As you know, Tuty & I normally send out postcards as we travel. Not only to our families and friends, but also to our home address in the UK. Sending postcards to own selves may sound bizarre to some of you. Well, it’s not as weird as it sounds. It’s actually quite similar to buying a fridge magnet and put it on your fridge, which is to serve a purpose of reminding us of the places we have been to. But the thing with postcards is that you can personalize a touch of memory when you write something on it. Even if it’s just a simple note.
Why don’t you try it and see how it makes you feel. Here’s some basic guidance for you.
- The Stamp
Find out about the stamp. It is not advisable to buy a postcard without a stamp as you may spend unnecessary money for the postcard without sending it out, unless you are a postcard collector.
Try to ask several souvenir stores if they are selling stamps over the counter. Inform them of the destination you’re sending the postcard to, so that they can advise you the appropriate stamp to be used. For example, you may need a Euro stamp for a European country address or an International stamp for a postcard to other regions. Some souvenir stores, especially those located in the tourist-friendly areas do sell stamps over their counters. But, if you’ve been to 3 stores and all tells you they got no stamp, find a post office or its local representative. Ask around, the locals will be glad to assist if you ask them politely.
If the stamp is available over the counter, ask whether it is of the national postal service or a private courier service. The preferred option would be the national postal service stamps (i.e. Royal Mail for the UK & Ireland, Correos for Spain, Pos Malaysia for Malaysia, etc). A private courier service stamp may possibly a bit delayed in processing the postcard.
We’ve had an experience using a private courier service stamp for a postcard from Venice. That postcard took nearly 2 months before it reached our UK address! This may be due to the mail collection from the private company’s postbox are not frequently scheduled.
On a different trip, a postcard from Seville took only 2 days to get home with a national postal service stamps.
- The Postcard
Once you’ve figured out about the stamp, choose a postcard to your liking. If you decided to post it right away, just borrow a pen from the shop assistant and ask the permission to use a corner of his/her space and write the message quickly. Put a stamp on and it’s ready to be posted. Don’t forget to return the pen once you finished.
If you’re in rush, keep the postcard and write it on whenever you’re free. Maybe while enjoying a sip at a nearby coffee shop or just bring it back to the hotel where you’re staying. Remember to post it before you leave the town, or at least, before you leave the country.
- The Post Box
Look around. There may be a post box provided in the souvenir store itself or somewhere nearby. Make sure you know which post boxes should your postcards go into. For the private courier stamps especially, they should only go into a specific colored post box in the selected locations. Make sure that the stamp attached on your postcard is designated to the correct post box.
Generally if you’ve got a national postal service stamps on, you may find a post office and send your postcards from there.This may speed up the delivery process a bit because at the post office, all mails will be sorted daily and definitely be processed earlier than the rest from the other collection points.
Well, it is as easy as that. Enjoy sending your travel memories home and to the loved ones!