In today’s world, where we’re all glued to screens, you might be wondering if postcards still hold a place in our fast-paced lives. Do people even send postcards anymore? Well, you might be surprised to learn that many still do. These little treasures, filled with art and emotion, possess a timeless charm that digital communication just can’t replicate.

I’m certainly no stranger to the world of postcards. My love for handwritten cards and letters started way back when I was just a kid. However, it truly took off right before the pandemic hit. That’s when I caught the postcard-collecting bug, and let me tell you, it’s a passion that has stuck with me.

So, armed with my extensive firsthand experience with postcards, in this quick guide, we’ll take you through the five easy steps on how to fill out a postcard in a way that truly matters.

Choose the Right Postcard

Before we jump into the fun part of filling out a postcard, let’s talk about choosing the perfect one. Selecting the right postcard is where the adventure begins. Your choice of postcard should match your message or the place you’re sending it from. It needs to grab the recipient’s eye and set the scene for what’s to come.

Nine postcards of various sizes and designs spread out on a flat surface. One postcard is shaped like the state of Texas, another is a square postcard with a scenic view, and one is a rectangular postcard featuring Zion National Park.
Different types and sizes of postcard.

Gather Materials

To craft a standout postcard, gather the following materials:

1. Postcard

Choose a high-quality postcard that suits your theme or message. Consider the mood you want to convey. Do you envision a picturesque landscape, a charming illustration, or perhaps a vintage-style postcard that evokes nostalgia? With the right postcard in hand, your message is off to a fantastic start!

2. Writing Tools

Go ahead and grab some fine-tip pens or markers with ink that won’t disappear on your postcard. After all, the last thing you want is for your heartfelt words to turn into illegible scribbles.

3. Stamps

Make sure you’ve got the right postage stamps that match your postcard’s destination. It’s a good idea to check the postal website of the country you’re sending the postcards to. After all, you wouldn’t want your postcard to be delayed or, even worse, get lost in transit, would you?

Various stamps from the USA, France, and Canada laid flat on a surface. Stamps include a colourful portrait of Elvis Presley, a US flag stamp, a sheet of nine bright red poppy flower stamps, and a French stamp featuring Naruto, and many more.

Various stickers and washi tapes spread out on a flat surface. Stickers include images of coffee, baguette, a white rose, a hot air balloon, the snitch from Harry Potter, and others. Washi tapes feature designs such as a white tape with house and balloon motifs, yellow tape with a JFK luggage tag design, blue abstract washi tape, and more.

4. Decorative stickers or washi tape (Optional)

For those who love to showcase their creative side, consider adding a touch of fun with elements like stickers and washi tape. These playful additions can add a burst of personality and artistic charm, transforming it into a one-of-a-kind creation

How to Fill Out a Postcard

Postcards have been a popular means of communication for decades, and they continue to hold a special place in our hearts. For a memorable postcard that makes a lasting impression, just follow these steps for filling one out.

Step 1: Address the Postcard

Begin by clearly and legibly writing the address of the intended recipient. Write their name and provide a complete address, including the street, city, state/province, postal code/zip code, and country. Don’t forget to double-check for accuracy.

Back side of a postcard with clear address writing guidelines. The format includes the recipient's name on the first line, the number and street address below it, followed by the city and state/province, and the postal code/zip code and country on the last two lines.
Postcard address format

Step 2: Add a Greeting and Message

Let your creativity shine by sharing your thoughts, experiences, or travel highlights. Make it personal, heartfelt, and unique to your relationship with the recipient.

Choosing the Right Words

Select your words thoughtfully to paint a clear image of your message, whether you’re sending warm regards or recounting an adventure.

Photo of a hand holding a black-colored pen attempting to write on a blank postcard's back portion. Various colours and types of writing materials, including gel pens, coloured brush pens, and others, are scattered nearby.
Preparing to fill out a postcard

The Art of Concise Writing

Remember that postcards have limited space. Keep your message concise and impactful. A well-chosen phrase can resonate far more than lengthy paragraphs.

Don’t forget to include the date; it not only reminds but also enables recipients to reflect on your message in the future.

Step 3: Sign Off

End your postcard with a sincere closing that matches the tone of your message. Consider phrases like ‘With love,’ ‘Thinking of you,’ or a personalized sentiment that suits your message. Signing your name adds a personal connection to the postcard, reminding the recipient of your thoughtfulness.

Avoid writing on the front of the postcard, as postal services typically do not search for information there.

Step 4: Affix Stamp

Affix the postage stamp to the designated spot (upper right hand corner) on the postcard and ensure it covers the postage cost for the destination. Remember to check the postage requirements since they can differ depending on the country. Having the correct postage stamps is essential to prevent delivery delays.

Postcard with stamps properly placed in the upper right-hand corner.
Postcard with stamps and design

You can check your country’s official postal service website. Here are some:

Step 5: Sending Your Postcard

With your postcard beautifully filled out, it’s time to send it on its journey. Drop it in a mailbox, or at the post office. Verify that it has the correct stamp, proper address, and is set for its journey to the recipient.

Manicured hand with pink nails dropping off postcards into a Swiss yellow mailbox. The postcard has a blue background with the Swiss flag featuring a red rectangle with a white cross.
Dropping off some postcards from St. Moritz, Switzerland

Postcard Mistakes

As with any form of communication, there are common errors to avoid when filling out postcards. Here are some key mistakes to steer clear of:

1. Ink Smudges and Blots

To avoid smudges and blotches, use quick-drying ink and allow ample time for the postcard to dry before handling it. This guarantees your message arrives in perfect condition.

2. Not adding a return address

If you plan to stay in one location for an extended period, it’s a smart move to include a return address on the postcard. This simple step can be a real lifesaver in case the recipient’s address changes or if any unexpected issues arise during the postcard’s journey.

3. Do Not Write Personal/Sensitive Information

Postcards lack the privacy of sealed envelopes so best to refrain from sharing personal or sensitive information to safeguard your privacy and the recipient’s. Exercise caution and avoid including details you wouldn’t disclose to anyone, such as sensitive financial data or information that could potentially be exploited for identity theft.

Go Ahead, Send a Postcard Today!

By following these steps on how to fill out a postcard, you can create a meaningful and memorable message that will leave a lasting impression on your recipient. So, why wait for a special occasion? Take a moment to fill out a postcard and send it to someone you care about.

In a world filled with digital noise, your physical message will stand out as a cherished reminder of your thoughtfulness.

Photo of various postcards laid flat on a surface, surrounded by different stamps. One postcard features 'Dear Postmaster' written on it, another depicts Bigfoot, while another shows the front of a train, and there's also a postcard featuring the Northern Lights with 'YUKON' written at the bottom. Stamps include two close-up photos of a white polar bear and a brown grizzly bear, a deer, a butterfly, and a stamp sheet from Radio Canada. A pen is placed diagonally on top of the postcards. These are the materials needed for filling out a postcard.
Let’s send some postcards.

If you’d love to receive a personalized postcard from my travels, simply hop over to my Ko-fi page. By buying me a coffee, you’ll have a piece of my journey delivered right to your mailbox. Don’t miss out on the adventure —visit my Ko-fi page now and let’s start sending postcard stories your way!

cursive signature of gail, postcards from g author

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