There is no denying that the longer you are away, the more difficult it is to stay connected with the people and places you left behind. While it is very common to miss your family and friends, it is equally as common to feel guilt for not having the time to write to everyone.

When it comes to communication our biggest bit of advice is to keep it simple! While it may come naturally to you to Snapchat everything, is that really the case for your parents and grandparents? We encourage you to share this list with your family to make keeping in touch even easier.

Embrace the apps

WhatsApp

Connects all users of WhatsApp in an easy to use messaging and calling application. You can create specific friend groups (allowing you to communicate with everyone in the group), or just chat one on one. You can also voice and video call.

Facebook Messenger

Works similarly to WhatsApp but you don’t need the other persons contact details. If they have Facebook you can message them and even call them. Please note this is a different app to your regular Facebook app.

Skype

Known predominantly for its video calling capabilities, Skype often seems to be the app of choice for your laptop. You can also free call other people who have Skype or pay a very small fee to directly call landlines anywhere in the world (which can be a handy way to stay connected).

Google Hangout

For the Google fans out there, this is a great way to group message or call all of your friends. With very cheap rates for calling landlines, you might like to think of this as a harmonious mix between WhatsApp and Skype.

Instagram

While this isn’t strictly a communications app, you can use this as a means of showing off your latest travelling experiences. It also allows your friends and family to see what you are up to, giving them assurances that you are safe, without haven’t to speak to them every day.

Be aware of your time zone

This may seem like an obvious one but it is extremely important. Don’t try calling your family in the middle of their night, you’ll not only wake them up but may make them worried if they think it is an emergency.
Current times around the world

Write a blog

Here you can upload your thoughts, experiences, and stories to allow those back home to see what you have been doing. This is also a great way of ensuring you don’t forget any stories yourself and will bring great joy when you read your own entries many years after they have passed. The big three blogger sites are WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr.

Hand written

There is something still quite special about receiving a hand-written letter in the mail. While it may take longer to reach them, this is a great way of letting the people you care about know that they matter.

If writing a long form letter seems like too much of a difficult task, postcards are equally as special; here you only have a small amount of space to inscribe your message. Choosing postcards with great pictures also allows people to visualise where you were when writing to them.

Social and political news

Staying up to date with political and social news from your home country is a fantastic way to stay connected. It also gives you great topics of conversation when speaking to your friends and family. Try looking at the social feeds of your local news channels or at their direct websites.

It’s never been easier to let your friends and family know how your trip is going, or easier to find out what’s happening back home. No matter what struggles you face while abroad, the people you care about are often just a click away.