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How to get mail while on a boat or traveling in RV

While traveling around on a boat one needs to get mail sometimes. Actually this chick needs to get mail a lot. (Captain Ed says I need to have an Amazon intervention.) True story: I actually spoke to a rep for Amazon and jokingly said, “Your stock is going to go do if I can’t get delivery.”  He didn’t quite know how to respond. HA!



But as long as we are docked in a marina or have access to get to shore, I know I can still get my cherished Amazon Prime packages.  Once we get to the Bahamas I may have to come up with something new, but I am set at least for now.




One of the hidden secrets that the United States Post Office does NOT want you to know about is General Delivery.  If you happen to be living on a boat or traveling in an RV, you can still get the mail you want.  There  are just a few steps to follow:


You can have a package addressed to GENERAL DELIVERY, c/o <your name>, with the address of the post office that is closest to you. It is a great convenient service. You can have packages or mail held at the post office until you pick them up.  And I would advise you to NOT let them know in advance ( you will see why later in this article)


But there’s a catch. And you knew there was going to be one!

The US Post Office will only do this for 30 days. My experience with this service has been a humorous one. I was told that my “month” starts at the time of my first delivery. My first delivery happened on July 5. In the following few weeks I had quite a bit of packages and mail delivered and would often see the same postal worker.


On July the 20th I was told by this postal worker that my month was almost up. That was when I realized that they did not keep track of the dates and she was just guessing.  I imagine because she was seeing me 3 or 4 times a week and time passes so slowly for her (you know, the mail just keeps coming and coming and coming.)


So I waited a week, and when I saw her again she said that my time was almost up. I responded that my first package didn’t arrive until July 9th (just to see if she kept a record at all). She glanced over at a calendar positioned 15 or so feet away from her and said “okay you have 10 days left”. That was when I realized that my 30 days was not actually documented at all! I gave her an erroneous date and she had no way of checking to see if it was accurate.


So then I brought up what I considered to be a legitimate question.

“If the postage or package cost is paid, what difference does it make if it is delivered to someone’s home down the street or left at this post office for me to pick up?”

Her response was comically robotic,

“That is the rules”.

So I said,

“It actually cost them less money because a driver is not delivering to a physical address. Right?”

And I got the same response,

“That is the rules”.

Judging from the glazed look in her eyes, I imagine that she realizes herself that it is a ridiculous rule.

Why does the USPS does not want you to know about this service, you ask?  I assume that they would rather you pay for a post office box for 3-6 months even though you may only be in an area for a month or two. And based on the rate of $50 + a month I feel like our government entity is trying to get more money on top of the ALREADY PAID cost of postage while actually putting out less effort to do so. Imagine that.



This service has actually been around since the Inception of the USPS. I picture that back in the days of horse and buggy, most people did not have mailboxes or delivery to their homes. So why is this tried-and-true service such a secret?

I figure that none of us will ever know the answer to that.

Stay tuned next month, and I will let you know a few of MY secrets and how I may be bending the rules a bit. 

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