Ways to Stay in Touch With Family Abroad

It’s that time of year when some students may plan for a study abroad, your soon-to-be-graduates accept a job across the country or your older kids have business trips taking them to far-off destinations. Have no fear, tech is here … to help.

Whether just away for a quick business trip or extended internship, there are a few easy, affordable and accessible ways to stay in touch. Keep up with the kids, your spouse and even friends, no matter how busy the schedule, with this cheat sheet.

Make a Plan

Have a standing catch-up date. With a planned date to chat, you can easily feel connected to loved ones far away just knowing you’ll have time to catch up at the end of the day, week or a few times a month. This catch-up could just consist of a quick phone call, Skype session or FaceTime while in transit — depending on the allotted time, cell service and availability, of course.

Sure, the schedule may change, but having a standing date or plan to catch up will keep you accountable to your kids and make each conversation a quality one. If there isn’t truly a convenient time for all parties to have a live conversation, leave video or audio voicemails. Even if you end up playing phone tag a few times a week, it’s a great way to still feel connected and caught up.

If you have to miss a day, don’t worry, just work out a rotating schedule — it may work well for a couple schedules here and there, and you can switch to be more convenient for the other schedules on the next call.

Get the App

Connecting by text and calls is always the easiest way to stay in the loop with the kids, but with varying time zones and individual phone plans, an app like WhatsApp can help. This constant can help keep your family connected through group calls, chats, texts, video chat and even help you easily share high-res images.

The app works well using only WiFi, so don’t worry about going over on data and incurring charges.

Be Thoughtful

Don’t forget to send invitations, mail and anything else that can help your loved ones feel connected to home. If there’s a big event coming up or a special occasion a traveling family member is bound to miss, still send the invitation. They will feel included and involved in the day to day, as well as big moments. Even as a gesture, it can go a long way.