Travel Mode ✈️ Destinations - Questions - Opinions

Oh my god, I’m sorry about that. :sweat_smile: I hate when people get angry on the forum and I’ve found some cases of downright rude. This is a forum about a hobby, which is mailing, I try to always send a calm attitude, this is for fun, it is not the end of the world.
I tried to avoid anything that would make my writing angry or rude, like “angry emojis :roll_eyes: :rage: :triumph:”, caps letters, a lot of excalmation together “!!!?!?!?!” and things like rude symbols for cursing “F%$”.
I was trying just to write a serious but calm answer about that. :slightly_smiling_face:

But who in their right mind would do that? (and if two people out of 700k - or however many members there are - do that, who cares?). The only thing I found in a post above was someone saying they drew addresses and bought cards somewhere very expensive so they decided to send them from home instead. Not that they use Travel Mode to keep track of travels. There is no indication they do that regularly. Can’t they just have started with the intention of sending cards from Expensiveland, then realise their holiday was so costly that they changed their mind?

Of course, it seemed the exception. I actually didn’t mean for this to turn more into a “general” debate because most people seem to do Travel Mode as normal.
I was first answering a poster because, on the way they wrote it, it seemed than they planned to just send the cards after from the “cheaper” country. And somebody else was answering like “smart thing to do”. :no_mouth: That got me reasoning, why would you do that? Only so you can have the code-location in your profile? Because I don’t see other point.

You are right, it could have been just something that happened on a trip and they didn’t realise the prices. The way it was written, and because they were talking about different destinations; more than one place, it seemed more planned.
If I missinterpreted it, I have no problem on apologising on my mistake.

And, as I said before, I didn’t intend this to have a general tone of “People are doing this with the travel mode :triumph: because it seems from this thread that most people are just enjoying their travels (:grin:) and making other people happy by sending them mail and I was initially answering to a person’s particular case.

I first logged here to say that I’d be travelling to Ireland and Luxembourg next month and I was looking forward to send mail from both countries while travelling.
Should have wrote that first and ignored anyone else. Oh, well. :no_mouth: :sweat_smile:

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But my country is basically the size of all of Europe. So you can surely imagine that each region is like its own country in many ways culturally.

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Actually, it is known that people do that, like from Denmark if they live near the border they go to Germany (I don’t think there is Travel Mode involved). Because spending 90 cents is better than spending 3-4 euros, or whatever the exact prices are. Of course, these people in some way have no choice, that is where they live so they go to the cheaper side to afford Postcrossing.

It doesn’t look like it because this evening I am in the mood for picking apart everything that anybody says, but I learnt over the years to do just that and not get involved in long, complex, misunderstandable conversations. Not tonight :joy:

Yah like I said, maybe I’d feel differently if I came from somewhere huge (or lived somehwere huge). But just to say, it is not necessary to do travel mode in the same country, but if you want to then why not :smiley:


OK, I tried looking at this on the forum topics of the travel mode but I don’t see anybody commenting on it. Sorry if this has already been answered.
And, before anything, I am not complaining nor am I angry about what I’m going to write (:hugs: ). I think I have a weird situation with what happened after I came back from my trip and I am just… puzzled. :no_mouth:
Maybe this is normal, but I’d like a second opinion on it.
Apologies because this is going to be long. I feel unless I explain it from the begining, no matter how I asked, it’ll make no sense

So, context: I travelled to Spain on Christmas and stayed until mid Jan. I stopped requesting new adresses around mid November so I had them for the Travel Mode (I’m quite a newbie, so they weren’t too many).
I send the postcard, came back to Norway, all good.
I came back the 22-January, Saturday
I did not have any postcards in my letterbox. I checked just in case. Everything OK. I remember I set my account back to normal the 23-Jan (Sunday) because I arrived late and I wanted to make sure I was “back” before receiving any mail.

Now, if I undestood correctly, the way PC works is that someone requestes an adress, my adress is in a “pool” and gets pulled by someone, and this person sends me a postcard, while my adress goes back at the “end of the queue” in the pool of adresses, to wait until someone requestes it again (and there’s limits regarding postal monitor and etc.). Right??

My first mail was the 28-Jan (Friday*). I received 3 different postcards from Germany, with almost consecutive ID-numbers (for Germany standards, at least).
*They are registered 19-Sat but we don’t have mail on Saturdays.

All sent the same day; 23-Jan (the day I “came back home” for Poscrossing), and received the same day. I am assuming that because there are so many German users three people requested an adress almost at the same time and my adress got drawn 3 times from the same country with such a small difference of ID-numbers. I think it shouldn’t happen with the PC system but maybe the time difference between them was of seconds and I got sorted trice in such a small amount of time. Alright.

But then it happens again on 1st Feb (Tuesday). Two cards from The Netherlands, almost consecutive number of ID. Sent and received the same day.

I found it very strange, but didn’t think that much of it. At this point I just assumed there was some kind of glitch. A bit of a pitty because I was hopping that comming back from a trip and having “spent” all my adresses, mine would take a while to circle around PC and I’ll be slowly, slowly receiving mail for the next months. You know, more spaced in time so I had more time to enjoy receiving mail once I’m back home. Oh, well, not the worst. :sweat_smile:

But then things seemed -more or less- back to normal. I kept receiving some mail, 1-2 cards each week and from different countries, different ID’s, nothing seemed wrong anymore. Mail slows down at the end of February, because I still don’t have a big send/recieve number of cards and my Recieve count was paired with my Sent quite fast (due to the first two weeks of mail recieved). Some cards from Spain arrived and I got some addresses but it is slow (some are expired). By the end of Feb., my count for Received is higher than my Sent and I’m slowly receiving new addresses and sending mail to try and to even things.

I recieve my last postcard the 2nd March GB-1488300.
I haven’t received any mail since. The reason why is clear; I had more Recieved postcards than Sent, and all the ones I could have sent were already travelling, so I just had to wait.
Imagine how many postcards I got the first two weeks after I came back - and how fast- that it took me until the middle of March to even out my S/R. And, since my last postcard came the 2nd of March, I’ve only been sending, not recieving (and most of them are still travelling).

I was bored, browsing through the forum, thinking about how odd was that I recieved so many postcards so fast in February but now mine’s taking so long to travel, and maybe mail was slowing down and damn, I can’t receive any more postcards until mine’s arrive when I looked at my stats SENT and…

All the postcards I’ve been receiving from the past few months were sent the exact same day. The day I set my account back from Travel Mode.

I don’t even know what I’m asking here. :no_mouth: :sweat_smile:
Was this a glitch? Is this normal?
It is not supossed to be like this, right? As I said at the begining, I thought that every time someone gets your address, it goes back at the end of the queue.
Maybe when going back to travel mode your address appears more times one following the other?
Has this happened to someone else, too?

If you’ve read until here, know that I really apreciate it. I am currently saving all my addresses because I’m travelling again the first-second week of April and I want to send in Travel Mode but that means I won’t be receiving any mail any time soon, unless one of the postcards that are still travelling reach their destination.
I’m also a bit worried this will happen again once I come back from my trip. It is not a major problem, I’m happy I am receiving postcards, which is the important point.
But it took me almost two months to set back my Sent to what my Received looked like in less than two weeks, so I’d like some feedback, if someone has it.

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Something similar happened to me after I moved back from France to Italy last December and switched back to active on 24 December. My address was given to so many postcrossers that I only started receiving “new” postcards in March. Throughout January and February, I only received postcards sent in late 2021…
I have got used to this mechanism, but I was very surprised the first time I noticed it!

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I think you may find your answer here, or at least other people’s opinion.


Yes, it is how it seems to work at the moment. The moment you switched back to receiving postcards, your address was given out as many times as how many cards you were owed, plus a few more (I guess in case of any loss). The same thing seems to happen also when you have more cards travelling at the same time. The moment you get one more card sent than received, you address is given out for that one card and also for all your still travelling ones! But then your address won’t be given out again until you reach more sent than received again. So the stats even out again eventually.


Don’t worry, it’s very normal :grin: I was wondering the same thing a while ago…


I went active for an hour on the 22nd when I was due around 250 cards. That was after a year of being set inactive. I’ve received over 150 cards already and I expect more will arrive today.


Yes, this is perfectly normal. Happens every time I set my account back to active.


That is normal. Last year I set my profile back to active when I was due to 50 cards. I received more than 60 cards that were all sent on that day.


I didn’t keep track and can’t describe it as well as you did, but I had the same experience. Only, I didn’t think I was “owed” any cards from before, and I wondered why in the beginning I was sent those cards before mine arrived. But after that things evened out again and became slow again.


Something very similar happened to me to! I was quite surprised how many postcards I received almost at once, after coming back from travel mode.

Now it’s back to norm though.:slightly_smiling_face:

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While it helps to think about it as queue, it’s not implemented as an actual queue. The “pool” concept is closer to truth in that there’s no “arrival time order” to it.

Anyhow, we do try to spread the dates when an account is selected, but this is not always possible. Most of the time, it is not.

Without going into tiny details, the algorithm we have in place has some strict rules like not repeating the same person, or not selecting someone that set their account to inactive, etc. These are always enforced.

And there’s also other “rules” that are good to have and used whenever possible — or as much as possible to be more correct. An example of this is an optimization that tries to avoid selecting an account in large bursts by trying to disperse when it is selected (side note: we call this our happiness disperser :sweat_smile:). In an ideal scenario, this spreads out when an account is selected to receive a postcard.

However, a lot of the time, the algorithm is struggling to have enough selectable destinations because the majority wants a wider diversity of destinations (and also of incoming countries), etc — to allow for this, it requires relaxing (or skipping) some of those good to have rules because otherwise sometimes it wouldn’t have anyone selectable, or there would be a whole lot more country repetitions (which tends to be a bigger concern).

I should also mention that even with our attempts to spread the selection dates, this has much less impact than what one might expect: in practice, as many of you might have noticed, it’s not uncommon for international mail to arrive in large batches on the same day — regardless of where and when it was sent. The way the postal connections (and the operators too) work across countries tend to have a much bigger impact on receiving batched mail, than our the algorithm tweaks. While (sometimes) we might be able to spread it over a few days, to the receivers batches can still happen nonetheless simply because that’s when mail arrived to the hands of their local mail carrier.


Ok, thank you everyone that answered me. :smile:
I do not know how to close a topic (or if I can close one myself) but I think this has been quite solved.
I’m glad I was not the only one that had all the cards with the same sending date and that it wasn’t a glitch in the system. Now I can prepare better for the next time I come back from travel mode.

To @borealis thank you for pointing out that thread. I recalled reading something about non-compensated Sent/Received ratios but, as I was looking for the travel mode specifically, I didn’t see that one.
To @elanlei may the force be with you to register such a huge amount of postcards (but how nice to have your mailbox full after all that time).

And, finally, thank you for the thorough explanation @paulo . Of course, not sending to inactive accounts and not repeating are more important than sending date. And mail usually travels in bach, specially going from far away (for example, Norway nearly always sends me all the East Asia together the same day, since volume is not that huge).
I was wondering, as @hankadl explained and I saw also in some comments on the Receiving more cards than you send - #11 by AuntyLou thread.
Maybe, instead of including the address in the pool as many times as postcards are “due” the same day, it could be included in batches of 2-3 in the pool each day?
For example, if I have 8 postcards “to be sent to me” once I come back, maybe the address can be introduced two times one day in the pool, 2 other times the next day (or every two days), other 2 times the address the following day… It’d be similar to the happiness disperse but in this case it’d prevent the address from jumping to the pool, instead of dispersing it after.
I was thinking it could be posted as a suggestion but I don’t know if it’ll be the prefered way for everyone. :thinking:
And I must admit I have no idea how difficult that might be. All that the algorythm already does is quite impressive.
But, as you said before, Paulo, the sending and arriving dates are a minor concern and mail will still come in batches -usually because of origin area- no matter the dates, and having diversity in senders and receivers is prefered, it automatically implies that the arrival dates will be different even if the sending happened the same day.

Again, I’m glad it wasn’t a glitch. So far, the best way to receive mail spaced, even when it’s all sent the same day, is to have it send from different countries so, we shall keep recruiting people from other countries to join and make the “pool address” more diverse to help the algorythm spread up the postcards. :world_map: :email:


Yup, I think that’s just how the system works…

Actually I’ve come across postcrossers who do this on purpose - i.e. they send a lot of cards, then go inactive, wait for all their cards to arrive, and then go back to “active” - hoping that when their address is given out 50 times on the same day (within hours or minutes actually) their chances will be bigger to get cards from many different countries… :wink:


I forgot to mention that I wasn’t even using travel mode nor was inactive… So you may expect it to happen at any time :grin: And of course I don’t mind it, the cards won’t arrive on the same day, it’s just a fun detail :blush:


And I thought that 20 in one day is a lot :grin:.

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Nothing to do with travel mode. For me, it’s the only way it works. There is a loooong thread about it that has been linked already.
Every single one of my registered card triggers about 10-15 received on the same day. I’m now receiving cards sent on 28 February - 7 so far.
Before then, I have more than I care to count on 7 Jan, a few on 16 Jan (sometimes I go inactive just to stop the deluge) and before then it was October when my address was given out. At some point during that stretch I had 10-11 more received than sent so had to catch up.
Look at my profile and the dates in my received.

As far as I know, this only doesn’t happen to people in the most common countries such as Germany. All the others will have this pattern - depending on other thing like travel times.


Ah yes. Once I was inactive for 4 months, sent maybe 40 cards and got 52 back. Sometimes 10 on the same day. Unlike the people you mentioned, I really didn’t enjoy that, the big volume took the fun out of it for me.