From coworkers to good friends to family members, when someone you’re close to moves away, it’s customary to give that person a going-away present. But refrain from buying that person just a sad, going-away greeting card and a gift card to their favorite restaurant or coffee shop — you can do better.
Get a gift that shows them you care about them, want them to enjoy life in their new town (no matter how sad you are to see them go), and that you actually put some thought into a gift that would serve them well.
Here are 17 of the best going away gift ideas, no matter who you’re buying for.
Best Going Away Gifts for Coworkers
How do you buy the right going away gift for a beloved coworker? Sure, they’re your favorite person in the office, but you don’t really hang out after work. You know intimate details about their life, but also have never been to their house. How do you pick a gift that’s both thoughtful, but not overly so?
Try one of these gifts, that all strike the right balance.
Everyone loves a fresh bouquet of flowers, and whenever someone in the office receives one, they instantly become a source of envy for all of their colleagues.
Surprise your colleague on their first day at their new job, with a fresh bouquet delivered straight to their desk. Not only will fresh blooms brighten up their space, they’ll also make an interesting conversation piece as your colleague makes new friends in their new role.
Ask a few of your officemates to chip in, and get your moving coworker squared away with a subscription box just right for them, for a gift that’ll keep on giving for months.
An Inspiring Message
Moving and moving to a new job are both very scary and very stressful. Ensure your colleague walks into their new environment with confidence, with a gift that comes with an inspiring message.
Maybe you want to remind them that they can do anything — including breaking down barriers in the workplace. In that case, you might want to get them the beautiful Shattered Glass Ceiling necklace from Uncommon Goods, a daily reminder of the women constantly breaking through the glass ceiling in new ways every day.
Or, if your colleague tends to have more of a PG-13 vocabulary and would appreciate a funny gift, you might want to remind them that they can always “carpe that f***ing diem”, with this fun carrying case.
Best Personalized Going Away Gift
Personalized gifts show that you actually care (and pay attention!).
This long-distance love design popped up on Etsy a few years ago and has been popular on throw pillows, t-shirts, blankets, wall art and more — but everyone can use a coffee mug while not everyone can use a throw pillow.
Personalize this ceramic mug with two states of your choosing, connected typically by hearts and other whimsical designs, including chosen text. It’s a (and affordable) reminder to your loved one that you’re thinking about them, no matter where you are across the country.
A T-Shirt with Meaning
Show off your extensive knowledge of your friend’s likes, dislikes and overall life, with a t-shirt from one of their favorite local spots, organizations or companies.
Did you just so happen to meet at that one random local restaurant on the other side of town? Say goodbye with a logo’d shirt.
Is one of your favorite memories that trip to a local theme park? Give them a shirt that commemorates that favorite day.
While you might have to think on what might be the best t-shirt to buy your going away friend, whatever you pick will definitely be something they can’t find in their new home, and that’ll always remind them of fun times in their old town.
And while you’re at it, pick up a cheesy commemorative keychain from the same place so their new house keys won’t be lonely.
A Collection of Personalized Notes
If you know many of your moving friends’ other friends, colleagues and relatives, then this gift will be easy to pull off and totally inexpensive.
A few weeks before your friends’ move, ask those other individuals in their life to write up a thoughtful note for your friend. Ask them to include fond memories or advice. Compile all the notes and present them to your friend before they head off on their next adventure. Package them in a keepsake gift box, and they’ll likely hold onto those notes for decades to come.
Anyone who’s moved around or traveled a lot knows that certain cities, states and regions just come with different smells. Make sure your moving friend can get a whiff of their favorite town or home state by simply lighting a candle.
Homesick scented candles come in a range of varieties, with some candles reflecting an entire state, while others reflect just a region. The Southern California candle, for example, smells like sea breezes, oranges and lemons, rose and jasmine, while the New York City candle smells like Central Park in the spring, fine department stores and concrete.
Best Going Away Gifts for Friends Moving Overseas
Sometimes a friend or relative moves across the state, which is a little more palatable. You know you’ll see them again, even if you have to wait a few weeks or months.
But what about when a loved one moves overseas, to an entirely different country? You might not see them for years! And beyond your own sadness over the distance, just think of what your friend is going through.
While exciting, moving overseas can be very stressful. You’re in a totally new country and culture, usually somewhere extremely unfamiliar. It takes a lot of time to get used to. The right farewell gift, though, can make the experience easier.
A Go-To Guide
Give your friend the gift of knowledge. What is it that you know your friend just plain sucks at?
Is it foreign languages? Cooking? Navigating a new place, even with the help of Google Maps? Not offending those around them, no matter how hard they try to avoid cultural faux pas?
Whatever it is your BFF could stand to work on, help them out with a go-to guide that they can turn to anytime they need help in their new and unfamiliar home. From a cookbook featuring the local cuisine to a handy language reference guide, from a country cultural guide to an old-fashioned paper map, make sure they go into their adventure armed with the right resources.
It may not be the most unique gift, but it will undoubtedly be appreciated.
The cool thing about moving to Europe or Asia, for many globetrotters, is that it becomes suddenly very easy to mark other countries off your bucket list. When the next country over is just a few hours’ drive, train ride or flight away, why not take a little weekend trip to Bali or Brussels?
They’re moving to an awesome new place — you’re going to want to see lots of awesome photos! Ensure your friend can capture their entire adventure in hi-def clarity, with a pro lens kit for their cell phone. Perfect for gadget lovers!
It can be difficult keeping track of different time zones, especially when you’re located across the globe from your loved one. Give your moving friend or relative a dual time watch, so they always know what time it is in your neck of the woods, too. A perfect gift to make calling, texting and staying in touch that much easier.
Best Going Away Gifts for Your Best Friend
When your best friend, favorite relative, mom, dad, sibling, girlfriend, boyfriend, child — whoever you love most in life — is moving away, it can be difficult to find an appropriate goodbye gift. What could possibly show that person how much you care about them and how much you’re going to miss them? We think these options are good fits for those extra-special people.
No matter your current scrapbooking skills, if you can cut out and paste a photo in an album, you’re well on your way to creating a cherished scrapbook of your favorite memories and a great gift for your moving friend or relative.
Include a few meaningful notes, ticket stubs, museum brochures or other memorable pieces of ephemera. You’ll quickly have a handmade gift that your loved one will cherish for years.
Okay, okay. It’s a little elementary school, but there are plenty of ways you can upgrade the traditional, braided friendship bracelet for a stylish piece of jewelry that your bestie will love.
Etsy offers a range of awesome friendship bracelet options for a range of tastes, whether your friend likes flashy bling or understated pieces. You can buy sets of bracelets that feature birthstones, geographical coordinates, special messages and more.
Many options on Etsy are pretty affordable, too. (And if you really want a throwback braided yarn friendship bracelet, but you don’t have the time or skill to make one yourself, you can find those on Etsy as well.)
While on the more expensive side, these Friendship lamps are a fun, tech-savvy way to tell your friend you’re thinking of them, without even picking up the phone.
The lamps, which are pretty stylish and could fit in with most decor, both light up when someone is touching only one lamp out of the set of two, no matter how far apart they are. So, if you’re in California thinking of your best friend in New York, all you have to do is touch your lamp, and then hers will begin glowing in Manhattan.
If you have a group of friends who are all scattered across the world, you can buy multiple lamps and assign each person a color, so you can know that if your lamp glows blue, your friend in Texas is thinking about you, but if it glows red, your friend in Florida has you on their mind. Perfect for keeping your post-graduation long-distance friendships going strong.
Best Useful Going Away Gifts
Do you prefer giving gifts that are more practical than sentimental? You may want to purchase one of these going away gifts for your moving friend.
Weighted blankets are a big trend right now, and for good reason. They offer lots of benefits, helping to relieve stress and anxiety and promote a more restful, enjoyable sleep.
If you worry about your friend settling into their new home and getting a good night’s sleep, a weighted blanket could be just the gift they need.
A Local Experience
Whether it’s tickets to a local museum, a trip to a nice local spa or food delivery from a local restaurant, give your friend the gift of getting out of their new house and into their new city, with the gift of a local experience.
No, really. It’s the most affordable going away gift, and it’s also often the most appreciated.
Give your friend the gift of your help. Packing up an entire house is so time-consuming and so stressful. Show up to your friend’s house ready and willing to pack up boxes and load up a U-Haul, and you’ll endear yourself to them forever.
But the Best Going Away Gift…
But the best going away gift is always going to be the promise of continued friendship — and then actually living up to that promise. All too often, friends drift apart when one person moves away. Ensure your moving pal that you’ll always be there for them, and then actually do it. Keep in contact, check-in and stay connected.
You may also be interested in: 7 Things No Adult Should Have in Their Apartment
The 17 Best Going Away Gifts
- Flower Delivery to Their New Office
- Subscription Box
- A Gift with an Inspiring Message
- State-to-State Coffee Mug
- T-Shirt with Meaning
- Collection of Personalized Notes
- Homesick Scented Candle
- Go-To Guide
- Scratch-Off Map
- Pro Lens Kit for Their Cell Phone
- Dual Time Watch
- Scrapbook of Memories
- Friendship Bracelet
- Friendship Lamps
- Weighted Blanket
- A Local Experience
- Your Help