It’s that time of year again. Yeap, it’s time to start figuring out what you’re going to buy people for the holidays. This can be a bit stressful sometimes, but I’m here to make your life a bit easier with the ultimate gift guide for the expat in your life, including things you might think are a good idea, but trust me, they aren’t.
While living abroad it can be difficult to get books in your native language. For this reason, a Kindle is essential and a great gift! If possible, try to order it from Amazon in the country they live in so you don’t have to pay higher shipping costs and import taxes.
Tip: There is this amazing free app called Overdrive that allows you to check out e-books from your local library straight to your e-reader. So for example, I have a library account from my local library in Boston and I can use this account anywhere in the world to check out ebooks for FREE! If you’re a constant reader like I am, it’s the best thing ever. You can also reserve books (if the ebook you want is already checked out) and create lists of books you want to read in the future.
So, buy your loved one a Kindle, set them up with a library account, download Overdrive on the Kindle for them and I promise you that you will be their fave person ever.
If that is not an option for you, I highly recommend Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program. For just $9.99 a month you can read unlimited books. If you’re reading more than one book a month it is completely worth it. Plus, you can cancel at any time if you start getting too busy to read as much.
It can be difficult to make your home actually feel homey when you’re moving constantly and have to fit everything in a suitcase. Tapestries are great because they fold up small (easy for your to ship to your loved one across the world) and they make perfect wall art. You can also use them as a picnic blanket or on the beach. Here are some travel themed ones that you’ll love.
Here are some nice expat inspired tapestries we are currently loving↓
A Trip Together
Having a loved one in another country means missing each other constantly. Why not plan a trip together? If you need a little inspiration of where you could both go, check out Skyscanner. Type in your departure city and then type “Everywhere” in the destination field to see the cheapest places to fly to. It’s a really cool feature.
Send A Care Package
Nothing makes me happier than getting a big box of goodies from my loved ones of all the things I miss from home. Make sure to check out the customs regulations for the country you are sending the package to before you send anything, though! There is nothing worse than sending a package only to find out your loved one was not able to get its contents because there were illegal products in there. And yes, certain foods, medicines, alcohols, creams etc. are not allowed to be shipped to certain places.
Living abroad means always having to watch TV in another language or listen to songs on the radio that you don’t understand. Am Amazon Prime subscription is the best option because not only can you listen to over 1 million songs without commercials, they also have a really wide selection of movies and TV shows.
A Gift Basket
It ca be difficult to find gift basket companies that ship internationally, but I’ve done your research for you and discovered that Harry and David send most of their gift baskets to international addresses. You can send your loved one a variety of awesome gift baskets through Harry and David including chocolates, fruits, holiday-themed gift baskets, and more!
Gift Baskets Overseas is another great company that sends their baskets to over 180 countries. They have a really wide selection of baskets and come at an affordable price.
It’s always nice to get some flowers! Flora200 sends to many countries throughout the world and their bouquets are beautiful.
Of The Month Club
After doing a lot of research, most of the month clubs don’t ship internationally (although I wish they did). One good one I did find is Craft Coffee. They have a really cool coffee of the month club. I can’t think of anything more enjoyable than a new type of coffee showing up on my doorstep each month!
If you know of any other clubs that deliver internationally please leave them in the comment section so everyone can benefit.
Living in a different country means learning a new language. An online Rosette Stone account for your loved one could be the perfect gift to help them get their language skills on point. If you don’t know, Rosetta Stone offers a really comprehensive program for learning a language through their online or downloadable program. They offer several languages to learn and are consistently considered the best language learning option out there.
If you’re looking for something small to get your expat loved one, a journal is a great option. While living in another country it is so nice to have a journal to keep track of all the little cultural observations and amazing experiences.
Here are some nice expat inspired journals we are currently loving↓
Things NOT To Buy
Gift cards: You may think “Oh my loved one has that store in their country too. I’ll buy them a gift card for there.” Don’t do it! Or at least check with the store ahead of time. Most places (and yes this includes Amazon, iTunes etc,) will not allow you to use a gift card bought in another country.
So, for example, if you have a loved one in Germany and would like to order them an Amazon gift card you need to do so on Amazon.de
Really expensive things that need to be shipped: When something over a certain cost is shipped to another country the recipient will have to pay an import tax on that product. This rate varies by country, so do a little research ahead of time.
Fun story: My wonderful dad sent me a banjo when I lived in Germany. You can only imagine the tax and hassle I had to go through to get my banjo from the customs office.
If you have any questions or need some more suggestions, just leave a comment and I’ll help you out as best as I can.
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