Multicultural Vida

10 Ways to Keep in Touch with Family Abroad

When you’re part of a multicultural family your family is probably scattered in different parts of the world. Keeping in touch with our family abroad is very important to us. Keeping in touch with our family abroad helps our son form bonds with his extended family, practice his language skills, and learn about and be proud of his roots.

There are many ways to keep in touch with family abroad. Thanks to technology it’s faster and easier than ever to keep in touch with those thousands of miles away!  Things have sure changed from when I was growing up. I remember the days when even phone calls were super expensive and not everyone had international calling. when I was growing up I couldn’t pick up the phone and “FaceTime” my grandmother or cousins living in Ecuador but today that is the reality!

Today, communications are cheaper and faster. We can see someone that’s a thousand miles away instantly. We can share documents, photos—it’s all amazing.

Here’s a list of the ways to  keep in touch with family abroad: 

Ways to keep in touch using technology: 

calling grandmaSkype: It’s FREE all you need is an internet connection. You can also use it to make long distance calls if your abuela doesn’t have a computer!

What’s App: What’s App is amazing. If you don’t have it, go download it now! You can share pics, do group chats, and even make phone calls!

FaceTime: This is only available only on iPhones and iPads.

Google Hangouts: You can connect with one than one person!


More traditional methods of keeping in touch:

Snail mail happiness: Yes technology is great because of its immediacy–  but there is something to be said about getting an envelope in the mail with your child’s name on it! The wait is a lot of fun and a hand-written note is rare nowadays! Every couple of months my son’s grandparents send a big colis (package) over from France with a handwritten note and goodies like his favorite treats!

IMG_4244Care packages/Encargos: Care packages (or “encargos” — things people bring you from abroad) are a great way to keep in touch — kids love getting surprises and family abroad can help get your kids loving and practicing their language skills by sending books, music and toys in the target language.

Art: we love mailing pictures and art that my son makes to his mamie and papy (grandparents).

Writing letters/Penpals: Writing letters if kids can (or even having your kids dictate letters to you!) is a great way to keep in touch.

Share pics! If you don’t like the idea of posting all the pics on FB or a blog, you can share photo albums using services like Snapfish. You can email links to specific people. You can also use these services to make photo gifts which your family and friends abroad will love!

Travel: The number one way to keep in touch with our family is TRAVEL! Every year we try to take at least one trip to see our family abroad and we always get together for Christmas.

checking out the cows with Papy

How do you keep in touch with your family abroad? Share your tips below and share this on Pinterest!


(This post is part of the Multicultural Kid Blogs Blogging Carnival!) 

Diana Limongi
Diana a mom, activist, nonprofit professional, podcaster and writer from Queens, NY. She writes about motherhood, activism, raising my multilingual kids, culture and travel. She and her multicultural family live in Queens, NY.

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