Family and friends while travelling

Travelling around has so many amazing qualities but can also be quite difficult on certain aspects of daily life. The main challenge, I find is that keeping communication alive with friends and family while travelling can be challenging. You want to enjoy your time abroad, but you also want to remain connected to those important people in your life. You’ll be meeting new people and making new memories on your adventures, but you still have people waiting for you when you get back, which is great! However, you have to remember that while you’re distracted and travelling around, they are still experiencing their day-to-day and could possibly notice your absence a bit more.

There are a couple of tips and tricks that I’ve found can really help with making the whole being away from loved ones situation a bit easier – for both sides. Hopefully a few of these things will be able to make it easier on you as well.

It doesn’t only have to be your job to stay in touch

It’s important to remember that staying in touch is a two-way street. This doesn’t mean you have the right to simply wait around for everyone to always ask you what or how you’re doing but it does mean that there are a couple of things to keep in mind. If someone really wanted to see how you’re doing or to tell you something that’s going on in their life, then they always have the option of reaching out. They (probably) know you’re away and they know you’re busy, so if something comes up, they can make a point of letting you know and they don’t have to wait for you to ask. Staying in touch with the people and things you’ve left at home shouldn’t be your top priority whilst travelling if you ask me. 
Sometimes you don’t have to be in touch with people while you’re away to stay close. Your friends are your friends if you’re in the same country as each other or not. 

The main thing here is not to stress out if you don’t have the time or the opportunity to keep messaging, calling or facetiming people while you’re travelling. People – and especially your friends and family – will (or should if you ask me and probably most travellers) understand that you’re having a great experience and trying to have a bit of an adventure. 

Groups and public stories on social media

One of the challenges of staying in touch with people while you’re away, is that you don’t have the time to tell everyone individually what’s going on. To help with this, I’ve found that groups on social media platforms such as WhatsApp or Instagram can be very helpful. The idea is basically to show what you’re doing or what you’ve done publicly on social media and to do so once for everyone to see rather than copy pasting the same thing 10 or more times. This way people have the option of seeing what you’re up to if they’re interested, and you don’t have to update people individually. I personally mainly use Instagram – both stories and feed – and WhatsApp groups…and of course my blog but that’s a bit more of an extensive and information-based update rather than a personal “how are you?” 😉

First off, a couple of infos and tips on the more public updates like Instagram stories. If you have a large following or don’t really want people to know where you are at the moment, I’d recommend preparing the posts and stories but then posting them at a later date. This can also be a nice thought if you don’t want to spend the time during your trip to post something. Try and collect the footage and information on-site and then sort the actual posting process out later. The next thing to remember is that if it’s a public story, there’s probably a variety of people who will be seeing it, so I’d recommend trying to make the posts as appropriate for that whole audience as possible. Not everyone has to like the post but maybe try not to offend people. Stories and pictures in groups are also great because people can choose to react to selected elements to find out a little more about specific things, rather than you going into unnecessary detail in a message, answering a bunch of questions that no one really asked. Lastly, Instagram stories and WhatsApp group messages with pictures can also be a great memento for you. On Instagram you have the option to create a highlight and the texts in the stories or WA messages can later be reviewed as a kind of diary.


This one might sound a bit harsh but is definitely helpful. For yourself, it can help to prioritize the people you want to stay in touch with. You usually just don’t have time to keep informing everyone on everything that’s going on during your travels (unless you’d like to actively post in stories or groups, as mentioned). It’s really important that you make sure you know who will really care and who you really want to keep up to date on all the details followed by those who you’d like to remain in touch with but a bit more general. Of course, who is what kind of person to you will change and some people will turn out to be much more or less interested than you thought. Prioritizing doesn’t mean neglecting other people, it just means making a special effort for those for whom you think it’s worth it.

Make the special days count

I’d certainly say that this is one of the easier ways to keep a general level of communication going and put a smile on someone’s face. Just sending a quick message on a birthday or Christmas could mean a lot to some people. It doesn’t even have to lead to a full-on conversation but just the gesture that you’ve thought of them on a special day – especially if it’s a birthday – will be really appreciated because they know you’re busy and probably (or hopefully) aren’t keeping track of time. Depending on how close you are and what the time difference is, maybe give them a quick call and have a bit of a catch-up. We’re lucky to have social media and email etc. so that we can easily stay in touch and finding wifi for a couple of minutes is usually not impossible making it quick, easy and free to simply send a quick message on your platform of choice to let someone at home or wherever else in the world know that you’ve remembered them and wish them all the best.

It’s the little things

So, the mentioned points are some of my main tips and as you can tell, it can really be the little things that count. This can be the birthday messages, the story notes but there are also a couple of other gestures that can help or be a little bonus. Things like if you see a meme or a video or something funny while you’re out and send it to someone who’d appreciate it. This can be such a great way to show people you’re thinking of them, you remember something you both/all find funny and all that without having to go majorly out of your way. Also, a quick “I’ll get back to you soon/at a later date because I’m pretty busy at the moment” can go a long way. You may not always have time to answer the messages you get properly and that’s ok. However, it’s a little rude to ignore it completely for too long, so a small note that you know they’ve messaged and you care but will have to deal with it later is a really nice sign rather than ignoring a message for months. Maybe don’t do this for every message but do it for those where you know it’ll be at least another week before you have time to reply.

I’m sure there must be more tips and tricks in this area but these are the ones that I’ve been able to collect so far. If you have any ideas or suggestions of your own, leave a comment and feel free to tell me about your experience in this area! Also, remember that it’s normal and almost a good sign even if you miss the people back home. This means that you have something great waiting for you when you get back. Don’t let missing them ruin your trip but instead use it as the motivation at the end to not be sad that the trip is over but to be excited about your return.

If you’re interested in more travel tips, destinations or packing tips, check out some of my other Meg’s Places articles and stay tuned for more! In case your questions aren’t answered here, or you have any comments or personal experiences you’d like to share, don’t be afraid to get in touch, comment and let me know. 

You can also follow @megsplaces on Instagram, TikTok and Facebook for regular updates, pictures, story polls and video clips!

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