Take Down the Out of Town Sign!

Is your mail acting as an “out of town” sign?

Going on vacation is fun and exciting! Taking care of the small details of your home before you leave is way less exciting, but still necessary. An overflowing mailbox and packages at your front door for days can act like a sign letting everyone know that you’re out of town. It’s worth taking a few minutes to put vacation holds on your mail so that it doesn’t seem obvious to a passerby that your house is empty. The best part is that all of these things can be done online – and most from your cell phone!

One of the easiest things to do is put a hold on your mail. In most areas of the country, this can be done online. You can fill the form out up to 30 days before your scheduled vacation, and your vacation can be from 3-30 days in length. USPS also has a premium service where they will forward your mail to you in weekly batches if you’re gone for more than 30 days. If you don’t want to fill out the online form, you can also stop into your local post office and complete a “Hold Mail” form, or call the USPS at 800-275-8777 and schedule a hold for your mail over the phone. When you get home, your mail will be delivered as scheduled and waiting for you. I always like having it delivered the day after we get home so that it gives me a chance to readjust before having to sort through mail again.

I’m an online shopper, with two little kids it’s so much easier to buy what I need online instead of dragging both of them to the store to “help” me shop. When we go on vacation we put a hold on our packages as well. It would be great if the packages were left behind the fence so people didn’t see them, but that’s not usually what happens at our house.

UPS and FedEx both offer a service allowing you to hold your packages on a vacation hold as well for up to 14 days and have them delivered after you get back. Both UPS and FedEx also have phone apps that let you track and manage your delivery settings from your phone. I love the apps, and after using them for a vacation hold in the past, I now use them all the time and even get a window to know when my packages will be delivered.

UPS has a program called UPS MyChoice that you can sign up for here. As a UPS MyChoice member, you can click on Preferences in the upper right-hand corner, and then ‘edit vacation settings’ and add your vacation dates for UPS to hold your packages. Requesting a vacation hold will cost $5 per package with a free UPS MyChoice account, or is included for an unlimited number of packages in an annual Premium MyChoice account.

FedEx has a program called Delivery Manager you can sign up for here. With a free account, you can place a vacation hold on your address for up to 14 days. FedEx will deliver your packages on the first business day after your vacation hold ends.

An overflowing mailbox and packages at your front door are a giveaway that you’re out of town. A vacation hold is worth the peace of mind knowing that your mail won’t be sitting out while you’re gone.


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