Today, May 15th, is International Day of Families and what better way to celebrate this occasion than to make it a point to stay in touch with your friends and family in another country. With technology at your disposal and a bit of planning, it’s not difficult to connect with your loved ones and nurture your relationships back home. Here is a list of 6 smart ideas to keep in touch with family members abroad.
Schedule regular video calls
Video calls (Skype, Whatsapp, Facetime, Google hangouts) are the most inexpensive and effective way of staying connected to your loved ones abroad. Pick a certain time of the day that works for both you and your family member and make an effort to stick to the schedule. Try not to make the conversation one-sided by only talking about yourself the whole time and remember to plan your next call before ending the current one. Seeing each other’s faces and hearing each other’s voices will sure work wonders for your relationships.
Send postcards to your loved ones
Postcards seem so old-school but don’t you love it when you get a snail mail from that special someone? Postcards are an opportunity to gift your loved ones a souvenir from each place you visit. Send hand-written postcards from the nearby park, grocery store, beach, museum, and colonial street and write down a few lines describing a funny incident or an aha moment to make your family members feel like they’re experiencing all these adventures with you.
Start a blog
Another way to maintain strong bonds back home is by starting a blog. This allows your loved ones to stay up-to-date on everything you’re doing and gives them a platform to express opinions and communicate back and forth.
Plan a family reunion
Throw a reunion party inviting all your family and friends so that you can meet everyone in just one trip. Plan everything well in advance so that everyone can take leave from work and make proper travel arrangements. Choose a destination that works for the most number of people in your friends and family. If you are not able to manage things alone, create 2-3 groups and assign them tasks like making sure everyone is coming, planning games and activities, etc. Their participation will make things a lot more fun for you plus you’ll feel even more motivated to stay in touch with them.
Send gifts on special occasions
Nothing says ‘I miss you’ quite like a flower bouquet or personalized piece of jewelry sent by a loved one from afar. Be it anniversaries, birthdays or any other important family event, a small gift from you can make your family members back home feel special. Having said that, sending gifts across borders can be a little complex and costly and will often take longer than expected. But not to worry- Use Ria Money Transfer to send money online to your friends and family back home and cheer them up on their special day. With Ria, money can be easily transferred to over 149 countries at great rates.
And don’t forget about the elderly relatives
If you have grandparents or elderly relatives who are not active on any social media sites or don’t have access to a reliable Wi-Fi connection for a video call, the best way to connect with them is through a normal phone call. Invest in the right tariff to ensure you don’t end up with a hefty telephone bill. You may also encourage the oldies to give Facebook and Instagram a shot or at least start reading your blog.
As you can see, there are so many ways to maintain strong relationships with family members in another country. All you need is the willingness and motivation to stay connected to your old life and rest assured, you’ll easily overcome the time zone differences, connectivity issues and other challenges associated with long distance relationships.