Scrolling through your Instagram feed today generally leads to accounts posting pet pictures, glamour food shots, or friends posting enviable travel photos, but when a friend decides to move overseas to study abroad or start a new career, they will need a lot more than a suitcase of Insta-worthy outfits.
Choosing a going away gift for a friend moving overseas can be challenging. You have to consider climate, the living situation, and of course, you want it to be personal. Here are some helpful tips to buy meaningful gifts for someone moving abroad.
11 awesome gifts for someone moving abroad
1. TSA-Approved Travel Backpack
Travelling overseas means planning for TSA checkpoints. Depending on the country your friend is travelling to, there may be a few layovers and more checkpoints. Choose gifts for someone moving abroad that provide style and function with a leather backpack. A backpack allows for packing away valuable items like laptops and tablets (pro tip: confirm first that it’s TSA compliant!).
Backpacks today also come with built in radio frequency identification (RFID) and ez scan that allow you to pass through checkpoints without having to remove any electronic devices, saving your friend a lot of time. This backpack comes in three leather colors to match any outfit!
2. Universal International Travel Power Adapter
Power outlets in the United States let out a higher wattage of power than those in European and other countries. A universal international power adaptor is a great gift for a friend moving away because they can charge their phone, laptop, or tablet and stay in touch more easily. This power adaptor is highly rated on Amazon and comes with one USB-C port, three USB ports and one universal AC socket, which allows for five devices to be charged simultaneously.
3. Travel Space Saver Bags
Moving anywhere involves a lot of packing, so travel space saver bags are a helpful going away gift for a friend moving overseas. These bags are easy to use and do not require a vacuum to remove the air. They are sold in packs of nine and shrink the volume of luggage down by 75 percent optimizing suitcase capacity.
4. Personalized Journal
Give a personalized going away gift for a friend moving overseas. A personalized journal is a meaningful gift that allows your friend to write everything from packing lists to how their trip is going. Relying on cell phones and technology has become so common, but it can be more meaningful to write important events or information down.
5. Hair Brush and Money Stash
Traveling alone can be intimidating. Providing your friend a sense of security is one of our go-to going away gift ideas. This functional hairbrush is an inconspicuous way to prevent outside attention from strangers while safely stowing away some emergency cash. It can also fit other smaller, important items and can easily be packed in carry-on luggage. Money stashing items are becoming more popular, so even if a hairbrush would not work, items like water bottles and picture frames have also been updated to include small spaces to stowe away some extra cash.
6. Meaningful Keychain
Regardless of living arrangements, your friend is going to have new keys. A meaningful keychain makes a personal going away gift for a friend moving overseas. Keychains can also be used for USB drives, small flashlights, bottle openers, and Swiss army knives. Since keychains are inexpensive gifts, you could also consider giving a Swiss army knife or other attachment along with it as a package-gift for a friend moving away.
7. Travel Sweatshirt
Give a cozy going away gift for your friend moving overseas. Having a collection of staple pieces of clothing and different layers is important to consider when trying to condense and move a wardrobe. A sweatshirt makes a great top layer when traveling. Choose something fun that reminds you of your friendship. Who says a practical gift can’t also bring sentiment?
8. Travel Scarf
Many clothing and accessory companies include scarves and infinity scarves in their fall and winter collections, but some materials are better quality and better for the environment. This infinity scarf is made from a soft, sustainable bamboo material. Like the hairbrush, it is also made with a secret pocket for stashing away a passport, quick cash, or anything else needed on hand when traveling. These are eco-conscious gifts for someone moving abroad that are sustainable, fashionable and functional.
9. Phone Charging Passport Holder
Traveling anywhere out of the country requires a passport. Instead of choosing a passport holder that simply holds a passport, choose one that is multi-functional. A phone charging passport holder rocks as going away gift ideas because it provides another way to stay connected. This passport case can charge a cell phone and still has room for a passport, some cash, a boarding pass, and some cards.
10. Parka Jacket
Depending on where they are traveling, a parka is a good going away gift for a friend moving overseas. A quality coat is an important staple, and seasons are likely to change when living somewhere for an extended period of time, so it is important to pack lots of varying layers.
11. Foot Rest Hammock
Pillows are the obvious choice for plane travel, but foot hammocks help with blood flow when traveling far distances in a plane. They are a good gifts for someone moving abroad because they prevent stiffness and swelling during long flights. Foot hammocks are easy to include with carry-on luggage because they are easily foldable.
Buy a meaningful going away gift for a friend moving overseas
Traveling anywhere for an extended period of time is a major decision and transition in someone’s life. Selecting a going away gift for a friend moving overseas should be both thoughtful and practical. Making such a far move, your friend will likely have to downsize their lifestyle. While paring down will become important, choosing items to pack that have meaning will become more important. Ultimately, whatever you choose will bring sentiment and nostalgic memories because it is from you.
Authored by Karen Doerfer
Karen manages communications for a local environmental non-profit in New Jersey.
When she’s not creating digital content, she enjoys hiking with her two dogs.