Each year friends say goodbye to great friends. Sometimes we’re the ones moving and sometimes we’re the ones staying behind. Both are tough places to be in as you watch approximately one-third of your friends leave.
Your friends already know how much you love them and a gift isn’t going to change that, but it’s nice to send them off with something they can look at or touch and think of you.
The nights you spent crying and commiserating over disappointments or laughing together over the silliest of life’s moments: These are the memories, both good and bad, wrapped up in your friendship.
Here are some going away gift ideas for your friends as they move to a new state or overseas.
Sentimental Going Away Gifts
Sometimes you just want to send your friend off with something that reminds you of each other—something sentimental. These gifts are often accompanied by a nice, handwritten note, delivered in a small, intimate setting.
1. Tea Towels
Tea towels are all the rage these days, used more for décor than anything else. The come with funny, screen-printed sayings as well as silhouettes of states. The Not That Far Towel will remind them that they are never too far away.
2. Photo Album
A photo album is a perfect way to document your friendship. Add some pictures of your time together, of the places they love, and leave some room for them to add to it as life continues.
Scratch off maps are a great going away gift, for many reasons. They can document where your friend has left or where they are going. They can be displayed several times over as wall art, including when they’re waiting for their household goods to be delivered or they’re living in the hotel. These maps often include a guitar pick scratcher and stickers to highlight your travel memories.
These candles are incredibly popular for a going away gift, as they combine the best scents from each city, state, or country into a candle. Gift them one from the place they’re leaving so they can burn it when they are homesick and remember all the fun times you had together.
5. SwigLife Cup
Do you and your friend share a special saying? Put it on a Swig tumbler so they never forget you. These can be used hot or cold so they’re perfect for the military spouse on the go. Coffee in the morning and wine in the evening, Fully customizable and available in several sizes.
Gifts Upon Arrival
Gifting something right before your friend drives off can create a challenge for them. Consider having a gift delivered after they arrive at their new house.
6. Household Care Package
Arriving at a new house means it’s time to clean. By sending a care package full of the household items everyone needs, you’ll save at least two trips to Target and a good bit of time for your friend.
7. Meal Delivery Kit
You know how hard it is to get settled after a move. By the time your stuff gets delivered you’re already tired of take-out, but you’re not quite ready to cook. Help your friend out by having a healthy meal kit service like Blue Apron or Sun Basket delivered. You’ll save them time, money, and some sanity by not having to think about dinner.
If your friend is traveling quite a distance for this move, they’ll want to maximize their car space. Last-minute gifts make that hard. But a flower delivery upon their arrival is absolutely perfect. A nice “welcome home” right after they arrive is a great way to let them know they’re loved from afar.
9. “Out on the Town” Coupon
Before their stuff arrives, encourage your friend and their family to get out and explore their new hometown. Treat them to a dinner out at the local best restaurant or a coupon for the children’s museum to entertain the kids.
10. Amazon Services
Almost anything can be delivered via Amazon, but did you know that services can be too? Gift your friend the service of a house cleaner upon their arrival. Or, better yet, someone to mount their TV when they move in. Find someone trusted in their new location by using Amazon Home Services.
There’s always something to do when you arrive at a new house, especially if you buy one. Send your friends off with a gift card to the local hardware store. Now they can get some paint, nails, or whatever else they need to get their house in order. It’s almost like you’re there doing it with them.
Practical, Yet Fun Goodbye Gifts
If your friend enjoys the traditional things in life, that’s a great place to start for gift ideas. You can make them personalized or fun, even when they seem boring. Trust me, they’ll appreciate your noticing what they like and getting it for them.
12. Stationery Set
If your friend likes to write letters (or if you want them to write to you!) gift them a stationary set. Make sure to include some stamps and a nice pen so they can get started writing immediately. You may also get them a personalized was letter seal set, to really set their letters apart.
13. Coloring Books
If your friend has a long journey or is anticipating staying in a hotel for a while, a set of coloring books for the family is a great idea. Coloring books and pencils for the kids, and some adult coloring books and pencils for the parents make for the perfect family night during a PCS.
14. Weekender bag
Has your friend been eyeing a new weekender bag? Go in with some other friends in your group to gift a new one. Hopefully, this means they’ll come back quick for a visit!
Saying goodbye to friends is hard, really hard. But sending them off with a thoughtful gift and a warm hug makes all the difference.
Remember, it’s not goodbye, it’s “see you later.”