20 Fun Ways to Stay Connected to Family & Friends | Western Union

20 Fun Ways to Stay Connected to Family & Friends | Western Union

Surrounding yourself with family and friends is important for overall happiness and well-being. studies even show that strengthening your relationships can help you live a longer life. But for those of us who live far away from our loved ones, keeping in touch can be challenging, if not impossible, at times. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to hear, see, and talk to the people you’re near and dear, even when they’re not physically close.

From virtual happy hours to exploring outer space, here are 20 ways to share fun and memorable experiences with family and friends around the world.

Reading: How to connect with family virtually

1. get together for virtual happy hour

Just because you can’t raise your glasses in person doesn’t mean your days of gathering with family and friends for a drink are over. When distance creates a barrier, virtual happy hours are a fun way to connect across time zones. facetime, google hangouts, skype and zoom are a great way to enjoy a few drinks with your family and friends and keep happy hour alive. Pick a time that works for everyone, send a calendar invite, pick a signature drink, or share recipes for your favorite cocktail or mocktail. It’s five o’clock somewhere in the world!

2. start a remote book club

Starting a remote book club is a great way to keep in touch with other book lovers and maybe even introduce yourself to a new author or genre. Recruit family, friends, and more to meet virtually to discuss a book chosen by the group. or join an existing book club to connect with people from all over the world. Rebel Book Club is a six-city global organization that hosts monthly virtual book discussions. Do you need book ideas? check out the good read list of 50 popular book club books.

3. host a virtual game night

Keep traditional game night alive by hosting a virtual game night with family and friends. Host a fun-filled evening together (with a little friendly competition, of course) to combat the long-distance blues and get your adrenaline pumping. houseparty is a popular video chat app that allows up to eight people to talk at once and comes with games like heads up, chips, and guac.

4. travel the world together, virtually

Can’t travel to see your partner, your family or your friends? Thanks to the internet, you and your loved ones can “travel” the world together without even leaving home. Visit the depths of the Paris Catacombs from your computer chair or explore Google Maps where you can explore everything from the Colosseum and the Palace of Versailles to the base camp of Mt. everest.

5. celebrate special occasions with a video

Do they have to be apart for a birthday, anniversary or other important event? distance doesn’t mean you have to miss out on celebrations, you just need to reinvent them. Send that special someone a personalized video of yourself along with a heartfelt message. While it may not be as great as celebrating in person, the recipient will be able to keep the video message forever. Go the extra mile and coordinate with a group of family and friends to each record a special video message for whoever you’re celebrating. be creative! Put the video messages together and your recipient will have a heartfelt and unique keepsake to treasure for years to come.

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6. go old school with traditional mail

Although many of us long for the day when we can reach “inbox zero”, receiving a card or letter in the mail is very welcome. It doesn’t matter if it’s for an occasion or you just want to send something “just because”, don’t forget how meaningful a card or letter can be.

7. watch your favorite shows together

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Starting a virtual book club with your loved ones is fun, but there’s nothing wrong with watching your favorite shows with them too. Fortunately, distance doesn’t have to drive a wedge between you, your family and friends, and your favorite shows. Streaming services like Netflix Party make it easy to watch shows together in different time zones with features like group chat and synchronized video playback.

8. share recipes and cook together

Cooking together can be a great bonding activity for family and friends alike, and luckily, you can still get together virtually in the kitchen. ask mom to teach you how to cook her favorite childhood dish, try hosting a cooking party, or start a “cooking club” to keep in touch. each week have the group select a recipe for everyone to make. get to work in the kitchen, and then set up a time to meet virtually and discuss your trials and tribulations. Looking for more inspiration in the kitchen? Online cooking classes and cooking demos hosted by chefs, like Chef Jose Andres on Instagram, can teach you and your loved ones new techniques for free.

9. eat together online

Food is a means of connection, so it’s lucky for us that distance doesn’t have to stop you from breaking bread with your family and friends. set up a time to share a meal virtually with your loved ones. have everyone join a call via facetime or a digital conferencing provider and catch up over a meal. do you want to go all out? Even if you’re dining while they’re having brunch, keep things formal by setting the table, laying out a tablecloth, and opening a bottle of champagne.

10. attend a concert from the comfort of your home

There’s nothing like seeing one of your favorite bands with your loved ones in tow. many concerts, festivals and other performances are available for live streaming for fans around the world. Find a concert, festival or performance you like and contact family and friends to schedule a time to watch it from their homes. To find live and streaming audio, npr music offers a list of performances, with links to streaming platforms, such as instagram and youtube.

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11. make a collaborative playlist

Spotify’s collaborative playlist feature is the perfect way to share tunes and mix music genres to create a unique international playlist. all you have to do is download the streaming music service, click “collaborative playlist” and copy the playlist link. share the link with your family and friends and they can add music directly from their accounts.

12. visit museums around the world together

There are thousands of world-class museums offering virtual tours and online collections to explore from home. Google Arts and Culture is a great resource for finding virtual tours from around the world and is available 24/7 so you can sync up with family and friends in any time zone. From the Museum of Modern Art in New York City to the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, these virtual tours are completely free.

13. call a friend

Sometimes staying connected is as simple as picking up the phone, and no, we don’t mean texting. In our digital-centric world, it’s not uncommon for most of our communications to take place via text or social media. calling your family and friends is a tried and true way to stay connected. Most phones allow you to chat with multiple lines, so staying connected with a larger group is simple. exchange a “good morning” or a “good night” with your family and friends on the other side of the world.

14. put on your game

Whether you’re an experienced gamer or looking for something new, gaming with family and friends who live far away is a fun and easy way to stay connected. Certain video games have multiplayer options, allowing you and others to play together. Animal Crossing is a popular life simulation game that allows you to visit your friends’ cities within the game. If traditional video games aren’t your thing, there are plenty of internet games you can turn to, such as Words With Friends, which allow you to play and chat with friends right in the app.

15. make the most of messaging applications

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There are countless apps to help you stay connected with family and friends. Beyond the usual repertoire of facebook and instagram, applications like whatsapp can help you easily communicate with your loved ones in other parts of the world. send text messages, pictures, videos and voice notes or bring the whole family together in a group chat.

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16. take an online training class

Exercising with your family and friends is a great way to motivate yourself to live a healthier life. Thanks to the internet, you can exercise with your loved ones even if you are in other parts of the world. Search “Free Online Workouts” and you’ll find thousands of video workout results to make it easy to get your heart rate up at home. schedule a training date with your best friend and get ready to sweat.

17. learn something new together

Whether with family or friends, learning something new together is a great way to strengthen your bond. Thanks to the master class, there are many ways you and your loved ones can learn together. Hone your photography skills with renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz. Learn how to make comedic genius Judd Apatow laugh. Or try your acting chops on none other than Samuel L. jackson.

18. put a different kind of space between you

Looking for a fun way to connect with family and friends when there’s space between you? Try to go to space Thanks to NASA, you and your loved ones can now tour the International Space Station together, all from the comfort of your own homes.

19. share a laugh

Laughter is good for the soul, especially when shared. Schedule a time for you and your loved ones to connect via FaceTime, Google Hangouts, Skype, or Zoom, and watch an online stand-up comedy show together. Even if you can’t be physically together, sharing a laugh can make everyone feel closer.

20. send money to show your support

Sending money isn’t just a way to help your loved ones in their time of need, it also gives you a way to connect and show support for the people you love.

Money transfer apps like Western Union offer the flexibility to send money 24/7, safe in the knowledge that your funds will be delivered to your family and friends. send money on the go, set up easy recurring transfers, or check fees and exchange rates before you send money to your loved ones.

stay connected with family and friends with western union

Sometimes staying connected looks like virtual happy hours and game nights, other times it means sending funds to support your family and friends when they need financial assistance, are celebrating a major anniversary, or “just because.”

western union is available to customers around the world. With the Western Union® mobile app, you can easily send money anytime to more than 200 countries and territories around the world with just a few taps. For more information, visit www.westernunion.com or download our mobile app to start your next transfer now.

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