How To Stay In Touch With A Family Member Who’s Abroad

connecting with a family member or friend while abroad phone in front of window

Sometimes it’s hard to stay in contact with folks who are living far away. Receiving emails, texts, and phone calls is handy, but they’re not always the most reliable way. This post contains some tips to help you contact your loved ones on the other side of the world in a more personal and reliable manner.

Importance Of Staying In Touch With Family

The importance of staying in touch with the family has grown as people spread out more in the 21st century. Keeping relationships strong and healthy is essential, especially as you age.

Technology has provided many ways for us to stay connected. Therefore, it should be no surprise that we interact with our families more than ever before. Technology has created a way for us to stay connected to our loved ones and friends on a global scale and also caused a shift in how we view family relationships.

Staying in touch is even more vital when a family member moves to another country due to the distance. Therefore, it is essential to contact whenever possible to ensure that familial bonds remain strong. Although it can be a challenge to maintain contact, there are some things you can do to make it routine:

  • Set up a routine: It can be tricky to juggle your daily life with the constant need to remain in contact. Nevertheless, if you establish a routine, such as every weekend, you can ensure that you will find time to call.
  • Understand time differences: It is likely that if your loved ones have moved to another country, they will be in a different time zone. As such, you must always contact only during reasonable hours and try to time it to benefit all parties.
  • Make it straightforward: The more accessible the method of communication, the more likely it will be that you will call each other.

laptop ipad phone connecting over zoom in the evening

Buy Them A Sim Card That Allows Roaming

Data roaming is a form of data transfer that allows mobile device users to transmit and receive data while traveling outside their home country. Data roaming is generally used for personal and business use. You can use it for regular usages, such as surfing the web and checking email. Or, you can use it to send and receive calls and messages. Roaming rates vary depending on the service provider’s network conditions at the time of transmission. Data roaming rates are usually cheaper than international phone calls because internet data transfer is less expensive than phone calls.

For example, If you are in the UK and your family member is in a European country, you might utilize the roaming features enabled in some carrier networks. In this way, you can still contact your family when you’re not within the Wi-Fi range and essentially reach out to them whenever you’d like without incurring additional charges.

For the UK, you can opt for carriers part of more extensive networks like Voxi. You can also use a voxi promo code to reduce the cost further. Other countries will have similar options. However, the key is to look for carriers that offer favorable roaming fees. This ensures that you give the sim card to your family before they leave on their adventure.


Apple FaceTime

FaceTime is an application that allows people to connect via video chat (and audio) over their devices’ Wi-Fi or cellular data network. The application uses your device’s camera and microphone to facilitate the connection. The microphone can sometimes be used for voice calling over your phone’s cellular network but can also be used for video calling between nearby devices.

In the past, this option used to be limited to iOS users. Still, with a recent software update, anyone wanting to set up a Facetime call can send a unique link to the person on the other end so that everyone can communicate with each other.


Everyone in the world has used WhatsApp at some point in their lives, and for a good reason. It is convenient, encrypted end to end, and allows you to message, call, and even video call numerous people at once. You can also set up groups, which makes it even more functional. If you want to stay in touch with family abroad, you can set up a family group to update everyone on what is happening.

connecting with a family member or friend while abroad phone in front of window

Facebook Messenger

In many ways, Messenger is similar to WhatsApp; they’re owned by the same company, after all! However, some key differences could make Messenger far more convenient than the other option. For instance, most people will already have a Facebook account. For those who do, setting up Messenger is a breeze. You simply log in to the app and message anyone else on Facebook, which still seems to be everyone on Earth.

On the other hand, you will need a phone number and register it to a device to use WhatsApp. Furthermore, Messenger keeps all of your data on Facebook’s servers, meaning that you can gain instant access to it., whereas WhatsApp messages are stored on your phone. If you forget to backup your messages, you risk losing everything if you change phones.


This entry might seem somewhat peculiar, considering it is generally considered a business application. Still, Zoom is a fantastic way to set up group video chats with the whole family. The codec they use to compress and serve the video is so advanced that you can use it even with slower connections.

Zoom’s free plan limits one-on-one meetings to 30 minutes and group meetings with three or more participants to 40 minutes. Although this might not seem like enough time, you can always begin a new session immediately after your 30 or 40 minutes are up.


Staying in touch doesn’t only mean messaging and calling each other; it can also mean sharing your experiences. As alluded to earlier, almost everyone in the West uses Facebook, even grandma, and grandpa, making it an ideal choice to keep everyone updated with what is happening in your life. You can also view your family’s posts and comment on them as an indirect form of communication.

In the digital age, it’s easier than ever to stay in touch with family members abroad. You can use traditional methods like phone calls or opt for more modern alternatives like WhatsApp and Zoom. 

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