43+ Best Gifts for Friends Moving Overseas [Lightweight Expat Gifts]

Need gift ideas for someone moving abroad? Then look no further!

It can be tough when your friends move overseas.

You may feel like you’re losing touch, or that the distance is too great to overcome.

But with a little effort, you can stay close even when miles separate you. These are some fun and engaging ideas to help keep your friendship strong!

I’ve lived in 10 countries in the last 10 years. That means 10 birthdays, Christmases, and other holidays abroad.

So I’ve had to deal with A LOT of present confusion.

Now, with friends around the world, I also have to figure out how to give gifts without paying $3,000 on shipping from Canada to the UK or New Zealand.

You don’t need to worry about all of that!

I’ve gone through it for you, and now I can share the best gift ideas for expats so you can easily buy that special someone a gift today!

Save money on moving abroad by booking cheap airline tickets and accommodations with this platform!

Top 5 Gifts for Someone Moving Abroad

Don’t have time to read the full list? No problem!

These are my top 5 gift ideas for someone moving abroad. They’re all lightweight, useful, and will remind your friend of you!

1. For Moving to a Non-English Speaking CountryLanguage Lessons from Italki!

2. For the Binge Watcher A VPN to watch all their favourite shows abroad!

3. For the Girl that Loves Jewelry Personalized jewelry to remind them of home!

4. For Someone Moving Abroad Permanently Packing service to save them time!

5. For the One That’s Hard to Shop For Set up a multi-currency account with local currency!

Practical Travel Gifts for Expats

Wise consumer product family asset

Local Currency

When your friend moves to a foreign country, the last thing they will want to worry about is exchanging currency.

What if there was a way you could help them out and make their life a little bit easier?

There is! Sign up for a Wise.com multi-currency account and gift them the local currency of their new home.

Don't Forget to Pack the Essentials!

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Wise allows users to hold over 20 currencies in one account, so your friend can easily withdraw cash, make purchases, and pay bills without any hassle.

Plus, as an added bonus, you’ll get a $10 credit when you sign up using this link!

I loved getting money from family when I was abroad so I could do whatever I wanted with it. Often that meant a second helping of churros that day or getting some new socks.

It doesn’t have to be exciting, but offering them the opportunity to have local money ready when they arrive is extremely helpful!

Get the lowest conversion fees with Wise.com!

Language Lessons from Italki

If your friend is moving to a foreign country where they don’t know the language, Italki is the perfect gift!

Italki offers a wide range of language courses for people of all levels – where you talk to REAL people. They even have a program for kids!

Plus, with their new subscription service, your friend can access their lessons from anywhere in the world. So even if they’re in the middle of nowhere, they can start learning the language of their new home!

Learning the local language is so essential when you move to a non-English speaking country.

Even if they think their high school Spanish classes are enough, trust me, they’ll thank you for this gift!

Need help learning a new language? I recommend iTalki! I’ve tried ALL the apps, but iTalki is the only way I’ve managed to learn as much as living in the local country.

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Portable Scale

When your friend moves, the last thing they want is to have to worry about their luggage weight limit.

A portable scale is the perfect way to help them stay within the limits without having to guess how much their bag weighs!

This scale is lightweight and easy to use. Plus, it converts between kgs and lbs, so they can work in whatever weight they understand.

It’s the size of the average palm and is extremely easy to pack. Plus it runs off of long-lasting watch batteries.

I’ve had mine for over 5 years, and it still hasn’t needed new batteries!

This will save your friend from the akward process of trying to carry your suitcase onto a bathroom scale to check if they’re at the limit.

As a bonus, you can throw in my free Moving Abroad Packing List (but they don’t have to know it didn’t cost you anything!).

Check Prices Here!
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Universal Adapter

When your friend moves to a foreign country, one of the most important things they’ll need is an adapter!

This universal adapter works in over 150 countries and has 4 USB ports, so they can charge all their devices at once!

Not only is it an adapter, but it’s also a converter! It converts voltage so your friend won’t fry their devices when they try to plug them in abroad.

After I burnt my hair on a straightener in Hong Kong with just an adapter, I’ve never been caught without a converter abroad!

Plus, it’s small and lightweight so it’s easy to pack.

This is an essential item for anyone moving abroad, and your friend will be so grateful you got it for them!

Check Prices Here!
custom photo blanket

Travel Blanket

When you first move abroad, you don’t have everything set up.

You may not even have a mattress ready!

Gifting your friend this travel blanket that’s lightweight and easy to transport will help them feel like they’re one step closer to having their home ready.

Plus it’s perfect for a long-haul flight to a new expat home.

Since you can’t be there to hug them and tell them it’s alright, this blanket can be there for you! Think of it like gifting a fluffy hug.

While there are lots of airplane blankets out there that pack down incredibly small, I recommend personalizing your friend’s blanket.

Create a custom photo blanket on this plush polyester fabric. It feels like fleece and holds up well in the wash.

I have one with photos of me and my puppy that I adore. And it’s so warm!

Check Prices Here!
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Travel Towel

When someone is moving abroad, one of the last things they want to do is pack their bulky towels.

This microfiber towel is perfect for travel as it dries quickly and takes up very little space in a suitcase!

Plus, it has a built-in loops that can be attached to a backpack or luggage, so it’s always within reach!

This towel is perfect for camping, the beach, and even swimming. It’s a great way to help your friend stay clean without taking up a lot of space in their luggage.

If your friend is planning to move abroad and country-hop or stay in hostels, they’ll need this travel essential. I wouldn’t have survived hostel showers and living out of a small suitcase for a month without mine.

Since it comes in a variety of colors, they can choose the one that best suits their personality!

Check Prices Here!
passport holder gift

Passport and Travel Document Holder

When your friend is moving to a new country, one of the most important things they’ll need is a passport holder! Without their passport and important documents, they won’t even be able to start their journey.

This passport holder has room for a passport, boarding pass, and other travel documents. You can even include your hotel room card, your credit card, or a business car in it!

This is perfect for your friend who is always on the go and wants to keep their travel documents handy.

Plus, they’re so cute! These vegan leather holders come in a variety of shades, but my favourite is the tea rose.

It’s so chic, they must just start using it as a clutch!

Check Prices Here!
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Portable Massage Gun

Relaxation is key when you’re moving to a new country. What better way to relax than with a massage?

This portable massage gun is perfect for your friend who loves to be massaged! It has 5 speeds and 2 modes, so they can customize their massage experience.

It also comes with a storage bag and a charging cable that connects to any USB.

The massage gun is so small that it can fit in a pocket (well, a men’s pants pocket. We all know nothing fits in ladies pockets!).

Weighing less than a kilogram, this massager is so easy for your friend to move with. You won’t be burdening them with a heavy suitcase or another item that needs an adapter.

This will definitely help them with the stress of moving abroad and ensure that they take the time for self-care.

Check Prices Here!
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Portable Power Bank

Moving to a new country often means being on your phone a lot.

Before you have wifi set up at a new apartment, you’ll need to rely on data. While you figure out your way around, you’ll be on Google Maps constantly. And you’ll often be sending a lot of messages home to help with the initial fear and worry of being in a new place.

I’ve killed many phone batteries before mid-day thanks to moving abroad stress.

Help your friend avoid this by getting them a portable power bank!

The size of an Iphone 8, this Anker charger holds up to 6 full charges and can connect to multiple devices at once with a USB connection.

Plus, it charges 2x faster than competitors, so your friend won’t have to be without their phone for long if it does die.

Gift someone moving abroad the stability of a full phone battery with this portable power bank.

Check Prices Here!

Forward Their Luggage

One of the worst things about moving is dealing with all your luggage. You have to schlep it all around on trains, in cabs, and up hills (which you will definitely be climbing in San Francisco or Auckland).

Plus, it’s very expensive to bring more than 1 checked bag nowadays.

If your friend is moving to a new country, offer to forward their luggage for them! This will take away one stressor from their to-do list and make the transition a little bit smoother.

You can either do it through a company like Lufthansa or Swiss Air, or you can use a service like Luggage Forward.

This is a great gift for your friend who is moving abroad because it takes away one of the stressors of the move. And it’s definitely a lot cheaper than sending your friend’s luggage by air!

Check Prices Here!

Packing Service

When your friend is moving to a new country, they’ll have a lot to think about. One of the things they won’t want to worry about is packing their belongings.

Help take away that stress by gifting them a packing service! This will ensure that all of their clothes, books, and kitchenware make it safely to their new home.

You can choose a service that sends your friend’s belongings by air or sea, so they’ll have everything they need as soon as they arrive.

This is a great gift for your friend who is moving abroad because it eliminates one of the to-dos from their list. And it ensures that their belongings will be safe and sound in their new home.

I’ve used this service even for local moves and found it so effective. Plus, the company is liable if anything breaks, so you aren’t on the hook if packing your plates in sweaters doesn’t work out well.

Gift your friend and easy move to a new country with a packing service.

Check Prices Here!

Travel Insurance

One of the scariest things about moving to a new country is the possibility of something happening and not being able to get home.

Thankfully, travel insurance can help ease those fears.

If your friend is moving to a new country, make sure they are protected by purchasing them some travel insurance. This will cover them in case of flight cancellations, lost luggage, or medical emergencies while they’re away.

Plus, many policies also cover trip delays and missed flights, so your friend won’t lose any money if their move takes longer than expected.

This is a great gift for your friend who is moving abroad because it ensures their safety while they’re in a new home.

Even if they have a work visa that will come with some level of access to healthcare, having travel insurance at least for the first month will ensure that if anything goes wrong, they’ll be covered.

I use World Nomads for long term travel insurance. They’ve helped me around the world, from nearly breaking my back riding horses in Croatia to the worst sinus infection of my life in New Zealand.

👉 Find out how much it costs to protect your trip today with World Nomads travel insurance.

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Carry-On Size Travel Backpack

One of the best things about moving to a new country is the chance to explore!

If your friend is moving to a new country, make sure they have everything they need to travel by gifting them a carry-on size travel backpack. This backpack will be perfect for weekend trips and long hikes while they’re getting to know their new home.

Plus, it’s a great way to help them avoid paying baggage fees on their trips.

This backpack is designed for travellers and people on the go. With separate compartments for shoes, laptops, small cords, and water bottles, it’s all very accessible. Plus it’s lightweight and comfortable, so they’ll be able to wear it all day.

I always use a backpack for my carry-on because I can fit so much more than I can in a regular suitcase. And I never have to wait for my luggage at the other end!

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Budget-Friendly Farewell Gifts for a Friend Moving Abroad

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Selfie Stick/Tripod

Help your friend capture new memories with a selfie stick or tripod. This will allow them to take photos and videos of their new home and friends without having to ask someone else to take the picture.

This selfie stick and tripod combo from Ubeesize is the one I use. It extends to nearly 5 feet long, so you can always get everyone in the shot.

The Bluetooth remote makes it so easy to snap photos when travelling solo!

Check Prices Here!
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Reusable Cutlery and Straw Set

Help your friend reduce their environmental impact by gifting them a reusable straw and cutlery set. This is a great way for them to avoid using plastic while they’re getting used to their new home.

Plus, it’s a fun way to show off their new culture and cuisine.

This bamboo cutlery and straw set is perfect for on-the-go dining. The set comes with a straw, a fork, a knife, and a spoon. And they all fit into the included carrying case, so your friend can take them anywhere they go.

I love using bamboo cutlery because it’s lightweight and doesn’t rust. I’ve had mine for over a year and it’s still going strong!

Check Prices Here!
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Cocktail Making Kit

Moving abroad is stressful.

Help them calm their nerves with a mini cocktail making kit that’s TSA approved!

All they need is to add alcohol to make their favourite cocktails in the sky.

My favourite is the champagne cocktail with bitters!

This is also a great gift for their first night in their new home when they want to crack open a drink but need something nicer than beer.

Check Out These Cocktails!
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Travel Journal

Help your friend document their new journey with a travel journal. This will be a fun way to look back on all of the amazing memories they’re making while living in a new country.

This travel journal has prompts for every day of the year, so your friend can write down their thoughts, feelings, and experiences from their day-to-day life.

It also has prompts for tracking their expenses, packing lists, and more.

This journal is the perfect way for your friend to keep all of their memories in one place!

Check Prices Here!
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Guidebook

Help your friend get to know their new home with a guidebook. This will give them all of the information they need about where to go, what to see, and how to get around.

This particular guidebook is for people moving to Japan, but there are guides for nearly every city in the world.

I recommend buying guidebooks from notable companies like Lonely Planet who use local experts to write their guides. That way your friend can be sure they’re getting the most accurate information.

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American Measuring Cups

Help your friend adjust to their new home by gifting them a set of American measuring cups and spoons. This will allow them to cook their favourite recipes in their new kitchen without having to guess at the measurements.

When I moved to the UK, all of my recipes were still in Canadian/US measurements. And I couldn’t make anything! It took me so long to hunt down proper measuring cups so I could cook like I wanted to.

This 4-piece measuring cup and spoon set is made of durable stainless steel and has accurate markings that won’t fade over time.

Plus, the cups and spoons nest together for easy storage.

Your friend will love being able to cook their favourite dishes in their new kitchen!

Check Prices Here!
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Kindle

Help your friend stay connected to their favourite books with a Kindle. This device allows them to read books, magazines, and newspapers from anywhere in the world.

Plus, there are tons of free Kindle books available that they can download and start reading right away.

This particular Kindle has a 6-inch display and Wi-Fi capabilities.

Your friend will love being able to keep up with their reading while they’re living in a new country!

It also means they can finally let go of their book collection and not pay thousands in shipping to bring them abroad.

Check Prices Here!

Gifts for Friends Moving Overseas to Remind Them of Home

Travel Playlist

Music can really transport you.

When your friend is feeling homesick, give them the gift of being able to turn on a playlist that reminds them of home. Or even specifically of you!

This could be the songs you partied to, a song you both love to hate, or even traditional music from your home.

This is an excellent free gift to give anybody who is moving abroad.

Just curate the playlist on Spotify, and they’ll have access to it around the world!

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Cookbook

One of my favourite things to do when I’m feeling homesick is cook a dish from home.

It’s like a little piece of my old life in my new life.

Help your friend do the same by gifting them a recipe book from their home country. This will give them all of the recipes they need to make their favourite dishes in their new kitchen.

Your friend will love being able to cook their favourite foods in their new home!

Check Prices Here!
custom calendar gift

Personalized Photo Calendar

When you move abroad, you have to keep track of the days to get everything done. But you also don’t want to forget about home.

That’s where this calendar comes in!

You can design a custom photo calendar for your loved one, full of images of home that will comfort them abroad.

My mom has done this for our family for over a decade. It always helps me feel a bit less alone on homesick days to be able to look at my custom calendar full of photos of the people I love.

Click Here to Design Your Own!

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small photo book gift

Small Photo Book

Another way to keep your friend’s memories of home alive is by giving them a small photo book. This could be a book of all the photos you’ve taken together, or photos from their hometown.

You could even include some fun facts about their hometown in the photo book for them to read when they’re feeling homesick.

Don’t gift them a giant scrapbook that’ll take up their whole suitcase, though! Stick to a slim book, like this one.

Check Prices Here!
personalized necklace

Personalized Jewelry

One of the best ways to show someone how much you love them is through personalized jewelry.

Why not get your friend’s initial with their birthstone on this adorable 24k gold necklace?

This necklace is perfect for somebody moving abroad! It’s simple enough to match everything. It won’t set off a metal detector at the airport so they have to hold everyone up.

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Flavours from Home

Food is a huge part of culture.

When your friend moves to a new country, they’ll be missing the food from their old home. Help them experience a little bit of home by sending them some of their favourite flavours in a care package.

You could include snacks, spices, or even a recipe card to make one of their favourite dishes.

Your friend will love being able to cook their favourite foods in their new home!

You can get these at your local grocery store!

custom photo tee gift

Personalized T-Shirt

One of my favourite things to do when I’m feeling homesick is wear a shirt from home.

It’s like a little piece of my old life in my new life.

Help your friend do the same by gifting them a personalized t-shirt. This could be a photo of you guys having a fun night out, a sentimental photo of their family, or even a cute picture of their pet!

This shirt is 100% cotton and comes in a variety of cute colours to match any personality.

Check Prices Here!
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Long Distance Friendship Lamp

When your friend moves to a new country, they’ll be missing the little things from home.

One of those things might be you!

Help them feel connected to you by gifting them a long distance friendship lamp. This lamp connects to wifi and turns on when it senses your presence!

Your friend will love being able to touch their lamp and know that yours is lighting up.

This lamp also comes in a set of two, so you can do the same to them!

Check Prices Here!

Experience Gifts for Someone Going Abroad

Tours

When your friend moves to a new country, they’ll be missing the fun times you guys have together.

Help them experience a little bit of fun by gifting them a tour! Local companies offer fun and engaging tours for people of all ages.

Your friend will love being able to explore their new home with a fun and knowledgeable tour guide.

Book a tour through one of these amazing companies to ensure they have an excellent time:

Airbnb/Vrbo

If you’re not sure what kind of tour your friend would enjoy, don’t worry! You can also gift them an Airbnb/Vrbo experience. This is an experience and accommodation all in one!

Your friend will love being able to explore a new city or country while living like a local.

Check Prices Here!

Local Spa Gift Card

When your friend moves to a new country, they’ll be missing the relaxing moments you guys have together.

Help them relax in their new home by gifting them a local spa gift card. This will give them the opportunity to try out a new spa and relax in a new environment.

Your friend will love being able to relax and rejuvenate in a new spa!

Save money on moving abroad by booking cheap airline tickets and accommodations with this platform!

Digital Gifts for Someone Moving Abroad

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VPN

When your friend moves to a new country, they’ll be missing the internet freedom you guys have together.

Help them stay connected to you and their old life by gifting them a VPN. This will allow them to bypass censorship and access any website they want!

Your friend will love being able to stay connected to their favourite websites, watch shows like they’re at home, and stay up to date on the news.

I use my NordVPN to be able to watch Netflix in the UK when I’m not there.

Check Prices Here!

Donate to a Charity in their Name

When your friend moves to a new country, they’ll be missing the feeling of being connected to their community.

Help them feel connected to their community by donating to a charity in their name. This could be a charity that is important to them, or one that helps people in need in the area they are living in.

Dropbox

Moving abroad brings new experiences, which means all the photos!

But with all those files, you need to keep them safe.

Help your friend keep all their photos safe by gifting them a Dropbox account. This will give them 2GB of storage to backup all their files!

Your friend will love being able to keep all their memories in one place, and you can even help them upload photos from your last vacation together!

Check Prices Here!

Subscription Gift Ideas for Expats

Streaming Service with Home Channels

When your friend moves to a new country, they’ll be missing the home channels they love.

Help them stay connected to their favourite shows by gifting them a streaming service with home channels. This will give them access to all the channels they’re used to, from anywhere in the world!

Your friend will love being able to watch their favourite shows without having to miss a thing.

I recommend getting:

Spotify

When your friend moves to a new country, they’ll be missing the music you guys have together.

Help them stay connected to their favourite songs by gifting them a Spotify account. This will give them access to all the music they love, from anywhere in the world!

Your friend will love being able to listen to their favourite songs without having to miss a thing.

Audible

Moving to a new country means a lot of new experiences, some of which can be lonely.

Help your friend stay connected to you and their old life by gifting them an Audible account. This will give them access to over 180,000 audiobooks!

Your friend will love being able to listen to books from anywhere in the world.

Check Prices Here!

Scotts Cheap Flights Subscription

When your friend moves to a new country, they’ll be missing the amazing travel experiences you guys have together.

Help them explore the world by gifting them a Scotts Cheap Flights subscription. This will give them access to the best flight deals, from anywhere in the world!

Your friend will love being able to explore new countries and cultures without breaking the bank.

Check Prices Here!
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Subscription Box

There are a ton of subscription boxes out there that can help your friend feel connected to you!

International Gift Card Ideas – The Lightweight Gift

Airbnb

Give them the gift of a homestay experience with Airbnb!

Vrbo

Give them the gift of a homestay experience (with cheaper service fees) with Vrbo!

UberEats

Give them the gift of not having to cook by themselves with UberEats!

Amazon

Gift them a gift card to Amazon.com, so they can buy whatever they please!

The Best Gift of All

You!

Your friend will most appreciate the gift of your time and friendship.

Plan a trip to visit them so you can explore the new country together!

Or, even better, Skype with them every day so you don’t feel too far apart.

No matter what you do, just make sure to stay connected with your friend during their big move. They’ll appreciate it more than you know.

How to Send a Gift to a Friend Going Overseas or Living Abroad

Mail It

The most traditional way to send a gift to someone living abroad is by mail. Just package it up and put a stamp on it!

However, there can be complications with this method if the person you’re trying to sending the gift to is in a different country than you.

Make sure to check international mailing rates and restrictions before you sending anything by mail.

Local Delivery

If the person you’re trying to send a gift to is in the same country as you, consider using a local delivery service. This will be much faster and more reliable than mailing it, and you can often track the package online.

However, you may need to do more research to find local options.

Digital Gifts

If you’re not sure what the person you’re trying to send a gift to would like, or if they’re living in a different time zone than you, consider sending them a digital gift card. This is the easiest way to ensure that your friend will be able to get the exact gift they want.

Just make sure that your friend has an email address and knows how to use digital gift cards!

Tips for Buying Gifts for Someone Moving Overseas

1. Consider Shipping Time

When buying a gift for someone moving overseas, always consider the shipping time. If you’re sending it by mail, make sure to factor in international mailing rates and restrictions.

If you’re using a local delivery service, make sure they can deliver to the country your friend is moving to.

2. Don’t Forget Shipping Cost

Another thing to consider when buying a gift for someone moving overseas is the cost of shipping. This can often be quite expensive, so make sure you factor it in when choosing a gift.

3. Be Aware of Customs Regulations

When sending a gift to someone living abroad, be aware of any customs regulations that may apply. For example, some countries may have restrictions on the types of gifts that can be sent in the mail.

4. Lightweight Gifts > Heavy Gifts

When sending a gift to someone living overseas, it’s always best to choose a lightweight gift. This will help avoid any shipping fees, and it will be easier for your friend to transport.

It also won’t prevent them from packing things they actually need to take with them!

5. Save Space

Think of their need to keep things compressed.

Don’t gift them a massive scrapbook they’ll be lugging around. Gift them usable items that won’t fill a full suitcase.

6. International Voltage is Different

Be sure to check what voltage the country uses before gifting anything electronic!

7. Packaging Properly

If you’re sending a gift by mail, be sure to package it properly. This will help make sure that it arrives in one piece.

8. Do Local Research

If you’re unsure of what to get your friend moving overseas, do some local research. This will help you find the best gift for them that they can actually use.

For example, you can often find local makers who offer perfect gifts.

And if your friend is in Mexico, don’t gift them a parka!

Wrap Up: Best Gift Ideas for Friend Going Abroad

Even when your friends move overseas, you can stay close by sending fun and engaging gifts.

These ideas will help keep your friendship strong, no matter how far apart you are.

From personalized items to experiences that cannot be replicated online, there is something for everyone on this list!

So don’t wait any longer- pick out the perfect gift and show your friend how much you care!

FAQs about Presents for Someone Moving Abroad

What do you get someone who is moving out of the country?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best gift for someone moving abroad depends on their specific situation. However, some good ideas include digital gift cards, local delivery services, or lightweight gifts that won’t take up too much space.

What to gift a friend who is going abroad to study?

If your friend is moving overseas, they’ll appreciate a gift that’s fun and engaging. Try something lightweight and portable, like a travel journal or world map. Or go for a more practical option, like a luggage scale or a currency converter.

What can I send in a care package to a friend abroad?

When sending a care package to a friend who’s living in a foreign country, think about their needs and what will be fun and useful for them. Some good ideas include snacks that are hard to find in their new location, fun novelties from their home country, or useful items like adapters or travel-sized shampoo and conditioner.

What are last minute going away gift ideas for expats?

If you’re looking for a last minute gift for someone moving overseas, consider a digital gift card. This is the easiest way to ensure that your friend will be able to get the exact gift they want.

How small should the gift be?

When buying a gift for someone moving overseas, it’s always best to choose a lightweight gift. This will help avoid any shipping fees, and it will be easier for your friend to transport. It also won’t prevent them from packing things they actually need to take with them!

Keep it under 5lbs and smaller than a loaf of bread (unless it’s a new suitcase)!

Can I send birthday gifts to a friend who moved away?

Yes, you can send birthday gifts to a friend who moved away! However, be sure to check any customs regulations that may apply. For example, some countries may have restrictions on the types of gifts that can be sent in the mail.

When should I mail Christmas gifts to someone who lives abroad?

If you’re mailing Christmas gifts to someone who lives abroad, be sure to send them as early as possible. This will help ensure that they arrive in time for the holiday.

For example, it often takes 6+ months to ship to New Zealand on the cheapest shipping option.


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