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Old 04-02-2013, 02:07 PM   #1
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Mail in Alaska while Cruising

We will be cruising for 5 months from Bellingham to Ketchikan to Juneau to Sitka, to Juneau and return. We need to receive mail to pay bills during this time away from home. What do others do in this area to solve this problem. We we thinking of getting PO Boxes in Ketchikan and Juneau. Would that hold the volume of mail we expect, until we arrive?

How do others solve this problem? We have bills that can not be taken care of online.
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Old 04-02-2013, 02:16 PM   #2
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What we did during a summer cruise was to have all our mail forwarded to a P.O. Box in a UPS store. Back then they were called "Mailbox ect". They would hold our mail until we phoned them and gave them an address (a marina in an upcoming town). They would sort out the junk mail and overnight a package containing all our mail. It worked great!
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Old 04-02-2013, 03:35 PM   #3
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We picked up our mail this morning in Culebra, PR. It was sent to my attention, General Delivery to the local post office via Priority Mail. You can have it shipped to any US Post office for just the cost of the postage, with no PO Box required.
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:38 PM   #4
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We usually pay our bills in advance. Slightly overpaying giving unearned special attention to those that sell the farm if your'e .10 short.
Take phone numbers w us so we can call for information or status.

Can't one send letters to "general delivery" anymore?
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:04 PM   #5
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We do a bit of traveling so I've set up all my bill payments online through my bank. Some bills are the same every month, like the boat payment. For the ones that vary from month to month like the electricity, etc., the bills are delivered via email to the bank. On many of those I've set up a payment of the same amount every month. I often run a credit balance on some accounts until the season changes, like with my natural gas bill. It's low in the summer so the credit balance builds up, then in the winter when the bills are higher it eats away at the balance.

I have a Verizon hotspot so wherever we are I can use it if there's no wifi available. It's real easy to get into my bank online bank account, check transactions, pay bills then log out.
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:18 PM   #6
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We use online for everything including bills that can "not" be done online. My bank simply mails a check to the payee.

I have had the same box of checks for nearly 7 years now. I know this because I just wrote a check yesterday for a radar and had a heck of a time finding it in my desk.
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:36 PM   #7
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While sea kayaking BC's coast we would pack up "care packages" for ourselves before we left, then have a family member mail them General Delivery to the Post Office in the next town we planned to visit.

I don't remember how long General Delivery items are kept at the receiving Post Office, but four weeks rings a bell. The US Post Office probably works in a similar way.
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:44 PM   #8
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All the admiral's bills come to my email and I pay everything online, the stuff that comes in the snail-mail is held until we get a chance to check. The only issue I had was with Revenue Canada who don't use email which caught me off guard on an a reassessment. The response was delayed but no big issue. I let the PO know there will be a big pile of magazines etc in the box and to destroy any flyers and it all seems to work out just fine.
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Old 04-02-2013, 11:43 PM   #9
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Our friend Angela is the owner of Dockside Solutions in Seattle. She's a Shilshole liveaboard, and worked for years at the Mailbox store nearby. She developed her business specifically catering to people out cruising on boats, which includes A LOT MORE than just forwarding mail. We used her services last summer, and will use her again this year. Here's a video we made for her:
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Old 04-03-2013, 06:42 AM   #10
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Thank you, everyone, for sharing these strategies. They are most helpful. We will go to work now and track each one down. Many thanks!!!
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Old 04-03-2013, 08:21 AM   #11
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I have a box at the UPS Store. They can receive not only mail, but UPS, FedEx, etc. requiring signatures. They've even received freight for me. Nice advantage in that you have a physical address vs. a PO Box. They will sort and forward per your instructions. For instance, I call them every 2-3 weeks and have them forward ONLY first class mail, so I don't have to pay shipping for junk.
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Old 04-03-2013, 12:46 PM   #12
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We have received mail at the Ketchikan PO. The mail has to be addressed to the recipient at General Delivery, Ketchikan, AK (get correct zip code from a Post Office. I don't think the Ketchikan PO will rent a box to a non resident, and there may be a waiting list to get a box.
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Old 04-03-2013, 03:35 PM   #13
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Thank Pacific NW that was a great video and have recommened it to friends.
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Old 04-03-2013, 10:32 PM   #14
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The last time we made the trip we had a relative collect our mail and when we were ready for it they mailed it to us. Just use your name and your address will be general delivery, whatever city it is going to. The post office will hold it for 30 days. It would look like this:

John Doe
General Delivery
Petersburg, Alaska 99833

This year we receive all our mail at a private mail box store in our home town. When we are ready for our mail, I can call and they will forward it to me wherever I want.
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Old 04-03-2013, 11:34 PM   #15
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Mail Forwarding Services at St Brendan's Isle

St. Brendan's Isle. I don't have any experience with them, but have seen others recommend them.
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Old 04-21-2013, 11:17 AM   #16
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Just to let you know, we have gone with Dockside Solutions, as recommended by Moonfish. Many thanks!! Angela has been wonderful to work with and her online set up is perfect for our needs. Now, to get packing for the trip!! Thanks, everyone!
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Old 04-21-2013, 02:18 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djleu View Post
Just to let you know, we have gone with Dockside Solutions, as recommended by Moonfish. Many thanks!! Angela has been wonderful to work with and her online set up is perfect for our needs. Now, to get packing for the trip!! Thanks, everyone!
Nice to hear that. Please come back to this thread after using it for a while and update us with your experience using them.
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Old 04-21-2013, 02:51 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CPseudonym View Post
Nice to hear that. Please come back to this thread after using it for a while and update us with your experience using them.

Will do!

Cheers,

Don
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