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12 Reasons to Send Postcards When You Travel

Sending postcards is easy, but we often forget or find ourselves too lazy to do it. New apps like, however, make it easier (and cheaper!) than ever. New goal: send more postcards.

SPONSORED — I don’t actually remember the first postcard I ever received, or even the first time I sent one. Was it from one of my father’s work trips? Or was it from my aunt who always seemed to be in faraway exotic places? I don’t know. But I do know that today I have friends who sent me postcards almost every time they travel: New York, Cyprus, Brazil.

The first postcard I distinctly remember sending was one to my Aunt Ann. A last-minute getaway to Paris for a weekend shortly after graduating college. I bought and wrote it while sitting on the lawn in front of the Eiffel Tower, the Champ du Mars.

A quickly scribbled note about how I felt I belonged in Europe, that I could see myself living in Paris. Of course there were many postcards before, and many more after. (I once sent 97 postcards from when I was living in Tel Aviv—a little “thank you” to fans and friends across social media.) But it’s funny to think a throwaway note is something I’ve always treasured.

Today, postcards are everywhere and even when they blend naturally into the background of any sidewalk shop, I still find myself browsing through the racks. On a trip to Lausanne, Switzerland I found a batch of erotic postcards in a quirky bookshop.

And in Berlin, it’s become a ritual to flip through the thousands of old postcards I’ve found in flea markets.

Even while I stop to look at postcards when traveling, I don’t send as many postcards as I used to. I forget to buy stamps, or I simply can’t find one with an image that I like. Thankfully I’ve found a cure for my laziness in the form of a postcard app!

The app allows you to create and physically send your own postcards. It’s quick, easy, and—best part!—it’s cheap.

12 Reasons to Send Postcards When You Travel - Travels of Adam -

12 Reasons to Send Postcards When You Travel

1. Postcards make the best souvenirs

Key chains, pens, magnets, teddy bears—all sorts of souvenirs are available for tourists everywhere in the world, but for me postcards are one of a kind. But nothing beats a photo from where you’ve been. (Except maybe if it’s *your* photo! The MyPostcard app lets you upload photos directly from Instagram to create your very own postcards.)

2. Everyone loves to get something in the mail

There’s something special about opening up your mailbox and finding a postcard. A personal note, a hand-selected photography from the other side of the world.

Often, I open up my email inbox with dread each day, but checking my mailbox is a totally different experience. Think about it: postcards and pen pals were actually the first global social network.

12 Reasons to Send Postcards When You Travel - Travels of Adam -
It’s easy to use the MyPostcard app! You can select photos and send a postcard in under 3 minutes with just a handful of clicks. And FREE worldwide shipping! Try the app for free with code “travelsofadam” at checkout.

3. It’s the easiest souvenir to buy

Big cities like Berlin and London have free postcards everywhere (although some of them are sponsored or are a subtle form of advertising). Museums, trendy cafés, souvenir stores, bookstores, cinemas.

All these places and many more offer postcards, frequently depicting the city or place you’re visiting, but also with fun messages or philosophical thoughts.

And even when they’re hard to find, there are apps like MyPostcard which make it easy to send a postcard from literally ANYWHERE in the world.

12 Reasons to Send Postcards When You Travel - Travels of Adam -
Postcard shopping can be serious business

4. Postcards are cheap!

The average price of a postcard is about 1$ or 1€, though the price goes up the closer you are to historical monuments. (I’ve seen postcards for as much as 3€ in Rome!) And it you add the price of the stamp, it’s often a really good deal.

5. They don’t take up any space

You’re traveling around the green hills of Scotland or crossing Texas on a road trip and you don’t want to carry much, right? Postcards are small and portable.

They’re light, they fit everywhere (inside of books, in your camera bag, inside your computer case), and you can discard them as easily as you get them. The hard part is always finding a postbox (though many hotels will often send them for you in a pinch).

Pro tip: Use the MyPostcard app which only takes up a few megabytes of space on your phone. You can send your travel selfies and photos direct as postcards with a few clicks from your phone! Download the app here.

6. Sometimes it’s the best way to keep in touch with family and friends

Sure, we’ve got things like WhatsApp, Facebook, and iMessage to stay in touch. But there’s nothing like a physical postcard that you can hold in your hand. It has a lot more meaning when it’s a physical object—one that you have to touch.

The power of the object is stronger and we remember it longer.

12 Reasons to Send Postcards When You Travel - Travels of Adam -

7. Postcards inspire us to travel more

Postcards help to create connections to places in a personal way. When you receive a postcard from a place you’ve never been—with a personal note of endorsement from a friend…it’s hard not to want to eventually share that same experience.

Friends have sent me postcards from Cyprus, from Japan, from Peru…even from North Korea! And a lot of those places are ones I’d love to visit, or at least their travels have inspired me to discover more about those places.

My own postcards I’ve sent from places like Costa Rica or Vietnam have certainly inspired others to visit those same places. Postcards make our world bigger. They inspire us to do more, to travel more, to see more.

8. A photo is worth a thousand words

You have to be a great storyteller to describe the golden rooms of the European palaces, or the neon nightlife of Las Vegas. Visual representations speak to us in ways that words sometimes cannot. Today, Instagram often fills that void. It’s why we often put up all our best travel photos on social media (inspiring serious cases of both FOMO and wanderlust).

Pro tip: Use the MyPostcard app to connect to your Instagram and send your photos out as postcards.

12 Reasons to Send Postcards When You Travel - Travels of Adam -
Old postcards found in Barcelona

9. You can hang them on your wall

Or on your fridge, like many friends of mine do. You can collect them in a pile on your desk. Postcards are excellent reminders of great times, holidays when we were young and naïve, times that helped us to grow.

I regularly find old postcards I’ve received in books (when I’ve used them as bookmarks). When you find an old postcard you may have received years before, there’s something exhilarating and exciting about a reminder from the past.

Pro tip: With you can print and send jumbo size XXL postcards, greeting cards or even just create a set of photo prints. Send a postcard to your friend and print the photo for yourself to send home, too!

10. They’re recyclable

Okay, not every postcard is worth saving. If you’re not like me and don’t keep every piece of paper you’ve ever received, postcards are perfect for those fast connections—a quick reminder, a greeting, a friendly “hello” from a faraway friend.

And when it’s received and you’ve thanked them for the thought, it’s easy to pass it on. Postcards are almost always made of paper and therefore are recyclable. Once a postcard has served it’s purpose, it’s easy to move on.

11. Postcards will make you smile—no matter what

Postcards can change your mood; they invite us to dream. Like messages in a bottle, they show up unexpectedly and have an almost immediate effect. From that moment when you see the photo in your mailbox, to turning it over and wondering “who’s this from?” You can’t help but smile.

An actual postcard I once sent from Egypt – somehow the top half went missing :/

12. Almost anything can be a postcard

No joke: I once sent a pressed autumn leaf as postcard. I was living in New England and wanted to show a friend back home what the autumn colors were like. So I found and pressed a red-orange maple leaf, added some tape and colored paper to make it a bit more sturdy, scribbled an address and a note, slapped a stamp on it and sent it off. I wasn’t sure it’d make it through the post, but it did!

Today, sending postcards is easier than ever. Print-on-demand apps like MyPostcard make it simple to upload and share your photos as postcards. You get to use your own photos, easily create your own designs and send it off simply and cheaply.

• • •

Sending postcards is easy. It’s fun. But importantly: it’s friendly. We need more joy in our lives, more joy in our mailboxes. Whether you’re traveling for the first time or you’re a frequent flyer, we should all be sending more postcards. During these times where everything is instantaneous, waiting for a postcard is something that disrupts the boring routines of our lives. It’s a reason to check the mailbox every day.

  1. ‘Love this post Adam!

    My husband first introduced this App to me when we went to Austria this year, and it proved very useful as it was raining and we wanted to send a postcard on the spot, to our godparents who are in their 80’s!

    They loved it!

    • Adam says:

      Aww thank you Victoria! And yeah – it’s a good point – postcards can get ruined in the weather but if you use the app, it’s a bit safer I guess!

  2. Chadwick says:

    Do you know if the app people attach a real stamp when they post the card? We often send cards to a friend who collects stamps, so having a real stamp is important, rather than a franking machine.

    • Adam says:

      Hey Chadwick – nope, it’s not a real stamp – it’s all printed on demand.

      I don’t know many people who collect stamps these days, but I did used to enjoy the collection of international stamps. I think in a lot of places the stamps have gotten pretty boring, actually… But there are still some places where I’d definitely prefer to send a print postcard for the stamp alone! (India, for example)

  3. Naveen Kumar says:

    Cool Idea! Post cards were a traditional of sending messages to our loved ones. And so, they can be good friends while we are travelling.

  4. Jojo says:

    The exact reasons I send postcards! And one home for myself. But I’ve learned to also take a picture before sending them because sometimes they never arrive =(

    • Adam says:

      Yikes! Yeah – it’s funny, sometimes the postcards never arrive! This app lets you receive a confirmation when it’s delivered, so that’s pretty useful when sending via an app!

  5. Dahi Tamara says:

    I love the idea of sending personalized postcards from all over the world. It also something more personal than sending out greetings on FB and such.

    Thank you for sharing!


    • Adam says:

      Postcards are always a lot of fun! And definitely means a lot more than just a WhatsApp, Snapchat, or Facebook message :P

  6. […] you want to go old school, then sending postcards from wherever you are in the world is an excellent way to keep in contact with a more personal […]

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  8. Ah that’s a great idea to make and send your own postcard. So convenient through an app too whilst travelling :)

  9. This is awesome for people like me who never find time to get postcards. I’d much rather spend my time seeing my destination than darting around gift shops.

  10. I woudnt agree more.
    I love the blog!

  11. Juan Ovalle says:

    This is genius!!! I would have to try this out on my next trip

  12. Timothy says:

    I used to send postcards more often, but the last two years I have been lazy. I just don’t get postcards back … :”(

  13. Hey Adam! This is a fantastic article! While I haven’t written a post card myself in a very long time, it is definitely a part of travelling that I miss and I think should be used more often. I think it is much more personal and fun than just sending an email or just posting on social media. I definitely agree that it is an easy souvenir and can add a little decoration to someone’s home!

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