You are going abroad or starting a global lifestyle? Letters or mail will continue being sent to you. Virtual mailboxes and post scanning solutions are a handy tool to have while going places:
This is irrespective of you starting long-term travel, being an expat on a company assignment, digital nomad or simply an exchange student.
This article gives an introduction to virtual mail and post box providers. Furthermore I’m sharing my experiences with a Dutch provider I have used myself.
Let’s get to it!
Who even sends letters these days?
While I try to keep my life as digital as possible, occasionally I do receive letters. The letters I receive are very limited in count but most are quite important. The letters I’ve received during my time abroad come from these types of organizations:
- Banks / Financial Institutions / Credit Card Issuers
- Governmental organizations such as Tax Office
- Student Finance / Student Loan
- German Trains ( Deutsche Bahn)
Most of the letters are more informative; but there are some that are time critical and important. Not good to have them going nowhere and being discarded.
During my Bachelor study exchange I missed a letter from the Dutch Student Finance since I sub-rented my apartment. No one informed me about the letter. Not responding to it almost cost me a thousands of euros and would have required me to pay back part of the loan immediately. The only reason I found out about it was that a friend received the same letter and I started to wonder if I faced the same problem.
In which country should you get a postal service provider?
If you are only moving temporarily, it makes sense to get a postal service provider in your home country. If you are moving to a new country long-term you might want to get an additional service provider in the new country.
That’s why after moving out of The Netherlands I ended up with postal solutions both there and in my new country the United Arab Emirates.
Postal Service Providers: The Netherlands
When I left the Netherlands in December 2020, I made sure to have a local address there to receive any important letters during my move.
I made use of PriPost and can highly recommend them. PriPost will provide you with a personal address, scan letters for you and also forward them for you if requested.
There are addresses in multiple cities – Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Leidschendam you can use any location you prefer. The monthly rental price for the address is 5.50 EUR, for each letter you receive there are scanning or forwarding fees. You can also have letters destroyed directly in case they are not important.
You will receive a personal post number (e.g. P365) that you mention on your address:
(Your Name) Keurenplein 41 (P365) 1069CD Amsterdam The Netherlands
Please note: You can not use this address for parcels. If someone send you a parcel to your post address it will likely be returned to sender. In case you need to receive parcels PriPost has a specific address that your parcels need to be send to.
While there are a few global virtual mail providers, choosing the perfect postal solution is highly local. Depending on your situation and duration of going abroad the best choice for you might be different.
If you are unsure about the reliability a postal provider try sending yourself a letter (locally / from abroad?) to test if the letter arrives and you get informed on time.
In this article I have shared my experiences with PriPost in the Netherlands. If you are interested in further resources for a global lifestyle see my resources page!