Character Cottages

Our Favourite Apps for Keeping in Touch

For our guests, one of the best things about a holiday in the Cotswolds is that the Cotswold countryside provides a blissful retreat - the perfect place to switch off, slow down and reconnect with loved ones.

Yet, with the current quarantine, many of us are feeling the need to connect with family and friends more than ever. Here are our ideas on the apps that are keeping us in touch with loved ones during this unusual time of quarantine.

Virtual Face-to-Face

From your mobile, tablet or laptop there are several great apps for having some quality face-to-face time with the family. Smiling and laughing is infectious, which is why video calling is our favourite tool for keeping in touch with loved ones as well as colleagues during the isolation of quarantine. Our favourites are; Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp, Facetime or Facebook Messenger. We keep Microsoft Teams separate for work video calls and chat, as it is important to avoid video call fatigue. For kids, why not give the phone or tablet to them and they can take their cousins or grandparents on a tour of what toys they have been playing with, or show them their latest art masterpiece - in fact, make this a weekly virtual ‘babysitting’ schedule and you can sit with a holiday Good Read for 30 minutes.

Social Book Club

We love picking out our holiday ‘reads’ when we know we are going to have a week away from day-to-day tasks. For some, now is also a great time to do some focused reading, but at home. Sign up with your fellow bookworms to the GoodReads app and start your own virtual book club. Here you will find discussions, recommendations, lists and libraries galore.

Quarantine Cinema Club

Another memorable feature of most people’s holiday itinerary, after a day walking or cycling in the Cotswold countryside, is all sitting down together to watch a film without the distractions of work or laundry. Thanks to Netflix Party, which is free to subscribers, you can host long-distance movie nights. Available on Chrome browsers on a desktop or laptop, you can start a film at the same time as several other families in different locations, pause to all make some popcorn or for a synchronised interval. We recommend ice cream in tubs for this! There’s even the option for a live chat so you can tell the noisy ones to “shhhhhhhh....”. The latest Trolls movie, World Tour, which was due to be released in April 2020, is now available to stream online due to the cinema release date having to be cancelled.

Grandparenting from a Distance

One of the best things about a holiday with the grandparents is that often there are classic board games in your holiday house, and it is the likes of Snakes & Ladders or Monopoly that bring generations together, where games consoles can divide. Now is the perfect time to dust off some of the old classic board games and teach the younger generation the skill of patience, playing the long game and poker faces. Words with Friends, where you can play scrabble against your family members, is one of our favourites!

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