When I first thought of doing an A-Z of Travel Journal Prompts, I was so excited to write about the letter P.
I knew P would be for postcards.
There are so many reasons I love postcards. There are so many ways people can use postcards in their travel memory keeping. And here are my postcard thoughts.
Kids Travel Journal: P is for Postcards
My postcard collection story
Imagine this. First overnight field trip in 5th grade. Washington D.C…
My class was standing in line outside of the White House waiting for the tour. These guys walked by carrying packets of postcards. Twelve for a dollar. I could buy these postcards if I wanted to. I didn’t need to ask my parent’s permission. So I did. And so did most of my other classmates.
After the White House we went to a museum. I bought another postcard. The next day it was Mount Vernon. Another postcard. By then I had 14 postcards. Two more than everyone else.
I was an instant classroom celebrity. I loved it.
This would become my new hobby.
Fast forward a few years
Middleschool me logs onto my dad’s Prodigy account. In it, a chat room for postcard penpals. Jackpot. My penpal lived in Georgia. I lived in Florida. My collection grew.
Changes in high school
We moved to Germany before 10th grade. More travel. More postcards. Lots of friends back home. More postcards. Flea Markets. More postcards. I had blank cards, cards from friends, and antique cards with foreign script on the back.
Off to college
I didn’t travel much while I was in college, but I did keep my collection with me. I had two shoeboxes jam packed with cards from the U.S. and Europe. My life. My treasures.
Taking a break
Somewhere along the way I stopped collecting them. I’d pick one up randomly for a scrapbook or to send to someone.
Back with a vengeance
Once while visiting Köln, Germany (which wasn’t too far from where I lived, but a more popular tourist destination), my two year old stopped at a souvenir shop to look at postcards. I let him pick one out, then we bought it and put a stamp on it. I wrote a few words and mailed it to our home. We received it a few days later.
A new tradition was born.
Postcards are the perfect souvenir AND journal
Why I love postcards:
- They’re easy.
- They’re cheap.
- They’re small.
- They’re mailable.
- They’re available almost anywhere.
- They’re authentic.
My absolute favorite way to use postcards is as a journal itself. It is the best interactive journal and here’s why, walk with me as I guide you through a typical experience:
- They’re cheap enough that, if you want to, you can let each kid in your family pick their own postcard. Or you can have 1+ card for each day of the trip.
- A kid picks a postcard that speaks to them. If they do or don’t have a camera or drawing abilities, the images on the postcards they pick are a representation of what they saw or what they liked.
- Either you write on the back or your kid writes on the back.
- You get a stamp (often from the same place where you bought the postcard, but maybe this means a trip to the local post office!) and mail it… in a local mailbox! And from my experience mailboxes around the world are awesome and this is such a great photo op.
- You go on with your trip with no weighty souvenir or travel journal holding you down. If you have more you want to say, buy another postcard and repeat.
- The trip is over and you get home. You’re in the post-trip slump.
- Your postcard arrives in the mail! A nice reminder and opportunity to relive your trip.
- After multiple trips you have a collection of postcards from your travels. Each with the story that you wrote on the back, the story of what’s pictured on the front, the story of buying it, and the stamps and postmarks from where you were. And, you’ll also have a progression of the child’s handwriting, and reaction to their travels.
- HOW COOL IS THAT!!
If no other prompt in this A-Z challenge sticks with your or appeals to you – let this one be the one that does.
P is for POSTCARDS! My fave travel journal. #atozchallenge Click To Tweet
As you know, I’m doing a download a day through the challenge. While everything I wrote above doesn’t really need a download, I still think the postcard prompt is worthy a separate page. Use the printable for your kids to draw their own postcard and a reminder of who they can send one to. Everyone loves getting fun mail!
Click on the image to download
Update: The download is now only accessible for newsletter subscribers. Subscribe here. Subscribers also get access to the resource library which includes free downloads once a month. If you’re still looking for something to download on this page, I created a one-sheet list of the prompts created for this challenge. Click on the image to download
Have you found fun ways to use postcards in your travel? Share below!