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Using General Delivery on tour

Old 04-07-15, 09:15 AM
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Using General Delivery on tour

Does anyone use General Deliver to mail stuff ahead for latter pick up?
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Old 04-07-15, 09:42 AM
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I've don this a ton while long distance thru hiking. It works great!

Tips:
- Mark your package with your expected pick up date range. (eg: "hold for pickup ETA July 1 - July 8")
- Do not ask them to hold your package for more than 30 days. Ever.
- Mail to a larger post office with better hours. One time I showed up 3pm on Friday at a post office that closed 2:30pm and re-opened on Monday.
- Always send it Priority Mail, because Priority includes free package forwarding. You can call up USPS and have them forward your box to the next town (or back home) if your plans change.
- Don't send stove fuel / canisters via mail. There are special rules for these and you don't want to end up on the wrong side of the federal law.
- Bring your ID when you go to pick up your package. They won't release a General Delivery package without ID.
- Travel with a sharpie marker and a few yards of packaging tape so that you can forward boxes, mail stuff home, or send gifts.
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Old 04-07-15, 10:33 AM
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Poste Restante is the phrase (in French) used out side North America.. Poste restante - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

https://www.google.com/search?q=Post...hrome&ie=UTF-8
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Old 04-07-15, 10:58 AM
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i've used to good effect on a number of occasions. cycling and backpacking.
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Old 04-07-15, 11:51 AM
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We've used general delivery a few times with good success. However, we usually picked smaller towns (size is a relative thing) because there were not a lot of options.

We seldom tour on established bike routes, so touring cyclists are still an oddity in some parts of the country that we ride through. At one post office we met 10% of the town's population when we talked to the postal clerk. At another slightly bigger town the postal clerk called the local newspaper, who sent a "reporter" down to interview us about our trip. While we are picking up our "care" packages, it is a good time to mail home maps, clothing or gear we no longer need.

Last edited by Doug64; 04-07-15 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 04-07-15, 12:30 PM
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I have successfully used it, but don't typically do so very often on tours.
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Old 04-07-15, 03:34 PM
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I've only done it once on a bike tour, to replace some lost ACA maps. I don't make a habit of it for the possible downfall listed above--arriving too late on the Friday afternoon before a three-day weekend. Also, in a large city it can be a problem--which PO the package goes to can get confusing.
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Old 04-07-15, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by andrewclaus
I've only done it once on a bike tour, to replace some lost ACA maps. I don't make a habit of it for the possible downfall listed above--arriving too late on the Friday afternoon before a three-day weekend. Also, in a large city it can be a problem--which PO the package goes to can get confusing.
It is actually pretty easy to stop in any post office and have your package sent on to one a bit farther down the road. You do not have to be at the post office that the package is at. So unless you need the package immediately it is pretty easy to forward it ahead a few days.

On bike tours I typically have tried to use a post office in a smaller city or big town so that it was easy to find the right post office, but on the other hand some really small towns the post office is contracted out to a local store and is basically a tiny room in the store. In those cases I have found they will generally retreive your package even if the post office isn't officially open as long as the store is. That has been the case a few times when I used a post office as a food drop on backpacking trips.

BTW, many post offices have Saturday hours so the three day weekend is often only a two day one as far as postal pick up.
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Old 04-07-15, 04:00 PM
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We used it a few times last summer when we rode cross country. One time we got to Helena ,MT on a Saturday at 3PM. The PO closed at noon. But I had called them the day before and told them we could not make it by closing. "No problem, Bonnie is here until 4PM. Just call when you get here" We got there and called and they opened up and gave us our package! Not sure that would happen back home but out west people were much friendlier.
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