The United States Postal Service is in charge of delivering a lot of letters and packages every holiday season. Throughout November and December, the USPS delivers about 15 billion pieces of mail and almost 1 billion packages.

Chances are, at least one of those pieces of mail or packages is going to be headed in your direction this holiday season. You can figure out when it's going to arrive by taking advantage of United States Postal Service tracking.

Years ago, it was impossible to keep tabs on when mail was going to arrive, both during the holiday season and during other times of the year. But today, it's never been easier to monitor a letter or package to see when you can expect it to show up.

Let's take a look at how to track USPS mail so that you're prepared to do it during the upcoming holiday season and beyond.

Tell the Person Sending Mail to You to Add Tracking to It

If you order something online and a company utilizes the USPS to ship packages for them, you usually won't have to ask for the company to add tracking to your package. Most companies include tracking in the price of shipping when it comes to sending packages to their customers.

But it's worth noting that United States Postal Service tracking is not a free service that comes with every piece of mail that gets sent out. People need to request it when they're shipping a package and pay extra for it.

If you want to make sure that there is tracking on your mail, you should let the person sending a letter or package to you know that you would like tracking included. Offer to cover the additional cost of tracking if they aren't willing to pick up the cost on their own.

Ask the Person to Provide You With Your Tracking Number

Once a person pays for tracking for a piece of mail that's being sent to you, they'll receive a tracking number. They'll also learn when your mail is likely going to arrive at its final destination.

Ask the person to provide you with a tracking number for your mail as soon as possible. You want to be able to start monitoring where your mail is from the moment it leaves the post office that it was dropped off at.

It's especially important to obtain a tracking number for the USPS Certified Mail tracking service. This type of mail is delivered within just a day or two, so you'll want to get your hands on the tracking number for it sooner rather than later.

Use the USPS Website to Start Tracking Your Mail

Tracking mail couldn't be any easier once you're able to obtain a tracking number for your package. There are several different ways to keep up with where your mail is and where it's headed next.

The easiest way to use United States Postal Service tracking is right through the USPS website. There is a special section on the site that's devoted to helping people track their packages.

All you have to do is visit this part of the USPS site and enter your tracking number. You'll find out where your mail is within just seconds, and in some cases, you can make special requests like where you want your mailman to leave it.

The USPS site also allows people to enter as many as 35 tracking numbers at one time. This is a great feature for any companies that want to keep up with where a bunch of packages are at one time.

Send a Text to Track Your Mail's Progress

While using the USPS site is a simple and effective way to track a package, it might not be super convenient if you're not by a computer. It can be difficult to get access to the site and punch in your tracking number correctly.

So why not try sending a text to get an update on your mail instead? All it takes is one quick text message to the USPS to receive an instant update on your smartphone.

Text "28777" and include the tracking number for your mail in your text message. Within just seconds, you'll find out everything you need to know about the mail that you have coming your way.

You may have to pay to track your package this way if you don't have a message or data plan through your cell phone service provider. But since most people are able to get free, unlimited text messages nowadays, this is a very viable option for them.

Download the USPS App for Tracking Information

"There's an app for that" is a slogan that Apple has been using for almost a decade now. But it still rings true today just like it did back in 2010 when Apple trademarked it.

There is an app for about everything these days, and that includes the USPS. You can get the USPS app for an Apple or Android phone and start using it right away to track letters, packages, and other important pieces of mail.

Once you download the USPS app for your phone, all you'll need to do is put your tracking number into it, and it'll respond by setting you up with the tracking info you need.

You can also use the app to do dozens of other things, like:

Lookup zip codes

Schedule package pick-ups

Put a hold on a piece of mail

Calculate shipping costs

Even if you're not tracking a USPS shipment at the moment, you can benefit from downloading the USPS app onto your phone. You're going to need to turn to it for help at some point in time.

Pick Up the Phone and Call USPS to Track Your Mail

Want to take an old-school approach as far as tracking your USPS mail is concerned? If using the internet, texting, or downloading an app to do it isn't really your thing, there's one more great option for you.

You can contact the USPS by phone to get tracking information for your mail. USPS representatives can provide you with the same tracking info that is available online.

There are a few ways in which you'll be restricted if you choose to track your mail this way.

For starters, the USPS only takes tracking calls between 8 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. Eastern on weekdays and between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturdays. This means that you're not going to be able to track your mail late at night or on Sundays by calling the USPS.

You're also not going to be able to get a USPS rep to give you in-depth info about why your mail might be delayed or moving slower than you think it should. They won't be able to tell you anything other than where your package is and when it's expected to be delivered.

But there are some people who feel more comfortable calling USPS to track a package as opposed to tracking it online. They like knowing that they can speak with a person directly about an important piece of mail.

Sign Up to Receive Automatic Notifications for Your Tracking Number

Wouldn't it be nice if you could track mail through the USPS without having to manually go in and do it every time you wonder where a package might be? The USPS has made it possible for people to do this.

When you track a package through the USPS site, you'll have the option to have "Text & Email Updates" sent to your phone or email inbox. This will give you an opportunity to track your mail without having to do it yourself.

Every time your mail is scanned throughout its journey from point A to point B, you'll receive an update in real-time. This will make it simpler than ever before to track a package without any effort on your part.

The only thing you'll need to do is sit back and wait for the updates to start rolling in. You'll get an update about your letter or package getting delivered in no time and love how easy it was to track it all along the way.

United States Postal Service Tracking Is Such a Useful Service

At this point, most people have gotten used to tracking letters and packages that were sent to them. They take it for granted and don't appreciate it like they should.

But you should try to remember that it wasn't always easy to track mail like it is today. People used to have to cross their fingers and hope that a letter or package was going to arrive on time.

It's no longer necessary for them to do that. United States Postal Service tracking has made it possible to track your mail almost anywhere you want in the world. It's such a great luxury for you to have.

Want to learn more about how much shipping has changed in recent years? Read our blog to find more articles on shipping services.