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My best friend from 8th grade politely let me have it when I made a short visit back home to Pittsburgh. We met up for a quick bite and she told me that although she appreciated seeing me, she wasn’t too happy about the fact that my visits home are so short and that she’s not made a priority. Hmmm..I didnt’ understand what she meant by that at first, but now that I think about it, my trips home are pretty short and I do try my best to make to everyone as best as I can.

It’s hard when you’re returning home for the holidays because everyone wants to see you and you don’t have all the time in the world that you wish you had, but I found some online tips that might help you create a more enjoyable trip and even some things you can do before you head back home.

 

Keep Track Of Cheap Flights

Sign up on Kayak to be notified about if/when flights to wherever your family lives dip below a price that you designate. When it does, book it! Even it means missing school, a few (affordable) days with loved ones is worth it.

 

Scan Your Kids’ Artwork

Scan or photograph your children’s drawings and paintings and send them to the grandparents, suggests Patricia Babuka, Founder of GrandCamp Adventures, which publishes storybooks made specifically for grandparents and grandkids. That way, Grammy and Paps can “ooh” and “ahh” over the masterpieces while talking to your kids on the phone—and your kids can bask in their pride.

 

Capture the Everyday

Shoot everyday happenings—not just the big milestones. Start a family YouTube channel where you can upload short daily videos of your baby eating peas, your toddler playing with his trucks, or your big kid talking about his day at school. It’s the everyday stuff that encourages intimacy.

 

Video Chat

Whether you use Skype or iChat, replace some of your regular phone calls with video ones. Live chats like this can go a long way in making your kid feel like Aunt Karen is just in the other room, not the other state. Schedule a weekly time to do it, so that you’re not trying to grab the kids from what they’re doing at the last minute, when they probably won’t want to talk.

Next time I head home, I’ll make it a longer trip and try to dedicate as much time with family as to a complete day visit with special people in my life. I may even plan a small gathering at my parents to make sure all my loved ones are all in one place.

My friend ended our discussion with “I’m proud of you and I know you’re busy. I just want to spend time with you.” To hear those words hit my heart and I promised to never EVER make her feel unwanted! We’ve been through too much for that to happen!

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