12 Gifts For Family That Live Far Away

Knowing what to get for family members across the country can be difficult. Gifts that remind them of home though are always welcome. Here are the best gifts for family that live far away.

senior woman sending gifts to family

There’s an old saying that absence makes the heart grow fonder. That’s only true to some degree. If you’re like many others, you have family that are dear to you. They’re close to your heart, but not close to you physically.

You want to stay in touch with them, especially as you get older. You realize just how important time with family is, and if you’re retired, you probably have more time to do it. You also know just how easy it is for long-distance relationships to fall to the wayside, or for kids and grandkids to grow up so fast you miss it and they start forgetting who you even are. Further complicating matters is that you might not be able to get around as much as you used to.

Regardless of all this, if you want to stay on the radar of loved ones far away, then getting them great gifts is a great way to do it.

Great Gifts for Long Distance Family

Keep reading to learn 12 gifts for family that live far away that you can use, because there’s only so many photo calendars you can send out before relatives start a betting pool about who is getting them this year. For all you know, those calendars only get hung up a few hours before you show up anyway.

Subscription Boxes from Cratejoy.com

This website offers a number of subscription boxes that mean you can give a gift that keeps showing up over and over, keeping you in someone’s memory and mind. If you want something that might actually bolster a long-distance relationship with a friend or family member, then take a look at Cratejoy’s “Once Upon A Book Club” option for a subscription box. Every month, you and a relative can get a new book release plus themed goodies delivered right to your doorstep. You can both read the book and talk about it with the included book club discussion questions, or jointly participate in reading sessions and chats.


Who Doesn’t Like Snacks?

Snacks are always a great gift idea. With subscription services like those from LoveWithFood.com, you can keep your far away family members in a constant supply for a low monthly fee. They even have gluten-free, vegan, and Kosher snack options to choose from. So, you are sure to find something for everyone.


Personalized Long Distance Coffee Mug

Personalized Long Distance Coffee Mug

If you have family members that are originally from the state you currently live in but now live far away, why not give them a coffee mug reminding them of where they’re from. Watercolor mugs with gold-foiled pictures of their home state give them an extra morning of coffee before having to wash all their mugs, while also getting them to reminisce about their roots.


Gotham Dual Time Zone Watch

Gotham Dual Time Zone Watch

This is great for anyone that calls you frequently, but doesn’t always remember what time it is where you are. Unisex watches with genuine leather bands and waterproof stainless cases emanate timeless style (yes, the pun was intentional), but they can display their local time as well as your own time zone. The next time they ask you if it’s a bad time to call, you can just tell them to look at their wrist.


Homesick Scented Candles

Homesick Scented Candles

Different candle makers call them different things, but many carry state-themed candles that can give them the smells of home. Scents are very powerful ways to trigger feelings and memories. A candle with fir and pine fragrances can help a loved one return to Virginia if only in their heart, and anyone from Kentucky will recognize sweet vanilla and bourbon scents.


Echo Show 5 – Compact Smart Display with Alexa

Echo Show 5 – Compact Smart Display with Alexa

An HD screen with a pair of great speakers means you don’t have to fumble with your phone or fire up the laptop to see and chat with someone. When either of you aren’t chatting with each other, you can do anything from punching up recipes to watching TV. If you bake while you chat and they ask about what you’re making, maybe you can ship off a batch to them as a surprise? Just don’t send chocolate in summer.


Smart Carry-On Luggage With USB Charging Port

Smart Carry-On Luggage With USB Charging Port

Carry on luggage is always a practical gift for seniors. Even if they can’t use a piece right away, they’ll need it sooner or later. Find a carry-on that fits the restrictions of every major domestic airline. The best ones even have ejectable batteries that let them keep tablets and phones charged to the brim while en route.


Sannyra Crescent Moon Necklace

Sannyra Crescent Moon Necklace

You probably feel like the sky is the limit to how much love you have for them, so why not buy a lunar necklace celebrating the connection that you share? It displays a clear message that no matter how far away you are from each other, you’re both looking at the same moon.


Amazon eGift Card

Amazon eGift Card

Yes, gift cards used to be the bane of gift-giving, often seen as a cheap way out of picking a gift. However, if you don’t visit them that often, you might not really know what physical gifts would work in their home or not, or even how much stuff they have or don’t have. A gift card is your way of opening the door to the gift, where they finish by picking it and cherishing it.


Personalized Hometown Map Custom Jigsaw Puzzle

Personalized Hometown Map Custom Jigsaw Puzzle

Does someone distant you love personally love jigsaw puzzles? You can get a custom satellite map puzzle of your local city or ZIP code. How quickly they can piece it together should tell you how much they remember about where you live. Simpler puzzles are great to show grandkids about where you live, and truly artistic puzzles can even be laminated or framed as artwork.


Your Cityscape Ring

Your Cityscape Ring

If you live in or near a major city, then get them a sterling silver ring with your city skyline cut into it. They’ll remember you every time they look at it, or at least every time they dig through their jewelry box.


Think Like A Tourist

Are you lamenting the fact that you can’t visit a loved one’s home city as often as you would like? Sit down at your computer or with your smartphone and take a look at the city anyway, but think like a tourist.

Your relatives likely don’t look at their hometown with that kind of perspective, meaning there are probably all sorts of restaurants, activities, entertainment experiences, and other amenities that they either don’t know about or have just never had the chance to enjoy. Find out if there are gift cards you can get and send to them that they can use for either an afternoon or evening of fun, or even as part of their next long weekend or staycation.

While you can’t be there with them, they’ll remember you made that day possible, and so you’ll always be a part of that memory. Just be sure to get something with date flexibility regarding attendance so they don’t pinned down for something they didn’t plan on.


Summary and Final Recommendations

Modern technology makes it possible to keep close emotionally to those that are geographically faraway. You can buy and ship things anywhere or even have things arranged for them right where they live. These 12 gift ideas for family who live far away aren’t just great for the annual holidays, but also birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, and so many more.

Keep your family like they’re right next door, regardless of how far away they actually are.

Do you have other ideas for long distance gift giving you would like to share? Please tell me about them in the comments below!

About Scott Grant, ATP, CRTS® 305 Articles
Assistive Technology Professional, Custom Wheelchair Specialist, Medical Equipment Guru, Dad and Grandfather
I am a lucky dad to four awesome daughters and grandfather to three pretty terrific grandkids. When not working as a custom wheelchair specialist at a regional home medical equipment company, I enjoy early morning runs and occasional kayak trips. I am also a self-admitted nerd who loves anything from the 1980's. Learn More

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