Whether by choice or necessity, many families find themselves separated by significant distances for long periods of time. While nothing can replace living close to family members, there are things you can do to help bridge the gap. By thinking outside the box, you can help make the time between in-person visits less bitter and more sweet.

Video Chat

Aside from an in-person visit, a video chat provides the best way to interact with a distant family member, especially if what you really miss is seeing your family in person. When you chat with someone on video, you can see them and hear them, providing most of the communication cues that make for a meaningful conversation. Plus, you can use video chats for creative activities, such as watching a movie or playing a game that help you feel even closer and connected to your loved one.

Write a Letter

In a world of digital communication, there is something undeniably special about receiving a handwritten note in the mail. Reading the notes that you write allows your loved ones to hear your voice in their head, creating an instant connection. Plus, your family members can re-read your loving words as often as they would like and the notes make for a great keepsake reminder of your love when they feel homesick for you. By having a supply of personalized note cards in an easy-to-reach place, you’ll be more likely to remember to regularly write to your family members.

Plan a Trip Together

Even though there are many great ways to communicate over the distance, nothing beats the warm embrace of a beloved family member. Therefore, a great way to shrink the miles is to plan a trip with your distant family members. Whether you plan to visit one another’s cities or plot an adventure to a new location, the thrill of planning this trek will draw you closer to your loved one. Consider meeting up in the middle, but selecting a new city or destination each time. This way you will get to see each other and create new memories together all in one go.

Send a Text

Though texts can be somewhat impersonal, they are a great way to keep in touch with distant relatives with bite-size updates throughout your day. For example, the fact that you baked a delicious cake might not warrant the time it takes to do a video call. However, snapping a quick picture and sending a text can be a great way to keep your relatives updated and let them know you’re thinking about them. Texts are also a great way to do a quick morning “Hello” or to check in and see how your loved one is doing after a big event.

Whether you’re talking, texting, or visiting your relatives, you’re making memories. To help keep your relationships strong, it is good to revisit these memories as often as possible. By relishing in the past and looking forward to the future, you will be able to reach through space and build those strong bonds that would otherwise be lost.