When you’re traveling long term, there may come a time, when you need something delivered. And if you’re from the USA, you’ve been absolutely SPOILED with shipping- I miss Prime so bad!

{Like that time that my laptop died 3 days in to my year and a half trip, and I had to send it back to the USA to get fixed. And then my friend shipped it to Argentina, but then I had to leave Argentina early, and it got sent back to her in the US. And by that time I was in Australia. And she had to send it to my uncle in the US, who then brought it to me in Australia. Whew!}

The goal is to not do that ^.

Somewhat ironically (now that I’ve shared The Laptop story), once upon a time it was my job to manage shipping and logistics for an online store. So I’ve got a few tricks of the trade.

1. Hotels WILL accept mail for you. So will Hostels. And Airbnbs.

Business travelers do this ALL the time. If you know where you’re going, you can have your stuff delivered to where you’ll be staying. But I suggest you arrange for delivery to be a little earlier than you need it, just in case there’s some unexpected delay. And definitely contact the hotel/ hostel/ host and let them know it’s coming- they’ll put a note on your reservation.

 

2. Use UPS or FEDEX

Or any mail carrier that will give you a SPECIFIC delivery date. None of that USPS between 10-40 business days crap. We need specifics! It’s more expensive, but so very worth it. Does an online store not offer that specific kind of shipping? Email them and ask! The worst they can do is say no.

 

3. If you have a friend where you’re headed, ask if you can send something to their address.

 

4. You CAN have things delivered to a post office.

But, you should do some research on the location before you do this, including contacting the relevant post office.

 

5. Howz about regular mail? Set up a virtual mail box!

There are companies that will let you use their postal address, and then scan and email you your mail, and even forward your mail to the address of your choice.

 

6. What if what I want only ships to the US? Well. then you need a mail forwarder.

They’ll supply you with a US address to use, and then forward the package to wherever you are in the world. Alternatively, if you have the option, you can ask a friend to do this for you.

 

7. Going to Australia?

Australians shop online SO MUCH, that Australia Post has it’s own mail forwarding service from the US- so if your favorite US supplier won’t ship overseas, you can use Australia Post’s US address, and have your items forwarded to Oz.