Tip: How to Keep Track of Your Mail for Free While Traveling

Feb 6, 2018

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My wife, TPG contributor Katie, and I are “digital nomads.” Ever since we gave up our Austin apartment in June 2017, we’ve been traveling full-time. One of the questions we had before making the transition to living on the road is how to receive mail. We found a few services willing to accept, open and scan our mail. Trouble is, these services don’t come cheap.

Then, we found out about a free service that the United States Postal Service offers called Informed Delivery, and our search was over. In the 7+ month since, this service is how we’ve been keeping track of what mail has been sent to our address. The basics of the system are pretty simple: USPS scans “grayscale images of the exterior, address side of letter-sized mailpieces” that are going to be delivered to your registered address that day. This comes in a digest letter that I’ve received between 7:30am and 11:00am each morning.

In addition to scans of your mail, you’ll also be able to track USPS packages with options to “provide delivery instructions, manage notifications, and schedule redelivery.” There’s even an Apple, Android and Microsoft app if you’re that serious about tracking your mail.

If you’re interested in signing up, here are the steps to do so:

  • Go to informeddelivery.usps.com.
  • Select “Sign Up For Free.”
  • Enter your address to determine if it’s eligible for Informed Delivery.
  • If your address is eligible, create or login to your usps.com account.
  • After you create your usps.com account, select “Informed Delivery” in the top right of your profile page.
  • Select “Enroll” and scroll down to the Informed Delivery box under “Account Management.” Click the box to expand it.
  • Select the appropriate boxes to agree to the terms and conditions and certify your address, then select “Enroll in Informed Delivery” to continue.
  • Complete the identity verification questions
  • Opt-in to Informed Delivery by selecting “Enroll” and fill out your username, password, security questions and contact information to create your profile.
  • Complete the identity verification process (if you have not already done so when setting up your usps.com account).

Once you’re done, the USPS notes that you should begin receiving notifications within a week.

Feature photo by Seb Oliver/Getty Images

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