Keeping up with long-distance friends and family can be more than just a distance challenge. But out of sight does not have to mean out of mind. Luckily, technology – and of course our good friends at the mail depo – have made keeping in touch with our loved ones easier than ever before. Find out how to stay in touch with friends…

We’ve included our favorite ways to not only sustain, but actually strengthen those faraway relationships. Getting us through life’s challenges and being present when we celebrate the best of times – even from a distance. While things may not be quite the same, these tips and tricks will ensure that you are able to keep making that connection meaningful.

If the reason you’re apart is the global pandemic, then these 14 ways to stay social while socially distancing might be the right tips for you.

How to stay in touch: 10 ideas for long-distance friends and family

Read on for our 10 ideas on how to keep the contact going between you and your long-distance buddies. A little bit of effort goes a long way!

#1 Send care packages – keep a connection

Even when we are far from home, a care package can bring us a sense of it. Think about the treats that they may not be able to get in their current location but are certain to remind them of their home. There’s nothing that connects like a care package – the keyword being ‘care’!

Here’s some good lightweight ideas:

  • Local chocolate or candy
  • A treasured photo of the two of you or a funny selfie
  • Something of yours to keep safe for you
  • A product your country or region is famous for – like marmite in the UK.

Alternately pick items that will jog your family or friends of a memory that you share together. Like a souvenir from a shared vacation.

#2 Sending postcards to keep in touch

Postcards have been around since the 19th Century and despite changes in technology, they’re as popular as ever. They make the best souvenirs and keepsakes, and everyone loves receiving one. 

Try committing a favorite memory of you and your long-distance friend to paper and adding it as the message. If you have a photo to match even better… The MyPostcard app allows you to add your own photo/s to your postcard and have it posted for you.

Other postcard ideas to help you stay in touch with friends include:

  • Sending a compliment or something you’ve always admired about them
  • Recounting how you met and what you’re grateful for
  • Promising to start a PenPal corrospondence with them

#3 Social media – not as obvious as you’d think…

How to stay in touch using social media starts with finding ways to connect

Yeah yeah, seems obvious… But we have some tricks for you on how to use social media to stay in touch.

If you are part of a group of close friends who no longer live near to each other, create a private group on Facebook. Then you can share your memories and goings-on.  You can also use apps like Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, and Snapchat for private conversations.

Some people like creating a private and best-friend exclusive Instagram account for the real imperfect goings-on in their lives. Sharing those non-instagrammable moments in the daily grind can help to ensure that your long-distance relationship stays strong.

Other ideas include:

  • Nominating a day as challenge day. Decide what the challenge is amongst yourselves and post a picture, then vote on the funniest one.
  • Consciously send memes you and your friend relate to to each other. Even a small gesture like that shows your making an effort to keep up with them.

#4 Video chat – how to keep it fun!

Although group conversations can be a great way to share the big news, there are many times in our lives when we need a more one-on-one conversation. We recommend doing both! A phone call allows for us to have a proper good chat with our loved one, and video chat tech makes it so they are almost in the same room.

Apps such as Skype, Facebook Messenger, and FaceTime have grown super popular in recent years and can be a great way to see our loved ones whenever we can; wherever they live in the world.

Play games, catch up or easily share a meal with your friend who lives miles away. Make sure to spend an evening together occasionally as if you were physically together.

#5 How to stay in touch by playing games

Whether it is on your phone, console, or laptop, there are so many multiplayer games that can be a great way to keep in touch. It could be a fun word game such as Words with Friends, something stupidly competitive like Fight List, or even an all-out battle royale on CoD or Fortnite. There are so many free and paid apps and games you could choose from. Plus, some video messaging apps have games already included! E.g. Messenger, House Party.

#6 Watch TV and films together – a bonding experience

This couple lying in bed show how to stay in touch with a video call

This is a particularly great option if you both live alone! Netflix Party is a chrome extension that allows you to chat with your loved ones while you watch Netflix. Alternately, just give them a call and chat whilst you watch. To make sure that you both begin at the same time, you could share screens or just go with: one, two, three, go!

Remember if you are binge-watching a series together, you will have to pinky promise that you will not watch ahead. 😉

#7 Sending recommendations – be involved in friends’ lives

For those looking to stay in touch with long-distance family and friends, sharing recommendations can be a great way to ensure the conversation stays alive. For example, if you have read a great book recently, seen a film you are confident they will love, or discovered the perfect recipe for a baked treat! You could even start up a recipe chain, with each friend adding their own improvements.

#8 Handwritten letters – a great way to stay in touch with friends

Handwritten letters like this can physically connect and help you with how to stay in touch with friends

These days, sending letters is not something that we do on a regular basis but there is certainly something nostalgic about the process of writing to someone you love. Providing the opportunity to get your thoughts and feelings out on paper, letter writing is not only beneficial to our relationships; it can also be therapeutic. 

If you are particularly creative, you could even include sketches and drawings that you know they will appreciate. If writing letters to each other is not quite your thing, sending emails can be a great way to have those long conversations without the fuss. Try to keep your emails in one conversation thread, so you can go back and reread.

#9 Keeping up with friends by sticking to a schedule

It can also be a good thing to come up with a schedule for a good catch up. It can be as regular as you like, but even just a once a month booked in the diary can go some way to maintaining the relationship. – So that other things aren’t always getting in the way. However, it is also important to understand that life can happen and sometimes your friend (or you) will need to cancel. Just make sure to reschedule!

#10 How to stay in touch simply by making plans

Whilst long-distance communication can be tough, making concrete plans is a certain way to ensure that your relationship continues to thrive. Whether it is a case of meeting in the middle or planning to travel somewhere new and amazing, it is all about making those special plans for the time you do see each other. Learning how to stay in touch with friends only makes sense if you see each other properly every once in a while!

How to stay in touch with long-distance friends? Not so difficult after all!

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Hiya, I’m Maud. I’m an English girl who's moved to Berlin - because who wouldn’t fall in love with a country which has words like ‘Kummerspeck’ hidden around every corner... I love traveling and finding out the quirks of each country - and what better way to remember them than on a postcard?

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