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How do you receive physical mail as a digital nomad?

 

by @danielgenser | 6yr  | 81 comments

Does anyone have recommendations to handle physical mail? In the USA, Iโ€™ve noticed various services over the years where you get a physical address that you can change your address to, they receive your mail, scan stuff and send you PDFโ€™s.

Has anyone used these types of services? Impressions?

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@jnomad30 | 3yr

Yup, I use Traveling Mailbox in the USA as well and have been happy with it so far.

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@lightmotif | 3yr

Thanks, good to know. There was a different thread on here somewhere, I think, where folks were saying they werenโ€™t able to get IDs, insurance, bank statements, etc using the mailbox service addresses. But I canโ€™t find that thread now. (Iโ€™m considering a traveling mailbox myself.)

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@lightmotif | 3yr

Re-upping this thread. Are U.S. folks still using services like Travelingmailbox or Earth Class Mail? Any issues?

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@andrewwilliams | 2yr

Iโ€™ve been using traveling mailbox for almost 3 years now. Their web site isnโ€™t going to win any design awards but the service is affordable and reliable. Iโ€™d definitely recommend them.

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@ocnormad | 4yr

We just found out that we can get our documents notarized remotely. This was so convenient given that we are currently in Turkey. We thought it was so cool to be able to notarize our form 1538 electronically. We just downloaded an app called Notarized,Inc and video chatted with a US certified notary official. It cost $25 per document. It was nice not to have to find a notary office to do it!

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@waylandchin | 4yr

Getting notarized remotely?! I didnโ€™t even know this was a thing. I went to the US Embassy to get notarized for $50.

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@fussen | 4yr

Wow, thatโ€™s fabulous! Iโ€™ll check if similar is available for we Canadians. We found a bilingual notary on Menorca when we needed some docs done a couple of years ago, but remote is way better!!!

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@alchung | 5yr

Iโ€™m wondering if we can use โ€˜Traveling Mailboxโ€™ or any virtual mailbox to updates our Drivers License address, any experiences and thoughts? Can we change online or we have to go in person? Thanks all!

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@ani_goes_tweet | 5yr

I wonder whether anyone in the UK uses a similar service to Aeropost, and what your experience has been like?

I paid for a year of service from a company that claimed to receive/forward post, but their behaviour was really dodgy - and unreliable! - so I decided to ask a friend to be my โ€˜postboxโ€™ and paid her the same fee. But I would love to know if there are any good services out there.

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@vong | 5yr

Iโ€™ve heard good things (just one actually) about UKpostbox. Not sure if thatโ€™s the dodgy one youโ€™re referring to though!

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@ani_goes_tweet | 5yr

Thanks. No, thatโ€™s a different one. Iโ€™d love to know if anyone here has had personal experience of UKpostbox.

BTW, if anyone is considering signing up for a service in the UK, Iโ€™d be happy to message you the name of the dodgy one!

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@nevergoingback | 5yr

@kristinm_wilson thanks!
Aeropost looks more like Amazon and you get a address in Miami not in Costa Rica.
Or am I missing something?

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@whereskristin | 5yr

Sorry for the late response. With Aeropost you get an address in Miami so all your mail can be sent to a domestic US address - whether itโ€™s regular paper mail or packages. From Miami, Aeropost physically delivers your packages and mail to Costa Rica. This is the service you are paying for. You can have them sent directly door-to-door to your residence in Costa Rica or pick your mail up from an Aeropost office. There are branches around the country. For pick up in very small remote towns such as Nosara, for instance, in some cases Aeropost will have you pick up your mail at the local bus station or โ€œencomiendasโ€ office in town. The benefits are that you donโ€™t have to worry much about anything getting stolen in the mail. Also, you donโ€™t have to bother with international shipping. Everything is domestic as if you lived in Miami. Does this make more sense now?

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@whereskristin | 5yr

@nevergoingback yes I use http://www.aeropost.com/ for both Costa Rica and Panama. They have services all throughout Central America. Enjoy!

Others for Costa Rica are: CR Box and JetBox

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@nevergoingback | 5yr

Another nice service with automatic scanning in Luxemburg:
https://www.bpm-lux.com

Very cheap.

@kristinm_wilson -
Do you know any physical address service provider in Central America, Costa Rica prefered or Panama?

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@ride | 4yr

BPM-Lux: Almost looked good, but they have one mayor drawback. They are only able to send postal mail by couriers, for courier pricing w/ tracking, not by the regular postal service, becauseโ€ฆ logic!?

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@whereskristin | 5yr

Depending on which country you live in, sometimes you can pay a courier to keep a domestic address.

For example, in Latin America there are a few such services like Aeropost/Aerocasillas. http://www.aeropost.com/

You pay a low annual fee and get your own PO Box and physical mailing address in Miami that you can forward all your mail to, then itโ€™s delivered by them to your new country of residence. You can pick it up in their branches or have it sent door-to-door. This is also a good way of receiving expensive packages via online shopping that would normally be lost or stolen in the local snail mail.

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Iโ€™ve used SwissPostBox for a number of years. Itโ€™s worked well, although their interface isnโ€™t the greatestโ€ฆ I use it for everything. Infact, Iโ€™ve also used it as my โ€œresidential addressโ€ when checking into hotels, for example!

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@libtuck | 5yr

Iโ€™ve used Earth Class Mail for years. I donโ€™t pay for their check deposit. I just scan into my bank via mobile app from my laptop screen. Traveling Mailbox is cheaper, paying $26 / mo now with ECM and only need the $15 / mo plan that TM has. Will probably make the switch. Just have to inform clients of change of address!

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@denispitcher | 5yr

I didnโ€™t see any mention of www.shipito.com on here for anyone looking or package/parcel storage and forwarding so I thought Iโ€™d add it incase anyone checks out this thread for parcel based forwarding.

I donโ€™t use them specifically at the moment as I donโ€™t need mail/parcel forwarding, however I did use them for quite a few years and was very happy with their service. Their multiple locations helped with avoiding sales taxes, consolidation was pick and choose so you could have things repacked how you wanted and their shipping rates were unbeatable.

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@ride | 4yr

Shipito self-reference.

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@breanden | 5yr

You donโ€™t need to pay that if they arenโ€™t depositing it for you.

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@mattiusly | 5yr

I just saw that Earth Class Mail is filing for bankruptcy.

For those using Earth Class Mail, have you received any notification as to if they will remain solvent?

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@will | 5yr

Hereโ€™s a copy/paste of the email I received on the matter:

Dear Customers and Vendors,

We are reaching out to inform all of you of changes
taking place at Earth Class Mail. Several months ago we were
approached with an offer to buy our company. Since then weโ€™ve been busy
performing significant due diligence and last week
the terms of sale were agreed upon. Management and employees have
worked incredibly hard to grow Earth Class Mail into the company it is
today, and we are truly excited for the opportunities this will bring.
For our customers, new ownership will mean expanded
services and an improved user experience, and for our vendors, you are
likely to see more business from us as we expand.

One condition of the sale is that the buyer acquire
Earth Class Mail in connection with a bankruptcy process. Please be
assured that this
will not impact our ability to service our customers or to
pay our vendors. Though our business is solid and generates positive
cash flow, for many years we have been encumbered with a large amount of
legacy debt that the business will not be
able to repay. While we are very proud of the products and services we
have delivered, our financial position has nonetheless hindered our
ability to expand our business and improve the services we provide.

We currently expect the bankruptcy process to be
completed in a few months. Please be assured, however, that while that
process will be going on in the background, we will continue to run our
business just like we have. Youโ€™ll see no
changes in service for customers and we will continue to pay all of our
vendors in the same timely manner we always have. Once the bankruptcy
process is complete, the legacy debt will no longer be a burden on the
business, allowing the new owners to make
investments in the company that are not possible today. Some of the
improvements you can expect to see include a significant update of our
user experience, as well as integration of our products with services
like Google Drive or Dropbox. Youโ€™ll still be
working with the same great people you have been since, unlike many
bankruptcies, our success in running a profitable business means there
will be no need for any employee layoffs.

To our customers, we thank you for giving us the
opportunity to serve you. We appreciate your business and the confidence
you have placed in us. To our vendors, we sincerely appreciate your
services and ongoing support to our business and
we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. If you have any
questions or concerns, please donโ€™t hesitate to contact us.

Regards,

Earth Class Mail

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@leerosen | 5yr

Just thought Iโ€™d throw another service into the mix. Weโ€™ve been using them for nearly two years with great success. They have a Florida address (no state tax) and they assist with arranging evidence of residency.

Itโ€™s St. Brendanโ€™s Isle - sbimailservice.com/

The site (and the customer dashboard) look seriously dated, but they are very responsive and flexible. They forward, scan, etc. Theyโ€™ll deposit checks and do whatever is needed when you have unusual situations. Iโ€™ve been 100% satisfied.

Lee

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@ramblurr | 5yr

Iโ€™m surprised no one has mentioned state residency in conjunction with a mail forwarding/handling service.

For many years now Iโ€™ve been using Americas Mailbox, in South Dakota as my mail forwarding service. Unfortunately they only do forwarding, not document scanning :frowning: The price is also not as competitive as others mentioned (such as Traveling Mailbox).

But the ability to be a South Dakota resident and have a drivers license is the primary reason Iโ€™ve stuck with them. My home state was requiring me to pay state taxes despite the fact I hadnโ€™t lived there in over 6 years. They wanted me to prove residency elsewhere, which, being a digital nomad, I couldnโ€™t.

In the end South Dakota is friendly to full-time travelers (most of which are elderly, retired, domestic full-time RVers), and I only need to return once every 5 years to renew my drivers license.

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@simplgy | 5yr

@Ramblurr, this is an excellent point. I was also wondering why folks arenโ€™t talking about this. I had forgotten that a drivers license is going to require an in-state address and utility bills. Florida is great for remote because it is free of state tax and the license is good for 10 years. You can renew vehicle registration to an out-of-state address in FL too (you canโ€™t do this in PA, for example). The only downside is itโ€™s not a good airport hub. Can you renew in South Dakota remotely?

I have signed up for TravelingMailbox and itโ€™s pretty cool. They have addresses in NV, FL, and TX.

Attached image shows US states by income tax range.

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@ramblurr | 5yr

Unfortunately SD doesnโ€™t have remote renewal, you have to go there physically every 5 years.

I considered Florida, but found out (or at least I remember thinking so) that the addresses you get with mail forwarding/handling services arenโ€™t usable when applying for a drivers license.

Is that not the case? What does it take to get a drivers license in FL?

In SD its very easy. I arranged my mail forwarding account with Americas Mailbox online, flew in on a Monday, picked up the documents from their office. Then I stayed the night in a local hotel, and on Tuesday morning to the documents to the DMV, was issued my drivers license in less than an hour and flew out Tuesday afternoon.

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@simplgy | 5yr

IIRC, to get a drivers license in FL, you must bring some ID along with proof of residence, which can include some bank or utility bills with your address listed on it.

If your mailbox company provides a non-PO box address like Traveling Mailbox does, you shouldnโ€™t have any problems as there is no visual difference in the address, although Iโ€™ve never tried.

SD sounds really easy, I might have to look at it more closelyโ€“thatโ€™s awesome.

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@ramblurr | 5yr

How do you go from a Traveling Mailbox account to getting that document with that address on it? Obviously a utility bill wonโ€™t work. Open a local bank account? Thatโ€™s not ideal.

SD is very easy, the negative bit is you have to go back every 5 years to renew and the mail forwarding companies like Americas Mailbox havenโ€™t entered the 21st century yet when it comes to document scanning and preview like their competitors.

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@simplgy | 5yr

I think you can just have all your current banks and credit cards point to the โ€œlocalโ€ address. The bank itself doesnโ€™t have to be local.

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@jeff_bronson | 5yr

Iโ€™m using Traveling Mailbox. So far so good, butโ€ฆsomehow I forgot to fill out that USPS authorization form when in the U.S.

Now in Goa, India Iโ€™d need to find an embassy or consulate to โ€˜notarizeโ€™ that formโ€ฆ or I canโ€™t get my mail scanned. This is a huge problem as Iโ€™m not taking a plane flight just to do thisโ€ฆ

Overall, my mistake. Their support, interface and Portland based address is good.

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@tkrunning | 5yr

Iโ€™m not sure if itโ€™s the case in Goa, but many banks and post offices, as well as professional notaries can notarize the form for you (all over the world). Itโ€™s very unlikely that your only option is a consulate or embassy.

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@jeff_bronson | 5yr

Thomas,
Iโ€™m going by what Traveling Mailbox told me directly, as the rep I spoke with had actually been to India before.

Perhaps I can check with a bank in a few weeks. iโ€™m heading to Varanasi next Thursday for a week, then Rishikesh for a few weeksโ€ฆ

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@simplgy | 5yr

All these services require a notarized USPS form 1583.

I am in Thailand. Do I have to go to the embassy to get this notarized, or is some notary at a Thai bank OK?

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@tkrunning | 5yr

Any notary should be fine. I used a private notary in Portugal without issues.

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@nickdanforth | 5yr

Been using Traveling Mailbox for about a month now and weโ€™re very satisfied! Theyโ€™ve been extremely responsive whenever weโ€™ve had requests or questions, and the service appears to work flawlessly.

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@patrick | 5yr

I was thinking about giging my mom instructions for use a app like Scanbot to deliver my mail.
It can be set, to auto-upload all the scans to Evernote.

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@alawyerabroad | 5yr

Again, itโ€™s a huge PITA for the person receiving the mail. Just pay the $15 a month.

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@patrick | 5yr

Mmh, in The Netherlands we do not have a fitting service like that.
Plus, it is just for months.

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@alawyerabroad | 5yr

Ahh, I guess Iโ€™m looking from an American perspective. Sorry!

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@xcdogs | 6yr

I look at it as if its a local economy question. I thought: why pay travelingMailbox company, when I can pay a local high school student, or a mom in my area to handle the mail. I live in a small town, so had a long talk about privacy, and security, then agreed. She scans what looks โ€œimportantโ€, and emails it to me. All the junk I have her recycle or trash. Also, I had gone to โ€œpaperlessโ€ with most of my official documents, so its worked out ok. And she is saving for college!

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@alawyerabroad | 6yr

Read the post 2 messages up. Blog post sums up the issues pretty well. It ends up being a huge hassle for the person receiving and scanning the mail. Also, whoโ€™s to say she misses something that doesnโ€™t โ€œlookโ€ important but actually is. For the small cost of a traveling mailbox, itโ€™s definitely worth it.

Also, no one actually wants to do this for someone, even if they say it to be nice. Donโ€™t hassle your loved ones.

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I like Traveling Mailbox; lots of my clients pay me like itโ€™s 1999 (paper checks), and TM has never let me down with a deposit. Hereโ€™s a perspective on the matter from my partner in crime and travel: http://roguepriest.net/2013/08/22/dont-make-parents-open-mail/

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@alawyerabroad | 6yr

Great post! I had the same plan when I first left home (only it was with a friend) and it was a disaster. Traveling Mailbox is a lifesaver for me. (now weโ€™ve got dueling affiliate links!)

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@fredperrotta | 6yr

I use Virtual Post Mail for my business. Like ECM, the UI is terrible, but it works just fine for me.

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@robetus | 5yr

I second Virtual Post Mail they have incredible customer service and I think the UI is okay but itโ€™s not great.

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@yanokwa | 6yr

Another Earth Class Mail user here. Agreed with @scotty the UI is terrible and it is not cheap, but it works well and the folks there are great. And you can use the same box for multiple people and companies.

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@artur | 6yr

This year im deciding to let my mom off the hook and get a virtual address.
I just created a top-level comparison of EarthClassMail vs TravelingMailbox: TMB looks like a clear winner for a primo NYC address. The only thing they dont offer that ECM does it seems is on-location pickup.

Hereโ€™s my affiliate link to signup for Traveling Mailbox :wink:

cheers

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I am using https://www.usabox.com since a few years and it works well. They dont open your mail, but rather scan the envelopes. You can then decide if you want it forwarded or discarded. They use USPS flat rate enevelopes for forwarding which makes it really affordable.

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@alawyerabroad | 6yr

Iโ€™ve had a good experience so far. Though the โ€œwebsite designed in the 90โ€™sโ€ problem always exists with these kind of things.

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@nickdanforth | 6yr

Weโ€™ve just signed up for Traveling Mailbox as well. Excited to try it out!

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@danielgenser | 6yr

After doing some comparison, I think Iโ€™m going to sign up for Traveling Mailbox for the time being and try it out for a month before we leave. Iโ€™ll report back with my review.

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@travelmore | 5yr

I have traveling mailbox. It is great. $20 a month and I have a โ€œrealโ€ address in Seattle, not some PO Box.

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@alchung | 5yr

Travelmore, I need Seattle address from Traveling Mailbox, too. Do you have any problem so far? Wondering if we can use the address for any financial institution (Bank Account, Credit Card, Business License, Drivers License), any insights?

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@travelmore | 5yr

No it is great. No issues. I actually went to Seattle and went to DMV and got a license etc. I had some issues with Shitibank when I applied for a new credit card because technically the address is a UPS store so it shows up in their system as a mail processing facility but then I sent in my driver license and it was fine. Iโ€™d highly recommend TravelingMailbox.

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@alchung | 5yr

@Travelmore, thatโ€™s awesome and good news!, so even though you go to DMV, and updates your new address from โ€˜Traveling Mailboxโ€™ it goes through, its great! Wondering though if we could do it online while weโ€™re traveling :smile:

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@travelmore | 5yr

I dunno. For โ€œresidencyโ€ purposes, I just flew through Seattle and went into the city for the day and got a new ID. No issues. Not sure if you can do it online if you arenโ€™t in state.

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@will | 6yr

I use Earth Class Mail - have been for years now. I feel that itโ€™s quite expensive, but Iโ€™m exceptionally happy about the service that I receive so I guess that justifies the cost.

For my first couple of years abroad I just sent my mail to family but they got sick of it and they have their lives to live and honestly I didnโ€™t really want them opening my mail plus they are very apt to sign for registered mail. FWIW good news never comes registered. Itโ€™s really nice that if I need a new ATM card or whatever I can have it sent to my virtual mailbox and then forward it to wherever I need to.

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@danielgenser | 6yr

I wonder whether maintaining a street address at one of these mailing scanning services would make one liable for state income tax if they have no other permanent residence.

For instance, weโ€™re planning on moving out of our house when we start traveling. We will not have a permanent street address during that time. We currently live in Washington state, a state that has no state income tax. If I use, say, the Michigan street address for MailboxForwarding.com, could I now be expected to pay state income tax in Michigan? Any other type of liability I might be overlooking?

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@will | 6yr

State taxation will vary from state to state as does the definition of resident. The source of the income may come in to play as well and will also vary from state to state and sometimes whether the income is reported on a W2 or 1099 makes a difference. At the very least youโ€™ll probably want to do some reading on the respective statesโ€™ taxation authority website.

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@lricci | 2yr

Best to use a mail service in the state you prefer to domicile.

We use Wanderer Mail Service in Seattle, and like them very much.
Find their digital service here:
https://www.anytimemailbox.com

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Iโ€™ve been using Mailbox Forwarding (the company โ€” yeah itโ€™s a rather generic-sounding name) for about 4 months now and Iโ€™m happy with the service. I price-compared the various vendors in the US and found Mailbox Forwarding to have the combination of features and price point that seemed right for me.

Their interface is a little dated-looking, but it totally works on both iOS and Android mobile browsers just fine. The prices are excellent compared to a lot of the market leaders and they have all the features youโ€™d expect: scanning, online archiving, shredding, letter and parcel forwarding, check deposit. Iโ€™d recommend them.

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@manu | 6yr

I also have Dropscan and just signed up for Swiss Post Box

There is also ClevverMail, which offers a good deal and simple signup.

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@scottyallen | 6yr

I use EarthClassMail. It seemed like the best out there for what I needed, specifically that they can automatically deposit checks, and are big enough theyโ€™re not going to disappear tomorrow. In practice, theyโ€™ve been ok, but not great. Iโ€™ve had some real problems with check deposits that have eaten lots of VA hours to sort out. These are mostly caused by trying to deposit large checks that are above the arbitrary limits set by their check deposit partner. Also, their web interface looks like it was built in the 90s, and is reasonably easy to accidentally destroy mail. That being said, Iโ€™m happy enough that Iโ€™ll likely stay with them for a while to come.

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@nickdanforth | 6yr

Iโ€™m curious as well. Weโ€™ve had โ€œresidencyโ€ at a friendโ€™s address for around a year now, but are looking to take the burden off of them.

Traveling Mailbox looks pretty good, but thereโ€™s so many services out there these days! Hard to decideโ€ฆ

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@tprophet | 6yr

There is very little that comes in physical mail that is actually necessary in my case. I switched my address to my parentsโ€™ house, and pick up my mail a few times a year when I go to visit. Thereโ€™s never anything urgent in it.

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@danielgenser | 6yr

Hey @TProphet โ€“ Iโ€™m glad that works for you. Certainly cheaper that way. We did this in 2011 when we went to Italy for a few months, but it didnโ€™t work out very well. Iโ€™d rather not place the burden on anyone else this time.

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@alawyerabroad | 6yr

Yeah, this is why I switched to Traveling Mailbox. I had someone picking up my mail at a PO Box, but it was such a hassle. Better to just get it scanned.

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@danielgenser | 6yr

@alawyerabroad โ€“ did it take Traveling Mailbox long to get set up and mail start forwarding? Thinking Iโ€™ll probably start service fairly soon, in preparation for a March 1 departure date.

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@alawyerabroad | 6yr

No. You have to get some Post Office form filled out and signed, but you can do it online, I believe (through their clunky interface). They email you and walk you through it. Doesnโ€™t take long at all.

Then you go on usps.com and start forwarding your mail. I think it costs a dollar or so.

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@mikevallano | 6yr

@TProphet Thatโ€™s the method I use. You have to aggressively insist that nobody sends you anything, then have a backup (I use a friendโ€™s house). The only thing that goes to the friendโ€™s house is crap anyway, so itโ€™s no real burden (if you ensure all your institutions send everything electronically).

I also recommend consolidating everything you can. I had a couple of different bank accounts, for example. Now everything is at one bank that is very easy to deal with remotely. I use one credit card that is very easy to deal with as well.

Make sure the companies you do business with have excellent customer service. This is key. I can easily get a real human on the phone at my bank in 30 seconds. As for a credit card, Capital One has actually been great to deal with as well. If you have a crap company, it mak es everything else more difficult.

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@alawyerabroad | 6yr

Iโ€™ve used Traveling Mailbox for a few months now, and have had no problems. It gives me an address in San Francisco, scans up to 35 pages a month and shreds unlimited for $20 a month. Thereโ€™s a slight delay from the SF address to their processing center in VA, however.
I wrote about it in more detail here on my blog, if you want to check it out!

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@danielgenser | 6yr

Thanks! Looks like there were formatting problems with you link, but I deciphered this: http:/alawyerabroad.com/2014/12/02/smarter-travel-can-receive-mail-traveling-abroad/. Checking it out nowโ€ฆ

OK, read it. Looks great! Seems very similar to EarthClassMail but way cheaper. Thinking Iโ€™ll give it a shot. No reliability issues?

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@alawyerabroad | 6yr

Nothing obvious. The interface is slightly clunky, but it is mostly fine. I put in a scan or shred request, then itโ€™s completed just a few minutes later, for the most part.

Sorry about the link! Glad you figured it out :smile:

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@pri143u | 3yr

I use them too! I like it but the delay for Seally is like a week!

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@pri143u | 3yr

Seattle*

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@feli | 6yr

Hey Daniel,

We also use such a Service in Germany. It is called Dropscan https://www.dropscan.de/. The Post is redirected from the โ€œDeutsche Postโ€ to Dropscan and you decide in the backend if they are allowed to open it or not.

You get a notice by eMail with the scan. Afterwards you can tell them to delete it or forward it you at any time to any address in one shipment. I really love it.

But post such as police, tax office or other authorities etc. will not be forwarded by Deutsche Post to Dropscan. Thatโ€™s the only downside.

In Germany you have also Pamfax http://www.pamfax.biz/de/ to send a Fax from everywhere and https://www.ebrief.de/ where you can send them something by mail and they print it and send it for you in a letter (can be useful sometimes, tooโ€ฆ).

Best, Feli

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@danielgenser | 6yr

Looking at EarthClassMail at the momentโ€ฆ

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@breanden | 5yr

We use EarthClassMail at my company, and itโ€™s always worked fine. Even the scans of checks are high enough resolution that you can take a picture of them on your computer and deposit them via mobile banking apps.

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@lisainmexico | 5yr

Breanden, does this mean you donโ€™t have to pay the โ€œcheck deposit feeโ€? I want to go with EarthClassMail, but their fee for check deposit is ridiculous.

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Read and participate in 13,910 discussions on Nomad List

Suggested topics

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Any Ph.D students dissertating while a digital nomad?


by @larsheather | 3mo 3 months ago | 5 comments

Anyone know of any groups or resources for Ph.D. students working on dissertation while living as a digital nomad? I know there are several virtual writing groups around, but wondered if there were any specifically for digital nomads, particularly those who are dissertating.

Thanks!

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Any Ph.D students dissertating while a digital nomad?


by @larsheather | 3mo 3 months ago | 5 comments

Anyone know of any groups or resources for Ph.D. students working on dissertation while living as a digital nomad? I know there are several virtual writing groups around, but wondered if there were any specifically for digital nomads, particularly those who are dissertating.

Thanks!

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Does international health insurance for digital nomads exist?

 

by @al_steffen | 3mo 3 months ago | 59 comments

Hey Nomads!

Iโ€™m looking for an international health insurance (no travel insurance) for my nomadic life. It should cover the basic services and at least be accepted in the EU (itโ€™s ok if itโ€™s not accepted in the US as Iโ€™m aware they rarely are). Nice to have: enter into a contract online. Anyone got a good experience or a recommendation?

Thanks in advance!

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How do you invest internationally as a nomad?


by @mateuszwieloch | 4mo 4 months ago | 17 comments

I have finally saved enough money to start investing. What company gives good, diversified access to stock, ETFs and mutual funds? Does it make sense to use company like Vanguard or Fidelity for that? Iโ€™m a EU/Poland citizen, how would I transfer my money back and forth without incurring significant fees?

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I dream of being a digital nomad? How do I do it?


by @programmingmark | 5mo 4 months ago | 2 comments

Hello digital nomad!

I dream of being an independent digital nomad. But it feels very elusive & unattainable with my success rate. In full disclosure, whilst I have dreamed about making money online since high school; I have not earned a single cent making money online. $0, nada, zilch!! On the contrary, I have spent a lot of time & money on books, podcasts. Even though I have spent a lot of time reading/listening to others, I do not have anything to show for it!

I have made attempts in the past to start an online business, but these fizzle out quite quickly when I do not see traction especially when the goal I have set myself is too high.

Instead of reaching for the ultimate nomadic lifestyle goal, I want to start much smaller. Really small! I am simply looking to make $50 profit per month from a new online business. Thatโ€™s it.

I need some advice from you please!

  • Is $50 profit too low? How long did it take you to earn $50 profit per month?

  • What is a good way of achieving this goal?

Thanks
Mark
aka the $0 online business entrepreneur

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I dream of being a digital nomad? How do I do it?


by @programmingmark | 5mo 4 months ago | 2 comments

Hello digital nomad!

I dream of being an independent digital nomad. But it feels very elusive & unattainable with my success rate. In full disclosure, whilst I have dreamed about making money online since high school; I have not earned a single cent making money online. $0, nada, zilch!! On the contrary, I have spent a lot of time & money on books, podcasts. Even though I have spent a lot of time reading/listening to others, I do not have anything to show for it!

I have made attempts in the past to start an online business, but these fizzle out quite quickly when I do not see traction especially when the goal I have set myself is too high.

Instead of reaching for the ultimate nomadic lifestyle goal, I want to start much smaller. Really small! I am simply looking to make $50 profit per month from a new online business. Thatโ€™s it.

I need some advice from you please!

  • Is $50 profit too low? How long did it take you to earn $50 profit per month?

  • What is a good way of achieving this goal?

Thanks
Mark
aka the $0 online business entrepreneur

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How do digital nomads pay tax?


by @rodriigovieira | 5mo 5 months ago | 19 comments

Hello everyone! Iโ€™m new here and probably this is a very newbie question, but it doesnโ€™t leave my head.

How do you, nomads, pay your taxes? I mean, if youโ€™re constantly traveling, how are you going to pay taxes for a certain country if you are going to stay there a short period of time?
Or do you return to your โ€œoriginal countryโ€ and then pay them?

By the way, this forum has very nice cool formatting features! :smile:

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Best place for Digital Nomad in Latin America?


by @rose_davis | 7mo 7 months ago | 7 comments

Hi!

I am planning to move to Latin America for 3-4 months (Oct-January). Iโ€™ve narrowed down 6 different places that I want to visit before committing to settling down, but Iโ€™d love to get some community input.

Here are the cities Iโ€™m considering:

  • Quito, Ecuador
  • Cuenca, Ecuador
  • Medellin, Columbia
  • Cartagena, Columbia
  • Antigua, Guatemala
  • San Marcos La Laguna, Guatemala

The most important things Iโ€™m looking for:

  • Fast/easily accessible internet
  • Easy to meet other nomads/make friends in general
  • Safe for women
  • Some sort of spiritual community (Iโ€™m also a yoga teacher)
  • Easily walkable city

Anyone have any experience with these places and can give some insight? Iโ€™m also completely open to other recommendations.

Thanks!
Rose

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How do we solve housing for digital nomads?

 

by @levelsio | 7mo 7 months ago | 61 comments

Thereโ€™s been a lot of discussion on this recently.

Nomads usually stay in hostels, hotels and short-term apartments. But itโ€™s all not very optimal.

Iโ€™ve heard people suggest getting funding and building a network of houses you can stay at for a subscription price (e.g. Bruno Haid is working on that).

I donโ€™t want do physical stuff, so Iโ€™m thinking of building a platform around making housing better for nomads.

What are the housing problems nomads face? And how can we solve them with products/services?

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How is Sicily for digital nomads?


by @gaelm | 9mo 9 months ago | 15 comments

Hi all, I was looking for a cool spot in Southern Europe for winter and Iโ€™m considering Sicilyโ€ฆ Have you ever been there? If yes, how was your experience? If not, why?
thanks!

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How is Bari, Italy for digital nomads?


in Bari, Italy by @mitch_dina | 9mo 9 months ago | 7 comments

Greetings!
Does anyone have experience in Bari, Italy please? We are thinking of going from Dubrovnik, Croatia to Bari by boat in mid-March. Has anyone taken a boat across? Is it nice or can it be choppy? (We are trying to avoid planes, to reduce our carbon footprint, so adding more surface travel.) Also, any info you might be able to offer about Bari and the surrounds? Next step will likely be trains up Italy as the Spring progresses.

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How is Mauritius for digital nomads?


in Mauritius by @wakkos | 10mo 9 months ago | 14 comments

Hello all,

Iโ€™m planning on spending a couple of month in Mauritius Island and even when Iโ€™ve been there for a week, never rented or worked there.

Does anyone here has tips or experience to share about Mauritius?

Cheers!

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Are there any digital nomad fitness retreats?


by @ryanjames | 10mo 9 months ago | 1 comment

Hey all:

Does anyone here have any experience attending a full time fitness bootcamp or a fitness resort while working? I know there is one in Cambodia for digital nomads (Fitness Retreat Resort Kep Gym), unfortunately the time difference vs my work schedule would make my life suck if I tried to go there. Iโ€™m looking for a place between US and Europe timezones that lets you live with them, kicks your butt with fitness, but would also have good WiFi/accommodate working eight hours a day. Iโ€™m also open to other tangential ideas for something close-ish to get that same experience.

Thanks for any help!

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Best place to set up a company selling digital services?


by @pras_k | 11mo 10 months ago | 10 comments

Whatโ€™s the best place?
For residency Iโ€™m looking at Portugal and they have the NHR (non habitual resident) program which would exempt dividends from foreign income.
So all Iโ€™m really looking for is the best place to actually start the company.
Biggest factors are of course low taxes and ease of setting up the company plus a business bank account that enables me to receive payments through Stripe.

What I found so far:
Hong Kong
Corporate tax rate of 16.5% (8.25% for the first HK$2 million)
โŠ•/โŠ– offshore income from outside HK is exempt from taxation but itโ€™s not clear whether this can be done in the first year and prorated or if itโ€™s only through filing the offshore exemption claim. This might take two years and requires not income from HK at all. More info on that would be great
โŠ– seems very difficult to get a business bank account
โŠ– necessary services and fees are roughly around โ‚ฌ2000 / year
โŠ– accounting requirements seem to be very strict
โŠ• Doesnโ€™t require local partner
โŠ• Agencies available that seem to handle most of the work

Singapore
Corporate tax rate of 17% (0% on the first S$100k, 8.5% up to S$300k)
โŠ– requires a local director. What are the implications of this?

Malta
Corporate tax rate of 35%
There is the โ€œfull imputation systemโ€ but I donโ€™t really understand it.
"In most cases, the tax refund to the shareholder is 6/7 of the tax paid by the company on profits distributed as dividends. The tax refund rate may be different in the following cases: " This would result in an effective corporate tax of around 5%.
โŠ– European customers would have to pay VAT and Iโ€™d have to deal with that

Cyprus
Corporate tax rate of 12.5% and there seem to be ways to lower this
โŠ– European customers would have to pay VAT and Iโ€™d have to deal with that
โŠ– requires staying in Cyprus for 2 months / year

I find it surprising how much research this requires and how much โ€œit dependsโ€ information is out there when Iโ€™d assume that there are probably thousands of digital nomads who probably have very similar requirements.

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Do you "out" yourself as a digital nomad?


by @larsheather | 11mo 10 months ago | 2 comments

When you meet new people or reconnect with old friends, do you โ€œoutโ€ yourself as a digital nomad? The simple question โ€œwhere do you live?โ€ makes us uncertain now. We wonder if some places may be less welcoming to digital nomads, or if โ€œdigital nomadโ€ has a negative connotation in some places. If you are forthcoming from the start, does your status as a digital nomad make it hard to form friendships?

We would love to hear how other people navigate thisโ€ฆ how to balance being authentic in relationships vs. withholding the context (and allowing people to assume youโ€™re on vacation, for example).

Thanks!

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Do you "out" yourself as a digital nomad?


by @larsheather | 11mo 10 months ago | 2 comments

When you meet new people or reconnect with old friends, do you โ€œoutโ€ yourself as a digital nomad? The simple question โ€œwhere do you live?โ€ makes us uncertain now. We wonder if some places may be less welcoming to digital nomads, or if โ€œdigital nomadโ€ has a negative connotation in some places. If you are forthcoming from the start, does your status as a digital nomad make it hard to form friendships?

We would love to hear how other people navigate thisโ€ฆ how to balance being authentic in relationships vs. withholding the context (and allowing people to assume youโ€™re on vacation, for example).

Thanks!

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Property Ownership - should digital nomads buy properties?


by @sparrow_23 | 12mo 11 months ago | 16 comments

I have been a digital nomad for the last couple of years. I have always worked in tech and now run a couple of profitable online businesses that give me a reliable income and allow me to fund a nomadic lifestyle.

I recently exited one of my businesses and I am considering to invest the income from the sale in properties, mainly for 2 reasons:

a) I donโ€™t want to keep wasting my money in renting apartments across the cities I stay

b) I believe in properties as investment and I want to diversify my investment portfolio (mainly stocks)

After years of constant wander from one place to another, now I am the type of digital nomad who sticks to few locations: I mainly rotate across 4 places each year (San Francisco, Medellin, Berlin, Bali). Buying a house in each of those location would be difficult and too expensive. Therefore, I was wondering if there was any sort of service that combines an investment opportunity with the ability to access different properties around the world (even if just for a limited time per year) ?

Imagine living in 4 cities per year and having a house in each place that you can exclusively use for 3 months and at the same time having your investment growing (this depending on the market, of course). Wouldnโ€™t that be great? I believe it could be done via a property fund selling you a share and giving you access to some of their properties for a limited timeframe each year.

Has anyone heard of anything like that?

Thanks!

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What's the best bank account for a global nomad?

 

by @barrybjjoubert | 12mo 11 months ago | 25 comments

Dear all
As a wanna be nomad figuring out a way to get free of the rat race, I was wondering what is the best bank account to have while travelling the globe? I need an account where is easy for me to receive payments from all over the world and it also need to be a bank that I can find almost anywhere in the world. I want to avoid carry cash on me if itโ€™s possible.

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Ko Lanta or Ko Phangan - which island is better for a digital nomad?


in Ko Lanta, Thailand by @melinda | 1yr 1 year ago | 6 comments

Iโ€™m currently in Penang, Malaysia and I was thinking to head to Thailand next. What are the best islands in Thailand to get some work done? I was considering either Ko Lanta or Ko Phangan because those both islands have coworking spaces. I might need to take some client calls, also video. Is the wifi good enough? Are there any other differences between the islands?

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Ko Lanta or Ko Phangan - which island is better for a digital nomad?


in Ko Lanta, Thailand by @melinda | 1yr 1 year ago | 6 comments

Iโ€™m currently in Penang, Malaysia and I was thinking to head to Thailand next. What are the best islands in Thailand to get some work done? I was considering either Ko Lanta or Ko Phangan because those both islands have coworking spaces. I might need to take some client calls, also video. Is the wifi good enough? Are there any other differences between the islands?

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