Home » 55 Practical Gifts for Someone Moving Abroad (That They’ll Love)

55 Practical Gifts for Someone Moving Abroad (That They’ll Love)

55 Practical Gifts for Someone Moving Abroad (That They’ll Love)

Is someone you love getting ready to move abroad? With the rise of remote work and the availability of digital nomad visas around the world, it seems like everyone knows someone who is moving abroad. If you’re the friend of one of these jetsetters and wondering what the best gift for someone moving abroad is, you’re in the right place.


Having spent over 20 years traveling and living abroad, I understand the value of a thoughtful and functional gift for anyone traveling or making a more permanent move. Trust me–I’ve been given gifts that I’ve treasured and gifts that I just couldn’t take with me.

In this guide, I’ve compiled a list of 55 practical gifts for someone moving abroad, catering to various budgets—from affordable options starting at $5.00 to special splurge-worthy going away gifts. Let’s make sure your gift stands out and becomes an essential part of their move abroad journey!

What do you buy someone who is moving to another country?

If you’re here, then you’ve already started wondering what to buy someone who is about to leave the country. First off, choosing a practical gift for someone moving abroad requires careful consideration. Gift giving in this scenario goes beyond just buying a gift they would like. Did you ever consider that there are size and weight challenges to take into account?

For anyone who is preparing to move abroad, they’ve likely spent months downsizing and making tough decisions about what to bring. They’ve spent not only time but a lot of energy deciding how to declutter and minimize their stuff because they can’t take everything with them.

Overweight luggage with the airlines comes at a hefty price, and the last thing anyone needs is more stuff to carry. Having experienced this firsthand, I received well-intentioned but impractical gifts like a heavy book and a fragile glass mug, both caused a lot of stress and had to be left behind.

The ideal gift should be lightweight, purposeful, and enhance their life abroad rather than add to the stress of making a move. If you’re not sure where to start, don’t worry, I’m gonna help you find the perfect thoughtful, functional gift that makes life easier, without weighing down your special someone’s luggage or becoming a burden. Ready to find that winning gift?

55 Best gifts for a friend moving abroad

Whether it’s your best friend, coworker, or significant other moving abroad, you’re sure to find the perfect gift below. I’ve put together a diverse list of digital, practical, and light-weight ideas that someone moving abroad would love to have. In no particular order here’s my list of the 55 best gifts for someone going abroad.

Please note that affiliate links are included below, and at no additional cost to you, She Hit Refresh will receive a commission if you decide to purchase an item after clicking through the link.

Let’s kick-off this list with one of the most practical gifts you can give–a portable luggage scale. If you’ve ever flown then you know that navigating airline overweight luggage fees is no laughing joke! Every time I fly I find myself in that anxious moment in the check-in line, wondering if my suitcase will pass the weight limit or if I’m going to start my trip with hefty airline fees. 

That is until I bought my first portable luggage scale. If you want to help your loved one sidestep the stress, get them one of these! Personally, I recommend the Amazon Portable Digital Scale, which has helped me pack within weight limits and dodge those costly fees. It’s compact, travel-sized, and offers endless benefits for a small price.

The Zoppen multi-purpose travel wallet has become my ultimate travel companion. Initially bought for trips, this stylish wallet is so handy that it’s now a part of my daily life. Available in over 20 colors, the wallet is crafted from ECO-friendly PU leather (synthetic leather) and offers a dedicated space for all your travel essentials: passport, boarding pass, cash, coins, credit cards, ID, SIM card, pen, a key, and more! It also has RFID technology, keeping your personal information safe.  

Obsessed with this new find, the WALNEW RFID passport wallet is an alternative to the wallet above and helps navigate the stress of international travel…which often means keeping essential documents organized and secure. It’s made with both functionality and style in mind—I just think it’s so cute—this passport holder also has RFID protection. It can hold a passport, debit and credit cards, airline tickets, SIM cards and even a pen!

In addition to passports and boarding passes there are other essential documents that future expats will need to take, keep safe and organized and have easy access to. These can be legal documents, medical insurance policies, itinerary print out, arrival instructions and more. I recommend the SKYDUE expanding file organizer. With 8 pockets and a compact design, this organizer keeps everything in order and makes it easy to find crucial paperwork while on the move.

Are you shopping for a bookworm? Look no further than the mighty Kindle! I travel everywhere with my Kindle and giving this as a gift is really like giving someone a personal library that fits in their pocket. It’s my trusty travel buddy, and one of my most used possessions abroad. Digital books for Kindle are very affordable and with a local library membership, you can borrow thousands of digital books for free!

There’s a few Kindle models to choose from but my recommendation is the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition (32 GB) that comes with a 6.8″ screen, wireless charging, and auto-adjusting front light. This is definitely a splurge item that is worth every penny!

Delayed and missing luggage–the struggle is real, especially when flying across the world. Here come AirTags to the rescue! I really think AirTags are the ultimate gift for someone traveling abroad because you can attach these little wonders to anything–keys, a wallet, inside suitcases, you name it, to keep track of your stuff. Now, locating precious cargo is as easy as a tap on your phone. For Apple users get them Apple AirTags, I recommend gifting the 4 pack.

For Android users, get them the Samsung SmartTags–which also comes in a 4 pack

Have you heard of packing cubes? I consider myself an experienced packer, so I was initially skeptical about their value. However, seasoned travelers swear by them, so I decided to give packing cubes a shot and now I’m hooked! No more digging through layers of clothes in your suitcase to find that one t-shirt.

Packing cubes keep everything organized and easily accessible while traveling. My choice is the Bagil compression packing cubes. I like that each cube has an extra zipper which can be zipped up to flatten the cubes and keep everything neatly compressed. They also stack conveniently in any bag, whether it’s a check-in or carry-on.

Check out these adorable chevron travel bags–I discovered this must-have from a friend who included it in her 40th birthday bash totes. These wet-dry bags come in various patterns, and while they are designed as water-resistant diaper bags, they can be used for storing dirty clothes, lingerie, wet bathing suits, washcloths, wet shower cap, and more! It’s the perfect solution for keeping dirty and wet items separate in your luggage. 

I don’t travel anywhere without mine! I have the Damero 3 piece set (small, medium, and large) in yellow, however, currently they only offer black, white, and gray patterns. If you’re looking for a splash of cover grab these tropical print bags

Compression socks aren’t just for runners or your grandmother! Doctor recommended, they are perfect for any long-haul traveler. Compression socks help with circulation, reduce swelling in your legs and feet, and lower the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

Your special someone can wear them on flights, trains, and buses as they discover the world. I carry my trusted pair with me in my travel backpack for long flights and put them on once I’m in my seat. Pro tip: put them on at home under your clothing as they can be difficult to put on in small spaces. These Physix Gear socks have killer reviews and I love that they are particularly stylish.

I’m surprised at how many people don’t already travel with a microfiber towel. I bet your loved doesn’t have one, making it the perfect gift to add to their suitcase. Traveling with a towel always comes in handy, but standard towels are just too heavy and bulky to justify flying with.

PackTowl is the best out there. Lightweight, fast-drying, and absorbent, it’s compact and can be used in the shower, on the beach, a hike, while camping, or even during a workout. They come in sizes ranging from hand, face, body and beach and several different colors.

The number one item for any world traveler is an adapter. With all the cords, plugs, and gadgets that we travel with, traveling without a travel adaptor is as crazy as traveling without a toothbrush! In my search for the perfect compact universal power adaptor, people recommended this SKROSS brand and it has not disappointed. They have a few models but the SKROSS PRO World + USB covers it all. It works in 150 different countries, fits four different worldwide outlet types, and has two USB ports. 

Upgrade your special someone’s travel oral hygiene routine with an electric toothbrush! I love this Philips One by Sonicare travel electric toothbrush. It’s lightweight, battery operated (battery included!), and equipped with micro-vibration cleaning power. It comes with a travel case and is available in fun colors like, Miami Coral. You can get it with or without extra brush heads. 

Help your world traveler stay organized on the go with a compact toiletry organizer to take in their carry-on. This thoughtful gift makes it easy to keep crucial toiletries like chapstick, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, medication, contacts, and more neatly organized. It minimizes the stress of digging through bags and backpacks for those easily misplaced essentials. My favorite is the BAGSMART Toiletry Bag for Women. It’s light, can store a lot, and even has a wet-dry pocket to separate wet items. 

One of my favorite travel items is a set of reusable utensils that someone thoughtful gifted me. A practical gift for the eco-conscious traveler who grumbles at single-use plastic. These utensils are not only lightweight and compact but come in handy for fast-food to food markets to road trips to picnicking in parks and beyond. I prefer the metallic ones–instead of bamboo–(especially the Zoku pocket utensil set), but be sure to stow away the knives in your checked luggage, or else you’ll end up with a spook and fork set.

A reusable water bottle is a staple of any overseas trip and will be used daily in someone’s life abroad. Keep them hydrated with the Nalgene reusable water bottle. It’s a durable, leak-proof, and eco-friendly bottle and for someone with butterfingers like me, I love its rugged design that can withstand the challenges of travel. It’s also got a wide-mouth opening that allows for easy cleaning and adding ice cubes. This is the perfect practical gift for someone who loves sustainable products. 

An even more portable option for a travel gift is the Valourgo collapsible water bottle. Like the Nalgene it makes hydrating more convenient, less expensive, and less of an environmental burden. This water bottle is foldable, lightweight, and easily clips to your backpack or day bag.

A power bank is a great gift for someone on the go. My favorite is the ANKER PowerCore III portable charger. It stands out for its unbeatable combination of affordability, portability, and wireless charging + USB-C or USB-A charging, making it a must-have for any traveler. 

Between losing charging cables and trying to find the right charging cable for my device, I feel like cable chaos was a big part of my life. But not anymore–thanks to the SHEZI ever-able. This 4-in-1 charging cable is so cool and convenient because one cable comes with multiple ports: USB A to C, USB A to Lightning, USB C to Lightning, and USB C to USB C. Help simplify their life abroad with this practical gift that they will use every day!

Say goodbye to tangled cables and charging chaos with the UGREEN travel cable organizer. Travel is a whirlwind, and the last thing anyone needs is a mess of cords complicating the journey. I love this organizer because it’s compact yet roomy—it has two layers—and keeps charging cables neatly coiled and easy to access. There’s slots for various cables, adapters, earphones, dongles, and even an iPad.

Add a touch of sophistication with this Vandel puffy laptop sleeve. Stylish but also functional, this case shields laptops from scratches and minor mishaps and even has a soft plush lining. It’s available in two sizes, 13-14 inch and 15-16 inch and also comes in a variety of fun colors. Although it’s puffy it’s not bulky and slips seamlessly into any backpack.

You never know when a small padlock will save the day. This MASTER three-dial combination lock makes it easy to secure a backpack or luggage on planes, trains, buses, and in hotel storage rooms or hostel lockers. I prefer a combination lock over a key lock, since small keys are so easy to lose. Why not gift two? I always keep one in my backpack and another in my suitcase just in case.

These durable waterproof bags should be on any traveler’s wishlist. If you’re wondering why anyone would even need shoe bags? To keep all the dirt and grime on the soles of your shoe off of your clothes and luggage. And it’s time to upgrade from the grocery bag we all use to cover our shoes. 

I’m more active abroad and easily blow through a few miles a day of walking around a city and stepping in all kinds of things that I don’t want touching my stuff. Travel shoe bags keep everything clean and orderly. My go-to is the YAMIU travel shoe bag and it comes in a set of 4 nylon zipper bags. 

Embracing the journey requires adaptability, especially when it comes to surprise rain showers or seeing shade from the sun. That’s where the SIEPASA umbrella shines. Lightweight and foldable, this compact companion easily slips into any suitcase, bag, or purse, always ready to shield from sudden weather changes. A practical gift, having a travel umbrella ensures preparedness for the uncertainties that come with exploring the unknown.

Umbrellas are great but they don’t work well once a rainy day becomes windy. A practical gift that your special someone can use anywhere is a reliable rain jacket. My pick is the REI GTX Rain Jacket. Crafted with quality GORE-TEX technology, it combines waterproof performance with breathability, ensuring comfort in any climate. Lightweight and packable, I bet that anyone who receives this shield against sudden downpours and unexpected weather will be forever grateful.

You can never have enough backpacks—and this one of the most practical around.  Meet the Osprey Daylite Plus backpack—a must for anyone making their way abroad! Compact yet surprisingly spacious, it’s ideal for daily excursions, city strolls, or weekend getaways. With multiple pockets, durable design, and comfortable wear, this is a gift that keeps on giving. 

Help your favorite explorer stay hands-free and effortlessly stylish with a fanny pack or crossbody. They are perfect for traveling through airports as well as navigating the streets of a new city. I really like the ZORFIN brand because it’s not only functional but also fashionable. It has four separate zipper pockets for essentials like passports, cards, a phone, headphones and more. Available in tons of colors too!

When I’m on the go my playlist becomes my sanctuary, and a great pair of headphones lets me tune out the world but still feel connected wherever I am. Whether I’m on a noisy flight, walking through bustling streets, or getting work done in a coworking space. If you’re looking to splurge on a gift, look no further than the Bose QuietComfort Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones. You really can’t beat their cutting-edge noise-canceling technology, comfort, and sleek design.

I’ve been abroad on and off for over 20 years, and having a reliable first aid kit has saved the day more times than I can count. From minor cuts and scrapes to unexpected headaches, having essential medical supplies on hand is always a good idea. Another compact and lightweight gift. This first aid kit has 110 small pieces and weighs less than a pound. 

If you’re shopping for a content creator or someone who just likes to capture every moment then the ATUMTEK selfie stick tripod is the perfect gift! No more awkward arm stretches and missed group shots. The ATUMTEK not only functions as a bluetooth selfie stick, extending for perfect solo or group selfie but also transforms into a convenient tripod–with a sturdy tripod stand–for hands-free photography. I love that it’s portable, lightweight, and collapsible and is available in three lengths–51’’, 60’’ and 65’’.

This is one of my favorite gifts for globetrotters! The Apple World Travel Adapter Kit is a must-have for any Apple lover who is moving abroad. Charging laptops around the world can be frustrating but this makes it easy to stay powered up worldwide. 

It comes with 7 different AC plugs with prongs that fit every region of the world. The kit works with iPods, iPhones, iPads, and Mac notebooks. This is a super practical gift that gives peace of mind that their Apple devices can always be juiced up around the world and ready to go.

Help your special someone say goodbye to restless nights and jet lag with the Alaska Bear Sleep Mask– the perfect gift for anyone who values their sleep–like me. This smooth and silky eye mask blocks out the light in comfort, transforming any space into a good nights sleep. As someone who’s always hopping continents, I know the struggle of catching quality sleep in different time zones and new environments. I suggest gifting more than one so your world traveler alway has this passport to tranquility handy.

Silence is golden, especially when you’re jet setting and adjusting to a new life abroad. That’s why a set of high-quality earplugs is a thoughtful gift! From noisy neighbors and thin walls to unfamiliar street sounds, these earplugs provide a barrier against auditory disruptions, ensuring a peaceful night’s sleep. Give this as a small gesture to help drown out the noise and make the transition to a new life a bit more serene. Flents Protechs reusable ear plugs work well and come in a 10 pack. 

I love this little gem and if you’re shopping for someone who wears jewelry, they will too! Compact and elegant, the Vlando small travel jewelry box is a much better idea than the coin purse that I used to use to hold my jewelry.

With synthetic leather on the outside and velvet lining on the inside, it has three removable compartments, a ring holder, and an elastic pouch. Great for small earrings, rings, and necklaces, it zips right up and can fit in a purse or backpack.

A menstrual cup might not be your first choice for a gift, but hear me out: it’s eco-friendly and reduces waste, provides long-lasting use, and doesn’t leak. Despite a slight learning curve and the challenge of cleaning them on the go, I think the benefits make it worth trying.

While it may not suit everyone’s preference, a lot of women are curious about trying a menstrual cup but haven’t made the leap to buy one themselves, which makes it a practical gift for someone who is curious about the cup. The DivaCup is the most well known, but if you’re looking for something more economical, check out the Dutchess

I love me some travel slippers because who really wants their feet or socks touching the floors and bathtubs of unknown places? Designed for comfort and convenience, the Joomra Pillow Slippers fit easily in any suitcase or carry-on. 

They are lightweight, have a thick cushiony sole and roomy toe box, are quick drying, and come in lots of fun colors. Trust me your globetrotter will use them to unwind in unfamiliar accommodations like a their new home abroad, at a hotel, airbnb, or coliving space.

The Swiss Army Knife is a unique gift that anyone can use anywhere. Compact and multifunctional, this iconic tool can do so much: from tweezers to scissors, screwdrivers, nail files and more. It’s a useful gift for the unpredictable that’s bound to happen on the road or living abroad. You can choose from a range of sizes and styles–find the perfect combo for your bestie going abroad. We like the Victorinox Classic SD Swiss Army Knife, it’s simple yet functional.

While a pillbox wasn’t part of my travel essentials in my 20s, it’s now a must-have for a few essential pills: Advil, a multi-vitamin, and my B12 supplements. This cute, compact pill case, the Holii Travel Pill Organizer, features eight compartments to keep everything organized. With its wide and deep design, it’ll serve your loved one well during their trip abroad.

Have we all become germaphobes since COVID-19? From airport tray tables to hotel room door knobs to subway poles, travelers touch thousands of surfaces that are covered in bacteria. If you’re looking for a thoughtful and practical gift, sanitizing travel wipes are a great way to send someone off on a germ-free adventure. I was gifted these once and now I can’t travel without them. You really can’t go wrong with this gift. It’s compact, convenient and an instant hygiene boost all in one!

Face masks aren’t as prevalent as they were a few years ago, but they still come in handy offering protection from germs and peace of mind. Whether navigating crowded airports, exploring new cities, or adapting to local regulations–masks are still mandatory in certain places in the world–gifting a reliable stash of masks helps ensure that your special someone is prepared for any situation.

40. Luggage tag

If you are looking for a small gift with a perfect personalized touch–then why not get them a luggage tag! Everyone needs one, and if you get a distinct luggage tag it not only adds a splash of style to their luggage but also helps spot them in a sea of similar suitcases.

The perfect gift for a music lover–a travel-sized Bluetooth speaker! If you’re looking to splurge, the Bose SoundLink Flex Bluetooth Speaker delivers big on sound, are compact, waterproof, and oh-so portable. Your loved one can take their favorite tunes with them from room to room and even to beachside sunsets, park picnics, and beyond.

With limited luggage space, it’s tough to decide which memories, documents, or favorite shows to take and to leave behind. A portable hard drive helps your special someone bring it all with them. Plus they’ll be taking lots of photos and videos once they’re abroad and can back-up all their new memories. The SanDisk 2TB Extreme Portable SSD is compact, reliable, and has ample storage. It’s a great gift for anyone who has a lot of digital files.

A move abroad can make us quite nostalgic about where we come from, so if you want to gift, a simple yet meaningful reminder of their roots, why not get them a keychain from their hometown or where they currently live. This keychain will carry the sentiment of home wherever they go.

44. Language learning app subscription

Moving to a new country often means learning a new language. That’s why a subscription to a language learning app is the perfect gift for someone gearing up for the move. Mastering a language takes time and consistent practice, and these apps not only make the process fun but also allow anyone to start learning before they leave. My favorite language learning apps are Dualingo, Babbel and Pimslerue.

If you’re looking for another splurge item a sturdy carry on suitcase is a useful gift. My pic is the Travelpro Maxlite 5. It’s lightweight, durable, and has a spacious interior. It expands up to two inches, maximizing its packing capacity, and comes in a variety of colors–my personal favorite is the Dusty Rose Pink. Be sure to get the 21 inch (and no larger) so that this piece of luggage meets the carry on size restrictions in the US and abroad.

Living abroad is such a thrill, help your special someone capture every moment of their overseas adventures with the ultimate travel companion–a GoPro! A GoPro is perfect for documenting breathtaking landscapes, different cultures, and even new day-to-day activities. It’s small, lightweight, durable, and capable of stunning 4K video, it’s the ideal gift for anyone who loves video, especially content creators. For beginners either the HERO12 or less expensive HERO11 will do!

Perfect for someone moving abroad, a webcam is a window to family, friends, and colleagues back home. Whether they’re sharing a virtual coffee with loved ones or jumping on remote work meetings, an HD webcam makes any call feel more personal with crystal-clear video. The Logitech C920S HD Pro Webcam is a favorite. It’s lightweight, easy to use, and is a thoughtful gift for anyone who participates in video calls or just loves creating videos!

Portable monitors are a real treat for anyone who plans to work remotely when they move abroad. They are perfect for extending the display on a laptop, giving you access to two screens. A top seller is the LG gram, but it’s pretty pricey. I went for something more affordable and love my UPERFECT travel monitor. It’s a solid monitor that is sleek and lightweight and it helps transform any space into a productive workspace. 

The ultimate gift for someone moving abroad is a travel journal. That’s because it’s more than just a notebook, it’s a booklet of memories waiting to unfold. I have countless notebooks that have captured my experiences abroad–some go back to the 90s?! 

There are a lot of travel journals and notebooks to choose from but I think simple is better. Remember you don’t want to gift anything bulky that will add weight to their trip. Try the Deziliao Lined Journal. It’s compact, easy to carry, and lined, which is perfect for jotting down spontaneous thoughts or diving deep into the essence of every new experience.

50. Subscription service

Give the comfort of home wherever they go by gifting a gift card for their favorite streaming subscription services like Netflix, Apple TV or HBO. This way they can keep up with all the new series or just relax with their favorite lineup of shows. Another idea is to get them a localized Amazon Prime subscription–which generally costs significantly less than an account in the US.


Or gift them a Spotify Premium plan so they can enjoy ad-free music listening. Pro tip: if possible, purchase a virtual gift card from the country they are moving to, ex. HBO UK instead of HBO USA. US subscriptions will not work abroad without a VPN. 

If you are looking for a helpful gift that doesn’t take up any physical space and can be used around the world, look no further than a VPN (Virtual Private Network)! VPNs are workarounds to website blocks overseas. As mentioned above, subscription sites that are set up in one country—like Netflix in the US—will not work from a foreign country. A VPN essentially unlocks internet borders–making the inaccessible, accessible with a secured gateway. ProtonVPN is a reputable company and offers gift cards to upgrade from their free plans. 

A Wanderkarma Artisan Box is probably the most unique gift on this list. If you want to continue to fuel your special someone’s wanderlust while they’re abroad, why not gift them a subscription that brings even more of the world to their doorstep. Each month Wanderkarma sends a box that includes 3-5 handmade, fair trade surprises that come from around the world. It’s a gift that benefits the recipient as much as the artisans.

53. Snacks

Snacks and candy from the US are some of the gifts I’ve enjoyed the most while living abroad. It’s those familiar flavors that can provide comfort in the midst of adjusting to a whole new life in a whole other country. Take a trip to the grocery store or local businesses and curate a selection of snacks that you know they’ll love. If you’re looking for a personalized gift, this is a very thoughtful way to show how much you care.

If you’re not sure what to get, sometimes the best gift is letting someone choose what they want. An Amazon gift card will let your loved one choose what suits their wanderlust best. Give the gift of choice, convenience, and endless possibilities with an Amazon gift card.

55. Cash

If Amazon makes you uneasy, giving cash is great alternative, and never a bad idea–especially in this economy. Unlike material things, cash provides the flexibility to navigate unforeseen expenses, buy what they like, or simply indulge in spontaneous local experiences. Give the gift of choice with the simplicity and universal appeal of cash.

cash us dollars

What do you give a friend who is leaving abroad?

We hope this list of 55 gift ideas has helped you find the perfect gift for a friend (or partner) who is moving abroad! Remember gifts are not just about the physical items but also the thoughtful gestures behind them. Moving abroad is a big deal and as your loved one sets off into the unknown, your thoughtful gift will be a reminder that, no matter the distance, the warmth of your relationship transcends borders.

If you’re interested in moving abroad, check out our resources:

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