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Options for your post while away

If you plan to be away on holiday this month think ahead to ensure your postbox does not indicate you're not there.

If you plan to be away on holiday this month think ahead to ensure your postbox does not become full with mail providing a strong clue of an empty home to burglars.

Perhaps, also, you are waiting for an important letter, such as exam results – or your next copy of Connexion! – and would prefer to have you post forwarded.

You could ask a neighbour to help – or take up one of the many services to help on offer from La Poste, such as:

  • Option Garde du Courrier. The post office will keep all your post at their offices and not deliver it for up to two months for €20.50. Your postman will then deliver the accumulated post to your home on the first working day after your return.
  • Réexpédition temporaire nationale: You can have your post re-directed to a French holiday address. This will be done on a day-to-day basis by the postman who would normally deliver your mail to your home. It will be sent first class and can relate to mail addressed to all or some of the people in your household. This can be for a minimum of 15 days and a maximum of 12 months. You can cut short the period at any time. You can also extend it but in that case you will have to start a new contract. The cost for 15 days – one month is €22.50; for one to six months €24.50 or for six to 12 months, €44.
  • Réexpédition temporaire internationale: The above service also exists if you are abroad. The cost is 15 days-1 month = €33, 1-6 months = €69 or 6-12 months = €124.
  • Réexpédition en poste restante: You can also have your mail sent to a post office of your choice in France for a period of 15 days to one month for €22.50 or €24.50 for one to three months. This post office can be one close to where you are staying while away. However there is an additional charge for each item of post you collect from the post office – 76 centimes for a normal letter or 38 centimes for press. You must go regularly to the post office with an identity card to collect any mail and it is up to you to take the initiative.
  • Abonnement mobilité: If you go away several times in France in one year you can make one payment of €56 which will cover all your absences. Post can then either be kept at a post office of your choice for a period of one day up to two months or can be sent to your temporary address for a period of between 15 days and 12 months.

You can sign up for all these services online at Click on produits et services then go to absence, vacance and choose the option you require.

An alternative is to buy some envelopes de réexpédition from the post office which can be used by a friend to re-direct important items of mail within France (note that redirecting is not free and is not just a case of replacing the address). A small one (16cm/23cm) is €1.90 and a large one is €3.80 (25cm/33cm).

The former should suit most normal letters, the latter can be used for newspapers and slim books. There are no weight limits and post placed in them should already have passed through the French post.

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