Working remotely while traveling as a digital nomad opens the world to you. As long as you have a decent internet connection, you can live and work and explore anywhere.
However, there are still some “real world” considerations that accompany running a business from the road. Namely, mail.
While you can handle most important matters over email or through a variety of apps and software tools, the world hasn’t done away with snail mail just yet. From client checks to bills to legal documents, you may still need a physical mailbox even as you wander the world.
However, if you’re one of the roughly 4.8 million Americans current working as a digital nomad, or part of the 17 million who desire to be, there is a solution to this problem: virtual mailboxes.
1. What is a Virtual Mailbox Service?
A virtual mailbox service, as the name implies, is service that collects your physical mail for you. Each company in the space offers a variety of services including:
- Mail notification
- Online viewing of envelope
- Open and scan
- Mail forwarding
- Shred, dispose or recycle
- Package storage and shipping
- Check depositing
- Signature upon delivery
At minimum, most of the platforms offer online viewing. There’s usually a base monthly price with additional fees depending on which services you need or how much mail you receive.
To set up your new address, you sign up with a service, complete USPS Form 1583, officially change your address and then you will be ready to get mail from anywhere in the world.
2. How to Choose a Virtual Mailbox Service?
There are many factors to take into consideration:
- If you need a physical address or P.O. Box.
- If you have clients who pay by check, then you’ll want to get a service that includes check depositing.
- If you have bills that only come in paper form, then you’ll want an open and scan service, so you don’t miss a payment.
- Last but not least, the price.
To help you sort through your options, start by listing all the requirements you have for a mailbox service and go through the options we list below.
3. Best Virtual Mailboxes for Digital Nomads
There are many virtual mailboxes to choose from. While your cheapest option is to get a friend or family member to open your mail for you, this is not the most reliable or kindest option. Instead, check out these options to find one that best meets your needs.
Anytime Mailbox: $6.99-$49.99/month
Anytime Mailbox has services at 646 locations across the US, Canada, Europe, India, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Their pricing depends on location and services, with a range of plans available. You get a real street address and can choose features such as Open & Scan, Forwarding, Check Deposit, and Shredding.
Each account gets unlimited mail storage as long as your account is active. Anytime Mailbox is probably one of the most global virtual mailboxes for digital nomads and their online interface is user-friendly.
See Anytime Mailbox reviews and analysis for further information.
PostScan Mail is now available at locations across the US and they are starting to expand internationally. They have plans that start as low as $9.95 per month, which include free open & scan requests, recycling, and storage. They offer local pickup at all of their locations and you can request to forward the physical mail items.
Mobile Apps are available for download on the Apple App Store and Google Play and are available on both phones and tablets.
See PostScan Mail reviews and analysis for further information.
US Global Mail: $10-$20/month
US Global Mail offers individual and family plans for month-to-month, 12-month or 24-month periods. With all accounts, you’ll get scans of the outside of any envelopes received.
You can decide what to do from there. The only additional fees will be for shipping, but the rates are quite affordable. They only offer one address in Houston, Texas, but this is only limiting if you were planning on picking up the mail in person to save on shipping costs.
See US Global Mail reviews and analysis for further information.
Traveling Mailbox: $15-$159/month
Traveling Mailbox has five plans to choose from which vary based on the amount of incoming mail, page scans, mailbox recipients, etc. Their plans work for personal, small business, and enterprise purposes. All accounts include envelope scans, junk mail filtering, unlimited cloud storage, and free mail shredding.
They have 30+ addresses across the US. Premium features such as check deposits cost extra. There are also additional fees if you go over your monthly limits. Their service can integrate with Evernote, Bill.com and Dropbox.
See Traveling Mailbox reviews and analysis for further information.
VirtualPostMail was created by someone who needed a mail solution to run a business remotely, so the company understands the services that digital nomads need. All but their starter plans include unlimited free mail with a different number of scans and recipients per month. Check deposits and shipping are possible for a fee.
With any account, you’ll get a commercial address, no setup or cancellation fees, a free registered agent, and unlimited digital storage. Currently, the company has a limited number of addresses in the US.
See Virtual Post Mail reviews and analysis for further information.
Earth Class Mail: $19-$79/month
Earth Class Mail has more than 80 premier US address you can choose from, where all your mail will be received, organized, and stored safely by the company’s HIPAA certified professionals. Then, through their website, you can choose to download your mail, have it sent to a third person, have it recycled, thrown in the trash, or destroyed.
Earth Class Mail can integrate with many useful apps, such as QuickBooks Online, Google Drive, and Bill.com, and besides mail management, it also offers automated check deposit services.
SasquatchMail has one membership plan only, and it includes several different features you’ll find quite useful, including national and international mail forwarding, mail scanning, and virtual office services.
Regarding the mail forwarding services, the company goes one step further than many other competitors, by describing on their website the different types of forwarding they can do: RV mail forwarding (perfect for digital nomads who are always on the road), traveling nurse and doctor mail forwarding, accountant mail forwarding, attorney mail forwarding, and expat mail forwarding.
There’s a flat rate of $2 per standard envelope that you choose to scan and you can also add phone service to your membership for an additional $9 a month.
NorthWest has mail forwarding locations in the states in America: Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. For $40 a month, you get access to services such as same-day digital scanning and physical mail forwarding, for no postage fees and with a unique suite number.
Besides mail management, you can also hire NorthWest if you need the services of a registered agent. For $125, this agent will handle all your legal documents and notify you in real-time about this type of mail.
In case you also need a virtual office, you can upgrade your membership for an additional $9 per month.
iPostal1 offers four membership plans: Green, for 30 mail items per month; Blue, for 60 items; Silver, for 120 items; and Gold, for 240. There is no initial contract, no sign-up fee, and you can change plans whenever you want.
The company has 900 mailbox locations both in the U.S. and abroad, and you can manage any type of mail you receive through their website. You can request a scan of your mail if you want to read it as soon as possible; you can forward it anywhere in the world; or get your mail discarded or recycled.
PO Box Zone: $99-$250/year
PO Box Zone has three plans, meant for people who usually received different amounts of mail. As you can see on their website, their product is meant for frequent travelers, retirees who are traveling, and small businesses.
PO BOX Zone has two locations, one in Nevada, and the other one in Wyoming, where employees can receive any type of mail (even from USPS, DHL, and FedEx). They store your mail for six months, and you can choose to have it forwarded (through USPS, DHL, or FedEx, as well) or discarded.
If you found this article useful you might also like:
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