’t fit inside your packet each work will be sent separately. Thankfully, they don’t charge you any extra for this!

 

As you can tell, it is pretty useful if you are willing to pay the initial (and then recurring) fee.

 

How to Stop Mail: A Summary

 

Since we have been chatting now for quite a while, let us summarize everything we have discussed so it’s as easy as possible for you to put your mail delivery on hold.

 

In Person

 

  1. Go to your local post office branch.
  2. Ask for the form that will suspend mail delivery.
  3. Fill it in correctly. You can always ask if you need help or you’re unsure of what to write.
  4. Hand it into the employee behind the desk.
  5. Et voila! You’re all done and dusted.

 

Online

 

  1. Visit the United States Postal Service’s website (make sure it is the official one).
  2. Click “hold mail”.
  3. Fill in the form.
  4. And away you go!

 

By Phone

 

  1. Ring 1-800-ASK-USPS.
  2. Say that you need to file a request to “stop my mail”.
  3. And you are done!

 

And there you have it! You no longer have to scream “how do I stop my mail” into your mirror every morning before your vacation starts! Perfect.

 

Or is it? When you really think about it, there seem to be a lot of problems with this whole holding mail thing, doesn’t there? In fact, people have publicly announced their troubles with this surface. We’ve heard of everything going wrong including mailmen still delivering mail every day when the request was put in. This just isn’t on. Especially if you are on holiday for more than a long weekend!

 

So, is there another solution? Yup! Check it out.

A Better Alternative: The Virtual Mailbox

 

Time constraints and geographic limitations are not avoided when you complete a hold mail request with the USPS. Sometimes, you may find yourself needing to extend your overseas visit, or happen to travel to a place that is too far to consider direct mail forwarding from the US. In other cases, you may need access to important documents, while you are away.

 

The use of a Virtual Mailbox can come in handy in cases like this. You get to view all of your snail mail online, and even select from within your account one of the following options:

 

 

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch! We are always happy to resolve any concerns, queries or requests.

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$9.95

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$14.99 billed monthly.

  • 1 name on the account
  • Free check deposit
  • 90 days Free mail storage

PLUS

$14.95

Per month, billed biennially.
$19.99 billed monthly.

  • Add multiple family members
  • Add multiple company names
  • Upto 80% off on shipping rates
  • Free check deposit
  • 180 days free physical mail storage

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Earth Class Mail VS US Global Mail

In today’s blog, we will be reviewing Earth Class Mail.

 

We have covered extensively the reasons why offering virtual addresses in several locations and outsourcing your mail for customers is a terrible and immoral idea. 

 

As a refresher, here are the top 3 reasons:

 

  • Increased security risk when it is outsourced to a smaller subcontractor
  • Mail theft & warehouse security
  • Location is irrelevant for virtual mailboxes; mail is uploaded to the cloud – so the location of your virtual address does not practically matter. 

 

Virtual mailbox displayed on the screen of a mobile phone

 

In today’s blog we will be exploring another Mail Forwarding company that you may come across; Earth Class Mail. 

 

Like iPostal1, they too advertise the “hundreds and hundreds” of locations they offer. 

 

As mentioned before, this is nothing better than a Cable Company (TV) pitching you to switch provider & get 1000 more channels that you’ll never watch.



Unlike iPostal1 though, in the case of Earth Class Mail things become even more problematic…

 

Here is an example of a location offered on their website.

 

Map showing the location of a pack & ship store for Earth Class Mail

 

“The Perfect Portland Address” they say..

 

Read the address again and you’ll see it’s nothing more than a PO Box…

 

Your virtual address is now a PO Box in Portland; very professional if you’re looking to register your business there (irony.)

Were you also interested in setting up a Business Listing with Google? 

 

There’s an issue with that…Google does not accept PO Boxes for the postcard verification. 

 

So what exactly is the value in offering a PO Box as a Virtual Address? 

 

No value really as:

 

  • It doesn’t look professional for business purposes
  • You can’t use it on Google
  • You can simply register a PO Box yourself and avoid the upsell
  • Earth Class Mail charges an arm & a leg, compared to what the Post Office will charge you.

 

Hand holding paper mail exiting through a computer screen

Pricing

 

Since we did bring up pricing, it’s probably worth going over the exact details on that. Objectively speaking, no matter what Mail Forwarding & Virtual Mailbox competitor you ask, the most expensive service is offered by Earth Class Mail. 

 

The lowest price you’ll ever get with Earth Class Mail is $39/mo and that does not include additional fees that come with the service. 

 

US Global Mail on the other hand only costs $10/mo and with a ton of Free Perks that Earth Class Mail will upsell you for. Here’s a list of those perks US Global Mail gives you:

 

List of perks & services offered with the signup of a virtual mailbox

 

So why is there such a big difference in pricing? 

 

For one, Earth Class Mail is a service strictly focused on business customers. Examples of those would be large law firms, accounting firms etc – that have a big volume of mail coming and need streamlined mail management. 

 

Another reason is the fact that US Global Mail is a larger company and with a lot more customers, meaning that we’re able to offer discounted rates not only on our monthly membership, but also when it comes to shipping (carriers will give greater discounts, the more mail items you send through them.)

 

Person tracking mail packages in a warehouse

 

Reviews

 

It’s easy for someone to tout their own horn. But what if you have an objective market-place in which people call out the best service? 

 

What is more transparent than reviews from customers who have signed up and used the service? 

 

Here is how we compare to Earth Class Mail (and even other services.)

 

Review comparison board for 4 mail forwarding companies

 

As you can see, we have far better ratings than anyone in the industry!

 

Additionally, Earth Class Mail has only received 2 reviews, compared to US Global Mail which has received over 700 reviews at the time of writing this article.

 

US Global Mail has been around since 1999, has over 80,000 customers under its belt and has been proven to be the leader in virtual addresses and mail forwarding. We do not take such an honor lightly and treat every customer as if it were our first!

 

For any any questions, you can message us here.

Exceptional service, at the right price.

30 Day Money Back Guarantee. Try Risk Free.

Choose the plan that’s right for you.

No one beats our plans. Or pricing. Or customer service.
No contracts or surprise fees. Tons of Free features. Try risk-free.

BASIC

$9.95

Per month, billed biennially.
$14.99 billed monthly.

  • 1 name on the account
  • Free check deposit
  • 90 days Free mail storage

PLUS

$14.95

Per month, billed biennially.
$19.99 billed monthly.

  • Add multiple family members
  • Add multiple company names
  • Upto 80% off on shipping rates
  • Free check deposit
  • 180 days free physical mail storage

All our plans come with

guarantee
100% Guarantee

Don't love it? Cancel within 30 days for a full refund.

location on the map
Permanent Street Address

Get a PO box online while maintaining a real street address.

computer devices
Smart Mailbox

Read all your mail virtually. No paper mess and a greener planet.

no-limits
No limits

Get mail from all your homes and business(es) or both in the same app.

security symbol
Free Check Deposit

Deposit bank checks virtually... with the click of a button.

flexible plans
Flexible Plans

Upgrade, downgrade, cancel anytime.

Tree on the top of the world globe

We want to leave a greener Earth for our children

We plant a tree for every new member sign up

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Moving/Traveling? Get your USPS mail online, in minutes!

When you’re traveling or living abroad, the preparation can come with a lot of headaches. Do you have all of the essentials? What are you allowed to bring?  And once you actually arrive the list gets longer!

 

We are, after all, talking about moving and living abroad. It isn’t like moving down the road, crosstown, or even across the country. There are a lot of moving parts that are going on behind the scenes with this decision, and there’s going to be the inevitable headache and hassle of moving house in general combined with having to handle moving to another country completely.

 

The last thing you want to do is add any extra “mental baggage” to your plate when you already have so much to juggle. You’ll want to take care of as much as you can while you are still in the states, recognizing that there are probably going to be a couple of things that fall through the cracks that you want to navigate after you are situated in your new home abroad.

 

Figuring out how to get your mail should be the least of your problems, but the solution isn’t always so obvious.

 

This is not something that you can afford to juggle around later down the line. You’re probably getting some pretty important documents in the mail right now (bills, tax information, identifying documents, etc.) and not only will you continue to need to get those pieces of mail moving forward – but you’re also going to need to make sure that those sensitive pieces of mail do not end up in the wrong hands, too.

 

Thankfully though, there are a couple of things you can do to make getting your mail when you are abroad a whole lot easier than it ever used to be – all while taking advantage of the best mail scanning services available.

 

In the rest of this detailed guide we cover all of the fundamentals you’ll need to know about getting the most out of these kinds of services, digging deep into the benefits that services offer while at the same time highlighting the important considerations you’ll need to focus on before you sign on the dotted line and have anyone open and scan your mail for you.

 

Ready to dive right in?

 

Let’s get right to it!

 

How do I get my mail when not at home?

 

One option you have is asking family or friends to check your mail. While that may seem simple enough, it’s actually not. Do you really want your friends or family reading through your bank statements and IRS notices? If you don’t want them to open it, how will they know which one’s important and which one is junk mail? They may not have the time to run to the post office as often as you need them to and you can end up overextending your wallet to pay for mail you don’t need. That’s where mail scanning comes in.

 

Plenty of people operate under the impression that they’ll be able to have their friends, family members, or even some of their trusted neighbors handle their mail – but as we highlighted above, who wants to pass all that responsibility off on to someone else that’s likely already juggling plenty of responsibilities on their own?

 

This is something that you’re going to want to hire the right professionals to help you with, and thanks to services like those provided by US Global Mail for example the process is pretty simple and straightforward.

 

You’ll be able to rely on the expertise of seasoned professionals in the mail scanning and mail forwarding industry that can keep your personal and private correspondence exactly that – personal and private – while still providing you with unlimited digital access to all of your important mail pieces almost instantly.

 

It’s tough to beat those kinds of benefits!

 

Smart phone & computer user interface of a virtual mailbox

 

How does mail scanning work?

 

After signing up for a mail forwarding service, any mail that’s addressed to your home will be redirected to a new address at a facility. As soon as it arrives, the outside of the envelope is scanned and uploaded to a virtual mailbox. Then, you have a few choices: 

 

  • See who the sender is and decide if you want the mail to be opened and scanned for you to read it asap
  • Ship to where you are
  • Securely shred it if it is junk mail like an unwanted catalog

 

As we highlighted a moment ago, all of this critical information regarding your mail is going to be forwarded to you directly along with a digital scan of the envelope or the outside of the package/parcel as well.

 

You’ll have the opportunity to have that piece of mail opened up and scanned digitally (securely and without compromising your privacy), with those digital files sent to you directly immediately upon scanning for your use and convenience.

 

On top of all that, you’ll also be able to have all of your digitally scanned mail pieces saved directly in a database that is 100% searchable and easy to cross reference. This is a huge benefit for those that want to be able to archive their physical mail similarly to the way that they archive their email.

 

Finally, the ability to send and forward that mail to your physical location (domestically or overseas) quickly as well as the ability to have those documents shredded and destroyed securely rounds out the big benefits you’ll be able to enjoy when you move forward with an organization like US Global Mail.

 

US Global Mail mail scanning process

 

Is Mail Scanning Quick and Reliable?

 

It depends; some services, like US Global Mail scan mail contents within 2-4 hours after your request but others can take up to 24 hours or more.

 

Services that have lots of addresses and usually have mail shipped from those locations to their central location before it is scanned can take several days for scans.

 

As a general rule, though, you can expect to have your mail scanned (mail that you choose to have scanned, that is) up and ready to rock and roll on your digital US Global Mail dashboard in just a few hours.

 

The scanning process is quick and super accurate, guaranteeing a 1:1 digital replica made of the actual mail pieces that you want to have added to your digital dashboard. You’ll be able to read that document in stunning high definition resolution, can then print that document at your physical location if you need a hard copy, and also have the ability to have the actual physical piece of mail sent to you directly (something that should take a couple of days to a week or more, depending entirely on your final destination).

 

Woman holding a phone in her hand that shows virtual mail

 

Is Mail scanning secure?

 

Again, this depends on which company you choose. Some companies are vague about their security measures and do not list them clearly on their site.

 

It is of the utmost importance that you double verify that the mail scanning and mail forwarding service you choose to move forward with is trustworthy and reputable.

 

While there are a lot of great companies in this industry offering fantastic services, like industry leaders US Global Mail, there are also a lot of fly-by-night operations out there that promise the moon and the stars but may not be quite as reliable or as secure as you are expecting.

 

It wouldn’t be fair to say that these fly-by-night or smaller time operations are acting maliciously (the overwhelming majority of them are not). It’s just that they do not have the experience, the infrastructure, or the protocols to guarantee the safety and security of your mail and sensitive information contained within the way that companies like US Global Mail can.

 

This is why research and due diligence is such a huge piece of the puzzle. You can afford to have someone handling your mail that you haven’t fully vetted and verified ahead of time.


To do your homework:

 

Here are 5 questions to ask to check if mail scanning is secure:

  1. What is the scan process?
  2. Is the scan encrypted during upload? Where is it stored- local machines or cloud?
  3. Are employees require to have background checks?
  4. Do they track every touch to your mail piece and record that info?
  5. Do they shred discarded mail?

 

If the service you’re looking at can answer yes to all those questions, your mail is actually a lot safer than it would be in actual mailbox!

 

Is Mail Scanning affordable?

 

Yes. Especially since you can read the contents of your mail ASAP and not have to ship it to yourself, wherever you are!

You certainly won’t have to spend a small fortune on mail forwarding and mail scanning services from companies like US Global Mail, and won’t have to spend anywhere near as much money as you might have renting an oversized PO Box through the USPS to hold and capture all of your physical mail for months (if not longer) on end.

 

Combine that with the fact that the USPS simply isn’t going to offer the same mail scanning or digitizing services that you get from a reliable company like US Global Mail – not to mention all of the other benefits that an organization like this offers (including check cashing, for example) – and it becomes a no-brainer the specialty services rather than go in a different direction.

 

It’s not a bad idea to research your options to find the best deal in the market, but expect leaders in the industry to offer the most competitive prices without cutting corners as far as safety, security, or privacy protections are concerned.

 

The odds are pretty good that you’ll be able to find a mail scanning and forwarding service that fits your needs and your budget perfectly if only you’ll do a little bit of due diligence to double verify that things are good to go!

 

Which services offer mail scanning?

 

We have complied a list of the popular mail forwarding services that include mail scanning here. Pick one that works best for you.

 

Of course, we would like to recommend ourselves- US Global Mail– as the very best one out there!

 

US Global Mail has a sterling silver reputation in the mail scanning and mail forwarding industry, a reputation built on the back of thousands of clients in the United States and worldwide taking advantage of these services on a day to day basis for a number of years.

 

Best of all, this sterling silver reputation isn’t something that US Global Mail speaks about exclusively.

 

You’ll be able to independently verify the services with just a little bit of research online, and the odds are good that you’ll come across an overwhelming flood of glowingly positive reviews that support this fantastic reputation, too.

 

Combine all of that with very affordable pricing, a whole host of ancillary services that help to separate this company from the rest of the pack, and an overall approach to your security and privacy you just won’t find elsewhere and it’s not difficult to see why so many people choose US Global Mail over competitors time and time again.

 

A smart phone that has the mailbox flag on it

 

Does USPS offer mail scanning?

 

Via Informed Delivery you can an email from the USPS with an image of the outside of your mail. You can digitally preview your mail and packages scheduled to arrive that day.

 

Informed Delivery allows you to view greyscale images of the exterior, address side of letter-sized mailpieces. Images are only provided for letter-sized mailpieces that are processed through USPS’ automated equipment.

 

So while that is convenient, you cannot read the contents of your mail. That can only be done with a mail scanning service. If you’re only looking for a scan of the envelope itself (which can sometimes be a little bit hit or miss) this may be something that you’re interested in for sure.

 

Informed Delivery is definitely a fantastic service to take advantage of if you are going to be staying in the United States. But the moment that you start to consider moving abroad – or even traveling extensively overseas – you’ll want to look at more purpose built mail scanning and mail forwarding services like US Global Mail.

 

The USPS is somewhat limited in their abilities to innovate and to improve their services the way that a more flexible organization like this one can, through no fault of their own aside from the fact that the federal government is calling all the shots.

 

If you’re looking for a more complete and comprehensive solution that gives you total control over your mail it’s really tough to beat the suite of services and solutions provided by US Global Mail – services and solutions that are being expanded on and approved upon day after day!

Exceptional service, at the right price.

30 Day Money Back Guarantee. Try Risk Free.

Choose the plan that’s right for you.

No one beats our plans. Or pricing. Or customer service.
No contracts or surprise fees. Tons of Free features. Try risk-free.

BASIC

$9.95

Per month, billed biennially.
$14.99 billed monthly.

  • 1 name on the account
  • Free check deposit
  • 90 days Free mail storage

PLUS

$14.95

Per month, billed biennially.
$19.99 billed monthly.

  • Add multiple family members
  • Add multiple company names
  • Upto 80% off on shipping rates
  • Free check deposit
  • 180 days free physical mail storage

All our plans come with

guarantee
100% Guarantee

Don't love it? Cancel within 30 days for a full refund.

location on the map
Permanent Street Address

Get a PO box online while maintaining a real street address.

computer devices
Smart Mailbox

Read all your mail virtually. No paper mess and a greener planet.

no-limits
No limits

Get mail from all your homes and business(es) or both in the same app.

security symbol
Free Check Deposit

Deposit bank checks virtually... with the click of a button.

flexible plans
Flexible Plans

Upgrade, downgrade, cancel anytime.

Tree on the top of the world globe

We want to leave a greener Earth for our children

We plant a tree for every new member sign up