03/15/2011 at 09:00 AM EDT
admits distance doesn't always make the heart grow fonder.
A major factor leading to her split from longtime love Zac Efron
last December was the pair's packed work schedules, which took them to opposite ends of the Earth at times.
"Long-distance relationships are hard no matter what," Hudgens tells the April issue of Shape
, out March 21.
Unfortunately, there wasn't an app for that, says Hudgens, 22.
"When you don't have face-to-face time, it's just different. Having an iPhone helped, but it wasn't the same."
Although it's over, the relationship remains a significant one in her life.
"We grew up together," Hudgens says. "It was nice to have someone to share all of those experiences with." She adds of Efron, who visited her (as a friend) on the set of her new movie, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
, "It was a good thing. The relationship kept me grounded, and because I was with someone who knew me so well, I didn’t need to try to be someone I'm not."
The good news: The break-up left her virtually unscathed – and ready to get back out there.
"I hope by the time I'm 30 to have a husband and maybe a baby," she reveals. "I love children. They're so much fun, and I would have a blast spoiling them!"