Long-Distance Gifts

6 Ideas for Bridging the Distance

Woman toasting husband using video call

Zero Creatives / Cultura / Getty Images

Your college boyfriend or girlfriend might be back at home while you're away at school. Or you might be studying abroad in Vienna while your significant other is in Tokyo. When the holidays, a birthday, and Valentine's Day come around, however, you definitely need to give a gift—regardless of the physical distance between you.

Since the hardest thing in a long-distance relationship is often the distance itself, looking for gifts that can help make that distance seem a little, well, less far than it is can make all the difference.

Skype Credits

Skype—and several other similar companies—offer a life-saving service when it comes to long-distance relationships. A Skype credit for your boyfriend or girlfriend to use is just about the closest thing to your actual self that you can give. Be respectful, too, that your partner may use some of the credits to talk with other friends or family members; distance is distance, after all. But hopefully, the two of you can splurge on a little extra time with each other online without having to worry about the balance in your Skype account.

A Digital Picture Frame

Digital frames have come down in cost significantly. You can now pick one up at a nearby department store or even drug store for a reasonable price. To make the gift even better, pre-load the frame with pictures of the two of you together. That way, you're giving not just a nice gift but a nice gift personalized with happy memories of your time together.

A Printed Picture

With so many pictures being digital these days, it's uncommon to be given a good, old-fashioned printed picture in a classy frame. Fortunately, this gift is super easy and doesn't have to break your bank. You can print a great picture of you and your partner from your printer or if you want something with a little higher quality, you can simply email a picture of the two of you to a nearby drugstore or photoshop. For a dollar or two, you get a great picture. And with a little search at places like Target, you can find a great-looking frame that's also inexpensive that you can personalize, too. Put the two together in a nice care package, and ... perfect!

Something Handmade

Do you have an old sweatshirt your girlfriend loves? Use your handy skills to turn a piece of it into something creative that she can treasure. Are you an amazing artist or poet? Create something of your own design that speaks to what you love best about the two of you and send it along. Gifts like these, despite their low cost, are often cherished much more than higher-priced but impersonal items.

A Shadowbox With Mementos

Did you have a great fall vacation together? Grab some leaves and combine them with pictures of your weekend away. If you use a shadowbox, you can create some awesome-looking designs that speak to the highlights of your relationship. You can even make a collage with movie tickets, pictures, quotations, or passages from books that you both hold dear. Be creative!

A Gift Certificate to a Streaming Site

Give a gift certificate to a place where you can rent movies online (like Amazon or Netflix). When is the last time you and your significant other were able to enjoy dinner and a movie together? Don't let the distance stop you. Arrange to meet up online—with either a meal you make in your room or something fun, like popcorn and licorice—and simultaneously rent a movie together. You can be Skyping or simply on the phone, but with a little patience, it can be like having a classic date.