Sending a postcard home shows your friends and family that you’re thinking of them. It can be a great way to preserve a snapshot of your time in an exciting and exotic locale. The process of sending a postcard is fundamentally similar to sending a letter: you’ll need to add the correct number of stamps; properly address the card; write your message; and find a place to mail it.
Buy a postcard. You can find postcards at most local supermarkets, souvenir shops, and gas stations. Choose one that sums up the locale – something that gives the recipient a taste of your experience. If you have time, consider making your own postcard: you can use an online photo store, or you can do it yourself if you have access to a computer with photo editing and internet.
Buy a stamp. A stamp is a proof of payment for your postcard: without a stamp, no letter or postcard will be handled by the post office. Depending on the destination, the price of the stamp will vary. Domestic stamps are usually cheaper than international ones. Some postal services will have one flat rate for all international destinations, but some others will have a range of prices depending on the distance to the country. Always check with the post office or the postal service website.
Depending on where you are sending the postcard, you may need two, three, or even more stamps. Look up the postage requirements for, say, “mailing from Tanzania to the U.S.”
You can usually buy stamps directly at the post office. In the U.S., you can buy stamps at most supermarkets, and some mini-marts or gas stations; you may even find stamps in vending machines and souvenir shops.
Make sure you have the most recent stamp. The price of stamps changes over time. Unless you send them often, one postcard stamp bought a while ago, may not be enough postage.
Attach the stamp. Stick the stamp to the postcard in the upper right-hand corner. There is often a mark on the stamp or a symbol telling you where to put the stamp. Some stamps are self-adhesive, but others must be moistened.
If the stamp is self-adhesive, just pull it off the backing and attach it to the postcard in the proper place. Make sure it’s not upside-down! If so, however, don’t worry – the US postal service usually mails postcards with an upside-down stamps.
If your stamp is not the self-adhesive kind, you will need to moisten the back of the stamp to activate the adhesive. Some people lick the stamp to do this. If you don’t want to lick the stamp, then you can use a sponge, or even just dip a couple of fingers in some water. Moisten the back of the stamp until it’s a little wet, but not dripping. If it’s too wet, the stamp might rip or slide off the postcard.
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