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Do You Still Buy and Send Travel Postcards?

Some of my postcards

My blogging buddy, Ozias Sanchez who blogs as First Year of Freedom has me thinking about travel postcards. Ozias, or Mozes as he’s also known, collects them – new.

I’m old enough to remember a time before digital cameras and Facebook, when travel postcards were the primary way people who went on vacation shared their memories of what they saw with their family and friends (though the vacationer typically returned home before the postcards were received!).

I’ve kept most of the postcards I’ve received over the years – from Jamaica, the Ivory Coast, the UK, France, Spain, Gabon and several other countries – in a special album that allows me to see the message on the reverse. Each describes a particular moment in time. Sometimes the sender was pensive, boastful or curt (she was on vacation after all!). But more than anything else, when I look at them now, I remember the exact moment that I received each one and what was happening in my life.

It’s been quite sometime since I received or sent a postcard but whenever I go on vacation, I still buy a few. I tell myself I’m going to send them but I never do. I’m so busy squeezing every minute out of my vacation, I never allow myself time to write or find the post office to send them.

A few days ago, I asked my sister whether she still buys postcards. I was surprised to hear her say she did – but not for the reason I anticipated. She buys postcards that capture a particular scene she wasn’t able to do justice to with her photography skills.

My guess is that most people do.

Based on the number and variety of postcards on sale at souvenir shops, it’s difficult to estimate what effect technology (in particular, digital cameras and email) has had on postcard sales.

Why do you still buy or send travel postcards?

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