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Blog > Poll results: Your nearest place to send mail

You know how sometimes you’re in a town where it seems like there’s a pillar box in every corner, and in other places they’re simply nowhere to be found? Different postal operators have different policies about their post boxes coverage, and so we thought it would be interesting to find out how far the average postcrosser has to walk (or drive!) to mail their cards.

A total of 9928 postcrossers answered our poll last week, and here are the combined results of that informal survey:

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Overall, looks like most of us don’t have to go that far to mail our postcards, which is great news! Just over 50% of postcrossers walk just 500 meters (or 547 yards) or less to post something, and the farthest category (5 km-3.1 miles or more) is the one with the least amount of postcrossers (7.8%).

Naturally, the really interesting data is at the country level. Let’s have a closer look:

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So, looking at the graph, a few countries seem to do things a little differently. For instance, Malaysia and Indonesia definitely stand out, with about a quarter of postcrossers having to go 5km (3.1 miles) or more until they find a mailbox, followed by Brazil with 19.12% of postcrossers in that category. Indonesia and Brazil are both huge countries, so we understand that it might be hard to cover that much area with mailboxes or post offices… but Malaysia is harder to explain. 🤔 Any thoughts?

On the other end of the spectrum, postcrossers in Hong Kong and Canada walk the least to get to their mail collection points: between 38–39% of them only has to go a few steps from their home to get it done. That’s brilliant! Japan and Switzerland are also doing very well in this regard, with over 75% having to walk just under 500m (547 yards) to get their mail going.

Knowing that in the US mail carriers pick up the outgoing mail from mailboxes when delivering mail, we were a bit surprised to find out that these statistics don’t seem to reflect this ultra-convenient service. Is this not a generalized service, perhaps?

So, what do you think? Do you get enough exercise out of mailing your postcards, or do you wish it was slightly farther away so that you could hatch some Pokémon eggs with those extra steps? 😅 Feel free to chime in on the comments below!

PS – As usual, only countries with more than 50 votes are included, so that the results can be more meaningful.

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75 comments so far

Shashi, India
The neighbourhood Postbox are seeing a drop in number with the avalibility of courier services, who provide the pick up facility too.
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D1ana, United States of America
USA: My outgoing postcards are picked up at home.
I understood the poll to be asking about a regular
Mail box. So I had our Post Office in mind when
answering.
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ned44440, Ireland
I work for the Post Office in Ireland (in administration, away from the counter and sorting office). Like D1ana, I answered the poll regarding our letterboxes in the street. Our post is picked up from our office so I don't actually have to travel to post although I do use the two Post Offices close to me at least twice a week between them.
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meiadeleite, Portugal
Ah... our bad then! 😩 We'll try to be more careful with the wording of the survey question next time.
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SylviaM, United States of America
Yes, for the USA mail carriers pick up outgoing mail from mailboxes when delivering mail, all across the country. However, I generally walk to the post office, which is about a kilometer away from my house, to get some fresh air and exercise.
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Jacque53, United States of America
I live in the USA and my postcards are picked up in my own home mailbox, so I put down I have to walk less than 100 meters. With that being said, I am surprised that the USA is not higher in the 100 meter (the red line) part of the graph. I know that everybody in my city can get their mail picked up in their own home mailboxes, so I assumed most other people in the USA could too?
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Heepy, United States of America
I live in the USA. However, our mail does not get picked up out front because the home doesn't have a mailbox outside. I live in a mobile home park, and we have a community collection box. It's still less than 100 meters. I think that homes in the countryside with drive ways longer than 100 meters could account for part of the results. The same goes for apartment buildings, townhomes etc.
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hobbymail, United States of America
there are fewer big blue U S Postal Service freestanding mailboxes than you would think; there was an era when mailbox bombs were being planted so we got used to going inside our p.o.s to mail out. I live in a suburban city so my cards are picked up by Patty the Mailwoman at my house. Happy Postcrosiing
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Alexander9179, Russia
Incorrect question! I answered the question, where is the nearest post office, and not where can I send it. A mailbox from where the “Russian Post” picks up correspondence, is located on every home and also on every transport hub, every train, long distance, includes a mail wagon, it also accepts correspondence!
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Manu86, Germany
My mailman picked the cards also up here at home. But I don't use that service, because I'm not ready or the cards are at work for start traveling there.
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Sfander, Canada
Interesting results, but I also chose the mailbox I use and not the two that are closest to me (less then 100 metres), but use the mailbox that is just under 1 km. from me for the exercise and I prefer that particular mailbox because it is sheltered and indoors away from the weather.
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paradonym, Germany
I'd have a private mail carrier postbox nearer to me than one of the official boxes - but they only deliver worldwide for registered company users.
So I picked the nearest official postbox. which is 443 meters and actually not used by me because it's not on my commuting ways and is only reachable when going through some shady areas you probably won't visit if you don't have to.
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SRussell, United States of America
Mail service in the U.S. is varied depending where you live. The street I live on has community mailboxes for every 12 houses. The mail carrier delivers our mail to our little box but does not pick up mail from it. There used to be a large mailbox at end of neighborhood you could drive by or walk to and mail outgoing mail but it was removed several years ago so you must now take your outgoing mail to a post office or mailbox which are mostly found at the post office these days. Just a few blocks over the new large houses have a personal mailbox on the curb in front of their house and are probably able to put outgoing mail inside and put flag up.
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wifetoalineman, United States of America
I cross the road from our driveway, few steps to mail my postcards. The mailman just picked them up but I ordered stamps online.
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Angeldreamer, United States of America
I live in the US and walk about 100 meters to my own postbox, BUT I suspect a lot of people are also like me...most of my outgoing does not sit on the street to be picked up, I take it to the box that is outside the post office if it is near pickup time, or if not I walk it inside. We have had issues with stolen mail and also teens have stuffed liquid trash into the mailbox outside the post office :(
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WattlePark, Australia
I picked the mail box closest to home but usually I either go on an long walk (posting cards a great excuse for getting out and good exercise) and post cards somewhere on the way, OR, I go to the mail box further away that just happens to be near a coffee shop. Then I get to combine postcards with a gingerbread man (kind of negates the exercise but it is so delicious).
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carolbeth, United States of America
I didn't realize you meant I could count having my mail picked up in my home mailbox, since I'm here in US. But the nearest drop off point would be our city post office, which is just over your "less than .6 miles.
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Mosshumla, Sweden
What a pity that there were too few Swedish answers. I wonder whether other Swedes have their mailboxes as close as I.
I have (at least) 3 mailboxes less than 500 m from home, one of them about 50 m. Sometimes I wish they were farther away, to get some exercise.
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hellokathy, Germany
I'm surprised about the German result. Our coverage is decent but I didn't think it was that good. Seems I'm part of the majority. If I usually dropped cards off from home, I'd have to walk less than 300m. But most often, I drop them off on my way to work because the mailbox is right outside our office.
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Queenbreha, United States of America
Where I live in New York the mail carriers don't pick up mail from the boxes it is presumed you didn't collect yesterday's mail. I walk about 2 city blocks to the nearest box.
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marcypgray, United States of America
I'm in the USA, and I'd like to add that service is different all over the country. In my city, (a small town of about 3,500) we don't have mail carriers. We have to travel to the post office to get our mail from a P.O Box. There is only 1 mailbox in my city, and ironically it's located behind the post office, which makes no sense to me, seeing as the post office lobby is open 24/7 to mail stuff inside. The USA is closing many little post offices, our neighboring town had theirs shut down and now those people have to use our town. It's very sad to see that happening all over. Even in a bigger town near us, you'd be hard pressed to find a mailbox around town, yet there are 2 right behind their post office as well.
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wahib_atmawa, Indonesia
For the short, pillar box or mailbox in Indonesia is almost never used and mailman rarely found postcards or letters inside it. Moreover, in my region, pillar box is covered by the post office because some unresponsibility people put trash inside it... Its sad
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JHKnight, United States of America
I won’t say that I’m representative of the U.S., but I don’t leave my mail in my box nor in any of the blue boxes around town. When I have something to send, it goes directly to a Post Office. I’ve had bill payments and postcards “lost” using any other method to send them. At least here, partly, it’s because of the oil boom: Midland’s population has skyrocketed in a matter of months, not years, and all the infrastructure is stressed, including mail carriers (especially now that they have Sunday shifts as well to deliver parcels for Amazon). The only way to really be sure that something will at least leave Midland in a postal van is to take it directly to the Post Office, and the closest one to me is 4 miles away.
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elanj123, United States of America
I thought it was for the nearest post office...which is in the next state !!!
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Bowyum, Australia
I could post mail at a box around four kilometres away located outside a now closed post office/general store, so that is what I chose. I never actually use it - I have a post office box at the main post office thirty kilometres away so I send all my mail from there.
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kbdessai, India
I think it also depends on "where" the postcrossers wish to mail their cards. For instance, many philatelists who are also postcrossers, would prefer visiting a Philatelic Bureau and post the cards there.
In India, letter boxes are available not just at the Post Offices but also at prominent public places like bus-stations, government buildings, markets etc.
But I know many who prefer visiting the local P.O. to ensure that the cancellation on the card is crisp and accurate.
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ctj, Malaysia
For Malaysia, it kind of rare for people to use mailbox as it kind of not that reliable now to use it and it also kind of hard to find one. So it is much easier to go to the post office itself to drop off the mail.
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eyselbaer, Germany
The next mailbox is about 200 meters from my home, but I bring my postcards to the local post office so the stamps get a neat clean postmark, letters and postcards from the mailbox are canceled in distribution centers by machine and thus the stamps are unfortunately often destroyed or very devalued unclean.
I always look forward to postcards with a clean readable postmark, so I would also like the recipient of my postcards to get a nice stamp with a neat postmark.
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Facella, Austria
My nearest mailbox is just across the street. I only get good exercise if I walk down the six stories to my front door instead of taking the elevator. I usually walk by whenever I go somewhere. Very convenient.
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Antonina__, Russia
Hello, as the question was: your nearest place to send mail, I thought that it applies to me, to my actions to send mail, and not to find the post offices at all. So I used the distance measurement on the Internet map from my home to the post office that I use. It turned out 2.40 in a straight line on the map, taking into account the terrain it will be a little more. My answer :less than 5 km.
There is a possibility to send mail closer, but usually it's not on my way. Also, I'm more confident in the successful sending of mail, if I do it in the main post office. And, of course, it is also a pleasant reason for a walk. :-)
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Antonina__, Russia
Oh... and, of course, we have normal postal logistics in Russia, so we do not have mailboxes for sending mail at every house (they are located in accordance with logistics, "according to science" :-)) and we do not run after mail trains to send something, this is an internal matter of the postal service.
And if I paid for the air service, what opportunities for sending mail could be imagined? The second plane to catch up with the one on which the mail flies and transmit in the air?.. :-)
It would be so much fun :-)
But... in reality, the main thing-the reliability of the shipment, so people choose the place where the service is most trusted. And they expect that the addressee will like it, good luck in postcrossing, love and beauty in everything :-)
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Mirfi, Australia
I like to vary where I post my cards. I will stop at a random post box just to use a different one, but my closest mail box is at the end of my street, 250m away.
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Ayub79, Russia
Oh, I was just a little short of the maximum. Noah measured it on Google maps and I got 561 meters.
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darkestperu, United States of America
I live in the USA and I leave my postcards in my mailbox at my house, which is 7 meters from my door. But when I answered the poll, I thought I had to choose how close the nearest post office was to my house. I notice some other people did too, so I think that might have affected the answers a bit.
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nisnoopy3, Malaysia
Pos Malaysia don't have enough mail box in strategic location. They usually located in places difficult to reach and I need to make a detour if I want to use the mailbox. Mostly located on a busy road with high traffic volume and little space to park the car (by driving) or walk for more than 1 kilometer to reach and fear for safety (some environment is not safe to walk). Going to post office is the best choice.
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littlewife, United States of America
I can echo the experience of marcypgray above. The area I live in is the definition of rural (it's actually a state park) and we don't have a mailbox at all. Our nearest post office is about 2.5 miles away; we have to go there to both drop off and pick up mail.
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MerlinM, Germany
Most of the time I take my postcards to work because everyday there is a pick up service. But on Weekends and on holidays I use the nearest postbox which is less than 500 m away. I thought that counts cause my work is about 10 km away. The best thing is that my nearest postbox has a red dot. In Germany it means that it is emptied every working day several times and even emptied on Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays. :-)
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ColorfulCourtney, Germany
I was surprised at the German comment that the mail carrier would take her mail, because ours will not. For me it is not a problem, the mailbox is not too far away, maybe 150 meters or so.

I miss home pick-up in the U.S.!
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rjmom, United States of America
Not every place in the U.S. has mail pick up at your home. Our current location does, but at our previous house it did not. Just mail delivery. At one time we had a problem of the postal carriers not taking our outgoing mail when delivering mail. When I called the post office, they said that when there are substitute carriers from areas that do not have mail pick up, they do not know to do it. They also said that picking it up at your home is a courtesy and is not required.
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ericdeng, Taiwan
To Russian postcrossers: Is the posting wagon Russian Post the place can post mail? I really interested in the way of Russia mailing, because this country is so huge!
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AnnitaV, Spain
Where I live there is only one mailbox, but the village is so small that is near from everyone.
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Knerq, United States of America
Major props to the Postcrossers who travel 5km or more to mail their postcards!!
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MiddLin, United States of America
I'm not too far from littlewife, but in a town. I could safely leave my postcards in the home mailbox for pick-up, but choose to go into the post office so they can hand cancel the cards. It's a pleasant social time, as well.
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Moekje, Netherlands
I answered for the nearest mailbox, which is about 600 meters for me. But I use many different mailboxes around town or in the city I work in, whichever is convenient. ( I also tend to forget and pass 2 or 3 mailboxes before I remember I have something to post 😋) I'm curious about the hand cancellation I see people write about. I don't think they do that at the post office in the Netherlands.
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Alexander9179, Russia
mail wagon
Yes you can send. There are special slots, as in the mailbox, if you need to pay, then exactly, just like in the usual post office "Russian Post"
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honeybee, Austria
I don't use mailboxes. I usually go to the post office which is a while to walk - but I want to have beautiful cancellations/postmarks on it, so I think it is worth to walk:)
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Charlette, United States of America
As many US postcrossers have said above, it's really hit or miss as to whether the mail carrier will pick up outgoing mail from your residence. Very few houses in my neighborhood (near Los Angeles) have an actual mailbox - most houses have slots in their doors or built onto the house. There's no physical place for me to put outgoing mail, and even if I could I wouldn't trust it to be picked up and not stolen. So I simply go to a post office or find a blue post box to send mail.
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butterflycard, Malaysia
Malaysia is a huge country with great variations.I live in the capital city so the post offices are nearby.There is now a government directive for post offices to be open even on Sundays if the post offices are located in a shopping mall.This is making education and shopping go together.Here the postal rates are low.The postcard prices are low too.In Singapore which is an island there is even more variation.Postage in Singapore can be very costly.The postcards however are low in Price.I can send any one postcards of Malaysia and Singapore.
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surfclub66, United States of America
I live in the USA and I have never once put something in my own mailbox to be picked up. It seems rather lazy and the mail carriers hate this. I mail all of my mail either at the municipal building which is a two minute drive from my house or at the drive up box at the post office which is just over seven miles away. Leaving something in your mailbox for pickup seems like a great way for your mail to be stolen. My impression is that this is something people do mainly in rural areas where volume is lower.
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Braam, Australia
Australia Post has been trying to save money by reducing the number of local street letter-boxes, in which you can post mail, & also by reducing the number of pick-ups, down to Monday to Friday = 1 pick-up by 6 p.m. They say that letters & cards do not give a profit. So much for offering a Public Service! I usually visit my local Post Office for stamps & mailing. They do make a profit with Internet Deliveries, parcels, etc., but it is sad that people don't write letters any more - but for PostCrossers! Yay!!
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Alexander9179, Russia
Now it is clear why 9 out of 10 postcards reach the cities of the USA. And other places in the USA, only 2 of 10 postcards are delivered!!!
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FABIO, Brazil
What I noticed that my postcards arrive faster to the United States and what takes more now seems to me to be 34 days ,,,, but it may be that someone did not register on the date they received and registered later or also did not register ....
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dictaudrey, Indonesia
In Indonesia, the only option to mail your cards is go to the post office. That's why when I answered the survey, I thought about the post office I usually visit weekly. Well, 3kms is not that far, but to visit daily is too hard for me since I'm working...

Mailboxes are still there around the big streets on my city, but they're just standing there as memorials.. or trash can by those people who don't understand the use of mailboxes. Some even have holes on the bottom so everyone can steal our mails! :(
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Gyrrwr, United Kingdom
I am amazed that 30% of UK postcrossers have a postbox less than 100 metres away. I thought my nearest one was handy at 800 metres (exactly half a mile). The nearest Post Office is twice as far. I live in a small town, so I am not talking about a remote area.
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Volpe97, Italy
The coverage of mailboxes in very good in Italy. The only place where I saw there are no mailboxes is in very small towns lost in the mountains. But I have seen some mailboxes there too, sometimes. So yeah, I'm satisfied with this.
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Gertarud, Germany
We have mail pickup service at work so that is where I usually "post" my cards. But the nearest mailbox is about 500 m away and I use it ocassionally.
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ChristianJ, United Kingdom
Ohh, Pokémon eggs, great reference!
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Darcey1, South Africa
My email box is an 5 minute drive away!
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Sharks_and_bones, United Kingdom
I don't have far to go to post my cards but my local post box now only has 1 collection at 9am Monday-Friday. T h is means that if I write them and post them over the weekend they won't be picked up until Monday morning, which sucks.
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alison41, South Africa
So interesting. In Cape Town, South Africa, post boxes are few and far between, and street deliveries are scarce and erratic.
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chrissybaby, Ireland
My nearest mailbox is around 1.5 km from here, but I rarely use it since the collection time is quite early. I mainly drop my mail close to my work place (50 km from here). Only on my day off I use the post office around 2 km from here.
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sharifah, Brunei
im new here so i guess im a bit late to join in the poll...but as to nearest mailboxes to my home is, yes, more than 5 km..but for me, it only takes me steps to go to the counter and buy stamps for my postcards and post them at our main GPO building in the capital city as i work there with the office....
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chath_tsu, Eswatini
Yeah... It takes me 1h30min to walk to the nearest proper-functioning mailbox-_-
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carlafed, Italy
I belong to the minority that answered more than 5 km, although I live in a fairly large city. The reason is that I live in the outskirts, on the hills, almost countryside. There is a letterbox much closer than 5 km, but I confess I never use it because I am afraid is frequently unattended Postage service is not ver reliable in Italy So I usually post my mail downtown, which is more than 5 km from where I live. However sometime I think to try the nearest postbox and trust my postman, who is very efficient. But I never dare ☺️ we postcrossers are always worried about loosing our precious mail 😘
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justicepirate, United States of America
As other people from the US mentioned, I thought the post office was what was asked for the poll here. I do use a post office box, but I also use a private home mailbox I can walk to, so for me I answered where my post office was rather than the actual private mailbox. I use my post office box more than anything.
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MagicLantern, Germany
There's a post office in the ground floor of the house I live in and also a letter box on the street right in front of it. I can't complain 😃
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Flippie, Canada
Hi, I always walk to the post-office with my outgoing postcards without post-stamps. I buy the post-stamps directly at the office because I don't have to pay extra for taxes and mail the cards with the stamps at the office before I leave. The stamps are expensive enough! It's a walk for about 7 minutes, 750 meters or-so.. I'm happy with the exercise and I love seeing my familiar faces at the post-office.
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January_Wind, United States of America
In the US, outgoing mail can definitely be picked up at most homes. Most of my postcards are picked up from my home, but when I had read the question I assumed you were talking about the nearest post office or blue box instead. In that case, my nearest post office/blue box (both are in the same location) is 4 miles (6.4 km) away. There aren't many blue boxes in the US like there used to be.
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cherrytree687, United States of America
Haha! When I worked at my previous job, I used to walk to the nearby post office just so I could hatch eggs and catch pokèmon!
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leaflet, United States of America
Since I work in a post office, I just bring my mail to work with me. :)
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EdithK, Netherlands
When on vacation in Sabah, Malaysia, I was staying in a rather small village. No opportunity to buy stamps, no mailbox. I had to take a taxi to drive 15 kilometers to a nearby town to visit the postoffice.
In the capital, Kota Kinabalu, it was easier
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lynn1919, Malaysia
I live in the city of Kuala Lumpur. There are 2 post offices that are within 2km. And 2 mailboxes which is very nearby, less than 1km. It's convenient to drop off my cards. :)
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thomasi, Germany
The letter-box System in Germany by the German Post are realy very
good and customer-friendly !
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KaFrie, Germany
Thank you for all your wonderful ideas and the work with it!
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