Saying Goodbye to Friends and Family

How to Say Goodbye to Loved Ones Before A Move

Moving comes with a lot of emotions: happiness, excitement, maybe a little anxiousness. And it also comes with some sadness at the idea of leaving friends and family behind. Fortunately, technology and transportation allow us to stay in touch and visit even when we live thousands of miles apart. So while some things will change after a move, it doesn’t have to mean losing your relationships.

We’ve compiled some ideas to help you say goodbye (even when it’s hard), and some tips for keeping connections strong.

Man waving goodbye to friends and family at the airport while pulling luggage.


Preparing to Say Farewell

Whether you’re the one leaving or the one staying behind, you’ll need to prepare yourself for the upcoming goodbye. And you may need to help children cope with the move as well. Be sure to talk openly about the change that is coming and don’t be afraid to express emotions. Even if you’re looking forward to a move or are happy for a friend who is leaving, it’s completely normal to feel sad. Look up exciting things to do in the new city or visit your favorite places before leaving. Spending some quality time with a loved one can make the transition much easier!

Not sure moving is the right choice? Check out this list of moving pros and cons to help you decide. 

Saying Goodbye with Parties, Playlists and More

One of the best ways to deal with the emotions of moving is to celebrate the good things that are coming! New jobs, activities and other experiences are exciting opportunities for people heading off to another state or city. Help them get excited by throwing a fun party, sending them a list of songs they should listen to before the big day, or writing them a thoughtful note telling them how happy you are for them. Even a little gesture can make a big difference in how hard a goodbye is for someone. 

Use these helpful resources for ideas:

Creative Ways to Stay in Touch After Moving

There are several ways to keep in contact with friends and family who are far away. Check out the ideas below for inspiration.

Call, Email and Text

A simple phone call can help people stay connected. Since life can get busy, try making a schedule and sticking with it. The results are well worth the effort.

If a time difference or hectic schedule makes phone calls difficult, emails or text messages can be helpful alternatives. Though they may seem impersonal, there are ways to make them just as effective as a call. Try sending photos to show what you’re talking about or using voice messaging or video to send a quick story. By taking the time to create a conversation that’s similar to one you would have in person or on the phone, you can make emails and texts a reliable way to stay in touch.

Use Social Media

Social media is another simple way to keep up with loved ones. Logging into an account and flipping through posts or pictures takes very little time and effort, but gives a glimpse of what’s going on miles away. To help keep relationships from becoming detached, try not to rely on social media as your only form of communication. Just use it to keep up with things, see pictures of events you missed and get ideas for what to talk about during the next phone call.

Mail Letters and Packages

One of the best ways to stay close to people back home is sending a handwritten letter or personalized package. There is nothing like the feeling of receiving something in the mail from someone you love, so try sending tangible gifts for special occasions or even just because. Consider:

  • Sending care packages. Give loved ones a taste of your new home by sending them things unique to your new city or share adventures with them through trinkets and pictures.
  • Purchasing special stationery. Fun paper and envelopes will make letters more fun to send and receive. You could even give stationery sets to close friends before you move!
  • Using online services for spontaneous gifts. Send things like flowers to a friend on their birthday or a meal to someone who isn’t feeling well. While you can’t be there in person, these efforts will show you care.

Maintain Previous Traditions

When you’re used to seeing someone regularly, it’s easy to take simple things like watching a movie or going to the gym together for granted. To keep traditions like this going, simply do them from a distance (with a little help from technology). Ideas include:

  • Choosing a TV show to watch together. Text or talk on the phone while you watch or after you finish an episode.
  • Starting a book club. Reading the same book and discussing it gives you something to share no matter how far apart you are.
  • Exercising together. Take afternoon walks while talking on the phone or help each other stay accountable by talking about fitness goals.

Plan Trips

To keep the feelings of homesickness at bay, plan a trip to see the people you miss. No matter how far away the trip is, it will give you something to look forward to and give you a feeling of closeness that no piece of technology can provide. If you live close enough to make the drive in a day, plan a long weekend trip and take turns visiting. If it is too far to drive very often, plan vacations together and meet in the middle.

Other Info

Have other ideas for saying goodbye? Tell us in the comments below!

Want more tips and advice? Check out all of our moving articles for help during every stage of a move.