Friendship cards are similar to business cards, but you use them socially.
In this day and age, you might think friendship cards are a bit obsolete. After all, when you meet someone, you can instantly friend them on facebook, text them your number, follow them on twitter, etc.
But even if you have a smart phone, your new friend might not. And you might choose not to take your phone on your travels (as suggested in this blog post on skimping and splurging).
Also, in remote places (and even in some less remote ones), there's no guarantee of connectivity, or even of power. So even if you do have shiny gadgets, friendship cards are a great backup.
Here are some examples of friendship cards, for a fictitious traveller called Bobby. This first card is old school and has just Bobby's basic contact information:
This is suitable if you don't use social media much, or if you just want to protect your profiles from people who you don't know that well.
His email address is obviously one that has been set up specifically for his trip. He has been taking our advice on avoiding travel email scams.
You will see that Bobby has put his picture on his friendship card. This is useful as when you're travelling, you meet a lot of people and this helps them to remember who you are!
Here's a more modern version of Bobby's friendship card:
Because Bobby's got a common name, and there are different varients of his first name, having his profile names on his card ensures people find the right Bobby Campbell when they go looking for him. Having the same photo on his card and his profiles helps too.
This card type is useful for someone who's between jobs, as his LinkedIn profile and blog are there. This means that if meets someone who might be useful in getting him a job, they can find out a bit about his professional background, and his writing skills!
Note that Bobby hasn't included his email address or phone number though, which will make it difficult for some people to get in touch with him. Yes, believe it or not, there are still people who aren't on Facebook!
This is the back of Bobby's card. It's a handy way of getting someone's contact info and means they can give you just the details they want to share. Bobby could just give them his card of course, but it's good to take someone's details if you're very keen to stay in touch (eg if they could help you in your career or if you fancy them!).
Bobby could also note on his card how they met - it's always handy to have reminders! Personal details are useful too (eg 'She lent me her torch' or 'Is from Leeds').