How to Send a Postcard

The next time you're on vacation, don't forget to pick up a postcard to send to a friend back home. Make sure your card meets postal regulations so your friend gets your greeting.

Instructions

  • Step 1: Send your postcard from the United States by dropping it in a blue public mailbox, taking it to a post office, or giving it to a uniformed postal worker.
  • Step 2: Save on postage by visiting one of the many websites that feature e-postcards. Most sites allow you to choose a postcard and write a message. Then enter your name and e-mail address and the name and e-mail address of the recipient. The card will automatically be delivered to the recipient's e-mail inbox.
  • FACT: The United States Postal Service delivers about 20 million letters, packages, and cards between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
  • Step 3: Apply postage to the top right corner of the card. A postcard stamp for first-class mail in the United States is $0.28, but international postage from the U.S. varies. For example, sending a postcard from the U.S. overseas to Italy, Japan, or Egypt requires $0.98 postage, while postage to Mexico is $0.79. Check postage rates online at usps.com.
  • TIP: Leave a space at least 1 1/4 inches by 1 1/4 inches at the top right corner for postage.
  • TIP: In order to qualify for mailing at the first-class mail postcard price in the United States, the postcard must be rectangular, at least 3 1/2 inches high by 5 inches long, and no more than more than 4 1/4 inches high by 6 inches long.
  • Step 4: Write your message to the recipient on the right side of the postcard, leaving a space at least 5/8 of an inch high along the bottom of the card for postal markings.
  • Step 5: Write the name of the recipient on the right side of the card. Below the name, write their address. Follow the address with the city, state, and ZIP code on the next line. Then, if you're mailing the postcard internationally, write the name of the destination country in all capital letters below that.
  • Step 6: Find a postcard. Most travel-related or tourist-heavy places have kiosks or stores that sell postcards featuring large, glossy images of the locale.

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