Travel Mode ✈️ Destinations - Questions - Opinions

I’ve tried this in a few countries (Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, USA). Each time, the postal clerks refused to do it.


They are supposed to do it in the USA. If a window clerk denies you a postmark, ask them to bring out the Post Office’s copy of the Postal Operations Manual (USPS regulations require each post office to have one) and ask them to refer to section 231.4

“Hand-Back and Mail-Back Service
Postmarks should be used to provide the following philatelic services whenever they are available:
a. Hand-back Service
(1) When a customer personally presents an addressed or
unaddressed envelope, postal card, or other item described in
section 231.63 to a Postal Service employee for postmarking, the
Postal Service employee must examine the item to ensure that it
is clearly intended for philatelic purposes.
(2) The envelope, card, or other item does not enter the mailstream.
All such materials requesting postmarking must bear uncanceled
postage at the applicable First-Class Mail® rate. If the customer
wants to mail the postmarked item, it must be trayed or bagged
separately, and flagged “nonmachinable” to avoid being overpostmarked in processing.”

They are allowed to postmark and hand it back to you, and they are supposed to do it if you ask.


I just came back from a week in Lisbon. I ended up sending 10 cards in travel mode. Acquiring postcards is super easy and I was surprised that every souvenir shop I encountered sold them for the same price. I think I only saw one shop that sold them for 40 Cents instead of 50 like all the others. And a few offered 10 cards for 4.50€.
Acquiring stamps was also easy but the post boxes outside the post office confused me to no end. There were 4 different ones! Since I wasn’t sending within Lisbon or within Portugal, there’s a 50/50 chance I put them in the right box. Also loved that there were 2 different public mail boxes throughout the city. “Normal” and “blue”. XD Gotta admit that’s the most complicated system of mailboxes I have encountered so far.


I don’t trust mailboxes even in my hometown. I usually throw postcards in a box located inside the post office, it makes me feel safer.


The mailboxes are complicated even for the Portuguese! :sweat_smile:

It used to be that the blue mailboxes were only for express mail, and the red were for normal mail — that was simple. But nowadays, mail that goes abroad is supposedly treated like express mail, so you can post your postcards on the blue box if they’re going to outside Portugal.

In the end, I don’t think it matters much though. Things will get there… eventually!


I think so too. I sent cards from the Czech Republic in travel mode a few years ago. When I put them in the public mailbox, it was dark and I was confused why there were two right next to each other. The next day I saw that one was for Europe and one for the rest of the world. I’d put my Chinese card in the European mailbox, but it arrived.
Might take a bit longer if it’s in the wrong mailbox, but I’m confident it’s not a big deal in the end.

I think there were two just to increase capacity in a more busy place. There is only one universal type of mailbox.