Mail arrangements while you’re away

Make sure your mail finds you on your next Australian caravan adventure.

Despite technology advancements and a strong reliance on the internet, important notices and bills are still delivered by mail. This reliance of physical bills and notices can make planning long trips away more stressful than they need to be.

It may be the vehicle registration letter which is due in a month’s time or a new pair of glasses that were supposed to have arrived last week. Otherwise, you may not want to let the mail pile up — as this is an obvious invitation for burglars who may be passing by.

While forwarding your mail to each caravan stop may sound great in theory, there is no guarantee your mail will actually arrive prior to your departure date. This opens up a whole new list of problems, such as collecting mail from a destination from which you have already departed.

If you are planning a trip and you will only be away for a couple of weeks it is probably easiest to organise with your local post office to hold onto the mail until you return. However, if you are planning a long and unpredictable trip it may be best to consider the following methods.

Have a family member or friend collect your mail

Having someone collect your mail while you are away is one of the easiest methods. Additionally, this person can inform you of any essential letters which are delivered. This method is the best for keeping you up to date with what is being delivered on a need-to-know basis.

If you have family or close friends who live nearby, prearrange with them to check your mailbox regularly and collect any mail, newspapers, and brochures which may accumulate on your driveway or in your mailbox.

Alternatively, you can organise with your local post office for all your mail to be redirected to your friend’s address. This way they can notify you what has arrived and then they can open or forward your mail to your next destination.There may be a cost involved with redirecting your mail.

Poste Restante

When you need to have a letter or package forwarded to you, prearrange a set place and time to collect it. Plan where you are going to be and arrange for the mail to be forwarded to the town’s local post office, caravan park or newsagent. For this method, you will need to have organised and pre-arranged prior to any mail or packages being sent.

Any Australia Post or kiosk will hold onto mail labelled “POSTE RESTANTE” until the receiver comes and collects it. This is a great method if you know what town you will be travelling through during a certain period of time but you haven’t organised accommodation yet.

If you use this method the address will need to be written like so:

[Your given name + FAMILY NAME — in capital letters]

Poste Restante

[TOWN] [State] [Postcode]

Sign up to a forwarding service

For those travelling for a long period of time and you are expecting to receive a large amount of mail it may be best to consider signing up to a forwarding service.

These services will typically charge a base fee (around $20 a month) plus any postage costs. The service will hold your letters and packages until you notify them of a forwarding address. Many services also have the option of having them open your mail, scan the message and forward the contents in an email straight to you.

After a few months on the road, you will find your regular mail will slow down and all you will be concerned about is any utility bills, vehicle registration or licence renewal forms and payments. As these are important documents, it is great to have pre-organised your mail arrangements before you head away, even if it’s just for peace of mind.

If you are planning a caravanning trip soon make sure you are familiar with the caravanning code of ethics.