Currently Wandering » Outdoor Family, Adventure Travel, Simple Living - Family of 5 Traveling the United States in an Airstream.

Irregular Mail and Credit Card Trouble

We pulled into a gas station a few nights ago on our way home. On autopilot, I pulled out my wallet, and selected the card we always use for gas. Instead of asking for my zip code, the pump terminal presented a message I haven’t seen in awhile: “Card Expired.”

Um, What? A quick inspection of the card confirmed that it had in fact expired a few days before. We usually find out that our credits cards are about to expire when the new cards show up in the mail. Our mail turned out to the the problem.

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For the past few months, we’ve been using a mail forwarding service called Traveling Mailbox. We have a temporary forward set up from our address in Utah to our address with the service, and we request our mail when we have a known address for a bit. We had sent a bundle of mail to the RV park in Anaheim where we stayed during our Disneyland visit, but the package had never arrived. A few days after we left, the bundle showed up….. back in North Carolina, where our Traveling Mailbox address is. For some reason difficult to figure out, the postal service had refused to deliver our mail to the RV park, and returned it.

We checked the contents, and indeed, our new credit cards were in the bundle. Now, the only option we have is to send the mail here to San Diego, and make sure it gets here before we leave.

We have mixed feelings about Traveling Mailbox as a service. They do a good job themselves, but we would have appreciated some guidance from them in managing the postal service, and how to get our mail reliably. I imagine that mail forwarding services all suffer a bit of the same fate on account of working with the postal service.

By the time our new cards get here, they will have traveled to Utah, North Carolina, California, North Carolina again, and finally to San Diego. Getting important mail can be painful at times, but somehow we manage it anyway!

I did get gas by the way: having a few cards for situations just like this means that we had backup in place. Just as long as they don’t all expire at the same time, anyway!

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