14 ways to cope with holiday homesickness overseas

I get it; you're on a student budget, and international flights aren't cheap.

Throw a Covid-19 pandemic in the mix, and traveling home from your international university for the holidays just got a whole lot more complicated.

So if it looks like you're going to be spending the holidays overseas, whether or not by choice, it's hard not to feel sad about missing out on the family traditions back home.

I've been there, too, having spent Thanksgivings, Christmases and New Year's in Ireland, Australia and Brazil.

So here are my top tips for dealing with holiday homesickness if you find yourself overseas for the holidays.

Take up a local holiday tradition

In Ohio, we grew up banging pots and pans when the clock struck midnight on New Year's Eve.

In Brazil, everyone heads to the beach dressed in white and jumps seven waves for good luck.

Partaking in this new tradition was really memorable and exciting, and realizing I'd freeze to death if I tried to import this tradition to Lake Erie in the future helped take my mind off the FOMO (fear of missing out).

Enjoy the "unique" aspects of celebrating the holidays overseas

Think about this: your family and friends are probably jealous; while they're doing the same old, same old, you're out there having Christmas on the beach in the Southern Hemisphere perhaps or at a European Christmas market.

Have a Secret Santa exchange with friends

Sometimes it's nice just to open something, and being around other people is the best way to rid the homesick blues.

Celebrate multiple times per day

How about a New Year's toast every time a certain time zone strikes midnight where a friend or family is located?

Invest in festive-wear

Who wouldn't feel cozy and nice in a pair of "ultra soft" reindeer leggings?

Add a pair of Uggs, an oversized hoodie and a classic Christmas movie, and you've got the perfect recipe for "holiday mood."

Tea; lots and lots of tea

To me, there is nothing more comforting than a huge cup of tea and wrapping myself in my blanket.

I like mine with milk, like they have in England.


I can say this; all the times I didn't have the energy or time to decorate for the holidays wherever I was abroad, I regretted it.

It just didn't feel like Christmas, for example.

Even if it's just a small tree, do yourself this favor and put it in a lovely spot.

Send postcards for Christmas cards

Spending some time writing out thoughtful Christmas cards on a postcard from wherever you'll be is a great way to feel closer to loved ones in a distant land, knowing that in a few days or weeks they'll be holding the same card in their hands.