With a postcard you can show family and friends that you are thinking of them as you travel the world. Or you can enjoy the sun, sea and beach. Sending a postcard is about the same as sending a letter: you need enough stamps, the right address, a nice message and a letterbox.
Part 1 of 2: Finding and franking
Step 1. Buy a postcard
You can find postcards at most supermarkets, souvenir shops and bookstores. Choose one that shows where you are, with photos that reflect the atmosphere of the place you are at that moment. If you have enough time, you can also make a postcard yourself: with an online card shop such as Kaartje2Go, or you can of course tinker yourself on the computer.
Step 2. Buy a stamp
A postage stamp is proof of payment for the sending of your postcard. Without a stamp, the card will not be sent by the postal company, or the recipient will have to pay a few euros extra administration costs. The price of the stamp depends on the destination. Sending something domestically is often cheaper than abroad. The further your card has to travel, the more expensive the stamp is often. At the post office or postal agency they can tell you what the rate is. You can also often find the rates online, on the website of the postal company.
- You can also buy stamps at most places where you can buy postcards. If you buy stamps at a supermarket, sometimes you can only buy a sheet of stamps. If you only want to send one card, that is impractical: you will then have many unused stamps left over.
- Make sure to use new stamps. Stamps from years ago are often no longer valid. If in doubt, ask at the post office. Sometimes you can also find on the website of the postal company which stamps are valid or not.
- At some postal companies you can also order the stamp online and print it yourself.
Step 3. Attach the stamp
Stick the stamp on the back of the postcard, in the top right corner. Often there is indicated with a square or rectangle where the stamp belongs. Some stamps are self-adhesive, others need to be moistened before they stick.
- If the stamp is self-adhesive, peel it off the sheet and stick it in the correct place on the postcard. Did you accidentally put the stamp upside down? Don't worry, your postcard will be delivered.
- If the stamp is not self-adhesive, moisten the back of the stamp. You can do this by licking the back of the stamp with your tongue. If you don't like that idea, you can press the stamp on a damp sponge, or wet your fingertip and run it over the back of the stamp. Dampen the back of the stamp but not too wet. If the stamp is too wet, it will slide off the postcard.
Part 2 of 2: Writing, addressing and sending
Step 1. Address the card
On the back of the postcard is space for the address of the recipient. If you have a homemade card, draw a vertical line halfway through the card on the back. So from the center of the top to the center of the bottom. The space to the left of the line is for your message to the person to whom you are sending the card. Put the address on the right. Keep about four centimeters above the address for the stamp.
You don't have to put your own address on the map. As long as the recipient's address is on it, the card will arrive
Step 2. Write a message on the card
On the left half of the card, write a message to the person to whom you are sending the card. For example, a short description of where you are and what you are doing there. It doesn't have to be extensive; the point is that the recipient gets an idea of what you are experiencing. You can also show that you are thinking about the other person with a short message.
- Do not use a marker. If you're using a pen, make sure it doesn't smudge when the ink gets wet. On the way to its destination, your postcard may just encounter a rain shower and it would be a shame if your message or the address rained out.
- Please do not write on the bottom two centimeters of the card. Many postal companies use that space for a stamp or a sticker with a code. This code is needed to properly deliver the card.
Step 3. Send the postcard
You can throw your card in a letterbox of a postal company, but you can also hand in the card at many supermarkets to send. Make sure that you choose a shipping point of a postal company where you also use the stamp. Postal companies often do not accept each other's stamps. Check that the address is correct and that you have affixed enough stamps, and put the card on the box, just as you would with a regular letter.
Mailboxes can often be found in places where many people come. At shopping malls, the library, or government buildings. If you stay overnight in a hotel, you can often drop off your postcard at the hotel reception. They will then ensure that your card is sent. If you don't know where to send your card, ask any resident of the city or town you are in, or other travelers
- Do not write anything on the card that should remain private. Because there is no envelope around the postcard, everyone can read what it says.
- If you send the card abroad, it may not arrive until you have returned. It's not strange if a card takes a week or two to arrive, or sometimes even longer.