Missing your friends and family back home as well as other comforts can make your new expat life just that little bit harder.

So, what can you do to feel closer to home when living abroad?

1. Live in the same time zone!
Actually, this was something I thought about before moving from the UK to Portugal, mostly because I still had a UK business which I was going to continue. Portugal and the UK are in the same timezone (the rest of Europe are not), this meant that when I spoke to people back home I actually didn’t feel that far away. Somehow just being on the same time meant that it was like being in the same country. Try it and see if you can!

2. Make sure you have cheap or free calls.
One of the most important things I found was having Skype. It meant that I could call back home any time I wanted without having to worry about the cost. International calls on landlines or mobile phones are usually horrific, but free Skype-to-Skype calls combined with one of their European subscription packages meant that my costs were drastically reduced (it also meant I could call anywhere in Portugal in my package as well).

Being able to call without worrying about the costs really does mean that your friends and family are not that far away, you can talk to them as often as you would back home.

3. Get satellite TV
If you really miss your old country, then maybe you should think about getting satellite television. I didn’t do this for the first 3 years but in the last year I lived in Portugal I lived in a house which received all the major British TV channels and this really made me feel much closer to home.

So there’s a few things that can make all the difference if you are feeling homesick, although no.1 really needs to be arranged before you move!

What have you done to feel closer to home?