It’s time to go off on a traveling adventure and the excitement is immense. You are riding a high of emotions and feeling elated by taking this giant leap. Finally, you are following your dreams.
But a little while into the trip you start to think of home and everyone you left behind. You get a little bit of FOMO (fear of missing out) when the girls get together for a night out or your cousin is getting married but you can’t go.
You wonder how your best mate is getting on at his new job or how your niece did in the school play. You wish you could speak to them about it and you start to miss them.
We all get a little homesick when we’re away from home for a long time but the key to not letting it ruin your trip, distract you from your journey and ultimately shatter your dreams (sorry, a bit dramatic but some people do give up and go home at this point) is really not that crazy or ground-breaking.
The best way to avoid feeling homesick when traveling is to stay in contact with friends and family.
Ok, now you think I am crazy because that just sounds too simple. Honestly, follow these steps and read my tips and advice and I promise it will make being away from home and traveling a whole lot easier.
My tips for staying in contact with friends and family while you travel
1. Don’t lose touch
It’s easier than ever to stay in touch with home, so make sure you use all available resources. Gone are the days of pre-arranging a specific day for mum to be sat by the home phone while you trudged to the nearest pay phone, grabbed a handful of coins, worked out the time difference and tried to make sure you called her before Eastenders started and hoped that no one else was blocking the line.
Here are some simple ways to stay in touch…
– Use WhatsApp
You don’t even have to worry about calling credit, just download the app and connect to free wifi. WhatsApp is honestly the best way to stay in touch with any family or friends when you are overseas. Even if you’re in a rush or just about to head out and do something cool, just reply with an emoji or two. The video call on WhatsApp is my savior, I watch my nephews and nieces open their birthday presents and get to see the happiness on their little faces in real-time.
– Send voice notes
It can be hard to time your calls right when traveling, what with time differences and busy schedules. If you are missing calls from home and want to hear loved one’s voices record and send a voice note. It feels strange at first but once you get into the flow its quite fun.
– Email them
Ok, sometimes sending a text or WhatsApp message is just too short. If you have a lot to say type it up onto an email. Once you start an email conversation its really easy to keep it up. You can check back what you talked about and answer any questions so that nothing gets left unsaid.
– Send postcards
Now, this is old school but really effective. Buy a postcard on your travels, write a note about what you’ve seen or done, grab a stamp and pop it in the post box. It will be such a nice surprise for whoever receives it back home and you know it will get pride of place on the fridge.
There are also some great apps out there that allow you to use photos you’ve taken on your phone and turn them into postcards. It also saves you having to find a stamp or postbox. My favourite is SimplyCards, just download from the app store and create unique and personal postcards for as little as €1.59. Use this SimplyCards promo code to get 2 free credits, which means you can send 2 free postcards! CODE: WPGCBJCR
2. Remember the important days
Often while you’re away, the people at home think you are too busy having a great time to even think about them. This is never really the case, make sure they know that you are still thinking about them by remembering the important days like birthdays and anniversaries.
Here are some ways you can easily remember the important days…
– Pack an Address book
I take an address book with me whenever I travel. There is no way I can remember everyone’s exact address. Also, add their phone numbers (you never know when you might lose your phone) and email addresses. That way you have all the info you need to send postcards, letters, and emails.
– Keep a diary
A diary, planner or journal, is great to keep track of what you’re doing and when during your travels. Add all your friends and family’s birthday and other important dates to help you keep track. You don’t want to realize you forgot your parents ruby wedding anniversary or your oldest friends 30th birthday three days late.
– Set up a Moonpig account
Sending a card or letter in the post isn’t always easy, getting stamps, finding a post box, making sure it arrives on time. If you want to make sure you never miss a birthday get a Moonpig account. I pre-pay the credit on mine so it’s ready to go whenever I need it and I know it will be posted the following day. You can personalise the cards and add photos, it’s great!
– Use Amazon
If you want to send a little something extra and buy a gift for someone back home Amazon is the way to go. I send all my Christmas presents via Amazon. You can set multiple delivery addresses, ask for the price to be removed and even get items gift bagged. Even on the other side of the World you can send a nice little present home and make someone’s day. If your not sure what to buy them, send an Amazon gift card so they can choose something they like.
3. Send photos and have fun
No one likes a brag but at the same time make sure you are telling people at home about your adventures. The more they know about what you’re getting up to the more they will feel involved and have things to chat with you about.
Phone app’s are a great way to keep things light and fun…
– Use Snapchat
Snapchat is such a fun way to send silly photos to each other. Ok, your old work colleagues might not have an awesome sunset backdrop for their photo like you do but they can do an animal ear filter pic and send you that. It’s light-hearted and can include everyone. I like to record videos of me with a silly voice changer and send them to my sister. I’m pretty sure she loves it and it makes my nephews giggle.
– Use Facebook
Good old Facebook is pretty helpful all round for staying in touch with having to make much effort. You can send a private message, tag someone in a cute dog video or post a cartoon sticker on their page. Photo uploading is one of those features that we kind of forget Facebook can still do. Sure, you don’t want to overdo the beach sunbathing selfies or upload all the snaps you took on that week-long jungle trek. Just a few of your best shots in each place you travel to will help your Great Aunt know where you are now and she can have a little nose through your photos.
– Play online games
If you miss interacting and messing about get some online game apps that are multiplayer and ask your friends to join. You can play all sorts of fun online games together like uno, pictionary and scrabble. Send each other silly quizzes or join a FacebookLive or YouTube pub quiz and play at the same time from different locations. Houseparty is an amazing app that lets friends join a video chat like a conference call then play an online quiz.
4. Ask what they are doing
Don’t get too caught up in exciting times you are having and forget to ask friends and family what is going on in their lives. Take time to really discuss things and make sure you are asking questions. Your friends and family may need you while you are away. Help them out by listening and give your advice or support.
5. Invite them to meet up with you
It’s not completely out of the realms of possibility that one of your friends flies over to meet up with you when they get some holiday time off work. Or you manage to sync your travels and meet up for a few days stopover somewhere they can fly to pretty cheaply.
6. Make plans for when you’re back
Look ahead to when you are due to get back, make some plans, arrange to see people go out and catch up. Having something to look forward to will help you to stop wondering what they are all doing right now and what you might be missing out on.
I hope some of these tips have been helpful in aiding your homesick feelings. Stay in contact with loved ones honestly they are not that far away.
Do you have any tips to share about how to avoid feeling homesick while traveling? Share them in the comments box below ↓↓
Check out the other advice related articles by Seeking the Spanish sun…
Here are some Spain specific travel tips you might find useful…