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In Germany there is a brilliant service called packstation. I envy my German friends for this service where packages can be delivered which you can then collect at any time. Typically they are located at very public places (typically gas stations). In Germany you don't longer need to stay home to receive a package.

I will be traveling through Germany soon, where it would help if I could use this service as well. Unfortunately the registration website requires recidency in Germany.

Is there really no way non-residents could use this service?

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I'm not familiar with Packstation, but you can use ordinary poste restante in Germany (der Postlagernd). They will hold domestic mail 14 days and international up to a month. deutschepost.de/dpag?lang=de_DE&xmlFile=1012872 –  choster Jun 21 '12 at 20:32
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One anecdote: I am a resident of Germany, but not a citizen. At the postal affiliate, they wouldn't even let me pick up my PackStation registration, because I couldn't present a citizen ID card. I assume this postal-affiliate employee must have been mistaken about the need for such a thing. Nonetheless, I wasn't able to get my PackStation account. –  nibot Jun 21 '12 at 22:40
    
I do not remember it was so difficult to use it. It was a couple years ago but I think I wasn't home when the package came and the postman left a bar code in the mailbox, and left the package at the next packstation. I love the concept too, by the way. But for your case, maybe you can use your hotel as a delivery address (if it's not for valuables) –  Vince Feb 2 '13 at 0:34
    
@Vince That's a different use case. Main use case is that you let deliver your parcel directly to a packstation and your account. Picking up parcels at a packstation with a bar code, when you weren't at home when the parcel came (your case) is just a variation of picking the missed parcel at the post office. –  Simon Oct 30 '13 at 15:50
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2 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

No, you can't use PackStation as a transient traveler. To use it, you must be able to pre-register and then receive the registration materials via mail. So you must be in one place long enough to complete this process (a few weeks minimum).

I don't remember whether you actually have to show proof of residency, but the above practical problem will prevent you from using PackStation if you are only "passing through".

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You should be able to use poste restante (general delivery, "Postlagernd" in German). Deutsche Post has a site where you can look up addresses for receiving post offices in whatever town you're going to. I'm pretty sure you should be able to address your package to the post office, and write poste restante/general delivery/Postlagernd and have them hold it for you.

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+1 for hte advise. The disadvantage of poste restante is that you are limited to the opening hours of the post office. –  andra Jul 1 '12 at 7:36
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