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How to Write a Good Postcard and Why It's Important

What are the best things to write on postcards? Learn how to write a good postcard with tips for filling out postcards. See examples of postcards.
Writing postcards is a lost art. I used to send postcards to my family all the time. For me, postcards are kind of like Twitter before the internet existed. It may be tempting to make excuses not to send postcards in favor of social media or other "easier" channels because who needs the hassle of filling out a postcard and then going to the post office to get stamps, right? 

When my mom passed away in 2020, I discovered a cache of postcards that I'd sent to her over the years. She hung all my postcards on a pin board above the couch where she liked to sit. Going through those postcards was like unearthing a time capsule. Through these postcards to my family, I was able to relive our travels and the evolution of our travel experiences over the years. 

How to write a good postcard: collage of postcards

I thought I'd use this opportunity to write an ode to the humble postcard and make the case for why you should go to the trouble to send them to loved ones. It touched my heart that my mom kept all the postcards that I sent her. Some of them are more than 30 years old.

Reasons Postcards are Better Than Electronic Communication

Post Card from Wyoming USA
Let me start with a few reasons why I think writing postcards is better than electronic communication when you go on vacation:
  1. A tweet or Facebook post doesn't come with cool stamps or postmarks like a postcard does!
  2. Postcards are deliberate. You need to pick out the perfect image, write out what you want to say, and make an effort to send it.
  3. Postcards make you plan, think, and be selective. A postcard gives you limited real estate to write something. You need to make every word count.
  4. Postcards make it easy to reminisce. Pull them from your memory box from time to time to relive the memories.
  5. Postcards are a physical reminder of your trip.
  6. Sending postcards show a specific person that you care and that you were thinking about them.

How to Select a Postcard?

Now that we've looked at why I think postcards are better than social media and other electronic communication, let's talk about how to select the perfect postcard.

Tie in with What You've Been Doing

The best way to pick a postcard to send is to find an image or photo that ties in with what you've been doing. 
Pubs of London Postcard Example

We went on a pub tour last night. Our guide told us about a pub that's haunted, but only in September. Maybe you can plan a trip to coincide with that. We're off to Paris on Tuesday. Cheers! 

Pick an Image that You Can Describe from Your Experience

Pick a postcard that lets you tell the person you're sending it to a little more about the image like this example of a postcard I wrote from Puerto Rico in 2001 on the occasion of our 5th wedding anniversary.
Greetings from Puerto Rico Example Postcard
Scott and I are having fun in Puerto Rico. The resort we're staying at is noted as one of the Top 100 hotels in the world. They upgraded us to a suite overlooking the ocean which adds to the ambiance. The frog featured on this card is very popular here. All night you can hear them chirping almost like birds.

 Here's another example of a postcard I sent to my mother in 2011 from Cardiff Wales.

Writing postcards: example postcard from Cardiff Castle Wales
We're enjoying our weekend in Cardiff - our 1st time in Wales. The city seems underrated. It's really very charming with many Victorian era arcades bursting with shops and restaurants. The castle is really cool and has a wall running around it with different animal statues. We're planning to catch a Cardiff Devils hockey game tonight.
Back in 2003, I sent my mom this postcard from Arizona.
Postcard example: cacti in the Sonoran Desert
Scott and I are having fun in Arizona. Yesterday we went to the desert botanical garden in Phoenix. I didn't realize that there were so many varieties of cacti! After that, we did some serious shopping in Scottdale. I'm looking forward to a massage at the hotel spa today and then it's off to Flagstaff tomorrow.

Go for a Cute Postcard

You can't go wrong with a cute postcard featuring adorable animals against the backdrop of your destination. Here's what I had to say to my mom in 2012 in a postcard sent from Switzerland.
How to write a postcard: example postcard of 3 dogs in the Alps of Switzerland
Scott and I are enjoying our weekend in Switzerland. We took a long alpine hike thru beautiful fields of wildflowers and amazing views of the mountains pictured on this card. We had to take 2 trains and a gondola to get there but it was worth it!

Postcard Greetings

Now that you've picked the perfect image, how should you start the postcard? Beyond "Dear Mom," what's the best way to begin?

Say "Hello" (and More) in the Local Language

Start by greeting the person with a local pleasantry. Here's how I started this postcard from Hawaii back in 1996.
Example Postcard: Maui from above
Aloha! We're having a wonderful, relaxing time here on Maui.

I sent this postcard greeting from Paris in 2000. 

Paris Postcard example: Bonjour de Paris
Bonjour Mom and Gram! We made it to Paris yesterday and had a fabulous dinner cruise on the Seine despite the fact that it was raining cats and dogs. Paris is beautiful at night--all lit up.

When in Argentina, say hello in Spanish! I also closed by wishing my mom a Happy Birthday in Spanish back in 2008.

How to write a postcard: Example postcard San Telmo Market Argentina¡Hola Madre! Scott and I are having a great time in Buenos Aires. We saw a Tango show on Saturday and have already had our fill of Argentinian steaks (yum!). We spent a sunny afternoon shopping at the San Telmo market yesterday but haven't found any yarn stores. ¡Feliz cumpleaรฑos!
I broke out my rudimentary Spanish in this postcard that I sent from Madrid in 2010.
Example postcard from MadridMadre, ¡Hola de Madrid! We've covered a lot of ground in just a few days. Our high school Spanish is serving us well. Highlights of our visit include lunch in Plaza Major, a bike tour around Madrid, and a day trip trekking around Toledo. One more day and then we head back to Dublin.

I said hello from Munich in German in this 2012 postcard.

Writing Postcards: Example Postcard from Munich

Guten Tag
from Munich! We're enjoying a long weekend here. Highlights include giant pretzels and even bigger beer steins, tasting cakes and pastries, and long walks around the Englischer Garten. We have a day trip planned to Augsburg tomorrow and then it's back to Dublin. 

Wish Them Well

You could also use your postcard opening as a chance to send your best wishes like I did in this 2012 postcard sent from Tenerife.
Filling out Postcards: example postcard from Tenerife
Sending warmth and sunshine your way from Tenerife in the Canary Islands the first stop on our end of year vacation. We've enjoyed spending time on the beach and driving to the top of Teide, the impressive volcano on the island.

Make Your Postcard Greeting Seasonal

Why not select a postcard that reflects the season. Here's how I started off a postcard to my mother sent from Cologne Germany in December 2011.
How to write a good postcard: Example postcard from Germany at Christmas
Merry Christmas from Kรถln (Cologne) Germany! They definitely get into the holiday spirit here with 7 Christmas markets in town including one on a boat moored in the Rhine.

State the Occasion

If you are traveling to celebrate a particular event. Start your postcard greeting by stating the occasion. 

I had this to say to my mom and grandma from Sonoma California in 1997.
Example postcard from California wine country
Scott and I are enjoying our anniversary trip in Sonoma. We've been at a quaint Bed and Breakfast for 2 days (no room service!) and we've visited 4 wineries. Today I get to go to a spa and soak in mud! It's a lifelong dream fulfilled ๐Ÿ˜Š
19 years later, I sent this postcard from Uganda.
Example postcard from Uganda
Having a great time on our 20th anniversary trip to Uganda. The bird on the front of the postcard is a crested crane, Uganda's national bird. We saw pairs of cranes, chimps, lions, elephants, and hippos. The major highlight of the trip though was trekking to see mountain gorillas. Amazing!
I sent New Year's Eve postcards from Vienna in 2012 and from Granada in 2013.
Shopping in Vienna example postcard
We're sitting in a quiet cafe in Vienna on December 31st. We're looking forward to the New Years Eve celebrations around town later today. Back to Dublin tomorrow... Happy New Year!
Writing Postcards: Granada Spain Happy New Year from Spain! Scott and I are enjoying our trip to sunny Andalucia. Highlights include hiking around 3 different Moorish forts: The Alhambra in Granada and Alcazabas in Malaga and Antequera. We've also enjoyed strolling along the beach in Torremolinos near Malaga as well as sampling a local delicacy: churros with chocolate dipping sauce. Yum! Hope 2014 is off to a great start in Buffalo! 
Even if the occasion is mundane, it doesn't hurt to mention like this postcard greeting that I sent to my mother from Cambridge, England in 2010.
Example postcard: Cambridge England
Spent the Bank Holiday weekend in London. We took the train to Cambridge. There are 31+ colleges there so we could really feel the brain power. 
You can even use a postcard to wish someone a Happy Birthday like I did to my mom from Taipei Taiwan in 2019 and from Cambodia in 2017. 
Example postcard: Taipei 101
I'm writing out this card on your birthday so Happy Birthday from Taipei! Scott and I had a fun time exploring Tokyo, Nikko, Matsumoto, and Kanazawa in Japan and saw lots of cherry blossoms. There are lots of things to see and interesting foods to try in Taiwan too. Google has an office in Taipei 101, the skyscraper on the front of the postcard. We plan to stop by for a visit next week to admire the views.

Postcard examples: Angkor Wat in CambodiaHappy Birthday from Cambodia! Scott and I are enjoying exploring the 11th century Temples at Angkor. This one on the postcard (Ta Prohm) was featured in the movie "Tomb Raider". On to Vietnam in a couple days. 

I even wished my mom a Happy Thanksgiving from Turkey in 2011.

Example Postcard: Mosque in Istanbul Turkey

Greetings from Turkey! What better place to spend Thanksgiving?! We've enjoyed explore the old and new town. We've become expert bargainers at the Grand Bazaar. I'm amazed at the number of stray cats around Istanbul. I saw a few that looked just like our {name redacted} outside the Blue Mosque! We're off to Izmir tomorrow! 

Place the Trip in Context

Use the opening greeting of your postcard to put the trip into context. 

For example, I started this postcard sent from Seoul South Korea in 2017 with a highlight on where the current destination fits into a broader trip.
Writing Postcards: Example Postcard from Seoul South Korea
Last stop Seoul! We head home to Dublin tomorrow after an amazing 6 week trip. We went to visit an historic Hanok Village and watched the changing of the guards at the palace. 
I also used the opening line of a postcard from our trip to Aigues-Mortes, France in 2015 to explain where the town actually is.
How to write a good postcard: Example postcard from Aigues-Mortes France
Greetings from Aigues-Mortes, an impeccably preserved walled town in the Southwest of France. It's very close to the Camargue which is famous for its flocks of wild flamingos! We're off to Costa Brava in Spain tomorrow for a travel bloggers conference. Talk to you when we get back.

Start with a Question

Why not open your postcard with a question to draw your recipient in like I did with this postcard from Dunedin, New Zealand in 2007.
Postcard Example: Cadbury World Postcard from Dunedin New Zealand
Did you know that Dunedin, NZ is home to a huge Cadbury chocolate factory? We were able to take their tour -- the manufacturing facility smelled like melted chocolate. Yum! We also saw rare penguins and fur seals in Dunedin. We cruised beautiful Milford Sound today and we're off to Queenstown tomorrow. P.S. I found yarn! 

Start Your Postcard with a Little Hyperbole or Drama

A little hyperbole never hurt anyone when it comes to writing postcards. Here's one that I sent my mom in 2015 from Tasmania.
Postcard examples: Port Arthur near Hobart Tasmania
Greetings from the ends of the earth! We are having a great time in Tasmania. I saw a platypus in the wild and got to feed Tasmanian Devils and an echidna at a wildlife sanctuary near Hobart. We also visited Port Arthur and learned about the fascinating history surrounding the penal colony here. You would have enjoyed Port Arthur. They even have a nighttime ghost tour!
2015 must have been my year of hyperbole. I also sent my mom this postcard from Bucharest.
How to Write a Postcard: Example Postcard from Bran Castle in Romania
Greetings from Bran, the castle in Romania that inspired the setting from Dracula. We visited during the day so at least we didn't have any vampires to contend with ๐Ÿ˜Š

In 2010, I sent this postcard from the Ring of Kerry in Ireland which purposely introduced just a little bit of drama.

Filling out a postcard: Example postcard from Killarney Ireland

Scott and I spent the weekend in Co. Kerry. I got to drive the Ring of Kerry...on the left...in a stick shift! Thanks for teaching me how to use a clutch all those years ago. We would have been stuck otherwise ๐Ÿ˜Š

What to Write in a Postcard Message?

Now that you've written the postcard greeting, you may be wondering what content you should write next. It all depends on the context. Are you traveling for business or are you on vacation? Has the person you're sending the postcard to been to the place you're going? Here are some ideas for what to include in a postcard to friends or family.

Tell Them How the Trip is Going

If you are traveling for work or a conference, tell your friends and family how the trip is going. I sent this postcard to my mom and grandma in 1998 when I gave a talk at the American Chemical Society National Meeting.  The picture on the postcard will give them a glimpse of the place. What you write tells them how you're feeling.
Vintage postcard from Dallas
I'm having fun in Dallas especially now that I've finished my talk. It went REALLY well. I got lots of compliments especially from people in the chemical industry!
Use a postcard writing opportunity to summarize your experience on the trip so far including where you're been and where you're going. That's what I did on a Christmas trip to Portugal in 2010.
How to Write a Postcard: Example Postcard from Lisbon Portugal
We're having a great X-mas holiday in Portugal. We flew into Faro and explored the Algarve by car. We especially liked Fortaleza de Sagras and Cabo Sao Vincente where the explorers trained and embarked on their sea voyages. We flew to Lisbon and have enjoyed exploring the different neighborhoods. We went to see Fado music at a place run by a husband and wife team. They serve dinner and then take off their aprons and come out to sing. Very cool.

Make Them Feel Like They're There With You

We eloped in a private wedding ceremony in Maui in 1996. Write a postcard to make your family feel like they are on a trip with you. Set the scene!
Postcard Example from Maui Hawaii
The wedding ceremony yesterday was perfect. We first had a helicopter tour which took us across the island from the ocean to the mountains. We landed in the lush rainforest where the weather was surprisingly nice. The weather here is gorgeous! We've been able to drive with the top down on our convertible Camaro rental car! 

Talk about the Weather

If you can't think of anything better to write, you can always talk about the weather. This works especially well if the place you are going has stereotypically good or bad weather. Here's what I had to say about London on our very first trip outside the U.S. in 2000. 

Scott and I are having a wonderful time in England. It's been pretty cold and wet so far, but hey, it's London! Scott and I have been all over the city. My feet hurt from walking.

I had this to say about the weather in Amsterdam in 2002.

Amsterdam Postcard (Postcard Examples)

Scott and I are having fun here in Amsterdam. It's a bit cold and rainy, but that hasn't stopped us from extensively exploring the city on foot. The canal houses are cool -- each one is equipped with a "hoisting rod" that people use to get stuff in and out. We saw someone hoisting a washing machine yesterday! The city is one of contrasts. Lots of art, culture, and history plus lots of ladies in windows and "coffee shops" where you can smell pot a block away. We're off to Belgium on Wednesday!

Say Something Noteworthy About Your Destination

Use the opportunity that writing a postcard affords you to say something noteworthy about the place you are visiting. Here's what I had to tell my mom about Punta Arenas, Chile in 2017.
Writing Postcards: Example from Punta Arena Chile
Hello from Punta Arenas, the southernmost point on our trip to South America. We are now as far South of the equator as Dublin is North. On to Rio tonight then home to Dublin. Hope all is well in Buffalo!
Here's another example of a postcard that I sent to my mother from Hamburg, Germany.
Filling out a postcard: Example from Hamburg Germany
Greetings from Hamburg, Germany! Hamburg is the 3rd largest port city in the world and has more bridges than Venice!
In Seoul, South Korea, I took the opportunity to tell my mom about a rather unusual obsession.
We ate some great food and some weird food too. We learned that Seoul seems to be obsessed with potty humor. I got a latte served in a mug shaped like a toilet bowl in one place! So interesting!

Include Your "Top 3" Highlights

Postcards don't give you a lot of room to write especially since you need to leave room in the top right for the stamp and the entire right side to address the postcard. That means you need to be efficient. Why not distill down your trip into the Top 3 highlights? Here's more of what I had to say about Hamburg, Germany.
We especially enjoyed (1) strolling along the River Elbe at sunset (2) exploring the Sunday Fish market. It opens at 5 am but we got there are 8 am. (3) day trip to Lubeck, a Medieval city nearby.

I shared my "Top 3" from our trip to Budapest in this 2009 postcard.

Example Postcards: Budapest Hungary

Having a great time in Europe. We've been to Berlin, Prague, and Budapest. So far, Budapest is our favorite city. We cruised the Danube, "took the waters" in a Hungarian thermal spa, and ate more than our share of sweets in classic coffee houses. We're off to Vienna tomorrow. 

Share an Anecdote from your Trip

Anecdotes from your trip are great fodder for writing postcards. Here's what I had to say to my mother on this postcard that I sent to her from Monte Carlo in 2012.
How to Write a Postcard: Example Postcard from Monte Carlo Monaco
Greetings from Monte Carlo! Scott and I spent the afternoon hob-nobbing with the high rollers at the world famous casino. We saw a guy drop 1000 euro on a single spin of the roulette wheel! Fortunately, the table had a 5 euro minimum so we were able to join in on the fun for a few rounds. Unfortunately, your good luck didn't rub off on us so no jackpots for us ๐Ÿ˜€. It was fun to steep in the ambiance though.
I love to tell stories about the people we meet on our travels (like this group of lads in Brussels in 2002) when I write a postcard.
Example Postcard: Manneken Pis in Brussels BelgiumWe made it to Brussels! In case you're wondering, the statue on this card -- the Manneken Pis is a big tourist attraction here. They dress him up on various occasions and then put his outfits on display in a museum. We had dinner tonight at an authentic Belgian cafe. They served my dessert flaming! A minutes after we sat down to eat, a bunch of athlete types came in. Later, we saw this same group of guys at the hotel bar. They bought Scott and I a beer. They didn't speak English very well, but I found out that they were a Swiss soccer team.

This is my favorite anecdote from our trip to Gdansk in 2010.

Example Postcard from Gdansk Poland

Greetings from Poland! Spent a 3-day weekend in Gdansk. Lots of history here from the 1st shots fired in WWII to Solidarity. We must look like we fit in. Three different sets of people asked us for directions! 

This is the anecdote that I recall the most from our trip to India in 2012 and I shared this with my mom in a postcard from Hyderabad.

Example Postcard: Charminar in Hyderabad India

Greetings from Hyderabad, India! We enjoyed the weekend exploring the tourist sites in the area. A sprawling market radiates out from Charminar. The structure is 400 years old and was built to celebrate eradication of the plague. The most surprising thing so far? We feel like celebrities because the locals like to ask us to pose for pictures with them. We're a novelty here ๐Ÿ˜Š

Tell Them Something that Made You Think of Them

Use the opportunity that writing a postcard affords to tell your friends and family something from the trip that made you think of them. Here's what I had to say to my mother (she had a notorious sweet tooth) from Normandy in 2012.
How to Write a Good Postcard: Example from Normandy France
Greetings from Normandy! We spent Easter weekend here with Caen as our home base. We found a shop that sold giant macarons and I thought of you. So delicious! Highlights include Mont St. Michel and the WWII beaches.
My mom always got a kick out of celebrity sightings so I couldn't resist mentioning one from a trip to London in 2006.
Example Postcard from London
We're having fun in London. Highlights so far have included shopping on Portobello Rd. and a day trip to Bath. We took a walking tour of Hampstead which included a stop in front of Russell Crowe's English manor! Too bad he wasn't home...
On our trip to Key West in 2003, I couldn't help but notice a resemblance between Hemingway's cats and my childhood pet.
Example Postcards: Key West Florida
We're having fun in South Florida. We went to Ernest Hemingway's house in Key West. About 100 cats live on the property. There was one that looked just like {name redacted} who had staked out a prime spot sprawled on the master bed. Tomorrow we're going to drive across the Everglades. Hopefully we'll spot some gators!

My mom and I used to like to A Christmas Story when I was a kid so this leg lamp postcard from the Cleveland tourism office was the perfect thing to send her in 2019.

Example Postcard from Cleveland Ohio USA

Hello from Cleveland! Looking forward to visiting the "Christmas Story" house tomorrow ๐Ÿ˜Š 

My mom always liked nice jewelry and expensive things so I sent her this postcard from St. Petersburg Russia in 2016.
Example Postcard: Faberge egg postcard from St. Petersburg Russia
I know how you love bling so thought I'd send you an Imperial Faberge egg. From Russia with love!
My mom always liked folklore, true crime, and tales of hauntings. I sent her this postcard from Edinburgh in 2010.
Postcard examples: Edinburgh Scotland
We're enjoying our first trip to Scotland. Have you been to Edinburgh? Lots of great folklore and hauntings here. We've also been enjoying the local music scene - some good fiddlers in the local pubs. 

Tell Them Where You're Going Next

Use the opportunity to tell your family or friends where you're going next. 
Today we went to the Louvre and saw the original Mona Lisa among other famous works of art. We go on a champagne tour tomorrow.
I used the opportunity that this Ollantaytambo, Peru postcard presented to lay out the next steps in our itinerary in 2017.
Postcard examples: Ollantaytambo Peru
Greetings from Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley of Peru. We are having a great time exploring the amazing Incan ruins in Ollantay and all around the valley. Tomorrow we'll get to see Machu Picchu. We'll spend a few days in Cuzco and then travel on to Santiago, Chile from there. 
In 2004, I sent my mom a postcard from Munich which foreshadowed our first European road trip.
How to Write a Postcard: Example from Marienplatz in Munich Germany
We are having a wonderful time in Munich. We have walked all over the city although we spent a lot of time in the Marienplatz on the front of this card. Tomorrow we will take a drive to Salzburg--my first trip on the Autobahn!

Hint If You're Bringing Them a Souvenir

Use the opportunity of writing a postcard to hint about whether you might be sending your family or friends a souvenir from the place you're visiting. Here's what I had to say to my mom from Tallinn Estonia in 2011 and Stockholm in 2006. She loved to knit and always appreciated it when we sent her unique yarns from our travels.
Postcard example from Tallinn Estonia
Greetings from Tallinn, Estonia! We had a great weekend exploring this medieval city. We climbed the big white tower on the postcard for spectacular views. We even found some yarn ๐Ÿ˜Š. We managed to get over to Helsinki, Finland by ferry where we tasted reindeer!

How to write a postcard: Example postcard from Stockholm SwedenWe're having a great time in Stockholm. The weather has been warm and incredibly sunny. We toured Gamla Stan (old town) on foot and chanced upon a Swedish yarn shop...We also took the ferry boat to Vauxholm, a quaint little island in the Stockholm archipelago. Tomorrow we'll commune with nature and explore the Djurgarden. Talk to you when we get back to the States!

Write from the Perspective of Someone Else

I wrote this cute postcard to my husband from Wroclaw Poland in 2011 and signed it from the Wroclaw Gnomes.
Example Postcard: Wroclaw gnomes in Poland
We told u we'd send Jenn home in time for your anniversary...We loved having her in Poland. Here are some cookies to wish u a Happy 15th Anniversary. Your Friends, The Wroclaw Gnomes

Reminisce or Talk about How Things Have Changed Since Your Last Visit

Use the opportunity of writing a postcard to talk about how things have changed since you last visited your destination. This works especially well for popular childhood destinations like Disneyworld or Disneyland.
Example Postcard: Disneyworld Florida
Scott and I are having lots of fun at Disney. It's been over 10 yrs since I was last here, but only some things have changed. We went on safari at the Animal Kingdom which was the coolest thing. We saw lots of exotic animals and we didn't have to venture to Africa!
Example Postcard: Orlando FloridaI saw this postcard and thought of you ๐Ÿ˜Š I'm having a good time at my conference here in Orlando. My hotel is down the street from Wet n' Wild. I remember going there as a kid... Speaking of the hotel, they upgraded me to a suite for free! I knew something was up when I saw the double door entrance. It's got a kitchen, a dining area, and a living room. The funny thing is that the bed is one of those Murphy beds that pulls down from the wall. I couldn't find it at first! Talk to you when I get back. 

How to End a Postcard

How might you end a postcard? What should be your big finish?

Allay Any Fears

Take a moment to allay any fears that your family may have about what you might get up to in your chosen destination. We spent a weekend in Las Vegas in 1997. I ended my postcard with certain reassurances...
How to write a good postcard: Example postcard from Las Vegas Nevada USA
Scott and I had a wonderful weekend in Vegas. We went to see Starlight Express which was a really glitzy and fun roller skating musical. We had front row seats! We spent a lot of time roaming up and down the Strip, but didn't spend too much on the slots...

I took the opportunity to allay any fears about driving in Ireland with this postcard from the Cliffs of Moher in 2010.

Postcard Examples: Cliffs of Moher Ireland

Had a great drive out west and made it there and back with no issues. We're getting used to driving on the left ๐Ÿ˜Š 

Moms worry so I used the opportunity to allay the fear of sunburn in this postcard from Australia.
Example Postcards: Whitsunday Islands in Queensland Australia
I just finished a 3 day sailing trip to the Whitsunday Islands in Queensland with my team. Highlights included snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef and swimming on pristine white beaches. Pretty cool stuff. Don't worry, I wore tons of sunblock so didn't get burnt!

Use Their Favorite Slang

Close out your postcard by describing the trip using the recipient's favorite slang. I sent this postcard from Paris to my mother circa 2011 so don't laugh too hard ๐Ÿ˜†
How to write a good postcard: Example postcard from Paris France
Having a great time in Paris. Spent some time walking around Montmarte (past the Moulin Rouge) and Montparnasse. We bought a fresh baguette to eat outside the Sacre Couer. Definitely "da bomb".

Tell Them if They'd Like The Place

My mother always liked the occult and phenomena that were difficult to explain. Why not end your postcard by telling the person receiving it if you think they'd like the place. This is what I had to say to my mom about Newgrange in the Boyne Valley of Ireland in 2011.
Example Postcard from Newgrange Ireland
We went to visit Newgrange, a Stone Age passage tomb just outside Dublin. Each year on the winter solstice, the sun illuminates the chamber at dawn. Pretty impressive engineering for 5000 years ago! We think you'd enjoy visiting.

I told my mom why she'd like Stonehenge in this 2013 postcard from Bath.

Postcard Examples: King Henry VIII in Bath England

Spent the weekend in Bath and thought of you. Saw the site of the first penny post in England and went on a day tour to Stonehenge and the surrounding area. You'd like Stonehenge - it's full of mystery and unanswered questions about its purpose and origins. 

Tell Them If You Like the Place

One great way to close a postcard is to let your friends and family know what you thought of the destination and why. I was clearly very impressed with Amsterdam when I visited for work in 2005!

Example Postcard: Tulip fields and windmill in the Netherlands
Even though I'm here on business, I had some time yesterday (Sunday) to take a tour of the bulb fields and tulip gardens. They were truly spectacular! Now I'm just enjoying breakfast before I'm off to work. The Netherlands is great! Where else do they serve bread with chocolate sprinkles for breakfast!
This was literally the first postcard I sent to my mom when we moved to Ireland. My love of Dublin doors was apparently love at first sight!
Example Postcard: Dublin Doors
Greetings from Dublin. We're enjoying all that the city has to offer including the beautiful Georgian doors.

End Your Postcard with a Question

When I sent my mom a postcard from Liverpool in 2010, I closed with a question.
How to write a postcard: Example from Liverpool England
Had a fantastic trip to Manchester and Liverpool this weekend. Gotta love those cheap Ryanair flights! We enjoyed the Beatles Museum and walking along the riverside promenade. Did your cruises stop in Liverpool? 

Celebrate the Season

Take the opportunity to close your postcard with greetings of the season like I did on our Christmas trip to Bilbao in 2017 or on a December business trip to Wroclaw Poland in 2011.
Postcard Examples: Bilbao Spain
Greetings from Bilbao! The architecture here has definitely been a highlight of our visit. Perhaps you'll make it here one day on a cruise... Hope you had a great Christmas and have a Happy New Year.

Postcard Greetings: Example postcard from Wroclaw PolandGreetings from Wroclaw Poland. I visited this week on a business trip. There are over 100 gnomes hidden around the city. It is such a charming place. The gnomes and I wish you a Merry Christmas! 

I wished my mom a Happy Thanksgiving from Japan in 2014.
Example Postcard: Art postcard from Kyoto JapanScott and I are enjoying Japan. We were lucky enough to arrive in Kyoto at the peak of Fall Foliage. The colors at the various temples are amazing. On to Osaka tomorrow and then back to Tokyo before our return to Dublin. Happy Thanksgiving

More Examples of Postcards I Sent to My Family

I thought I'd share some additional examples of postcards that I sent to my mom over the years which include various elements that I've described in this post. Such a treasure trove of travel memories (and even some travel tips for different destinations) listed in chronological order! You can really see how our travels changed and became more wide-ranging and adventurous as the years passed.

Ogalalla Nebraska (1995)

The oldest postcard that I found in the cache at my mother's house hearkens back to 1995. At that point, I had just graduated from university and was driving across the United States to start graduate school in California. I didn't even have a passport in 1995. 
Vintage Postcard: Ogallala Nebraska USA
See, Ogallala even has its own postcard. Pretty neat, eh? Just wanted to send you a card so you know we're okay. Two more days and we've made it! It's really not such a bad drive. The terrain changes all the time and there are lots of cows around to watch.

Vail (2004)

Example Postcard from Vail Colorado USAWe're having a great time in Vail. Yesterday we went white water rafting in Glenwood Canyon but today I feel more like the picture on the front of this postcard after a 1/2 day worth of pampering at the spa. Tomorrow we drive back to Denver to finish off the trip.

Vancouver (2004)

How to write a postcard: Cruise ship in Vancouver, British Columbia, CanadaI'm having a great time in Vancouver. I arrived yesterday before noon and the conference starts tomorrow morning so I had a good day and a half to explore. I took a bus from the university downtown to Canada Place. I took a walk thru the lobby of the Pan Pacific and past all the cruise ships. What fun! 

Barcelona (2004)

Example Postcard: Gaudi architecture in Barcelona SpainScott and I are having an excellent time in Barcelona. There is a lot of good shopping and cool architecture to see. Yesterday we took a bike tour of the city which was a good way to cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time. We took a train ride today to see the Salvador Dali Museum in Figueres. Very bizarre! Talk to you when we get back.

Copenhagen (2005)

Example postcard from Copenhagen Denmark
We are having fun in Scandinavia. We are currently taking an overnight cruise from Copenhagen to Oslo. So far, we spent some time walking around Copenhagen and visited Tivoli one of the old amusement parks in the world. We also took day trips to Helsingรธr, Denmark and Malmo Sweden. Hope all is well in Buffalo! 

Iceland (2005)

Postcard Examples: How to write a postcard from Iceland
We're in the home stretch of our whirlwind tour of Scandinavia. We made it to Reykjavik last night -- the sun was still above the horizon at midnight! Since my last postcard, we enjoyed a tour of the Fjords of Norway. We are looking forward to a tour on Icelandic horseback tomorrow before a pitstop at the "Blue Lagoon" on the way to the airport on Sunday.

Rome (2005)

How to write a good postcard: Example postcard from Rome Italy
We're having a great time in Rome. The temperature is a little cold but the sun is shining and we keep warm by walking a lot! Today some of the highlights were the Roman Forum, Colliseum, and the Sacra de Argentina. This last one is a set of ruins that they turned into a cat sanctuary. Pretty cool!

Seattle (2006)

Example postcard from Seattle Washington, USAWe're enjoying our vacation in Seattle. We took the ferry to Bainbridge Island after our seaplane flight to Victoria was cancelled due to fog. We're headed to Portland tomorrow via the Mt. St. Helen's area. We're looking forward to wine tasting in Oregon.

Hong Kong (2006)

Postcard examples: Hong KongScott and I arrived in Hong Kong yesterday after 3 whirlwind days in Shanghai. Shanghai was very different from any place we've ever been. We were excited to practice our limited Mandarin. We enjoyed walking around the city and shopping at every turn. All prices were negotiable and we got good at bargaining. Hong Kong is even more bustling with even more shopping. We took the ferry from our hotel on Kowloon to the Central Island this morning. We are now sitting down to lunch a top Victoria Peak.

Sydney (2007)

Postcard example from Sydney AustraliaWe made it to Sydney! We're enjoying ourselves "Down Under". We took a long walk today from our hotel in Darling Harbour to the Rocks and Circular Quay. The views from the Botanical Gardens were amazing. Aside from the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, we were impressed by the hundreds of BATS sleeping in the treetops! 

Singapore (2009)

How to write a good postcard: Example postcard from SingaporeWe're having a great time in Singapore. Our hotel is in Chinatown and we're surrounded by fantastic markets. You'd love the shopping here -- mile upon mile of malls to explore. We also saw monkeys in the wild at a local nature preserve...very cool! Tomorrow we travel by bus to Kuala Lumpur.

Great Ocean Road Australia (2010)

Example postcard of kangaroos in AustraliaScott and I are about to embark on our drive along the Great Ocean Rd. from Adelaide to Melbourne. Highlights of Adelaide included hand-feeding kangaroos and wallabies at a wildlife park. So cool! Talk to you when we get back. 

Hawaii (2011)

How to write a postcard: Example postcard featuring lava in HawaiiWe're having a great time in Hawaii. Today we went to Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island and hiked into the Kilauea Caldera, site of the 1959 eruption. We also enjoyed a helicopter ride over the volcano for Scott's birthday and seeing spinner dolphins while kayaking. We're off to Honolulu in a few days to see some of the WWII historical sites.

Aix-en-Provence (2011)

Example postcard: Art postcard from Aix-en-Provence FranceGreetings from Aix-en-Provence! We're enjoying our time in the South of France. Sunshine and good food and fine wine makes for the perfect relaxing holiday. We're off to Nice tomorrow to ring in the New Year. Congrats again on the decision to updated your internet ๐Ÿ˜Š We'll talk to you online when we get back to Dublin.

South Africa (2013)

How to write a postcard: Example postcard of hippos in South AfricaGreetings from South Africa! Had a great time on safari. We saw all of the Big 5 (lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo, and elephant) and then some. We even saw hippos chilling out in a lake. Now we're headed to Cape Town for some good wine and relaxation. 

Hanoi Vietnam (2017)

Postcard Greetings: Example postcard from Hanoi VietnamGreetings from Vietnam. Scott and I have spent the last two weeks exploring from North to South. The food has been excellent and the scenery gorgeous. In Hanoi, We went to see a water puppet show which was fascinating. On to Singapore tomorrow! 

Hangzhou China (2017)

How to write a good postcard: Example of a postcard from Hangzhou ChinaGreetings from China! Our first stop was Hangzhou which features a beautiful lake. A scene from the lake is pictured on this postcard. We are now in Beijing and took a day trip to the Great Wall of China today. Simply amazing! We leave for Pingyao and then Xi'an in a couple days. 

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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: How to Write a Good Postcard and Why It's Important
How to Write a Good Postcard and Why It's Important
What are the best things to write on postcards? Learn how to write a good postcard with tips for filling out postcards. See examples of postcards.
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