Growing up, receiving a letter in the mail was always a special treat. A postcard was even more unique, with its images of a far off locale that could immediately take its place on an ever-growing, must-visit bucket list.
These days, most travelers seem to skip the postcard stand, instead opting to update their friends and family via social media. A new photo album on Facebook or Instagram, a few tweets about the latest adventures, and that’s it — done.
But what about those personal touches that make postcards and letters so unique? What about the ability to jot in a note, or an inside joke, or to send someone a postcard that makes you think of them specifically?
A unique new company, Lettr, is looking to bridge the gap between convenience and personalization. Their postcard service allows you to upload your own images from your trip, type in your own message, and even use your tablet screen to add your signature. Lettr takes it from there, delivering your digitally designed postcard via snail mail so that the impact of a heartfelt, physical postcard is not lost.
We had the opportunity to try Lettr out for ourselves on our recent trip around the Adriatic, and it definitely filled a niche that we needed. Sure, we continued to update our friends and fellow adventurers on Facebook, but we could also send special notes to specific people.
Some of the features of Lettr include:
- Ability to add your own photos, for a truly personalized card
- Neat Google map image that shows where your card was sent from
- Personalized comments, typed neatly for maximum legibility
- Digital “sign off” that replicates handwritten signature
- Addresses can be entered manually or via Facebook
- QR Code that connects directly to the website
- Postcards can be added to their digital Traveler’s Map, snail mailed, or both
Once your postcard is created, Lettr sends it from their office, which means that you don’t have to struggle with finding a post office, figuring out international postage, or waiting weeks and weeks for your postcard to arrive.
The price of this service is no more than a store-bought postcard and postage, at $2.49 each. Your photo also has the option of being added to a digital Lettr Traveler’s Map, though if you prefer, you can keep your photo private and simply send the printed version without a digital repost.
We really enjoyed Lettr’s service, and would absolutely recommend it to those who want to stay in touch with home in a unique way. We had the opportunity to choose pictures that we felt represented our trip, including a few choice selfies — something that would have been impossible if we had hit up a local tourist stand.
As an added bonus, the cards became our souvenirs. This was nice, because we had limited room in our backpacks for anything extra. A Lettr postcard was a nice compromise, allowing us to send something physical that represented our trip and to let our friends know that we were thinking of them. At the same time, it required limited effort on our parts!
Overall, the service is great. Here’s the breakdown of the pros and cons we experienced:
- Creating postcards is quick and easy; their web site is simple to navigate and use.
- Postcards are inexpensive, at under $3 each.
- You can add a personal touch by using your own photos, rather than a stock photo of a destination. Stick your smiling face right on the postcard!
- Convenient to send from overseas, with no need to worry about international postage.
- Postcards took about 3-5 business days to arrive from the Adriatic to places like Houston, Texas and Boston, Massachusetts. This is on par with, or in some cases much faster than, if they had been sent from overseas.
- Delivered postcards were on high quality postcard paper, and the images printed beautifully.
- Cards are at the mercy of the post office, and can come through damaged just like any other form of snail mail.
- You lose the authentic feel of the postcard being from the actual country, with unique stamps, actual handwriting, a little overseas dust, and so on.
- Currently there is no app for Lettr, which means you need to access the web site directly. Luckily, their site is responsive, and mobile friendly, so this is a small complaint.
- Their office is in the United States, which means that the service primarily benefits travelers who want to deliver postcards within the United States.
Lettr is still a relatively new player in the market, and we anticipate them continuing to improve their product and meet the needs of travelers. In fact, they’re rolling out new features, such as the interactive Traveler’s Map, regularly, and we’re excited to see what else they come up with!
If you’re planning a trip, we recommend you give it a try!
Disclaimer: Outbound Adventurer received sample postcards from Lettr to test their product. As always, our review reflects our honest and unbiased opinion.