How Can I Keep Packages Safe When Traveling for Christmas?

Traveling for the holidays is all fun and games until you realize your precious packages are sitting sadly in the snow—or worse, spirited away by mail thieves. Learn how to keep your packages safe when you’re off visiting family for Christmas. 

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! There’ll be parties for hosting, marshmallows for toasting, and…

Porch Pirates? 

Unfortunately, Christmastime is also the most wonderful time of the year for pesky mail thieves. Odds are, most homes have a package or two headed their way this month—and the box burglars are waiting to strike. 

It’s hard enough keeping your packages safe when you’re at work, but if you’re out of town with family? That’s a whole different ball game. 

Luckily, you don’t need Rudolph’s magic to protect your Christmas parcels. Read on as we uncover the top four strategies for keeping your packages safe when you’re traveling for Chrismtas.

1. Ask a friend or neighbor for help.

‘Tis the season for neighborly generosity! If you’re headed off to visit family and your neighbor’s family is coming to them, it’s always worth asking for a small Christmas favor. Neighbors make incredible mail sitters because they keep your packages safe and warm right next door. That means no running to the post office the day after a long flight! 

Your neighbors can also act as lookouts for familiar faces. If they know you’re out of town and someone strange sneaks up to your mailbox, your neighbors will ensure they end up with a stocking full of coal with one call to the local police. 

If you don’t know your neighbors yet, that’s okay! Lots of people stay in town for the holidays and a local friend is just as good of a mail sitter as your neighbor. Just be sure to leave out milk and cookies as a hearty “thank you” for their services. 

Pro tip: If you live in an apartment with a doorman, make sure to let them know who’s on the nice list for watching over your packages.

2. Request the U.S. Postal Service hold your mail.

Santa may have a schedule to keep, but he doesn’t want to go down the chimney into an empty house—and he doesn’t have to! If you live near a local post office and you’re headed out of town, you can sign up to use the USPS Hold Mail® service. This handy program keeps your mail and packages in a safe storage box in the post office for up to 30 days. No more sad packages waiting on the soggy steps! Just swing by the post office when you return from your travels. 

You can even specify mail holding for: all mail, just letters, or just packages. And the elves at the U.S. Postal Service are speedy too—if you request a mail hold, it can go into effect as soon as your next scheduled delivery day.

The one issue with mail holding is that Santa can only drop packages at local post offices. If your house or apartment is located outside a post office radius, you’ll need to look into another solution.

3. Reserve a temporary P.O. Box.

If you can’t hold your mail, another popular option for a mailbox away from home is a temporary P.O. Box. These little boxes might not come with a chimney or a welcoming snack, but they give travelers a reliably safe location for both mail and packages—and they’re simple to set up.

All you’ll need to do to sign up for your holiday P.O. box is head on over to the USPS P.O. Box site, apply online, pick up the keys, and go on your merry way. You can choose the size of your box depending on what you’re expecting to receive and how long you’ll be off with family and friends. 

However, it’s critical to rent your box early and do your research. Not every post office offers P.O. Boxes and those that do might be sold out if you wait until December. 

That leaves us with a bit of a Christmas conundrum. If you don’t have a sitter, you don’t live near a post office, and all the P.O. Boxes sell out, how do you keep your precious packages safe?

4. Use a Virtual Mailbox or Mail Forwarding Service.

The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear—and also using a virtual mailbox or mail forwarding service. If you’re traveling for Christmas, the ideal way to keep your packages safe is with a Traveling Mailbox

Traveling Mailbox lets you bring your mailbox along for the ride—no matter where your travels might take you. We scan each and every piece of your mail as it arrives and quickly upload and send you pictures. From there, you can send instructions to us to toss junk mail, open time-sensitive bills, and even deposit checks on your behalf. We’ll also hold on to any packages or letters you want and keep them safe until you return. 

Did you have to hop on a plane before an important present arrived? Not to worry. We also offer mail-forwarding services for any and all mail to any address. You can choose to forward the whole shebang or just that last-minute gift. It’s all up to you. Our goal is to give you the reins on your mail so you can enjoy stress-free travel. 

Many of us are just getting back to our pre-2020 holiday traditions. With so much pressure to make everything merry, bright, and perfect, why risk worrying about packages? Try Traveling Mailbox today and enjoy the peace and serenity the holidays were meant to bring.