Handling your mail and packages while on vacation

Whenever I go on vacation for an extended period of time, one of my packing checklist items is to place a hold on my mail with the post office. Placing the mail on hold when you’re away is not only important so that your mailbox isn’t cluttered with envelopes, but it’s even more crucial so you don’t advertise to the entire neighborhood that you’re out of town and minimize the risk of break-ins.


Holding mail with USPS is free, easy and you can do it online. It’s convenient because you can do it up to 30 days in advance, and you can select the option of either picking up all your mail at the post office, or having it all delivered at once after you return.

What about other packages such as FedEx or UPS?

While a lot of people naturally think of only stopping U.S. mail, it is easy to overlook other carriers such as FedEx or UPS. There have been a couple of times where I have forgotten to do this since I haven’t been expecting packages, and sure enough someone will ship something to our house and the package could potentially sit on my front porch for a few days. I’m lucky to have great neighbors that when I’m out of town they put my packages away, but it’s always a good idea to stop packages with FedEx and UPS as well.

FedEx-DeliveryFedExWith FedEx you can request a vacation hold for free. You must create an account with FedEx Delivery Manager. You can also redirect your mail to a different address or have it held at a FedEx center.

With UPS the hold isn’t free. UPS will charge you $5 for every package rescheduled or delivered to a UPS retail location. You must sign up for UPS My Choice for this service. Still, $5 per package is a good price to pay if you can afford it so that your packages aren’t sitting on your front porch, and carriers are known for just dropping your package off on your front door whether you’re there or not. It happens all the time in my neighborhood.

So when traveling, don’t overlook this important step, especially if you don’t have friends or relatives nearby who can check on your home regularly. It saves a lot of headaches and avoids your packages going missing and you showing everyone you’re out of town.


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