If you're going to be away from home for a vacation or other trip, it's important that you alert the post office so your mail doesn't pile up in your mailbox. If you're going to be gone more than three days, you should sign up for the service. An online form is available for most ZIP Codes, but the form can also be submitted in person at the post office. All mail for the address is held; it's not based on the individual name on the mail.
Schedule the service up to 30 days before you leave or, if completing the online form, by 2 a.m. on the starting date.
Complete the written hold form at the post office. Supply your address, departure date and date of return. Indicate how you want to receive your accumulated mail -- by picking it up at the post office or by carrier delivery.
Complete the online form at the post office website, usps.com. Supply your name, address, phone number and email address, and then verify that the online form is accepted for your area. Indicate how you want to receive your mail after your return and submit the form. Keep the confirmation number.