As I write this (again, several days before you’ll read it due to how I can schedule posts in advance), I am set up in the Birmingham airport awaiting my flight to California to visit my family. I staked out a prime spot next to an outlet, easily got the free wi-fi working on my laptop, put my feet up on my suitcase, and have a wobbly, relatively hot cup of Trader Joe’s Organic Ginger Pear White Tea balanced on the seat next to me. I drink decaf most of the time, but today the tea is a (somewhat futile) effort to not feel like I got up at 4:15 this morning.
While we’re on the subject, here’s a travel tip: pack your own tea bags from home in your carry-on. They take up no space and weigh nothing, and you can usually get a cup of hot water for free or nearly free at an airport shop. They always have hot water on beverage carts on planes too. A fresh cup of tea can make your cramped seat feel much more civilized, ease frazzled travel nerves, offer a cup of comfort on a long layover, and thaw out your air-conditioned self in mid-air.
Anyway, I digress. Onto our topic for today: have you seen the online cards and invitations at Paperless Post? One of my sister’s friends introduced me to it when we started planning her bachelorette party, and now I am excited about the possibilities. The invitations are similar to an evite, except far more attractive and classy. The online “invitations” look like actual custom-printed paper, and come in an “envelope” that opens up on your screen. I know it sounds crazy, but it really has the look and “feel” of a nice invitation. The site tracks RSVPs too, much like evites.
You can choose from and customize hundreds of designs for parties and showers. There are also plain cards (not set up to take RSVPs like invitations) for birthdays, holidays, thank you notes, save the dates, change of address announcements, etc.
The only catch is that you get to send 25 cards for free after you sign up on the site, and then you have to pay for them by buying “stamps” and “coins.” It costs one stamp to mail one card to one email address, and stamps start out at 30 for $5. (Cost per stamp gets cheaper the more you buy.)
You need to spend coins to send cards with special customizations. You get 10 free when you sign up, and after that pricing starts at 25 for $5. I’m not sure exactly when you need to use those. I customized my sister’s invitation with my choice of colors, fonts, and emblem, but I still have all 10 of my free coins. So there must be even flashier, sassier customizations out there!
All in all, definitely less expensive than snail mail, and more convenient when you don’t mind sacrificing that special “arrival in your mailbox feeling.” But sadly, not free like so many wonderful things are on the internet. Hope you like it if you try it. I am totally an “invitation person” and look down my nose at evites, but I was quite impressed with Paperless Post.