A perfect vacation souvenir

Vacation season is upon us and whether you are traveling or choosing a more budget-friendly stay-cation option (you can read ideas for that here and here), we all love to bring vacation memories home with us.

Although, preferably, the best souvenirs shouldn’t cost us additional baggage fees. With that in mind, I have an idea for you today that you can enjoy all year long. I think it may be the perfect souvenir…


Now, wait. I know we all know what postcards are and it’s pretty easy to see that they pack well. Admittedly, I have collected postcards from before I could write on them. As a child, I would choose postcard from every new place we went and my mom would write down notes of what we did while we were there, what we saw, etc. Like this:

We traveled a lot, so I have a lot of these postcards, several very full albums of them. I love them. (Thanks, Mom!) It is fun to look back at all the places we’ve visited. I still collect postcards this way today. Mr. CARO once referred to our postcard process as “scrapbooking for lazy people”, which still makes me laugh. It’s a perfect description, since I am not a patient crafter…at ALL.

Now these photographic postcards are fun but they would look rather odd framed on your wall. There is another kind of postcard that can make for some beautiful art in your home. Take a look at these antique postcards:

These older postcards are like beautiful little watercolors. You can find all kinds of vivid colors in them. Imagine how great they would look framed (inexpensively) in your home. You could hang a whole wall of them. (Here’s a tutorial to make it easy.)

You aren’t limited to just American locations either. Here is one of my favorites that I found while studying in Florence, Italy:

You may be thinking, “I’ve never seen postcard stands filled with antique postcards.” That is the other reason these cards may be the ideal souvenir: you don’t have to find them on your vacation.

Just find a decent antique shop in your hometown. Here’s one of my favorites in Baltimore:

Once inside, ask the store employees where they keep their old postcards. They are often stored behind a counter, but they are almost always in boxes like these:

Can you see how many there are in just this one store? Hundreds, maybe even thousands. Postcards were the text messages of earlier eras, which means there are millions of them out there for very little money today. Here is a beautiful postcard I picked out showing Chateau Frontenac in Quebec, Canada:

Did you notice the $1.95 price tag? You don’t even have to change your money for the local currency to get this deal! You’re not limited to location themes in these postcards, either. Here’s an example of some of the many holiday cards you can find:

It would look great framed on a hall table at Christmas. These cards make thoughtful gifts, too. I’m sure you can think of sentimental destinations for friends and family members. You might even find a card for a great place you have forgotten you’ve already visited.

We keep all of our antique cards in an album, where we can make little notes next to them. Often, these old postcards come with letters and addresses from previous senders, which can make for interesting reading.

When we are in the mood to mix things up in our decor, we just slide out a couple of favorite cards and slip them into frames around the house. These types of  little changes can really give a well-loved room a seasonal lift.

Could you consider vacation postcards as art for your home? What favorite places would you like find on old postcards? Leave a comment and share your favorite vacation sites!

Be sure to stop by tomorrow a new giveaway! Here’s a sneak peek:

Posted on July 13, 2011, in Decor, Lifestyle. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Wow. What a great idea for art on your wall. I get postcards for exhibitions at my local art museum. I bet they’d look good framed in a small collection on the wall. I knew I kept them for a reason.

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