There was a time, I’ll admit, that I swore off purchasing vacation souvenirs. Over the years, I had amassed an impressive collection of trinkets—a mini Statue of Liberty from New York, a snow globe from San Francisco, a pair of tiny ceramic clogs from Holland, and so on. But one by one, each little memento made its way to the back of my closet to collect dust. I decided I’d had enough. No more wasting money and space on cheap knickknacks that I had no use for. While my family explored souvenir shops, I waited petulantly outside. That is until I discovered the joy of collecting postcards.

Six years later, I’m now a veritable postcard junky. I can’t get enough! I’m 100% convinced that postcards are the best way to commemorate your travels, and I think you might agree. Below I’ve compiled seven reasons why you should start collecting postcards, too.

1.   Postcards are easy to travel with

One of my favorite things about postcards is that they are easy to take along on my travels. There’s nothing worse than trying to find room in your luggage for your new array of snow globes, sweatshirts, and seashells. As a postcard collector, you won’t have to worry about that. Postcards are small enough to fit into a purse or even a coat pocket, so there’s no need to pay for an extra carry-on bag. Even better, their small size means you can carry more postcards with you. On most of my trips, I try to find a postcard at every major location I visit. Try doing that with statuettes!


2.   Postcards are inexpensive

As far as souvenirs go, you can’t beat the price of a postcard. They usually cost less than $1, which makes them the perfect keepsake for travelers on a budget. As a college student, that’s a must for me.


3.   Postcards are sold just about everywhere

Unlike some of the more specialized souvenirs, you can find postcards in just about any gift shop around the world. What’s more, most stores will have a wide selection to choose from, so you’re sure to find something that catches your fancy.


4.   Postcards can double as a travel journal

No need to lug around a fancy travel journal—your postcards can double as the world’s smallest travelogue! I like to write brief descriptions of my adventures on the back of my postcards. For example, flip over one of my postcards from New York City and you’ll find an amusing tale involving me and a police horse. I love this form of travel journaling because it’s fast, easy, and compact.


5.   Postcards are easy to store and display

Unlike your collection of marionette dolls, postcards are remarkably easy to store once you’ve returned home. I keep mine in a small photo box, which makes them easy to pull out and peruse when I’m feeling nostalgic. If you prefer to have your souvenirs on display, put your postcards into a photo album or binder and you’ve got a unique coffee table book that your houseguests are sure to love.


6.   Postcards make beautiful decorations

One of the things I love most about postcards is how beautiful they look in my home. In my last apartment, I created a postcard gallery wall. It was just about the easiest decorating I’ve ever done—just a few minutes and a package of poster tack—and I can’t tell you how many compliments I received. My guests would often spend a few minutes just standing in front of the wall, admiring my postcards. Each one is a unique work of art, and each one tells a story—my story. That’s something you just can’t buy at HomeGoods!


7.   Postcards are fun to collect

Above all else, collecting postcards is just plain fun. Hunting through gift shops to find the perfect postcard is one of my favorite travel activities. And there is nothing like looking through my postcard collection to cheer me up on rough days. Anyone can begin a postcard collection—regardless of age, budget, or interests. So the next time you find yourself in a gift shop, take a peek at the postcard rack. You just might find the perfect souvenir.

—Katie Erickson