Do you have a permanent address in your current city of residence, but travel frequently for work or pleasure? Or maybe you’re living abroad and don’t want to give up your U.S. mailing address just yet.
I’m often asked: are there any mail solutions for travelers? The great news is yes, there are, anywhere in the world! If you travel full-time, long-term, or even just find yourself moving a lot and hate changing your mailing address, you may benefit from using a virtual postal service.
Virtual Mailboxes are becoming more popular as people become more mobile and less tied to one physical location. This type of service allows you to receive mail and packages at a designated address, which are then scanned and sent to you electronically.
This can be an incredibly helpful solution for travelers and ex-pats alike who are living abroad or traveling frequently for work or pleasure. In this blog post, we will discuss the best virtual mailbox services for travelers and outline the benefits of using one.
Want to Skip to the list of Virtual Mailbox Services?
Here you go.
What is a Virtual Mailbox Service?
It’s a type of mailbox that exists only virtually. That is, there isn’t a physical mailbox that you need to check in person; but rather your mail is stored and managed by the virtual mailing service.
Despite the “virtual” moniker, you’ll get an address that you can use as your real physical street address and to which you can send all your mail. In many cases, there is even a physical person there who can sign for packages.
When you receive mail, the virtual mailbox service will alert you to its arrival by emailing you a scan of the envelope. You can then direct them to do any of the following:
- Open the letter, scan the contents, and email them to you
- Forward the letter to your current address
- Recycle or shred the letter
Most also offer a mail forwarding service, which is handy when you’re receiving packages, a new credit card, or important government correspondence.
Many virtual mailbox services offer a series of extra perks (usually for extra fees), such as depositing cheques to your bank account, fax services, and more.
While it used to be common for virtual mailbox services to assign PO boxes to their customers, many financial institutions, government bodies, and even courier services won’t deliver to a PO box, which rendered it impractical to use as an official address. So these days, the vast majority of virtual mailbox services give you a physical address.
There are many services offered in different countries. Obviously, it’s probably easiest and best for you to choose a service based in your country of origin.
Some services offer you a choice of cities (or countries!) for your address to be based in (these are often slightly pricier), while others only offer one city option.
Wh0 Should Consider a Virtual Mailbox?
If you’re living or traveling abroad you might be sending your mail to a friend and having them sort it for you, but if you don’t want to burden them with that anymore, a virtual mailbox might be your answer.
A Virtual Mailbox gives you the ability to centralize your mail in one place, whether you are on the go or living in multiple locations. You can access your mail 24/7 from any device, and they’ll forward it to you wherever you are.
And for those who want to keep their personal address private – a Virtual Mailbox can be used as your primary mailing address, so you can keep your personal address private.
Perhaps you’re not abroad, but instead are running an online business and want to convey the appearance of having a physical office (perhaps even one with a prestigious address); in this case, you can use a virtual mailbox service that also has full office services like dedicated phone numbers answered by a receptionist.
Benefits of Using a Virtual Mailbox Service
There are many benefits to using a Virtual Mailbox Service, which include:
Mail Forwarding – You can have all of your mail forwarded to you at any physical location.
Scanning Services – With scanning services, you can view your mail online. This is perfect for people who want to be able to view their mail but don’t have the time to sort through it physically.
Storage – If you need a place to store your mail, a virtual mailbox can provide that for you. This is perfect for people who live in small spaces or who travel often and don’t have the space to store their mail.
Check Deposit – You can have your checks deposited into your account so you don’t have to worry about them getting lost in the mail.
Package Forwarding – If you receive packages, you can have them forwarded to you no matter where you are. This is perfect for people who travel frequently or who live in multiple locations.
Many different companies offer Virtual Mailbox Services, so be sure to find one that meets your needs. Whether you need mail forwarding, scanning, storage, check deposit, or package forwarding, there is a company out there that can help you.
Traveling Mailbox Pricing
Fees for using a virtual mail service vary immensely depending on the amount of mail you receive and the number of perks you get.
Some virtual mailing services cater more to businesses rather than individuals. This means that they have higher security standards and a more extensive repertoire of office-related services on offer and, therefore, will cost more per month.
Remember that some monthly fees include a monthly quota of services (like forwarding a certain amount of letters per month, above which you’ll pay extra per your usage), while other monthly fees are only for the address. You pay for all additional services as you use them.
Best Virtual Mailbox Services for Travel
There are a lot of virtual mailing services out there; more by the day. One way to find the best virtual mailbox service for your needs is to search for “virtual mailing service + [your country]”. Below is a selection of companies that I found through the grapevine and with a few basic searches.
(Note that some of these links are affiliate links; making a purchase through these links won’t affect your own price but will earn me a small commission. Thank you in advance for helping to support The Professional Hobo).
Virtual Mailing in the USA
Businessanywhere.io is the hip & modern virtual mailbox for digital nomads and online entrepreneurs. They’re US based but offer worldwide mail and package forwarding.
On top of that, it provides you with a personal dashboard to view, manage and archive all of your postal mail in one place – whether you’re at home or on the go. You can also have your mail forwarded to any physical location. They allow you to remotely to get your documents notarized. You don’t need a mailing address to use their services.
Fees: $20 – $65/month
- Easy set up; create your dashboard in 5 minutes
- Access additional services like US business formation, notarization and registered agents, all from your dashboard
- Have multiple recipients under one account
- Unlimited scans included in all plans
- Worldwide package and mail forwarding
- Only available in three U.S. states (Arizona, New Mexico and Wyoming) but you can sign up even if you’re not a U.S. citizen
- There isn’t a mobile app available but the website is mobile responsive
Earth Class Mail is arguably an industry leader, and they strive to be the best virtual mailbox service for both individuals and businesses, with a full suite of services.
A provider of Virtual Mailbox and Document Management services, with Earth Class Mail, you can upload your mail and papers to cloud storage devices, Google Drive, Box and Dropbox. You don’t need to worry about your files because they going to ensure that your emails are safe.
With the Checkstream feature, your checks are deposited automatically. It helps you to integrate checks into accounting software like Xero and QuickBooks Online. The scanning feature helps you to convert paper documents into digital documents.
Most people I know who use them also complain about the cost (but continue to use them because of the customer service).
- Integration with Dropbox, Google Drive, and other software
- Option to use them as your small business address and “registered agent” in the U.S.
- Higher standards of security
- Multiple user logins
- High variety of addresses available
- Pricier than many travelers are willing to pay
PostScan Mail is a provider of Virtual Mailbox and Virtual Post Office Box services. With PostScan Mail, you can receive all of your postal mail in digital form so that you can view, manage, and archive it online. You can also have your mail forwarded to any physical location. They offer services to 400+ locations.
They have complete indexing of the sender’s information and provide a sortable mail management grind, while allowing you to add multiple names and user accounts.
They offer free physical storage for the first 7 days. It offers discounted mail and package forwarding with real-time shipping rates.
- You can choose a real street address from locations across the U.S.
- Quick online activation and notarization process
- Free open and scan requests included with each plan (up to 200 pages)
- Available for local pickup during regular business hours
- Physical mail and package storage (free up to 30 days)
- Apps available (Apple and Google Play) to manage your mail through your phone or tablet
- Automatic mail filters, scanning and folder organization to save time
- Additional mailbox users and recipients allowed, for an additional fee
- Locations in larger cities are slightly more expensive
- Only available in the U.S., however, that may be changing soon
How does a Traveling Mailbox work?
Traveling Mailbox allows you to receive mail while you’re away from home. They’ll forward your mail to you wherever you are, and you can access it online 24/7 from any device. Plus, their scanning and storage features let you keep track of your mail so you never have to worry about losing anything.
Traveling Mailbox can be a great option for those who travel often or live in multiple locations. With a Traveling Mailbox, you can have your mail forwarded to you no matter where you are. Simply log into your account and add a forwarding address. Then, when your mail arrives at the Traveling Mailbox facility, it will be forwarded to you automatically. They can even scan your mail and send you digital copies so you can keep track of what’s coming in.
They offer a variety of plans to meet your needs and can be a great solution for those who love traveling and visiting other countries.
- Integrates with Dropbox, Google Drive, One Drive, Evernote, and Box
- Multiple mail recipients
- Check deposit services
- Unlimited cloud storage of your scanned mail and PDFs
- Easy to use interface and iOS and Android apps
- A limited number of page scans included in monthly fee (with rollover of unused scans)
- Mark items as Junk Mail and they don’t count towards monthly limits
- Free sending/receiving of faxes
- Additional fee for some addresses
Is Traveling Mailbox Safe?
Virtual Mailbox security is important to consider when using a Virtual Mailbox service.
Traveling Mailbox is a safe and secure way to receive mail while you’re away from home. They use state-of-the-art security features to protect your mail, and their locations are staffed with professional mail handlers who will take care of your mail while you’re away.
Besides their physical security features, they also offer digital security features that protect your account and keep your mail safe.
They use 256-bit SSL encryption to protect your account, and all of your mail is stored digitally in our secure online system. You can access your mail from any device, and they’ll forward it to you wherever you are. Plus, their scanning and storage features let you keep track of your mail so you never have to worry about losing anything.
It offers a Virtual Mailing Address with a physical US address to receive your postal mail. You can read and manage your mail online using their web-based platform. Provides unlimited storage and free mail scanning while offering a variety of plans to meet your needs.
US Global Mail takes data security seriously and offers a variety of features to keep your information safe, including Two-Factor Authentication, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), and Physical Security.
They also offer free mail shredding and provide a physical street address. They process your documents before converting them to PDFs. It directly sends your checks to the back on their arrival and gets them deposited.
- All plans include unlimited mail (no other virtual mailbox does this)
- No hidden fees, cancel any time, 30 day money-back guarantee
- Originally designed specifically for travelers
- 50-80% discount on shipping rates
- Newly built next gen virtual mailbox, making online management even easier
- All work is done in-house
- Extended storage (30+ days) is available
- The only address is in Houston, TX
- Page scans of letters not included
VirtualPostMail (VPM) helps you do more than just managing your mail online.
The unique value of VPM is that each address is a central processing center. This means you’ll get to do more with your long term address. Use VPM addresses for both personal and business uses such as the following:
* Use your VPM address on driver’s licenses, passports, or credit cards.
* Deposit your U.S. checks from customers in minutes.
* Get the U.S. brands you love by forwarding packages at affordable prices to any address.
* Reduce mail getting stolen with FREE 60-day physical mail storage at your address.
Lastly, know that your mail and packages are secure. All VPM mail processing centers are under 24/7 surveillance and accessible only by VPM employees. Your digital data is protected by SSL bank-level encryption. The risk of your mail items being lost, damaged, or stolen is reduced because each location is a central processing center, which means all your mail is scanned, stored, and processed on-site.
- Requests are processed within 1 business day for you to address time-sensitive personal and business documents.
- You can receive mail and packages from any courier, including USPS, UPS, and FedEx.
- You can save $100 or more a year with their free registered agent services that are available at all locations.
- FREE on-site mail shredding.
- UNLIMITED digital storage.
- 30-day money back guarantee.
- No contract, no setup fee, no cancellation fee
- VPM addresses are limited because each is a central processing center (CA, NV, DE, FL).
- VPM does not have a mobile app, but the website is mobile responsive.
- No fax or phone services are available.
Contrary to its name, users get physical addresses, not PO boxes.
Virtual Mailbox Services in CANADA
Fellow Canadians, make sure you also look at the International services below. If I were in your shoes, I’d honestly choose Anytime Mailbox.
This is the only virtual mailing service I found with no monthly fee; it’s $20 to set up a virtual mailing address and then they simply charge you for what comes in and what you want to do with it.
- Discount on the annual plan
- Can scan magazines
- Limited number of mail and page scans included in monthly fee
- Multiple users
- No check deposit
- No junkmail filter
Virtual Mailbox Service in the UK
Fees: From 12 GBP/month
INTERNATIONAL Virtual Mailbox Companies
These guys are taking over the world, slowly! At my last check, they’re in 45 countries (with dozens of locations in Canada and the U.S. alone), and strive to be the best virtual mailbox service for travelers.
It’s best for businesses operating outside the US. Services. You can read and manage your mail from anywhere in the world. It allows 24/7 access to the mailbox and provides free unlimited storage services. It’s one of the best virtual mailboxes that offer low-priced service, flexibility, and several other features.
- Locations all over the world
- Real street address (no PO boxes!)
- Packages are accepted
- Full suite of services, including Open & Scan, Forward, Shred, etc.
- International mail forwarding service available
- If you’re going away for a short while, you can sign up for as little as 1 month
- Prices vary by location, so you have to search around for a location/price point that fits your needs
- Not all locations offer cheque deposit
Regus offers full virtual office services around the world, of which virtual mail handling is just one service.
iPostal1 is a leading provider of Virtual Mailbox and Virtual Post Office Box services, with 2,500+ locations around the world. They offer a variety of plans to fit your needs, whether you’re a business or an individual. They have several features that make them unique, including, but not limited to:
- Mail forwarding
- Scanning services
- Check deposit
- Package forwarding
Fees: $10 – 40/month
Digital Mailroom helps operations of all sizes — from individual freelancers to global enterprises — cut operating costs while speeding up and simplifying office work. They digitize incoming mail and other documents into secure, searchable, shareable digital assets. And it’s accessible worldwide — an advantage for expats, van-lifers, and digital nomads.
Fees: from $7/month
- Real street addresses in the USA, UK, France, and Germany.
- Digital Mailroom is part of Exela Technologies, a business-tech company that has served 4,000+ companies (including 60% of Fortune 100 companies) in 50+ countries.
- In addition to digitizing documents, the offer check deposit, electronic document signing, online notary service, and more.
- They build their own scanners, and own a patented method of sorting documents.
- Their system can read and digitize any kind of text including handwriting.
- While the $7/month plan is ideal for individuals and small businesses, if you have a larger business or want to scale your business, it will cost a lot more.
What is the best Virtual Mailbox service?
The best Virtual Mailbox service is the one that meets your needs. Many different companies offer Virtual Mailbox Services, so be sure to find one that offers the features you need. Whether you need mail forwarding, scanning, storage, check deposit, or package forwarding, there’s a company out there that can help you. Be sure to compare rates and services before choosing a company to ensure that you’re getting the best possible service.
Can you get mail to a virtual address?
Yes, you can get mail to a virtual address. A virtual address is an address that’s not associated with a physical dwelling like a house or store, but it is still a physical address (managed by the virtual mailbox company). You can use a virtual address for business or personal purposes and have your mail forwarded to you no matter where you are.
How long does it take mail to travel?
When you’re forwarding mail from you virtual mailbox, how long does it take? The answer to this question depends on a few different factors, such as where you are sending the mail from and to, as well as the type of mail you are sending.
In general, it takes about 2-3 days for regular mail to be delivered within the US. It can take a bit longer if you’re sending mail internationally, but it typically arrives within 5-7 days. If you’re sending express or overnight mail, it’ll arrive much sooner, usually within 1-2 days.
Can I receive packages at a virtual mailbox?
Yes, you can receive packages at a virtual mailbox. Many companies offer package forwarding services so that you can have your packages forwarded to you no matter where you are. This can be a great option for those who travel often or live in multiple locations.
How do you write a PO address?
A PO address is a postal address that’s used to receive mail at a post office. You can write a PO address by including the following information:
- The name of the recipient
- c/o (in care of)
- The name of the business or organization
- The PO box number
- The city, state, and ZIP code
Are Virtual services safe?
Yes, virtual services are safe. Many companies take security seriously and offer a variety of features to keep your information safe, including:
Two-Factor Authentication: This adds an extra layer of security to your account by requiring you to enter a code that is sent to your phone in addition to your password.
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL): This encrypts your information so that it cannot be intercepted by third parties.
Physical Security: All of the locations are equipped with security cameras and alarms to deter burglars.
Are Virtual Mailboxes Legal?
Authorizing Your Virtual Mail Service (U.S.)
As you might know, opening someone else’s mail is a federal offense in the U.S.; because of this, it’s important to authorize your virtual mailing service to legally open your mail for you. In order to do this, you fill out a USPS Form 1583 and have it notarized.
Now, you may remember from getting your passport, that having something notarized means signing it in front of a legal notary, and usually involves a trip to the U.S. Post Office.
But what if you’re already on the road in another country and can’t get there? Or maybe you’re still in the U.S. but don’t have time to make it all the way to the post office.
Thankfully, there’s such a thing as online notarization now!
By using an online notary service, you can have your documents legally notarized by an official notary via webcam.
The service for individuals usually starts at $25, and for the convenience of being able to get your mail sent to you directly, it’s an extremely worthwhile investment.
How to set up mail forwarding?
The process of setting up mail forwarding is simple. All you need is a physical address where you can receive mail, and the provider can do the rest. First, you can choose a Virtual Mailbox service, which offers several plan options to fit your needs.
Once you have decided on a provider, you will need to provide them with a physical mailing address where you can receive mail. This is typically your home address, but it could also be an office or PO Box address.
After you’ve set up your account, you can start receiving mail at your new address. They’ll forward your mail to you wherever you are, and you can access it online 24/7 from any device.
Where to pick up your mail?
You can pick up your mail in person or have it forwarded to you. Many Virtual Mailbox providers offer package forwarding services, so you can have your packages forwarded to you no matter where you are. This can be a great option for those who travel often or live in multiple locations.
If you choose to pick up your mail in person, most Virtual Mailbox providers have locations across the country where you can pick up your mail. Simply log into your account and select the location nearest you. Then, just show up and present your ID to the staff member at the front desk. They’ll retrieve your mail for you and hand it over.
If you’re not able to pick up your mail in person, don’t worry! Many Virtual Mailbox providers offer mail forwarding services. This means that your mail will be forwarded to you no matter where you are. Simply log into your account and add a forwarding address. Then, when your mail arrives at the Virtual Mailbox provider’s facility, it will be forwarded to you automatically.
Does USPS offer Virtual Addresses?
Yes! USPS offers a service called Informed Delivery, which allows you to view images of letter-sized mail pieces that are arriving soon. This service is free and available to anyone with a USPS account. You can also sign up for package notifications, so you know when your packages are arriving.
USPS does not offer mail forwarding at this time, but you can use their Hold Mail service if you will be away from your home for an extended period and need your mail held.
Determining What You Need
Once you’ve window-shopped a few virtual mailing services, you’ll become familiar with the terminology and pricing options. With a large range of monthly packages, it’s now time to determine the best option.
Here are some questions to ask:
- How much mail do you receive on average monthly? (This will determine the package you choose; the less mail you get, the cheaper it is)
- Can you reduce the physical postal mail you get by signing up for online statements?
- How often do you need your mail forwarded?
- Do you get cheques that need depositing? (Not all virtual mailing services can do this, but many can).
- Can your address be a PO box? (Some virtual mailing services show your address as a PO box, which some organizations won’t accept or ship to).
- Is having your address in a certain city or state important to you? (For example, for U.S. taxpayers, the state you “reside” in makes a huge difference to the amount of tax you pay; learn more about this and other tax issues in the Ultimate Guide to Filing Tax as a Digital Nomad)
- How about what country?
- Would you like it to integrate with the software you already use?
Have you ever used a virtual mailbox service in place of a physical mailbox? Which service was it, and how was your experience?
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