Sending postcards is easy, but we often forget or find ourselves too lazy to do it. New apps like MyPostcard.com, 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 MyPostcard.com 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 MyPostcard.com 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.
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.
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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.