In the age of e-mails, texts and social media, the postcard has lost its popularity with travellers, but certainly not it’s sentiment. Our Travel Consultant Kate Neufeld shares why she still sends postcards and why you should too!
I was recently fortunate enough to cruise to Key West, Nassau and Freeport on the Carnival Liberty, a cruise ship that truly lives up to its fun name. I had an amazing time, liberated from my daily grind; free from emails and Facebook updates about the latest developments in reality TV.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that the ship’s gift shop sold postcards from all the different destinations that we would visit on our cruise. What a smart idea! At a reasonable 5 for $2 I picked some up and sat down with some food and an ice cream on the lido deck and got to writing while the ship cruised from Orlando to Key West.
Some people, I dare say most people, don’t send postcards anymore. With email, texts, Facebook, Twitter and all manner of things, including an app that will turn your vacation pictures into postcards that you can send to friends through the mail from your home country, it seems somewhat old-fashioned and potentially inconvenient. You have to find somewhere that sells stamps, which isn’t always the same place that sells postcards. Then you’ve got to carry people’s mailing addresses with you, and unless you have a little black book or a carefully curated contacts list on your phone, it can become a bit of a chore. Then you’ve got to figure out what to write, and which postcard to send to whom!? Overall, it’s an effort.
But if you ask me, it’s an effort worth making. Especially on a cruise that visits a variety of ports, it’s nice for friends and family to be able to trace your journey if slightly delayed by the postal system. I send postcards to my friend’s young daughter, who can’t read them yet but will one day know that I was thinking of her when we saw little kids making sand castles at the beach in Key West. I send postcards to my great aunt who used to be a travel agent and has been almost everywhere so that we can talk about how things were when she was in the Bahamas 40 years ago. I send them to my friend Julie, whose hand you can see holding a postcard I sent from the Bahamas because one day she’s going to travel and I like giving her ideas of where to go. I send them to my snow-bound cousin in Edmonton, mostly to make him jealous.
I send postcards because I’m on vacation. And on vacation, especially on a cruise, things operate outside of the hustle and bustle of instant communication world of everyday life. Email is slow and unreliable and frustrating on a cruise, often best accessed standing on the street outside of a handy Starbucks instead of on the ship. Texting can be expensive and finicky. But a postcard, even though it might take a bit longer, happens on your time.
On your next vacation, I would encourage you to send some postcards. Everyone loves getting something in the mail that isn’t a bill and it’s a great way to let someone know that you are thinking of them.