Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a permanent, residential address to receive mail. Vanlifers who live in their vans full-time can get mail through one of the following methods:
- Friends and family: Friends and family are the best option for receiving your everyday mail. If you know you’ll be on the road long-term and you need a place to send regular mail – ask friends and family if they’ll be willing to let you use their address. After you return from your stint on the road, simply update your address. Similarly, if you need to receive a package, you can ask family or friends who live near your current travel destination.
- Virtual mailbox: If you don’t have friends or family nearby, virtual mailboxes are a great option for general mail. First, sign up for a virtual mailbox service (which can cost anywhere from $10 to $50 a month). The company will then upload your mail online, which you can view from a mobile device.
- Amazon lockers: During your travels, you may need to order supplies from Amazon. At check-out, Amazon provides a free option to have your package delivered to an Amazon locker. Simply pick a locker that’s near your location, then drive to it when your package is ready.
- Mail forwarding service: Whether you need to receive a package or general mail, a mail forwarding service can help. For a monthly fee, these services will hold your mail, then send it to you when you request it. This is especially helpful for when you’re off the grid.
- UPS general delivery: Friends and family can send you packages (or you can order something for yourself) through UPS. Then, have it delivered to a nearby location — post offices, UPS stores, campgrounds and even local businesses are usually willing to hold packages for people. Always call ahead to ensure this is an option, and check if there are fees.
In conclusion, there are several great options for receiving mail and packages while on the road. If you want to keep it simple and save money, ask friends or family. Alternatively, a virtual mailbox is a great solution for vanlifers who prefer to avoid relying on others. Need a package delivered? Amazon & UPS have thousands of locations around the country where you can receive mail.