Staying in contact with friends and family when you travel for long periods of time can be a difficult task. But one thing VERY worthwhile to figure out!
A Bit About My Friends & Family
This past weekend was Easter weekend. Although my family isn’t religious, we still all get together and have a big dinner to celebrate together.
I truly appreciate how lucky I am to have such a big family to share these holidays with. Growing up I lived in a different province from the rest of my extended family, typically having just a few immediate family members to celebrate things with. Now that we all live in the same city I think I appreciate it even more.
Whether it is getting together for an Easter dinner, birthdays, or just meeting up and sitting around my aunt’s pool in the summer, I am going to miss them all so much over the next year! But it doesn’t have to feel that way. With technology now, there are so many ways to stay connected, a lot of which go unused.
All you need is Wi-Fi for most apps. Here’s a list of just a few things you can use to stay connected with your friends and family for free without needing an expensive phone plan.
1. Facebook Messenger
This is a great option because most people have Facebook. Just go through either the Facebook App, or the Messenger app if you have and click on the video chat. It’ll call them using Wi-Fi, and the quality and consistency of video is amazing! I put this one first because it is the most uncomplicated, easiest ones I’ve ever used.
Another great option, but personally I like Skype a lot less than Facebook Messenger. Only because my friends and family never use it themselves, and so if I had to make them all make accounts they would probably only ever be on it if we had pre-set up a time to call. Whereas Facebook messenger you can just call, and they’ll get a notification on their phone if they are around their phone.
WhatsApp is a fairly new app that is great for group chats if you have an Android phone. I always use it for group projects which works well. But they also have a great phone or video chat aspect to it. I am not 100% if the person you’re trying to call needs WhatsApp, I would imagine so … but it’s great because it will also send a notification right to your phone.
If you’re going to have access to Wi-Fi throughout your trip and you’re a tech savvy person, email is a very easy way to stay in contact with a lot of people. Send weekly updates, photos, etc… to show off your journeys! Staying in contact with friends and family when you travel for long periods of time over email is probably not the most personal way to stay connected… but it should be used in addition to one of the above video options.
5. Snail Mail
When was the last time you mailed someone a letter? Depending on how old you are the answer might be never. I know that I’ve only ever mailed maybe a handful of things, and mostly to the government so it’s not very exciting. But what better way to communicate with friends and family than by sending a few post-cards throughout your travels. These double as mementos for them to keep along your journey, which is why it’s still one of my favourites.
Staying in contact with friends and family when you travel for long periods of time doesn’t have to be difficult, or expensive. I will most likely be using all 5 of these ways while I’m gone on my trip, dependent on the person I’m talking to and what they like to use most. Make sure to talk to your own friends and family, and see what they’re comfortable using.
If you’re staying in contact with friends and family when you travel for long periods of time using other methods, I’d love to hear them! Comment below.
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