In a world where our friends and family are scattered around the globe, it can be hard to celebrate big milestones. How do you put a smile on their face when an email or text feels so impersonal?
If you’re struggling to add some fun to a loved one’s special day, you’re not alone. We’ve packed this list of long-distance birthday gift ideas full of thoughtful, personalized, and heartfelt presents you can send to anyone in the world. Here are eight ideas to bring some joy to their celebration.
- Help Them Make Their Own Cake and Ice Cream
This one’s both easy and fun: put together a fuss-free cake for them to bake themselves! There are plenty of recipes online, and all you’ll need is a glass jar along with basic baking ingredients.
You can also pair this gift with a “DIY sundae” kit complete with sprinkles, a jar of caramel or fudge, and fun spoons and decorations. All they’ll need to do is add ice cream!
If you’re not sure of your ability to put this together, you can always have a cake in a jar delivered to them.
- Send Them Flowers
This is one of the classic birthday gift ideas for a long-distance best friend or partner, but it works well for anyone. After all, who doesn’t love the gift of a bright vase of flowers?
Even if your birthday person is overseas, you can opt for international flower delivery to make sure they have a burst of color on their special day.
- Make a Personalized Gift to Share Memories
This is one of the more labor-intensive ideas for long-distance birthday gifts, but if you pull it off well, it can be a thoughtful present your recipient will never forget.
If you have a little time before their birthday, decide what kind of personalized gift you’ll offer them.
Will you cut together old videos of the two of you with your family? Do you want to create a photo album full of memories of a trip you took together? Or would you rather go old-school and create a mixtape playlist full of all of your favorite songs?
Whatever you decide, sharing your favorite memories can help make them feel extra special on their big day.
- Treat Them to Lunch
Looking for birthday gift ideas for a long-distance husband or boyfriend? As the saying goes, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach!” (Don’t worry, this one works for friends of any gender.)
Do a little online sleuthing to find interesting local eateries near wherever your recipient lives. Many restaurants offer online gift card purchases, meaning that you can send the details to your birthday person’s email.
This is a great way to give a thoughtful and memorable experience, as you’re treating the birthday person to some great food and helping them explore their city!
- Make a Thoughtful Donation
This is one of the best last-minute long-distance birthday gift ideas, as it’s kind and compassionate without the lengthy delivery process! All you’ll need to do is send your friend an e-card with info about your donation. Besides, there’s no better way to spread birthday cheer than by helping out a cause that’s dear to your friend’s heart.
If you want to add a physical gift as well, you can always opt to send something related to the cause you’ve donated to. For a friend who wants to save endangered species, a gift to a relevant charity can be paired with a delivery of a cute stuffed tiger, for example. Many charities also offer “tribute gifts” that come with t-shirts, mugs, gift cards, and more.
- Send Balloons in a Box
What’s more fun—and surprising—than birthday balloons that float out of an opened box? To send some unexpected joy, all you’ll need is a large box and as many helium-filled Mylar balloons as you can fit inside. You’ll need to opt for quick shipping to keep these from deflating, however.
As always, consider personalizing this gift with balloons in the recipient’s favorite colors, as well as a birthday card.
If this sounds like a little too much work, you can easily find companies that offer balloon delivery online as well.
- Write Old-Fashioned Snail Mail
This one can be quick or labor-intensive depending on how much effort you want to put into it. Snail mail is a particularly great option when it comes to birthday gift ideas for a long-distance boyfriend or girlfriend, as they’ll be able to treasure your love letter for years to come.
All you’ll need is a pen and paper, but you can add photos and fun decorations to personalize the gift. You’ll also need to take some time to craft a thoughtful message. Fancy cursive handwriting is optional.
- Send a Birthday Party in a Box
Just because you can’t be there to celebrate in person doesn’t mean you can’t help them throw a party!
This type of gift is especially great when your loved one lives alone in a new place, such as study abroad students or friends who have just moved. When there’s no one around to help them decorate or share their joy, a birthday party in a box can do the trick!
If you want to do it yourself, you’ll need to gather some basic party fare for your friend to have fun with. Think of adding the following to your box:
- Cardboard birthday crown
- A birthday pin
- Birthday streamers
- A “Happy Birthday” sign
- A colorful garland
- A package of fun confetti
- A party wand
- Birthday candles
- Candy or their favorite snacks
- Photos of the two of you
- A birthday card
If you don’t have time to put one of these together, or if you’re hoping to get your gift packed and shipped fast, you can also get a teeny birthday box delivered online.
Try These Long-Distance Birthday Gift Ideas
No matter how many miles are between you, you can celebrate your loved one’s special day with these long-distance birthday gift ideas. Whether you need a present for your husband, best friend, or grandma, you’ll be able to express your love with the perfect package. Consider these ideas as you make plans to celebrate!
Looking for more of the tips and ideas you need in life? Check out our other helpful guides for more info.