If you have a friend or family member moving overseas, you might be wondering what the perfect gift to buy them is before they move abroad. Whether they are moving overseas because of military deployment or a job opportunity, you want to buy them something they can make room for in their limited space. Unfortunately, space and weight are at a premium when moving overseas due to excess baggage fees and expensive international shipping costs.
Therefore, after months of planning, you do not want to give someone moving overseas a heavy or bulky item. Maybe you can’t decide if you're going to get them something practical, they can use or sentimental that will make them think of home or a virtual gift that doesn’t require any treasured space in their suitcase. Instead, you want to get them something that will fit into their already meticulously organized and already overpacked bags and boxes.
So, what is the perfect gift for someone moving overseas?
What Is the Perfect Gift for Someone Moving Overseas?
First and foremost, let’s decide if you want to purchase a practical, personal, or virtual gift. Of course, practical gifts are always a great option because, depending on the size and weight of the gift, they will most likely be able to make room for something if they need it. However, it’s possible to buy a clever, sentimental gift they would cherish and love that would be a welcome addition to their suitcase.
Let’s discuss the perfect practical gift our team at Lovebox highly recommends for someone going overseas.
Practical Gifts Ideas for Someone Moving Overseas
A practical gift idea is a great option because not only will they always think of you when they use it, but it’s something they need. The following are our favorite gift ideas for when you want to buy something they would need in their new home and make room in their suitcase.
Let’s get started!
Universal Adapter and Converter
When someone moves overseas, it usually means they will have an entirely different shaped power plug to connect their electronics to a power source. It’s much cheaper and easier to invest in an adaptor than to buy all new electronics and cords to change to a different voltage. In addition, there are many adapters and converters, so purchasing a universal variation may be the best option. If they also do additional traveling overseas, they can take it to other countries.
Portable Phone Charger
There’s nothing more frightening than finding yourself in a busy new city when your phone dies. A portable phone charger is a great option to keep their phones charged during long travel days and while they’re out and about in their new city.
Leather Passport Wallet
Who doesn’t love a nice leather wallet to keep their passport in while they’re traveling? When moving to another country, it’s essential always to have your passport accessible. Therefore, it’s nice to have a durable and functional passport wallet. A nice leather passport holder is a great way to keep their passport safe and in something stylish. Plus, a passport wallet can hold everything they need, such as documents, credit cards, and identification.
Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Reusable water bottles are great gifts for someone moving overseas. Not only does it keep them hydrated, but they probably don’t even have to make room for it in their suitcase. If you find one, they can attach the outside of their backpack or carry it with them on the plane. Be sure to find one durable such as stainless steel, because traveling can be rough on personal items. It’s also excellent for the environment and reduces unnecessary waste.
Smartphones have great camera options, but sometimes it’s a good idea to have a separate compact camera while taking photos of your favorite memories from your trip. For example, you don’t want to spend all of your phone camera battery taking the perfect family photo.
Handing over your phone with all of your essential information to a stranger in another country is terrifying. So instead, a simple point-and-shoot is user-friendly and takes up very little space in their backpack.
Brightly Colored Luggage Tag
Labeling your bags is essential when you’re moving to another country. Unfortunately, luggage tags with old addresses and phone numbers or colors that aren’t easily recognizable make getting where you need to go with all of your bags a treacherous nightmare.
Furthermore, the paper ones the airport gives you can easily tear or rip during the flight. Your friends would greatly appreciate new brightly colored plastic luggage tags that are easy to stay on and easy to recognize at the baggage claim.
It’s a challenge organizing all of your toiletry items for a short trip, and it’s even more challenging organizing everything you own to take overseas. However, packing their essentials in a small, preferably hanging, toiletry organizer is the perfect way for them to have a comfortable first few days in their new home without having to be in search of boxes and bags constantly. It’s also the perfect gift for them to have if they take short trips away while they are overseas and need something handy for just a few days of travel.
Journal and Pen
Between anxiety, jetlag, and overall excitement for their new journey, your friends are probably overwhelmed with packing for their move and have difficulty keeping track of everything they need to do. Notebooks are great for lists of daily tasks they are afraid they might forget while preparing for their big move. Even if they prefer to keep their lists on their phone, they may want to start journaling and keeping track of their thoughts and feelings for the next season of their life.
Sentimental Gifts Ideas for Someone Moving Overseas
Although they may not have much room in their bags and boxes, it’s important to have a few reminders from home when moving to a strange, new country.
Here are a few sentimental gifts for someone moving overseas.
A photo Album
There’s something special about a photo album filled with pictures of beautiful memories and people from home. Include photos from trips, birthdays, and special occasions they can look back on and reminisce. Gifting a photo album is an excellent way to have a physical reminder of their friends and family members they can look through when they feel homesick.
Pro Tip: Make sure you try to find a lightweight, slim photo album for their travels. That way, they are more likely to find room for a sentimental photo album in their bag than if you gifted them a bulky album.
Artwork of Their Favorite Movies and Cities
Vintage posters and maps of their favorite places and movies are a wonderful reminder of all of their favorite things from home. Plus, posters and wall art are great for decorating empty walls in a new apartment. Include a poster holder so they can easily roll up the artwork or poster, and it fits nicely in most suitcases!
Custom Made Coasters
Coasters can be both sentimental and practical. Find coasters with their favorite hometown landmarks or have them custom-made with your pictures from special memories you have together. Coasters are also small enough to fit in most bags when space is premium. Plus, you can find super fun and cute coasters to remind them of home when they’re looking for a place to sit down their coffee every morning.
A Custom Christmas Ornament
Although they may only get out the Christmas tree once a year, a unique photo Christmas ornament is a super sweet way to feel that their friends and family at home are a part of their overseas holiday celebration. You could put a cute picture in the frame of the two of you together or find an ornament from a particular city or place they will miss the most when they are overseas.
Make a Recipe Collection
Everyone needs to know how to make secret family recipes and their friend’s favorite recipes. Cooking and eating can be an almost spiritual experience, especially when you’re alone in another country, away from everything familiar to you.
Ask all their friends and family to send you copies of the recipes they are most known for and love to make, and then compile an extra unique recipe book for your loved one. Moving overseas, they will be sure to cherish a recipe book made for them for years to come.
Design a Personalized Tote Bag
Tote bags are great gift ideas for even the most challenging person to buy. Plus, there can never be too many tote bags, especially if they’re moving to a large city without transportation. Plus, there may be a law in their new city regarding the use of plastic or paper bags, so tote bags are becoming more of a necessity for grocery shopping and other purchases. So one of the best-personalized gifts to make is a customized tote bag for them to have something super special to remind them of home in their new city.
There’s an endless number of options for creating a custom tote bag for someone moving overseas. For example, you could find an artist to paint a custom painting of their home state or home city. Or you could get their favorite quote from a book or movie put on a tote bag. You could even get their favorite symbol or emoji put on a tote bag. Designing a personalized tote bag is a great sentimental gift option!
Pro Tip: For their safety and security living in another country, it would probably be best to not put their name or initials on a tote bag or anything else that could show share any personal information with the public.
A Memorable Sweatshirt or T-shirt
Depending on the weather they are moving to, a memorable sweatshirt or T-shirt is a wearable sentimental gift that is great for anyone moving away from home. For example, you could buy a sweatshirt from their favorite sports team or home city. Or a memorabilia shirt from a place you know they love to visit. If they have a favorite T.V. show or movie they love to quote, you could get their favorite line put onto a T-shirt.
Make a Scrapbook of Your Memories Together
Although space might be tight for a large scrapbook, you could find smaller scrapbooks or even digital scrapbooks to compile all of your memorabilia and pictures together. A custom scrapbook is an excellent gift, so they will always have something to look through when feeling particularly homesick.
Include cards and notes as well as any souvenirs from trips you’ve taken together. Get crafty with fun stickers and artwork, as well as any stories of your time you’d like to write down for them to read. If you have a going away party for them, you could include the notes and cards they receive.
Pro Tip: Include a few blank pages in the back of the scrapbook so you can continue to add pages from the future memories you make together or even when you come to visit them in their new home!
Virtual Gift Ideas for Someone Moving Overseas
Lastly, the following is a list of our best virtual gift ideas for someone moving overseas. Virtual gifts are a great option because there’s no packing involved, so they are sure to have room in their tightly cramped suitcases and boxes.
Let’s dive into our last gift idea options: virtual gifts!
A Digital Subscription to their Favorite Magazine or Newspaper
A digital subscription to their favorite reading material is an excellent gift for someone moving overseas. With a digital subscription, they don’t have to make room in their suitcase, and it’s a little token from home that they will receive every month and help them overcome any homesickness they may be feeling.
A Digital Guidebook to Their New Country
A digital version of a guidebook is a great space saver in their suitcase. It’s also something practical they may have forgotten to purchase in a rush to purchase plane tickets, receive updated immunizations, and coordinate their overseas housing.
A Subscription to a Language Learning App
Someone moving overseas would find a language learning app a perfect gift! Even if they know the language in the country they are moving to, they most likely will travel to nearby countries and would appreciate a subscription to learn new languages. It’s easy to use, and with an endless number of languages to choose from and perfect, it’s for your favorite world traveler.
A Subscription to a Photo Editing App
Suppose your friend is an amateur photographer and loves taking beautiful, artsy pictures of their travels. In that case, a subscription to photo editing software is an excellent way to enhance their photography skills. Plus, photo editing app subscriptions can get a bit pricey and not a gift someone would purchase for themselves. Editing their favorite travel photos is great for budding photographers to get experience editing their favorite travel photos of their new city.
A Gift Card
A digital gift card truly is the gift that keeps on giving, and it takes zero room in their already full suitcases! There’s an endless number of options for gift cards for someone moving overseas. For example, you could get shopping gift cards for online stores. Perhaps your friend or family member is a serious gamer; you could purchase gaming gift cards.
Once you buy the digital gift card, simply email the recipient the code or forward them the confirmation. It’s an easy and super fun gift to give someone moving overseas!
A Subscription to a Streaming Service
Who doesn’t love binging their favorite T.V. show or newly released movie? A subscription to their favorite subscription service is a gift that gives all year round! Streaming service costs can add up, and to cut costs before their move, they may have decided to cancel any additional monthly fees. Therefore, they would love to receive such a thoughtful gift!
Pro Tip: double-check the area they are moving to has the subscription service you choose to before purchasing.
A Monthly Digital Reading Subscription
Books can be weighty to transport and difficult to pack if they decide to pack some overseas trips. However, if someone you know is moving overseas and loves to devour numerous books monthly, then a monthly digital reading subscription! I
A digital reading subscription is super portable and doesn’t take up any additional space in their luggage. In addition, any reader would love a chance to have hundreds of titles at their fingertips whenever they want to reread a classic or read the latest paperback without having to find it in their language or carry a heavy book around!
Pro Tip: You can even find monthly subscription services for audiobooks for your friend or family if they are constantly on the go and don’t have the time to sit down with a good book!
The Absolute Perfect Gift for Someone Moving Overseas
Communication can be challenging when someone moves overseas. So at times like those, it’s vital to find a creative way to stay connected over a long distance. And we at Lovebox have the perfect gift for sending communicating notes and messages overseas! Our Lovebox Original Color & Photo. A connected messaging device pairs with our free app to go beyond regular communication and deliver special messages to loved ones overseas. So how does it work?
First, send the perfect gift, Lovebox Original Color & Photo, and download our free, user-friendly app. Then create your message with stickers, photos, notes, and even postcards!
Send your message through the app and the recipient’s heart spinny will begin to spin to let them know you sent a message. When they open the app, the heart will stop spinning, and in return, they can send you a shower of hearts to cascade over your screen in response.
The Lovebox Original Color & Photo is fully customizable so that you can choose the color of their spinny! Your soon-to-be ex-pat moving overseas is going to make room in their suitcase for their new favorite messaging device!
When someone you know is moving overseas, it can be an overwhelming experience for them to fit everything they need into a few bags and boxes. That is why it’s essential to find the perfect gift for them to take with them without having to sacrifice additional precious space in their luggage. You can choose to purchase a practical, sentimental, or virtual gift for their big move. So take some time and think about what they would need you the most while living far from home in another country.
Don’t forget the perfect gift for someone moving overseas is the Lovebox Original Color & Photo! Finding ways to communicate with loved ones back home while you’re living overseas can be challenging. But creatively expressing your love and affection to those who matter the most shouldn’t be.
The 12 Things Every Expat Needs To Do Before Moving Abroad | Forbes
9 Steps to Get You Ready to Move Abroad | Travel + Leisure
Eight things to do before living and working abroad | Career choices | The Guardian