With the holiday season in full swing, keeping in touch with friends and family seems more important than usual. Planning holiday get-togethers, meals and parties is one way to ensure you get to celebrate this magical season with the ones you cherish. However, many of us have loved ones who aren’t a short drive away. Keeping in touch with family overseas and friends living abroad is very much possible — it just requires some additional planning and strategy.

MTI Magnolia Telecom phone cards

Technology has allowed us to communicate with greater ease and frequency. Whether it’s the traditional telephone or making video calls off your smartphone, there are plenty of convenient ways to stay connected with the ones who mean the most.

For the tech savvy in your life, instant messaging and video calls can melt away the miles. “Set aside regular time this holiday season to visit with your family members over webcam. It’s super easy to do and there’s something special about seeing your loved ones on a screen even when you know they are far away!”states the MomWifeBusyLife website.

Connecting over social media is another way to stay in touch with those who live far away. Facebook, Twitter and Google Hangouts are only a handful of the many social apps and platforms that make for easy communication.

Experts also recommend creating an online photo gallery, video or newsletter to send to family and friends. It’s an excellent way to stay up to date with recent accomplishments.  Not to mention, everyone loves pictures.

“For computer-friendly family members who are far away, create annotated online photo albums on kodakgallery.com, shutterfly.com, or snapfish.com, adding pictures from birthday blowouts, weekend trips, and impromptu dinner parties so they can put faces with the names of all the friends you regularly mention over the phone,”according to RealSimple.com.

For grandma and granddad who are less technologically savvy, nothing beats a well-planned phone call. “If you’re fortunate to be able to spend the holidays surrounded by most of your loved ones, plan for a time when you will all be together to call family members who are far away,” states the GerberLife Blog.

Sending a holiday card with a prepaid phone card and a list of times when you are free for a phone call will encourage your loved ones to call you.  Add to that, you won’t have to worry about expensive long distance charges.

MTI Magnolia Telecom, a Canadian phone company and internet provider, is one company that offers a variety of prepaid phone cards that can be easily slipped into any Christmas card.  MTI Magnolia Telecom phone cards also make a great gift for students studying abroad or those who travel a lot.