When we started the planning stage of our long term travel around Oz, we were faced with many issues that we needed to overcome. Being mobile and in a new town nearly every week/month was bound to present a few challenges especially when it comes to dealing with our general mail.
We were lucky as we had a trusted family member back home who we could rely on to regularly check our post office box, screen our mail for anything that looked important (or at least interesting) and periodically forward it to us when we could determine a definite location where we will be, allowing time for it to arrive via Australia Post.
One thing we get asked a lot now is how we manage our mail “on the road”, as I said above we were lucky but it got me thinking about the options that are out there for longer term travellers and what are the good options that may provide suitable solutions.
Firstly, I would recommend people use or subscribe to electronic mail (Email) to get important documents sent to you directly. We signed up to receive electronic statements from our bank to be emailed to us instead of receiving a paper statement in our mailbox (it’s an identical document except you receive it online). We do all our rego renewals, insurance and roadside assistance renewals online and reckon taking advantage of receiving these types’ documents online makes a lot of sense. But our word of advice is to ensure your email passwords are secure and only you know them especially if you expect to receive confidential emails. Make a list of all your business dealings (Insurance, Banks, Motoring organisations, phone company, electricity company, council rates etc. etc.) and enquire if you can opt for email correspondence- if so this will take some load off your paper mail (of course you will need access to a computer and internet whilst you are on the road).
For all other general mail that you will still need to have access to as you travel (or if email doesn’t interest you) there a few mail-forwarding companies that offer services to re-direct your mail on your behalf for a small fee. Basically these companies will receive all your mail and send it off to you, usually to the post office of the town you advise or other address that’s convenient to you as you travel. A very handy service to use if you don’t have someone you feel comfortable trusting with your mail.
We have also heard of people using Australia Post to hold and re-direct your mail for you when you request it. Generally this isn’t a service offered by Australia Post as a long-term solution for travellers. These arrangements may depend on the individual post office you use and it might be worth enquiring about.
However, choosing to have your mail sent to a Post Office (addressed C/O Post Office) is also a good option for people with no fixed address. But keep in mind Australia Post will only hold mail for period of time so you will need to plan your mail according to you estimated plan of arrival.
Here are a few private companies that offer mail forwarding services for travellers within Australia: