The reason I’m even writing this Traveling Mailbox review is that I remember being in your shoes about five years ago. I was reading through article after article, feverishly doing research on every virtual mailbox I could find. Information was sparse, but I eventually made a decision. I’ve been a Traveling Mailbox customer for six years now and I’d like to share with you why.
|Review||Traveling Mailbox Virtual Mailbox Service|
|Summary||Traveling Mailbox ranks as one of the top virtual mailbox services because it offers numerous addresses, a mobile app and high-level security for your mail. My only complaint is the time it takes to receive mail sometimes.|
|Rating||4.7 (out of 5) stars|
There are a number of different reasons that you might want a virtual mailbox like Traveling Mailbox. Maybe you live the RV life. Maybe you want to keep your home address private. Perhaps you’re an overseas expat or a digital nomad doing business in another country.
Or, as in my case, many of the above.
In my research, I found that there were a number of virtual mailbox features that you need to consider before you make a decision.
- Do You Need a Specific Address? Some virtual mailbox services only offer one address, others offer multiple addresses in many states.
- Do You Get a Lot of Mail? Some services make you pay per scan. Others give you a set number of mail pieces each month.
- Do You Need Other Features? Some virtual mailbox companies offer a fax service, check deposit service and even the option to send a letter on your behalf.
In this Traveling Mailbox review, I’m going to assume you already know what a virtual mailing address is. So we’re going to focus our time on the various features they offer and how that has been either a pro or con for me.
There are plenty of excellent virtual mailbox services out there, but for the sake of this review, I’m going to focus exclusively on helping you understand Traveling Mailbox.
Note: The links in this article are affiliate links, which means that at no extra cost to you, I will be compensated if you decide to use Traveling Mailbox.
Features & Benefits | Traveling Mailbox Review
To be clear, Traveling Mailbox is a virtual mailbox, not a virtual office or a P.O Box.
There’s a big difference, believe it or not.
If you need an assistant to answer the phone or a room to hold meetings, you’re looking for a virtual office (i.e. Regus or WeWork).
On the other hand, if you need a single physical address where you can receive mail no matter where you are in the world, you’re looking for a virtual mailbox.
You can think of Traveling Mailbox and other such services as a way to digitize your physical mail and to keep your true address private.
For me, as I travel around the world, it gives me a single address where I can have mail, new credit cards, packages or anything else mailed either to me or to my business. And if you’re curious about security, you can learn more about whether virtual mailboxes are safe here.
At its core, here’s what Traveling Mailbox offers you:
- A Physical Mail Address: In my case, I chose a Dallas address that has a “suite number”, which is my personal mailbox number. It looks professional and nobody has ever asked about it being “virtual”.
- Online & Mobile Access: Any incoming mail is automatically scanned and you are alerted via email or notification. You have the option to view and organize the mail on either your online mailbox or the handy mobile app. I prefer the app.
- Simple Action & Organization: Just like with email, you can create a folder filing system for your mail to keep it organized. You can also tag the mail with custom tags as a secondary form of mail management.
- Online Storage Integrations: Traveling Mailbox can upload your scans directly to your Google Drive, Evernote or Dropbox account (even if Dropbox happens to be blocked for me in China).
- Virtual Office Features: Although Traveling Mailbox isn’t a virtual office, they do offer some interesting features including the ability to send/receive faxes, mail a letter, mail a check and even deposit checks.
Traveling Mailbox operates on a tiered package plan, broken out by a specified number of mail scans (the front envelope), page scans (pages within an opened piece of mail) and recipients (people to whom mail can be sent at that address).
Additional scans can be purchased for both mail ($0.25/each) and pages ($0.50/each).
I don’t get tons of mail, so I personally use the Basic Plan – and I’ve
never had to pay for extra scans only had to pay for extra scans once.
What I Enjoy About Traveling Mailbox
Traveling Mailbox has been in business since 2011 and I’ve been a customer since 2014.
I’ve watched as the company has improved and evolved over time and that’s given me good insight to write what I truly enjoy about the service in this Traveling Mailbox review.
First things first: I love the fact that Traveling Mailbox offers a nice mobile app.
This isn’t common among other virtual mailbox services and it boggles my mind! If it’s a digital mailbox, I need to be able to access it on my most important digital device…
…my phone and tablet!
Instead of emails, I opt to have the mobile app notify me each time I get a new piece of mail (it’s available on both iOS and Android). I can do pretty much anything from within the app: request to open and scan mail, forward mail, file it away, etc.
Essentially, I have an app for my email (Gmail) and an app for my physical mail (Traveling Mailbox).
I love it.
There are a lot of features I don’t make use of, honestly. I don’t forward mail very often and I don’t receive many checks that need to be deposited. This review of Traveling Mailbox is based on my pretty basic use of the service.
Because I live in Asia, I want to receive and interact with physical mail from anywhere in the world. Also, for the sake of my business, I need a physical address that I can check.
What I Don’t Enjoy About Traveling Mailbox
Of course, not every service is perfect, and there is one thing I wish I could change about my Traveling Mailbox service.
You see, I chose a Dallas address for my virtual mailbox because that is where my company is located. It made sense and it worked well for what I needed.
The problem is that, like every virtual mailbox service, Traveling Mailbox does not have a sorting facility at every location where they offer an address.
In this case, their facility is in North Carolina, which means that anytime mail is sent to my Dallas address, it first arrives at the facility in Dallas where it is then forwarded to North Carolina to be scanned and sent to me.
This extra step means an extra couple days before I know that mail has even arrived. Usually this doesn’t matter much, but there have been cases where I know a piece of mail is supposed to arrive and I wait for an entire week before I get a notification.
To be fair, this is true of all virtual mailbox services, not just Traveling Mailbox.
The moral of this story is this: know where the sorting facility is. If you choose a different address, understand that there will be slight delays with your mail.
Traveling Mailbox vs The Competition
In the course of my research into the best virtual mailbox service, I also looked at plenty of other mailbox services: iPostal, Mailbox Forwarding, US Global Mail, Earth Class Mail, etc.
Other than price, there are a number of factors that make each of these services different. Check out this table or scroll further down for a deeper explanation.
|Traveling Mailbox||US Global Mail||EarthClass Mail||iPostal1|
|Security Feature||2-Factor Auth||Standard SSL||Monitored Facilities||None Listed|
|Works on PC, Mac & Mobile|
|Check Deposit Service|
Earth Class Mail
- Available Addresses: Some services (such as US Global Mail) only offer one address you can choose from. Others, like iPostal1, offer hundreds. Traveling Mailbox is somewhere in between. If you want an address in a specific state or city in the United States, Traveling Mailbox offers a respectable list of addresses to choose from. (although there’s a catch…see below)
- How They Scan Mail: Some services have you pay per scan while others offer packages. If you get very little mail (i.e. 1-2 pieces per month), Traveling Mailbox might not be the best option. Virtual mailbox services seem to differ wildly on pricing, so find what works best for you.
- Mobile Apps: As I’ve already said, I love using the mobile app for Traveling Mailbox. At the time of this publication, only 1Postal offers a competing app.
- Mail Security: It’s not something you might think about at first, but there’s a security risk in allowing somebody else to handle and open your mail. Does the company monitor their sorting facility? Do they encrypt your scans? Shred your mail? Or better yet, do you have the option for 2-factor authentication for your account?
The majority of virtual mailbox companies offer most of these features, but in my research for this review of Traveling Mailbox, they’re the only one that ticked all the boxes.
Final Thoughts | Review of Traveling Mailbox
As a long time customer, it’s not rocket science to see why I recommend Traveling Mailbox as a good virtual address option. It would be pretty stupid of me to stay with a company that I don’t like.
Hopefully, though, you can see why it is that I’ve enjoyed using Traveling Mailbox and the things that separate them from the other virtual mailbox services.
It’s an easy and secure way to manage my physical mail from my computer or phone anywhere in the world.
Whether you’re a digital nomad, an international business person or just somebody who wants a single address to make things simple, you’ll be surprised by how much a service like Traveling Mailbox can simplify your life.
Best of all, since I know the company and have worked with them for a while, they’ve offered to give a bonus of two free months for all annual plans when you click the button below:
I trust this review of Traveling Mailbox has been helpful for you!
If so, please be sure to use my affiliate links here or share this review with anybody else who is looking for a virtual address.
Thank you for the detailed review. I am new to using a virtual mail service (not this one) and i love it! This solution allowed me to put my apartment in storage and travel without missing a beat in my communication. i don’t have an ap for mine, but i get an email that prompts me to login to my account – voila! my mail is there!
I love the virtual service and all it offers. For the most part, it has been a smooth transition – one conversation with my bank and credit card representatives and all was fine. I explained that my physical address varies; my mailing address is permanent, but not a residence. representatives noted an exception, but this was ultimately acceptable.
I forgot to check with my phone company. At my first billing cycle, phone service was suspended. mind you, I had automatic payment set up, but the addresses. . . well, you understand.
What experience or advice do you have that might help get past this problem? do you find there are some businesses that absolutely require your billing address to be your physical address? Thanks for any insight you can offer!
Josh Summers says
Hey Wendy, thanks so much! Honestly, I haven’t run into a company or person that hasn’t accepted my virtual mailbox address. I’ve had companies question me and others verify that it’s not a P.O. box (many won’t send to a P.O. box), but other than that, it’s been great. My phone company, insurance company, and most tax documents are sent to my Traveling Mailbox address.
Have you compared America’s mailbox or escapees program with traveling mailbox?
The address Traveling Mailbox gave me was rejected as an invalid address on almost every website. Their customer service rep gave me another version of the address that is accepted but Traveling Mailbox reused to correct the address on their website. Unfortunately, I would have to change my address again if go with another mail forwarding service. You know what a hassle changing your address is, so I am stuck.
Lisa and Robert says
We have used traveling mailbox for over 5 years. initially, we were very happy with it. Lately, however, it is taking up to 3 weeks to get a piece of mail on our on-line mailbox and up to something like 12 hours to scan mail after we have requested scanning (even though the request was put in during business hours). have you had the same problems?
Josh Summers says
Hmm…I’m sad to hear that! I haven’t had that problem personally – scans usually take a couple hours at most for me, but I’m usually not that rushed to get them. I’m curious, what scan time would you find acceptable?
Lisa and Robert says
I would think a scan time of a couple of hours would be ideal, but certainly if I request a scan in the morning (US time) it should be done by COB (US time). i’m more worried about the fact that it takes up to 3 weeks to even get the mail.
Is this service a good option for those who are away from home twice a year for 3 months at a time? Do I have to change my address with all the businesses, banks, lenders, etc. that send me mail each time I leave and return, or can I simply have USPS forward my mail to the virtual mailbox temporarily while I am out of the country?
Josh Summers says
Hey Dan, this is a unique situation, to be sure. The idea of changing your address with all of these entities twice a year is a HUGE headache. I don’t believe the USPS would allow for a 3 month mail forwarding and I don’t think Traveling Mailbox would be able to function as a forwarded address.
However, if you’re going to be away for 6 months out of the year, it might be worth considering using Traveling Mailbox as your full-time mailbox. During the time you’re at “home”, you can just have TM forward the most important mail to you and you can trash/scan everything else. It seems like this might be the best option.