4 Tips for Staying Close With Long Distance Family

May 7, 2016Holly Sosa


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My mom and dad moved from Northern Michigan to the Wild West, Las Vegas when I was a young girl. Growing up, we would spend our summers returning to our Michigan roots and visiting with our family. While being apart from our grandparents and cousins was hard, we maintained a close relationship and to this day share lasting bonds. Now that I’m an adult, I’ve found myself in a similar situation of having to love from long distances. My mom, sister, and I are all close and talk or text daily, but we live hours apart. And to make things even harder, my sister, a Marine Corps wife, received news recently that she will be moving overseas to Japan. This makes me extra grateful for the experience we already have being far apart while keeping a close relationship. We are still strongly bonded and I credit it with how we grew up. These tips for staying close with long distance family are tried and true methods that have worked for my family and me as we have and continue to navigate the challenges of living miles apart.

Send snail mail and care packages

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What better way to connect than with a handwritten letter or care package full of goodies from home? My sister and her family will certainly miss their favorite snacks or candy or even the fun items from the ever worshipped dollar area at our favorite store. Putting together a care package every so often filled with their favorite things they may be missing stateside will be a creative way for me to send some Sosa family love her way. And handwritten notes to my niece and nephew will help them to connect with their aunt and cousins in a more physical way.

Make time for weekly video chats

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My kiddos love nothing more than when their Nanny calls them to video chat. They all squeeze together into the frame to make sure she can see them clearly over their siblings as they each loudly repeat, “Hiiiiii Nannnyyy,” over one another. Since they don’t get to see her often, it’s one way we ensure they still feel a family connection to her between visits. Get out that selfie stick and make some calls!

Use PayPal’s Xoom

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While snail mail and care packages are fun, they can get pricey, especially around the holidays and during birthdays. That’s why PayPal’s Xoom is so handy. Xoom is a PayPal service that powers international payments to friends and family in more than 40 countries around the world. While my sister is in Japan, I’ll be able to securely send her money to get my niece and nephew gifts from their aunt and on holidays like Mother’s Day, I can ensure she treats herself by sending a little extra for her. PayPal’s Xoom is a great tool for me to manage and move money quickly, leaving me with more time to be with my family and visit with my sister through phone calls or vide chats. With my sister overseas in an unfamiliar country, this service will help her and myself keep our minds at ease knowing that money is safely handled for us. Xoom also provides peace of mind since we can track each payment via SMS alerts and receive a text message when the money is received.

Plan a yearly trip together

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While it’s not always possible, we try to never go more than a year without my children seeing their grandparents in Michigan. Whether we visit them or someone comes to visit us, both sides make an effort to plan a trip out for some family lovin’s. We’ve visited and seen so many places as a family and made memories that my kids will talk about for their lifetimes. In a small way, our long distance relationships have been a blessing.

Coming from such a closely knit family, it’s hard to live far away from one another Which is why it’s important to ensure our bonds stay strong by fostering our relationships with things like video chats and care packages. Thanks to Xoom and PayPal, I can concentrate more on those relationships with peace of mind and knowing I have every financial aspect of long distance family lovin’s handled.

Check out PayPal’s Mother’s Day deals and egift cards for ideas on how to show your long distance family members you care. And be sure to follow Xoom on Facebook for finance tips and to learn more about their services.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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