Ever since I high-tailed it to Europe six (!) years ago, my parents – or rather my father, the errand runner – has sent me all the mail that comes to their house addressed to me. it seemed easiest this way.
But now, it’s just annoying – for them and for me, especially since I tend to flit back and forth between Montpellier and Rome several times a year, declaring each time I am there to stay. While I’m not sure exactly where I’ll wind up and when, I am in the general vicinity of Western Europe for the foreseeable future.
So, I’ve been looking into mail forwarding services that cater to expats scattered around the world. I’ll include some links below to the ones I’m considering – I’ll be making my final decision tomorrow morning, when client funds are deposited – but I wanted to give some general thoughts about this service for expats who are thinking of doing the same.
1. OMG JASON BOURNE. My love of this international hottie of mystery, and clandestine life in general, is well documented. A mailing address that is several time zones from my exact location is very alluring for the aspiring spies among us.
2. Online shopping. You can buy stuff from eBay, for example, and have it sent to a U.S. address, which makes sellers very happy. Same goes for pretty much any other online retailer. And it’ll save you money in the long run.
3. Junk mail screening. A decent mail forwarding service scans in ever piece of mail you receive. Then, you can look at it online and tell them which pieces to throw out, and which pieces to send. They can even hold some pieces for you if you wish. NEVER RECEIVE JUNK MAIL AGAIN! Sigh. What a thought.
4. Flexible plans. Again, decent places have a wide range of plans you can choose from, depending on how you want to use the service and your budget. And, their mailing rates aren’t that bad, either.
The only thing that is annoying, but necessary, is that you need to snail mail them forms that confirm who you are and what you want from them. SNAIL MAIL. In this Internet world of GOTTA HAVE IT NOW, I want to click and be done with it. But instead to la Poste I shall go, armed with an iPod and a good book, and mail off my forms like a dutiful expat.
Links to mail forwarding services I am considering:
There are so many places, though, of varying types. Some places offer full virtual office services with locations around the world, for example, while some websites look like they were made in 1994 and never updated.