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I want to go on a round the world trip for over a year.

  1. I have no friends and no family.
  2. I live and work in Germany.
  3. I rent. During the trip I will cancel the rent.
  4. I do not have my own property / house.
  5. I intend de-registering my address with the German authorities before the trip.

There are 2 problems I am facing.

  1. My bank sends me post mail (snail mail, physical mail) irregularly. Most of the mail I receive electronically but some post still arrives physically. If the bank notices post mail coming back to them, the bank will get suspicious. I do not want to tell the bank that I have no address in Germany as I fear they will close my account. My credit card is linked to the account. I was thinking of getting a prepaid mastercard / visa. Any alternatives?
  2. I have a few valuables (clothes, laptop, books, offical documents), that I do not want to throw away. I know there are long term storage facilities (lockers). Perhaps someone has alternative ideas?
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  • Any chance of making some friends before going on the trip? Dec 15 '19 at 17:38
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    @PatriciaShanahan would you trust newly made 'friends' to handle sensitive and financial mail?
    – Willeke
    Dec 15 '19 at 17:40
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    There are some post box services that will scan incoming post for you. I don’t speak German so can’t research what’s available to you, but would be worth looking into. Although your bank might not be willing to accept a post box as your address. Have you considered switching bank to one of the online only ones? Again, I don’t know what’s available in Germany.
    – MJeffryes
    Dec 15 '19 at 17:49
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    Maybe swap banks? My bank doesn't send me anything by mail and I'd be very annoyed if they do.
    – JonathanReez
    Dec 15 '19 at 19:07
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    Inform the bank to stop the post since you won't be there and are deregistering. Are you a German Citizen? Dec 15 '19 at 19:11
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You will need an address in Germany with someone opening the mail for you.
As you state you do not have family or friends (close enough that you can rely on them) you may have to look for a paid service that does this.
I know that in some countries these services exist, that hold all mail and open those you indicate need opening or open all mail and forward the contents by e-mail or whatever service you decide on. That is not just your bank, it can be tax or pension plan mail, or a late delivery for council tax. Or even a service you need to ask for while you are traveling.

Such an address/service will take care of your bank mail, but it should be possible for you to talk with your bank to get them to hold the important mail and send the rest to a place where you can later collect it. Banks should have handled this kind of situation before.

Long term storage can be done in self storage, but for your important documents you may want to consider a bank safe box. There are several kinds and your local bank should be able to tell you what kind you can find there.

Having a working bank account with a savings account connected with it, as well as a debit card that works from it, will be helpful when applying for visa and when crossing borders where officials want to make sure you will have enough money to survive in their country.

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    There is service called „Postflex“ in Germany that can take your mail. It is mainly intended for bloggers who need a legal address and want to keep their home address private, but it should also work in cases like this: adress-schutz.de
    – averell
    Dec 15 '19 at 18:20
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Assumptions:

  • German citizenship
  • not retaining apartment
  • you are planning to return after a specific period

Step 1:

  • de-registering your address (you will not be returning to that address)
    • retain Abmeldebescheinigung
    • you ID will be amended with 'No main address in Germany'

This will stop all official post (which may contain any deadlines) from being sent.


Step 2:

Once you have the Abmeldebescheinigung:

  • you can cancel existing contracts based on a
    • außerordentlichen Kündigung (extraordinary termination)
      • Rundfunkbeitrag (GEZ), electricity, telefon, internet etc.

Bank:

  • if wish to retain this, you must make some arrangement with them
    • since you have de-registered, but will be returning
    • storing of official documents in a safe would be an option

Krankenversicherung:

  • during the time outside Germany is not mandatory
    • de-register or switch to some other form of insurance if desired

Sources:

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