- 1 The Greatest Gifts for Friends Going Abroad
- 1.1 What are the best gifts for someone moving abroad?
- 1.2 World voltage adaptor and converter
- 1.3 Portable phone charger
- 1.4 A Travel Clean Kit
- 1.5 A portable muscle massage gun
- 1.6 Travel journal
- 1.7 Pay for their luggage to get shipped to them with Luggage Forward
- 1.8 Wireless, noise-cancelling headphones
- 1.9 AirTags
- 1.10 Stainless steel water bottle
- 1.11 DSLR Camera
- 1.12 Cash in the local currency
- 1.13 A gift card to their favorite store
- 1.14 Give them an experience in their new home
- 1.15 A care package of food from home
- 1.16 A travel guidebook for their new home country
- 1.17 A subscription to Scott’s Cheap Flights
- 1.18 A high-quality carry-on
- 1.19 A great day bag
- 1.20 Create a photo book of memories
- 1.21 Give them a language learning subscription
- 1.22 A VPN subscription
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If you’re thinking about going away gift ideas for friends overseas or family members who live abroad, you might be wondering whether you should choose a present that’s practical or something sentimental. Sometimes, the most perfect gift will appear and it will be both! But part of the fun, or stress, is deciding.
Finding great gifts for friends going abroad is tough, but hopefully, you’ll find a fun gift that makes sense specifically for them from this gift guide!
The Greatest Gifts for Friends Going Abroad
What are the best gifts for someone moving abroad?
1. DSLR Camera
2. Portable phone charger
3. Wireless, noise-canceling headphones
5. World voltage adaptor and converter
6. Stainless steel water bottle
7. Travel journal
8. Cash in the local currency
9. A gift card to their favorite store
10. Give them an experience in their new home
11. A care package of food from home
12. A travel guidebook for their new home country
13. A subscription to Scott’s Cheap Flights
14. A Travel Clean Kit
15. Pay for their luggage to get shipped to them with Luggage Forward
16. A high-quality carry-on
17. A great day bag
18. Create a photo book of memories
19. Give them a language learning subscription
20. A portable muscle massage gun
21. A VPN subscription
World voltage adaptor and converter
Numerous countries have different shaped power plugs; your friend will likely need an adapter to connect their electronic items to a power source after moving abroad. Rather than spending money on new products, it’s easier for movers to invest in an adaptor that can connect their electronics to the power source.
I like the FOVAL International Travel Adaptor Power Step Down 220v to 110v Voltage Converter. Despite its small size, a FOVAL International Travel Adaptor is compact, easy to transport during a move, and simultaneously powers multiple devices, including health devices like CPAP machines.
Portable phone charger
If your friend is like me, I am never around a power source when my phone needs to be recharged for the day. Having a phone without battery power can be exceptionally inconvenient when learning to navigate a new city. Depending on your friend’s destination, they may or may not have access to charge their smartphone in their new city.
The AnkerPowerCore 20,100mAh Portable Charger is the best solution for charging a smartphone on the go. It’s an external battery weighing under 13 oz. and can charge the average smartphone multiple times before needing to be recharged itself. When the external battery runs out of power, it can be recharged at their new home or hotel room.
Giving this thoughtful gift to your friend abroad will ensure that their smartphone has enough battery power to help them access valuable information needed during their move and beyond. It saved my phone almost every day all around New York City and abroad–it’s the perfect practical gift!
A Travel Clean Kit
Airport terminals, train stations, bus stations, and taxis have always been dirty environments. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, frequent travelers are more conscious of the bacteria and viruses they’re exposed to while in public spaces. Your friend’s destination city might have different social expectations for how people conduct public health and hygiene practices.
Giving your friend a Travel Clean Kit will prepare them for crowded travel environments. They’re also a lightweight gift, as each Travel Clean Kit includes a single-use seat cover, facial mask, sanitizing alcohol wipes, and shoe covers.
A portable muscle massage gun
Traveling and moving abroad is stressful, both emotionally and physically. Even just a long flight can induce uncomfortable muscle tension, let alone the neverending stress that comes from planning a move and then adapting to the new environment. Your friend may not have the opportunity to immediately find a masseuse or chiropractor in their new hometown.
Instead, you can provide them with a massage gun as an amazing gift solution to massage away their muscle tension. I like the Theragun Mini because of its portable size and 150-minute battery life. Also, this massage gun is quieter than others on the market, small enough to be included in a backpack, and can be used on plane flights or train rides without disrupting your friend’s fellow passengers.
Giving your friend this travel journal is one of the more personal, really affordable gift ideas for friends overseas. I like this journal option because you can customize the exterior of the journal with your friend’s name and favorite color.
Your friend will have the opportunity to journal and transcribe the details about their new adventure abroad. Unlike social media, your friend will have a space to record intimate details about their trip that they may not want publicly shared.
Pay for their luggage to get shipped to them with Luggage Forward
We’ve all heard the luggage horror stories. My friend loves to retell the time when her underwear exploded across a busy airport because of a luggage mishap. Although it makes for a great story, I know I certainly don’t want to experience that kind of scenario firsthand.
Moving requires more packing and luggage than someone needs for a simple vacation. And, keeping track of multiple luggage items can be overwhelming, heavy, and expensive. Rather than transporting several bags throughout an airport, pay for Luggage Forward to ship your friend’s luggage directly to their new home.
Gifting this service will help your friend have peace of mind during their move because they’ll only need to travel with a few items. Their energy will be directed towards getting to their destination instead of monitoring their life’s possessions in airports and bus terminals.
Wireless, noise-cancelling headphones
Planes and trains are loud and noisy; standard headphones can’t provide their users with a listening environment capable of drowning out environmental sounds. Noise-canceling headphones help eliminate distracting noises from the local environment so that listeners can enjoy their audio. If your friend is moving by plane or train, ensure they have a pair of high-quality noise-canceling headphones for their trip.
Since I like to listen to music or podcasts to pass the time during long transit hours, my go-to noise-canceling headphones are the Bose QuietComfort 45. These headphones are exceptionally comfortable to wear for several hours at a time. Also, these noise-canceling headphones have some distinguishing features that set them apart–mini microphones that measure the surrounding noise to adapt the sound quality to the surrounding environment.
Just yesterday, I ran around for 20 minutes looking for my misplaced keys and wished I had an AirTag attached to them. Similar to a Tile Mate, an AirTag is an Apple accessory that prevents people from losing and misplacing their valuable items. They can also be helpful to find stolen and pick-pocketed items.
If your friend loses an object with an AirTag attached, they can search for its location using an Apple product, like an iPhone or iPad. This awesome gift is basically a fancy keychain capable of being tracked by radar. After noticing an item is missing, your friend can use the Find My app on their Apple device to figure out the item’s location.
Stainless steel water bottle
Reusable water bottles are a must for anyone on the go. I prefer using stainless steel because plastic bottles have been shown to leach BPAs into water. Also, unlike glass, stainless steel is durable and doesn’t shatter when dropped on hard surfaces.
I’ve been using a S’well water bottle for years now, and it’s held up well despite numerous drops and dishwashing cycles. They’re one of my favorite gifts for someone moving abroad who’s mindful of their water consumption and anyone who wants to save money by filling their bottle with free water. It’s also one of my top zero-waste travel essentials since I contribute to less waste by not utilizing single-use plastic bottles.
Moving abroad is an exciting experience, which is why I recommend giving a DSLR Camera as one of the best gifts for friends going abroad. A DSLR camera will allow your friend to capture the unique adventures they experience on their new journey–in higher quality and more professional detail than their smartphone.
My favorite DSLR Camera to travel with is the Nikon D3500. The Nikon D3500 camera model is an excellent option for beginner and seasoned photographers. With an on-screen guide instructing users on composing and improving their photography skills, they can easily snap crisp photos and capture HD video. Your friend will be capturing Instagram-worthy travel pics in no time.
Additional Camera Specs for the Nikon D3500:
- 11-Point Autofocus
- Bluetooth Capabilities
- 24.8-Megapixel CMOS Sensor
- ISO 100-25,600
- 1080/60p Full HD Video Recording
Cash in the local currency
The process of moving abroad is exhausting. Your friend will likely travel across several time zones with very little sleep–I did! After reaching their destination, they will need to exchange their money for their new country. Be one step ahead of your friend and get them local currency using Xe Currency.
It’s my favorite currency exchange service because they offer competitive exchange rates and can deliver the exchanged currency efficiently. Their app is also user-friendly and has an offline ability to quickly check an exchange rate between monies. Providing your friend with some money in the local coin will give them the ability to head straight to their new living accommodations to rest after transit and adjust to the local time zone.
A gift card to their favorite store
If your friend has already moved abroad or if they plan to do so soon, consider giving them a gift card to their favorite online retailer. Maybe they’d love an Apple gift card to buy a new phone, or an Amazon gift card since they ship almost anywhere.
This way, they’ll be able to shop from home without having to worry about shipping costs or buy something they didn’t realize they needed until they arrived. Just make sure to read the fine print–there are often restrictions on using gift cards out of the country they were purchased in.
Give them an experience in their new home
It takes time to get acquainted with a new city. If your friend is moving to a large city, help them explore the local attractions by purchasing an experience through GetYourGuide, Viator, or Go City Pass. I think this is one of the best gifts for friends going abroad because it forces them to experience a city in ways that might be out of their budget or comfort zone.
A care package of food from home
Send your friends some curated tasty treats to help them fight off homesickness. While I’m sure your friend will enjoy experiencing the local cuisine, they’ll love having a personal stash of comfort foods in their new home.
I love receiving a gift box from Packed with Purpose because they have exceptionally tasty treats. Also, the company directs its profits towards benefiting suppliers that serve specific communities and the environment. A Packed with Purpose bundle is a present you’ll feel good about giving and a physical gift your friend will love receiving.
A travel guidebook for their new home country
When moving to a new place, I like to read tons of travel guides and blogs about my new destination. Travel guides give me realistic expectations for what to expect in the country and city of my new home, and quality books highlight the local attractions.
I like to find my travel guides on Amazon because the reviews and “bestseller” ratings help me choose the best guides specific to my destination. A travel guide is one of the best gifts for overseas friends because it will give them all the best information about their new hometown in their native language.
A subscription to Scott’s Cheap Flights
One of the best gifts for expats is the ability to fly affordably. Flight expenses are one of the priciest hassles about moving abroad – especially if it means flying over an ocean. The price of airfare can be a barrier for your friend to make special visits back home or keep them from traveling around to other incredible places near their new city.
However, there are some fantastic resources out there to help cut costs on flight expenses. Purchasing a subscription to Scott’s Cheap Flights has been one of my favorite methods for saving money on flight expenses.
Flight Experts at Scott’s Cheap Flights discover flight deals specific to your preferred airports and notify you of the flight deals. Subscribers have noted saving nearly 90% on flight fees when using this subscription service.
A high-quality carry-on
I learned the hard way that a carry-on bag can make or break a flight experience. On my last international trip, I ran through the Amsterdam airport with a broken 2-wheel carry-on suitcase and a heavy backpack with straps that dug into my shoulders. I barely made it to my connecting flight because the luggage kept breaking, and the pack was so disorganized that it was difficult to find any of my travel essentials inside.
After vowing to never use either of those again, I now use a Hynes Eagle Travel 40L Backpack and a Samsonite Mobile Solutions Spinner Carry-on as more user-friendly options. The backpack has excellent built-in organization and is made specifically for carry-on dimension requirements. And this 4-wheel carry-on is perfect, with front pockets for last-minute items and pretty gold zippers.
A great day bag
Many foreign countries use public transportation as the primary method for traveling throughout their cities. Your friend will likely walk or use a public bus system or metro more often than back home in the United States.
I recommend anything from the range of Samsonite backpacks as a travel gift for friends moving overseas who frequently commutes on their own without a car. They’re stylish, durable, and can withstand holding the necessary items of an average public transportation commuter.
This one has been my favorite while navigating New York City every day for years, and it’s held up very well. If you’re looking for other options, check out my whole breakdown of different travel bags and purses.
Create a photo book of memories
Just because your friend is moving overseas doesn’t mean they won’t miss you when living away. Create a Mixbook of your favorite memories together to give them a sentimental gift as a going-away present. It doubles as a heartfelt token of your friendship and a tool for fighting homesickness. I have a complete guide on creating a Mixbook if you’re interested in learning more!
Give them a language learning subscription
I’ve made so many mistakes mispronouncing words in foreign languages–especially Italian. I studied Italian in school for years, and now I live in Italy, and there are still days when I butcher one of the languages of love.
While it often provides locals with some entertainment, it can be pretty embarrassing to not be fluent in the local language. Encourage your friend to practice their new language by buying them a Babbel subscription. I love Babbel because its interactive interface makes language learning fun and easy. Also, the subscription can be accessed from smartphones, tablets, and laptops.
A VPN subscription
Tech experts advise that everyone should use a VPN subscription as a primary way to protect their private data on electronic devices, especially when using a public internet connection. Using a personal VPN will help prevent scammers from accessing your friend’s personal information when they log onto insecure WIFI in airport terminals, train stations, and unfamiliar cafes.
The most popular VPN service for everyday consumers is NordVPN. It’s a perfect long-distance gift since all you need to do is pay the subscription or purchase fee and send them the set-up information–no mailing required!
I hope these gifts for friends going abroad will inspire you to find unique ways to surprise your friends overseas!