Helpful Quick Bits: International Mail Forwarding

“Welcome those big, sticky, complicated problems. In them are your most powerful opportunities.”
Ralph Marston

Moving overseas is a very powerful opportunity! It’s full of complicated logistics, one of these being mail. A change of address can be complicated enough when it is in one’s own nation. While the post office makes it simple to fill out a change of address form, one must follow up by notifying all the businesses, governments, professionals, family and friends of one’s new address. It can take time, and it is easy to forget some of the people who ought to be notified.

The challenge in moving overseas is that the post office only forwards in the US. Enter the independent enterprise of international mail forwarding, the expat’s friend.

There are several intermediary companies out there that will provide a person with a US address to which all her mail can be forwarded via US mail. They then ship that mail to the recipient overseas. Brilliant! The companies I’ve looked into have very cool features where you can see what’s in your mailbox online when it arrives; some will also open and scan your mail so you can read it right away. They even have discard services for junk mail. And, it seems, I can shop for my favorite US items, have them shipped by, say Amazon, to my mail forwarding service, who would then combine all my packages together and send them overseas, saving me extra postage costs (that is, assuming the company I was buying from even would have shipped internationally to begin with). So, I can still get all my favorite products I can’t live without in France! It will also be an awesome service to have until Stuart and I know where, exactly, we will be staying long-term because all I need do is change my forwarding address with one company!

Here’s another beautiful thing. Some of the companies I’ve looked at offer Florida addresses. Now, for those of you who remember my post about driving overseas and my need to establish residency in Florida, this is very good news.  All I need is a subscription to one of the services I’ve been investigating, and I can have any mail I want to receive through them sent to my new Florida address right away. So when it is time to get my Florida driver’s license, I’ll have the two pieces of “official” mail required to prove residency even before I arrive. (There are other requirements, should this pertain to you).

Smooth move!

Right now, though, I’m looking at in Sarasota, in Crestview, and St. Brendan’s Isle, all in Flordia, and learning a few things about what to look for. Do readers have experiences with either of these or other companies they would like to share?