Five Postcard Alternatives for Your Great Escapes

We love to write letters, especially on planes, trains, and various other forms of transport, and especially while vacationing. But postcards, the usual media for vacation communication, always seem like such a lame option, with their boring, blurry landscape photos. Sometimes we like to seek out the strangest or most laughably poor-quality postcards, but often we just bring along our own stationery instead. Check out five of our favorite choices for letter-writing after the jump...

1 - From the weird and wonderful files, this box of 100 postcards from McSweeney's contains several tabbed sections, including "Across the Miles I Love You So" and "More Than Words." Some of the postcards have short stories printed on them, but most display artwork and photos. We think it would be pretty exciting to get one of these in the mail instead of the requisite Hawaii sunset. Available from Buy Olympia for $18.

2 - We adore everything artist Jill Bliss does, and especially these note cards. Detailed, abstract depictions of forest and ocean life, they are pretty enough to frame. Vacationing in the mountains? Try the Forest Moss Set. Or opt for the Fish Coral Set for a seaside trip. Set of six cards for $12 from Blissen.

3 - Paperwink makes custom stationery in many fun designs, some of which are travel-themed, like the telegram in the third photo above. Their note cards, at $47 for 25, are relatively cheap, compared to most custom work.

4 - You've probably seen the Wanderlust postcards, which are readily available at big chain bookstores, museum stores, and the like. And with good reason: they're great-looking. The images are graphically compelling, and they depict aspects of travel you'd never think to write home about, like waiting areas in bus stations and views from airplane windows. Set of 30 postcards for $9.95 from Powell's Books.

5 - Bay Area-based letterpress company Carrot & Stick makes note cards with images to suit any vacation: coral branches, lobsters, bamboo, tropical flowers, palm trees, forest ferns. Bright colors on white cards are crisp-looking and stylish. Set of 8 cards and envelopes for $16.

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