cards & stationary

Standard Postcard Sizes + Topic Ideas

If you’re heading out on vacation soon, sending a moving announcement or just want to send a personalized thank you note to a close friend, a postcard is a great way to send your message. Since there are plenty of different sizes and postage requirements, we put together a guide to help you find the perfect size for your postcard.

Once you’ve selected the right design and size, browse through our postcard message ideas below for inspiration. You’ll find over a dozen ideas to share your milestones and travel experiences with your loved ones.

Postcard Sizes Chart

Category/Style Card Size (in) Optional Envelope Size (in)
A1 3.5 x 5 3 ⅝ x 5 ⅛
Panoramic 4 x 8 4 ⅜ x 8 ¼
Large 6 x 8 6 ¼ x 8 ¼
A7 5 x 7 5 ¼ x 7 ¼
A9 5.5 x 8.5 5 ¾ x 8 ¾
A6 5.8 x 4.1 6 ½ x 4 ¾
A10 5 ¾ x 9 ¼ 6 x 9 ½

Although postcards don’t vary much in size, there are still a few different options to choose from. Look through our chart to find the size that better fits what you’re trying to say while following the common, international postcard requirements.

Standard Postcard Sizes

Chart illustrating a different postcards.

Below are some of the most common postcard sizes you’ll find in most souvenir stands, stationery stores, and post offices. Although envelopes are optional for most postcards, we also include the best matching envelope size and the best use for each of these popular postcard sizes.

3.5 x 5

The smallest postcard size is 3.5 by 5 inches, which is also the standard size for RSVP cards and thank you cards. This card is perfect for when you’re traveling and just want to send a quick update to your friends and family. If you’d like to protect your card, you can also place it in a standard A1 envelope.

5.8 x 4.1

Postcard on a coffee table next to a glass of rose.

The standard international postcard size is 5.8 by 4.1 inches which fits perfectly in an A6 envelope if needed. This size gives you enough room for a message of about six to 10 lines depending on the size of your writing. This will also be the most common size you’ll find for travel postcards.

4 x 8

This larger postcard is great for when you want to send your recipient a large horizontal or panoramic photo and a more detailed message. Depending on the weight of the cardstock and the country you’re mailing it from, you might need to include an additional stamp. The closest standard envelope size for this card is a #10 correspondence envelope.

Mailing Your Postcard

The minimum dimensions needed for your card to be considered a postcard are 3.5 inches high x 5 inches long x 0.007 inches thick. It must also be horizontal and on cardstock or some sort of sturdy material. Most postcards only require one stamp to be mailed but if your postcard is a bit larger or heavier, you might want to double-check with your local post office before sending.

What To Write In Your Postcard

A woman writing a postcard on a desk.

Before writing your message, make sure you look up the correct way to address your postcard. Once you’ve written the mailing and return address, you’re ready to write a fun message to your friends and family. Pick from one of our ideas below or use them to put together a personalized note.

1. Add A Recipe

The recipe for the last thing you cooked or ate. This is perfect for those living away from home or studying abroad who want to share some of the local cuisines with those back home.

2. Include Fun Facts

Use the photo on the card as inspiration. If you’re sending a postcard with a photo of a tourist attraction or destination, include five fun facts about that specific location.

3. Use The Local Language

Speak in the native tongue. If you’re learning a new language, include the latest word or phrase you learned.

4. Tell Them What Made You Smile

What makes you happy or smile. Include a tidbit about the latest person, place or thing that put a smile on your face.

5. Express How You Feel

Tell them you miss them or express how much you love them. Although you love where you are, be sure to let your loved ones know you’re thinking about them and can’t wait to see them again.

6. List Your Must-Visit Attractions

List your must-see places. Also, consider listing some traveling tips or a few must-see locations and spots.

7. Talk About Your Hobbies

Share your hobbies. Write about your latest hobby or passion project and describe why you enjoy it so much.

8. Get Artistic

Unleash your inner artist and draw your surroundings instead of writing them. This will make for a unique and fun postcard, especially if you’re sending it to a kid.

9. Tell Them What You’ve Learned

What’s the last thing you learned? If you’re at school, be sure to include the last thing you learned or are working towards mastering.

10. Share The News

A moving announcement postcard and stamps.

Writing about the latest news headline in your current location is a great way to share your experience with your recipient. Keep them up to date with your latest accomplishments or big moves.

11. Make A Food Guide

Share your culinary map. Put together a list of your favorite spots for food and drinks and draw a quick map on your postcard.

12. Describe The Weather

What’s the weather like? Help your recipient see through your eyes by describing the atmosphere around you.

13. Write A Poem

If you have a way with words, write a poem about your experience or your location. Use inspiration from local writers, poets and artists alike.

14. Recount Your Latest Event

Whether you attended a concert, met up with some friends for dinner or checked out a new art gallery, be sure to share the fun with your loved ones back home.

15. Talk About Your Day

If nothing else comes to mind, simply write about your day. What did you do? What did you see? And who did you spend it with?

Although no longer a popular form of communication, a postcard is a nostalgic yet creative way to capture snippets of your day and experiences to share with your friends and family. Once you find the perfect card and message, you’re ready to write about your latest adventure.