Keeping in touch with friends and family is an important part of any gap year, whatever you decide to do. It enables you to let your parents know that you’re OK and stay connected with your friends. Staying in contact is also a great way to combat homesickness and as a brilliant reminder or memento of your trip, that you can look at when you return. So, here are our top ways of staying in touch:
Use Skype: Skype will start to become your best friend during your gap year and you will surely believe that it is one of the best inventions ever made. Skype is free to download onto any computer and allows you to call any other computer or phone anywhere in the world. And the best thing about it is that if the other person has Skpe too, your calls are absolutely free. You can have video calls, web chats or even conference calls with a few of your friends at the same time and all you have to do is find an internet connection (which is pretty easy when you’re travelling) The only thing you have to remember to do is work out the time difference and set up a meeting.
Blog: Creating a blog is one of the best ways of keeping in touch during your gap year; it enables you to share your experiences with your friends and family every day. It doesn’t have to be complicated either, there are many different sites out there that will help you set up blog, two good ones are Blogger and Wordpress. Get family and friends to sign up to your blog so that they will know whenever you post something new. Writing a blog takes dedication and time though and you have to make sure you keep updating it. It will be worth it though, and when you return, you’ll have your whole gap year story written out, available for you to relive whenever you want.
Update Twitter and Facebook: If you don’t want to write a whole blog, then updating your Facebook status is a good way of letting people know what you’ve been up to. Plus, it lets Mum and Dad know you’re OK and makes your friends a bit jealous too! Twitter is another good way of keeping in touch, not only does it allow to stay in touch with friends, but it enables you to connect with other travellers to, get tips and find inspiration on where to go next too.
E-mail: It might not seem flash or hi-tech anymore, but e-mail is still the best way of staying in contact. You don’t have to make sure you’re online at a certain time, set anything up or get to grips with a new website. You simply type, click and you’re done. Your parents will be glad to receive your e-mails and you’ll be happy to when you inbox is full of messages from people updating you with the latest gossip from home and telling you that they miss you.
Upload photos: If writing is not your thing, you may want to concentrate on your photography instead. Uploading your photos to Flikr, Twitpic or other similar image site could be a great way of staying in touch. It lets your family see that you are well and what you’ve been doing during your travels. Alternatively you could simply e-mail your photos and your friends and family so that they can share your experiences with you.