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Travel Tip #44: Snail Mail Delights

Send Postcards to Loved Ones Back Home

With smart phones and seemingly ubiquitous Wi-Fi, staying connected while traveling has never been easier. Not that long ago, you said good bye to your friends and family before you left and that was the last they heard from you until you called them from a payphone at the airport asking for a ride home. Everyone back home just assumed that no news is good news. Now, lightweight laptops, iPads and smartphones, along with blogs (like this one!), email, Facebook, Twitter and Skype make connecting with those back home an expectation, not an exception, and no news would mean bad news.

Staying connected electronically is great (as long as you don’t spend your trip with your face staring at a screen), but don’t overlook non-digital forms of communication. I am, of course, talking about the lowly postcard. Sending a postcard to your friends who are watching your pets, your sister who is taking you to the airport, your parents who contributed to your trip fund and grandma and grandpa who don’t have a computer, but would love to hear from their grandchild is an awesome way to say thank you. No one likes junk mail, but everyone loves personal mail. In addition to making the recipient’s day, keep in mind that they will probably keep the postcard for a long time, only to run across it in a box or drawer many years later and remember your kind words and thoughtful gesture.

Know Before You Go

Postcards are not sent to email addresses or Facebook walls, so be sure to have access to the actual mailing addresses of the people you plan on mailing them to.

Bottom Line

Postcards and postage do not cost much, even in another country, and many places that sell postcards will sell you stamps and mail them for you. This is not as frictionless as a status update, but the rewards are far greater.

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