Saturday, January 25, 2014

Postcard travel journal - an inexpensive and meaningful souvenir

Whenever I travel I end up buying a whole bunch of postcards, especially at museums that I visit. I suspect there are postcards I bought on our first trip to Amsterdam 7 years ago that I bought again this last time. I never do anything much with them but I can't seem to help myself!

But this trip I thought I would also do something different, I thought it would be fun to write a postcard each day and send it home.

I tried to get my girl to do this with me, to essentially write a postcard to herself each day. I even offered to do the actual writing, all she had to do was dictate, but as you might imagine this only lasted for one day.

Instead I wrote postcards to her, which was a lot of fun! I liked thinking about details she had connected with over the course of each day and asking "Do you remember" this or that.

I'll even confess that I fell behind at one point and did 4 or 5 postcards at once. It felt a little phony at the time but now I am glad I did it anyhow.

It's sort of like keeping a travel journal -- which I always intend to but never actually do -- but the limited space really takes the pressure off. It only takes 5 or 10 minutes to write a postcard!

By the time the postcards started arriving at our house, I had forgotten what I'd written on them. So the project yielded a surprise for me, too! And of course my girl was delighted to receive mail. We had a nice time reading the postcards together and remembering each day of the trip. I hope she will enjoy reading them and remembering in years to come, too.

If you have a trip coming up and would like to do something similar, it's pretty simple. I recommend finding a post office and purchasing enough postcard stamps for the entire project (plus some for cards to send to others!) as soon as you can after you arrive. (Or, if your trip is within your home country, stock up on postcard stamps beforehand and bring them with you.) Pick up a couple of general touristy postcards, too: I looked for a postcard each day that was somehow relevant to the day's activities, but this did not always materialize (it was surprisingly hard to find a postcard depicting ice skating!), and it was good to have a few backup cards on hand.

I am sure I am not the first person ever to have thought of this but I had to share!


  1. That is sweet! I must say that at this time, when everything is posted online, it’s amazing to see real postcards, let alone hear about people sending one to a special someone. I agree, sending postcards to a friend or a family member adds a personal touch, rather than just posting pictures on Facebook. Plus, it adds suspense when you have to wait for it to arrive, which builds excitement. How about taking your own pictures of Amsterdam and making postcards out of them? That way, it would be even more personal!

    Hoa Bracken

  2. Thanks for your comment, I am glad you liked the idea! Making postcards out of your own pictures would be fun, too -- perhaps best for a longer trip, when you'd have time to figure out how to get your photos printed somewhere at your destination.