12 Long Distance Gift Ideas for Friends & Family

written post cards laid out

Written by Charli Moore on

Charli Moore is an adventure enthusiast who has been location-independent since 2011. As a freelance writer, she blogs about her adventurous travels at Wanderlusters, and has a penchant for adrenaline highs and crunchy peanut butter. Follow her on Instagram @wanderlustcharli to feed your wanderlust.

written post cards laid out

Whether your beau has moved across the country or you’re living abroad and just want to connect with home to remind your loved ones how much you care about them, our long distance gift ideas are unique and sure to spread a little joy.

If you have a travel lover in your life who lives far away, find gift inspiration with these 12 ideas. Each one is the perfect long distance gift idea to span the gap of time and space with your friends and family.

Scrapbook Album

Whether you buy it and fill it with the memories you’ve created together, or encourage them to catalogue their own adventures, a stylish scrapbook ($12 and up) can be a thing of real beauty and sentimental value when completed. If you’re away from home or living abroad, you could even consider filling one with a snapshot of your own past travel adventures to share with older relatives who don’t use social media. Here’s exactly how to start your first travel scrapbook.

Travel Tracking Backpack

An NFC-enabled chip means that world travelers can track and trace this 45L C aldera travel pack ($279) on their smartphone. It’s also made from 100% recycled Cordura® poly making it the ideal long distance friendship gift for an eco-warrior you hope will come to visit you soon!

Packable Duffle Bag

For a frequent traveler who loves bringing back souvenirs, a packable duffel bag ($36) is the perfect long distance gift. A practical addition to their travel luggage collection, it can also serve as a gym bag, or day pack for local adventures.

Long Distance Envelope and Note Cards

Ideal for periods of time when you’re going to be away from someone you really love, these personalized long distance envelopes and note cards ($14) are a truly unique way to say “I miss you.” Tailor each letter to be opened at a certain time, for example “open when you feel sad” or “open when you can’t sleep.” Each letter will instantly bridge the distance between you and make your loved one smile.

Functional Travel Tee

A fun long distance friendship gift, choose a fun and functional top from Vans. The cropped tee for women ($40) and mens tee ($26) were developed in partnership with National Geographic and each features a cool travel graphic that will enable your mates to keep you close when they’re out making epic memories on adventures near them.

Ergonomic Trail Shoes

A practical option for anyone active, the Timp 2 trail shoes by Altra for men and women ($140) will keep your travel-loving friends and family on their toes no matter what the terrain. The footshape™ toe box and balanced cushioning™ platform make them perfectly weighted for every adventure.

Adventure-Ready Sleeping Bag

Equip your long distance loved one with the tools to stay warm in the wild with the help of a great sleeping bag. The Eco-Trail Down from The North Face ($169) is a great mid-range option for camping trips with friends.

Hanging Toiletry Organizer

Some of the best long distance family gift ideas are practical as well as thoughtful, and this hanging toiletry organizer ($37) fits the bill on both fronts.

Luggage Tag Poster

Consider a keepsake from a trip you took together or a place close to home that you both love to visit, such as a luggage tag poster ($15 and up). This is a fun way to keep the memories of the best times you’ve spent together alive.

Packing Cube Set

Perfect for friends going off to college or a bestie planning to travel the world, a starter set of Pack-It Specter packing cubes ($59) is a functional gift that will come in handy in a variety of situations. They’re not only useful for keeping your luggage in check, you can also use them to tidy your closet or stash electronics in your backpack.

Here’s how the world’s best travel bloggers use packing cubes—your friends and family will love them just as much as other travelers!

Convertible Carry On

If you’re looking for a gift for a friend or family member who lives away from home but frequently pops back to visit, consider this versatile Caldera carry-on sized duffel ($469) that has a zip-off daypack, and zip-away backpack straps.

Unique Travel Experiences

For the friend who has everything, and even those that prefer to live like a minimalist, gifting a travel experience to a long distance loved one is a unique way of showing you care. Especially if you are able to join them for the adventure! Take a look at our guide to gifting travel experiences for inspiration and tips on how to book destination gifts.

Regardless of what you send, your long distance gift will brighten the day of the people you love most. Use our Ultimate Travel Gift Guide to find meaningful gifts for every occasion.

Related Links (from Eagle Creek blog):

Answers to Your Most Common Packing Cube Questions

6 Ways to Use Packing Cubes for Families

5 Questions to Ask Your Airbnb Host For a Clean + Safe Space