Getting a gift for someone moving to another country can be particularly tricky. There’s the usual quandary when gift-giving: whether they’ll like what you’ve got them or not.
Should you go down the practical route or the sentimental one?
Do they already own something similar?
But for someone relocating abroad, you’ve also got to factor in the amount of space they have, the likelihood is they’ll be trying to cut down rather than add bulky items to their luggage.
There’s also the sense of occasion itself. Unlike when you give a birthday or Christmas gift, you might not be seeing this person for an extended period of time, perhaps years even, so there’s an added pressure to come up with something special and thoughtful.
But don’t panic! We’ve come up with the ultimate list of gifts for someone moving abroad. From practical options that’ll be useful on their travels, to gifts for those on a budget, and personal, feel-good gifts for someone moving abroad—there’s something for everyone.
Some Tips for Choosing the Right Gift
As well as being mindful about your friend, family member, or colleague’s luggage restrictions, there are a few other things to consider that can give you a steer about what gift to choose.
Firstly, think about the purpose of their move—is it to study? Or to travel more widely? Getting them a gift that’s tailored to their specific reason for moving shows a lot of thought, as well as being genuinely useful.
So in this instance, consider stationary, perhaps a keepsake pen, for the person studying and a good-quality rucksack for the travel enthusiast.
Next, you’ll want to think about the climate they are travelling to. If it’s hot, a portable water bottle could be a good idea, for colder climates consider winter accessories like hats and gloves.
Lastly, if you’re sending this gift rather than giving it to them before they go, make sure they won’t have to pay large postage fees to collect the package.
Practical Gifts for Someone Moving Abroad
Reusable Water Bottles
A practical gift for someone moving abroad, reusable water bottles will come in handy from the moment they enter the airport. They are doubly handy as they are easy to store and continue to be useful in your friend’s new country—on their commute, during hikes, or even just to have stationed at their desk.
To keep this practical gift feeling fun, opt for one of the more aesthetic reusable water bottles with a chic, monotone design for minimalists or a bright, decorated bottle for those that like louder accessories.
Classy and practical, a passport wallet is a classic keepsake gift that’s sure to go down well. If you want to add a special touch, get yours embossed with the persons initials and perhaps add a passport-sized photo of their family too.
Consider a backpack if you want to get practical gifts for someone moving abroad. Whether your friend has a long commute each day in their new country, or simply likes to get outdoors at the weekends and go for walks in the countryside—a backpack is a versatile and thoughtful gift.
It also works well for those who will be studying abroad and might not have thought about ferrying their books between classes and the library.
Personalised Gifts for Friends Moving Away
If you won’t be seeing this person as often anymore, getting them a gift that shows how much they mean to you is a good gift for someone moving abroad.
Create a photobook with your favourite memories together, something they can flick through when you can’t visit as much. If you want to be extra savvy, make it a digital photobook to save on space.
Alternatively you can go down the sentimental route and create a physical book with photos, ticket stubs, and other meaningful memorabilia.
Destination Tracker Map
This is a map with all the places they’ve visited, either with you or alone, with the country they are moving to also pinpointed.
To make it even more personal, you could make it yourself, pinning messages to each of the meaningful moves they’ve made in their life.
There’s something gently encouraging about this gift that shows you understand their desire to travel and will always support them.
Best Electronic Gifts for Someone Moving Abroad
Portable Power Bank
Gifts with purpose can get a bad rep as being boring and unsentimental. While that can be true, it’s probably better to err on the side of caution and get them a gift they actually need than something they might discard at the airport.
A portable power bank falls firmly into this category, it’s not as fun to unwrap as some of the other items on this list, but it’s incredibly useful for travelling. This handy little failsafe is a great gift for someone moving away that will take some of the stress out of their move.
A pricier gift idea, but one that’s sure to go down well. Moving abroad is incredibly exciting, and the chances are they’ll want to document their experience.
To keep costs down, you could look for an entry-level polaroid camera instead. This could inspire them to get out and explore their new country and take up a new hobby—which is essential whilst they are making new friends.
Bringing the complete Harry Potter series to a new country is probably not the best use of hand luggage. But you could load up your friends’ favourite books on a Kindle for them to take with them.
The surprise of finding all the books that are special to them, pre-loaded and ready to read, will make for a lovely send-off.
On a Budget? Gifts That Won’t Break the Bank
A guidebook is a great way to give someone a gift with a lot of thought that doesn’t have to cost much. This idea works particularly well for people who are planning on doing a lot of travelling, or even for those who aren’t too familiar with the country they’re travelling to.
Don’t feel limited to just guidebooks, look for travel authors who’ve written about the country in question if you’d rather give a fiction book.
A language book, or even a subscription to a language course, is another budget-friendly idea that’ll prove useful. Or you could even get them a cookbook with recipes from their new country.
This doubles up as a useful tool, but also a coffee table book to help them decorate their home.
Let’s be honest, the chances are that between organising this big move and setting up home in a new country—your friend, colleague, or family member hasn’t got much sleep.
A luxurious sleep mask, and perhaps some lavender sleep mist, is a playful way of reminding them to prioritise their sleep and general wellness.
It could end up being particularly useful if they’re crossing time zones and need something to help block out the light as they adjust to a new sleep schedule.
A Bundle of Souvenirs
For a gift for a friend moving away that’s bound to put a smile on their face, without spending too much money, head to your city’s souvenir shops and stock up on mugs, magnets, t-shirts, and keyrings.
A fun gift that says “goodbye, but don’t forget us”, this is a unique way to send someone off with memories from home.
A Pack of Cards
A themed pack of cards, with their favourite film, band, or even animal on it, is a great moving away gift.
It does double duty as a helpful way to pass the time at the airport, or while they might be waiting to buy a TV when they arrive at their new place. But the themed element also brings a thoughtful, fun touch.
Gifts for Their New Home
Moving abroad is expensive and on top of flights and accommodation, your friend will want to furnish their home and make it their own once they arrive. Help them with the process by gifting a piece of artwork that can start to add their personality to their new place.
Better yet, you could get them a piece by a local artist, or something that reflects the country they’ve moved from. This is a great gift for someone moving abroad who still wants a little bit of home with them.
Setting up a subscription service for your friend is the ultimate space-saving gift. For movie fans, choose an Amazon, Netflix, or Disney+ subscription.
For fashion-forward travellers, look into magazine subscriptions in their new country. These are nice ways to help them settle in and keep in touch with the things that are important to them.
There’s a science to scents! And having a smell that reminds you of home can be a great way to start to settle in. This is a good gift for someone moving abroad if you think they might struggle with homesickness.
With so many huge changes happening in their life, it can be reassuring to just light a candle and have that anchor point of something familiar.
Experience Gifts for Someone Moving Abroad
If you’d rather steer clear of objects that might take up valuable luggage real estate, or don’t want to risk getting the same gift as someone else, an experience gift is the way to go.
This could be as simple as taking your friend out to their favourite restaurant before they travel. Or you could go big and plan a whole day ticking off their favourite spots.
Another good idea to help them settle in, is to get the experience gift for the country they’re travelling to.
A tasting-tour of the city, a giftcard for a local museum, or a nature-spotting boat cruise are all thoughtful gifts that will help your friend start to experience their new home.
Anxious About Sending Your Gift? We’ve Got the Solution
After putting so much effort into finding the right gift, it’s understandable that you might be anxious about sending the item. Particularly with all the news stories about mishandled and lost items. In order to avoid any potential stress, ship with Sherpr for peace of mind.
Sherpr ships internationally, helps you with customs paperwork, and lets you track your items in transit. All you have to do is pack your gift securely and let Sherpr know where you’d like it picked up and dropped off.
Make Relocation Easier for Loved Ones
Moving abroad is an exciting time, and it gives you the chance to throw your support behind someone and show them how much you care for them.
This can bring a lot of added pressure, but by working out whether they would prefer a practical or personal gift, or a bit of both, you can start honing in on a gift idea.
Mix and match from different sections to cover all bases, or keep it small and heartfelt with the budget section. Ultimately, each of these gifts demonstrates thought and care and will make for the perfect send-off.