postcard collage
travel

Does anyone send postcards anymore?

When I was a kid, I used to love postcards. I’d ask anyone who was going away to either send me one or bring one home. Then I used to send them home myself when traveling. While today there are plenty of places that sell them, I wonder, does anyone send postcards anymore? I mean, in the age of social media, are they even relevant?

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Recently as I was going through our stuff, I discovered an album full of old postcards. Many were from people I’ve lost contact with, others from friends I haven’t seen in a while. Some were from family, others I sent myself. I actually had to pause as I wondered if anyone sends postcards anymore because it became clear to me that I haven’t sent a postcard in a very long time. Surely, others have stopped sending them as well.

Putting that aside, it was as if a wave of years gone by suddenly rose from those old cards and smacked me right in the face. I felt part nostalgic and part excited as I read them. Talk about a walk down memory lane. Some memories were good; some made me sad for various reasons. However, they all reminded me of why I collected them in the first place.

I was actually surprised how much effect these postcards had on me. I remembered buying one in Venice and deciding to keep it for myself. The memory of excitement in finally visiting Rome as I bought cards to send to family back home.

Taste of the world before social media

Before there was social media, it was harder to get an idea of what places looked like. The Internet didn’t have as much information and it was limited in quality. Postcards were a way to see a place and a great memory of travel. Let’s be honest, a postcard guaranteed a nice shot of that vacation spot in case the photo didn’t come out. What a sad life it was before digital cameras.

I used to buy postcards from the places I’ve visited. Sometimes I didn’t get a chance to see certain things or wasn’t there at the right time. Getting a professionally done photo on a card guaranteed that memory of that place stayed with me. There were times when it was hard to choose just one! I think having a nice memory of a place is a huge reason why people sent them. Since our lives went digital, is that the same reason anyone sends postcards anymore?

Discover new places with postcards

I’ll admit I loved buying postcards. Yet, when I got ones from places I haven’t been to, it was even more exciting.  Sometimes they were from places I’ve never seen. Other times, they were from places I’ve wanted to visit. Places like Portugal, London and Kenya or India seemed so exotic. My imagination allowed me to travel to these distant places by having a postcard sent by someone who was there first.

Letters, in all their glory, provided an outlet for the more descriptive experience. But, it was the postcard, with its limited space, that forced the sender to be creative. The snippets scribbled in haste and often revealed the moment in which they were written. It had a power of sparking curiosity and excitement.

Personality in postcards

I truly believe that the content on the front of the card can say a lot about you and/or the sender. There are funny cards – either with a local joke or one related to the location. Then there also one of the iconic sites, alone and in a collage. Some people like local stuff like art, crafts, etc. While some of my favourites include panorama or aerial shots. I wouldn’t be able to take that myself. At least in the pre-drone days.

The type of card you select also said something about you. I always wanted the recipient to get a taste of where I was. It was something I wanted in postcards, so I figured it worked for them too. Some people came up with great choices while others seemed boring and plain. That was the downsides of sending multiple cards.

Postcards: singles and sets

As I’m writing this, I am amazed at how varied the cards I have really are. I usually bought one or two postcards while traveling, but I do have a couple of sets that stand out. Looking at them, I’ve realized that the cards in sets weren’t always as good as the singles. It was almost as if they took the uglier cards and bunched them together with a nice one.

For those that collected them, it was a better deal to get a set instead of buying individual ones. I’m sure that I wouldn’t waste my time on less than great postcards ever again. Then again, I haven’t bought one in years.

Postcards then vs now

I used to collect cards to remember places and to give me inspiration. Each new arrival brought a certain amount of wistfulness and longing to visit there. For the places I have visited, sending a postcard home allowed me to share my experience with friends and family back home. It was also a great way to keep those memories going when I got home.

travel memories

Looking through the cards made me happy to realize I’ve visited many of the places I longed for. People who went there before me inspired me and gave me a visual of what to expect. Then there are the unsigned postcards from places I’ve yet to visit. I honestly have no idea how I got them, but they intrigue me. I kept them for a reason and someone must have got them for me, so that’s something.

So does anyone send postcards anymore?

When I think about it, they sell postcards everywhere. Do people actually buy them? I would assume that if they sell them, someone must buy them. But, does anyone send postcards anymore? Do people buy them as keepsakes? Do they send them back home to loved ones? I think I will need to investigate this next time I’m in a touristy area.

I haven’t thought of buying postcards in ages. After all, that is what social media is all about. I take many photos so the idea of buying a postcard is just unfathomable. Or is it? Looking through my old postcards, I thought about the places I have been to in the last few years. I might have enjoyed sending myself a memory written on a card.

Final thoughts on does anyone send postcards anymore

As everything else, are postcards making a comeback? Does anyone send postcards anymore? While I don’t see as many places selling them anymore, there are plenty of people who love postcards. Those that do, are very much still into sending them.

Based on the comments on Twitter, it seems that a lot of people are very much committed to postcards!  Some send them to relatives (grandparents, parents, children, etc.) while others send them to themselves. There are even those that make their own! 

I’ve gone through my collection and decided to chuck a lot of them. The ones I don’t like and ones that bring on bad memories. I think it’s about time I make new ones. I might even start sending cards home when I travel. There is something exciting about it.

How about you? Are you a postcard aficionado or is that a foreign concept to you? Let me know!

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    asiajottings
    10 Jul 2018
    3:00am

    No. I’d guess sending postcards is not that fashionable particularly for those under 55 yrs old. I certainly haven’t sent one in 20+ years. I will buy a bunch from my hometown and hand them out to poor school kids in Asia and that go’s down well. 🙂

      kasiawrites
      15 Jul 2018
      4:02pm

      I hear ya. I can’t even remember the last time I sent one. I love the idea of handing them out to kids! They probably get a kick out of it too 🙂

    Angela Ballard
    10 Jul 2018
    4:18am

    I love postcards! And I loved seeing your collection! On our trip around the world, Mike has been sending postcards back home to a lady who works at our bank. He shares them on our site, too, at wemarriedadventure.com. You can see them all on Instagram, too, by searching for #postcardstowanda or following @michaelsballard. 🙂

      kasiawrites
      15 Jul 2018
      3:59pm

      That’s so cool! Lucky Wanda 🙂 I’ll make sure to check them out!

    foodzesty
    10 Jul 2018
    5:04am

    hahaha I do….when I am back in Greece I like to send my friends post cards hahahha

      kasiawrites
      10 Jul 2018
      9:17am

      That’s awesome! I have a number of them from Greece long before I ever went 😁

        foodzesty
        12 Jul 2018
        1:56pm

        I usually send them when I am on vacation 🙂

          kasiawrites
          12 Jul 2018
          2:02pm

          That’s awesome! Seems like quite a few people still do. I might have to get back into it as well 😁

            foodzesty
            12 Jul 2018
            2:13pm

            Absolutely!! Most of my friends send me cards 🙂 Digital is great but sometimes you just need that old school type of thing 🙂

              kasiawrites
              12 Jul 2018
              3:31pm

              I agree!

                foodzesty
                17 Jul 2018
                2:53am

                🙂 ufff sorry Kasia I just read your message

    FebruaryCircus
    10 Jul 2018
    6:52am

    I still like sending postcards and I also value it a lot when someone takes time and effort to send me one 🙂 While we share so much on social media, I still like the old fashioned way of letting someone know about your holiday.

      kasiawrites
      10 Jul 2018
      9:20am

      That’s great to hear. I think I’m going to start sending cards again. They are great reminders of any trip 😁

    runningtotravel
    10 Jul 2018
    10:03am

    I used to send postcards when I was a kid and I loved when I received them from friends. My daughter (she’s 12) will send one to a friend or her grandmother sometimes when we’re traveling. It seems to be a dying trend though.

      kasiawrites
      10 Jul 2018
      10:12am

      Exactly! I don’t know any friends who send them. Then again I’ve stopped sending them too. It might be time to get back into it! I think that’s awesome that your daughter sends them 👍🏼

        runningtotravel
        10 Jul 2018
        11:07am

        Time to bring them back!

          kasiawrites
          10 Jul 2018
          11:08am

          Exactly!

    thewonderer86
    10 Jul 2018
    12:33pm

    I send one to my mum sometimes – she doesn’t do e-mail! I used to collect them when I was a kid. Sending someone something through the post says you thought about them specifically I think.

    lesleyconnor
    12 Jul 2018
    2:02am

    My family all send them to my elderly father. We have a fabulous board in his nursing home room, where we can travel with him through their eyes.

      kasiawrites
      15 Jul 2018
      3:58pm

      That’s so awesome of you guys to do that for him. He must love that 🙂

    SueT唐 梦 琇
    14 Jul 2018
    6:51pm

    I always send three: best friend, nephew and 92 yo neighbour. They have been sent from as far as Nth Korea (three months to arrive) and Africa (two months). I only received one from my best friend this week from Las Vegas. I loved receiving it.

      kasiawrites
      14 Jul 2018
      7:43pm

      There is an element of excitement when one arrives I think. It seems that quite a few people still send them. 😀👍🏼

    Brooke of Passport Couture
    15 Aug 2019
    11:44pm

    I still send postcards! In fact, it’s one of my favorite parts of travel. I have a select group of friends I send them to and many of them tell me they love getting my notes from around the world. It’s a nice personal touch with so much accessibility online.

      kasiawrites
      16 Aug 2019
      11:07am

      That’s awesome! I am so surprised at how many people still do that. Definitely adds a nice personal touch.

    Clazz - An Orcadian Abroad
    18 Dec 2019
    5:58pm

    I very, very occasionally buy postcards to send – but I do buy postcards everywhere I go as a souvenir! They’re the cheapest and lightest souvenir you can get, haha. I even keep them all in a big album!