Making new friends is half the reason you decided to travel solo, but saying ciao to these besties when the adventure is through can be rough. Since you guys bonded over your favorite travel bloggers and seriously considered getting matching friend tattoos, staying in touch is something you really want to do. Read on for easy and effective tips that will actually help you keep your promises.
1. Get their info ASAP. As soon as you find a kindred spirit on the road, get their Facebook information or find them on Viber or Whatsapp. If you guys clicked, there are so many instant messaging platforms to stay connected. If you’ve met one of those rare, awesome people who abstains from social media, grab their email address. Chances are they use that as their main form of communication.
2. Be realistic. Although you might have found every way to connect, keeping in touch just isn’t for everyone — especially the more transient among us. Look for friends who already maintain long-distance friendships and clearly make the effort. They’re generally the ones who want to say hi to your parents when you’re Skyping or look at pictures of your cat you’re missing tons.
3. Tag them in your photos. It’s so easy to upload bulky trip albums and let people tag themselves, but take a moment to tag your long-distance friends. As years pass, you’ll be able to find their info through your Facebook photos and easily connect. It’s a great way to spark a conversation and see what they’ve been up to since your epic time together. You guys can take that memory lane trip and inspire each other with your latest travel tales.
4. Video chat. FaceTime, Skype, Facebook — you name it, there’s a video chat option involved. If you two are living in this century, it’s the easiest way to relive those crazy stories of 12-hour bus rides and wild full moon parties. Plan your video dates or just pick up the phone, but either way, make sure you see their cute face every couple of months. It’s really worth the extra effort for those life-changing people.
5. Make friendship care packages. When you see something at your favorite local shop that you know your long-distance bestie would love, send it! Print off a couple of the most memorable photos of the two of you and maybe add in some gag gifts, depending on shipping weight limits. Sometimes the best gifts come in the smallest packages, and this simple gesture establishes your importance in one another’s lives.
6. Visit their city. Since you’re from opposite sides of the world — and amazed by your similarities despite that distance — you guys should take advantage of that. You’ll have a local to show you around somewhere like Cape Town or Melbourne, while they’ll have an excuse to visit your neighborhood.
7. Follow their Instagram. This is admittedly the laziest way to keep in touch, but hitting that heart icon to show the love does keep you connected. Even though you might not have time to provide monthly life updates, their photo albums can keep you informed about major events and remind you to reach out for the biggies, like babies and engagements.
8. Send a postcard. Sitting down and writing a letter does more than keep you on trend, it gives you time to be introspective about your relationship and travels with your long-distant friend. Choose the perfect postcard for them and test out your long-forgotten penmanship.
9. Keep traveling. Nothing sets off your travel lust like seeing a friend visiting one of your bucket list destinations. It’s also a perfect excuse to ask them for pro-tips on their experience there. If you’re feeling really spontaneous, catch the next flight or train to meet up with them and have an impromptu adventure together.
How do you connect with friends you’ve made on the road? Share your secrets with us @BritandCo.
(Photos via Getty)