Last updated: September 10, 2023
The best moving away gifts that will make your friends feel connected and loved.
At some point, we’ll all either be the ones leaving or the ones being left. Why is saying goodbye even a thing? I’m going to make this quick because pretty soon, I’ll start crying.
Finding thoughtful gifts that connect your long-distance bestie to home (a.k.a. wherever you are) without adding more bulk to their move is challenging.
Last summer, I moved across the world with two backpacks. My best friends and family wanted to give me moving gifts, but I hardly had enough space to pack underwear, let alone a farewell gift.
That’s why I came up with this gift guide. Here, you’ll find wonderful gift ideas for every situation.
Is your childhood best friend moving off to college? Is your significant other moving internationally for their dream job? Or maybe your sibling is moving a few towns too far away?
I included unique gift ideas for every budget, and every meaningful gift on this list is available online.
If you forgot to buy a gift and they leave this afternoon (oops…we’ve all been there), send a housewarming gift directly to their new home and tell them “this way there’s one less thing to pack.”
If gifting experiences is more your thing, I’ve got you covered, too.
Read on for unique gifts that will make your best pal or loved one feel special during this big life transition.
Note: this post contains affiliate links, which help run this site at no extra cost to you so I can keep providing free travel advice and tips.
Table of Contents
Morse Code Friendship Bracelet
Our first thoughtful gift is, of course, a long-distance friendship bracelet. But wait there’s more: the beads are arranged to spell out a personal heartfelt message in morse code.
This sly bracelet is the perfect moving away gift for a boyfriend or girlfriend who is soft on the inside but doesn’t want everyone to know about their personal life.
Your friend’s bracelet will be a constant reminder that you support and love them wherever they go.
The “dot” and “dash” beads have very little distinction. This means that the bracelet appears black at a glance and doesn’t draw too much attention.
Only the two of you will know the true meaning of this thoughtful gift.
Now it’s time for a cry-fest. Chocolate is the best gift for any occasion, including when a loved one moves away.
Buy a special bar of luxury chocolate, wrap it in a bow, and add a farewell card. It’s a super easy and deliciously perfect way to show your friend love as they head to a new place.
The nice thing about chocolate is that they won’t have to pack it because it will be eaten before they leave.
I recommend Hu chocolate, which is organic, fair trade, non-GMO, gluten-free, and vegan. Yes, it’s vegan.
I love vegan chocolate. It has a slightly different texture from cow’s milk chocolate but still has that melt-in-your-mouth goodness.
If vegan chocolate isn’t your thing, check out Godiva’s mouthwatering truffles. They taste much better than jewelry.
Custom Label Wine
Alrighty, now that we have the chocolate sorted out, pick up a bottle of their favorite wine.
Personalize the bottle with a custom label sticker from Etsy. The label reads, “Pairs well with a new chapter of your life.” You can also edit the text to add their name.
These labels ship quickly, making them good last-minute going-away gifts. This gift also pairs well with chocolate and a night of laughing together while packing– a great way for you and your friend to form some new memories of their old home before they head to a new locale.
Pro tip: bring your own wine glasses in case theirs are already packed.
A big fluffy blanket to cuddle up in was my favorite moving gift that anyone has given me.
Thanks to my sister, I received it on a particularly rainy day when I was feeling homesick for my family and friends.
Come in clutch for your loved one by ordering the softest blanket in the world to be sent directly to their new address. It’s an ideal way to send a cozy hug when you can’t give one physically.
Faux fur blankets are particularly thoughtful going-away gifts for dog moms and cat dads who had to leave their fur babies at home.
Funny Scented Candle
Sometimes humor is the best way to show your love and true friendship.
Every time your friend lights their new lavender soy candle, they will laugh a little. I like finding ways to make my friends smile when I can’t be there to cheer them up.
Plus, the lavender fragrance is a wonderful way for them to de-stress.
If sarcasm isn’t your thing, comfort your friend with genuine kindness.
These Homesick candles give a warm hug with every use. The hand-poured soy wax is all-natural for a clean burn, and the butter apple cream scent will fill their new homes with love.
Your friend can light it every time they feel homesick for a burst of comforting fragrance to remind them of home.
Alright, we have two great gifts on this menu: either take your friend out to eat before they move or give them a gift card to use once they arrive in their new home city.
For the first option, invite the whole crew for a surprise moving away party at one of their favorite restaurants.
By organizing a little get-together, you’ll take the burden off them to try to visit with everyone before leaving.
Send-off parties make the best going-away gifts and are a precious way to make someone who is moving away feel loved.
Alternatively, giving a gift card to someone to buy food when they arrive at their new place shows that you’re thinking ahead.
Pick up a gift card for Door Dash or a chain where they can order takeout.
That first week after moving is stressful enough. Pre-purchasing food for college students or friends is a good way to care for them away from home.
You could even purchase a gift card for a grocery store like Kroger or their favorite coffee shop.
Don’t let your sibling forget the best, worst, and most embarrassing moments of being with family. Or, make sure your best friend never forgets all the good times you had together in your old home.
I’m a sucker for DIY goodbye gifts, and this is the perfect option for sentimental loved ones. The best going-away gift is a personalized and meaningful one.
Kolo’s Noci photo albums hold 24 4×6 photos. The cover is made of Italian cloth, and a closure ribbon gives it an extra flair.
You’ll have to purchase the album early enough to add pictures, but it’s way less work than a giant scrapbook and has just as much meaning.
Clothing Storage Organizers
I moved seven times in the last five years. Believe me when I say that having clothing totes with a seethrough side makes moving so much easier.
These are the perfect present for a family member who moves constantly (*cough* *cough* me) and a great way to help them stay organized.
They’re also a good present for families who need to keep track of what goes to the kids’ rooms, the parent’s room, and everything in between.
Reusable totes save on cardboard boxes and plastic garbage bags, and they fold down for easy storage under the bed or in the closet.
In between moves, your friend can use the totes to store winter sweaters, blankets, and bed linens.
Garden Starter Kit
Make your friend’s new house a home with an herb garden starter kit.
This is the ultimate going-away gift that keeps giving–it’s perfect for anyone who likes to cook or surround themselves with plants.
While in college, I always had plants. Ecotherapy is a fun way to de-stress after long days at a new job. It also uses space efficiently for people living in city apartments.
Plus, the best part of growing herbs is that they’re a great way to produce fresh ingredients to spruce up meals.
Looking for more funny goodbye gifts for friends moving away? Make your favorite person laugh every morning while sipping their coffee from this T-Rex mug.
Level up your gifting game by adding a couple of packets of hot cocoa mix. Don’t forget to include a gift card to their favorite coffee shop.
Friendship Picture Frame
Time for more personalized photo-themed going-away gifts. Filling my dresser with picture frames is my favorite way to make a new bedroom feel like home.
Gift your best friend a friendship frame with a photo from one of your adventures together.
From visits to amusement parks to your favorite spa day memories, these picture frames are a great way to keep your long-distance friendship going strong.
Farewell cards are the perfect gift, no matter your relationship with a person. Write a special note, mention your favorite memory, or reference an inside joke.
Cards always make me tear up–probably because my friends go deep when they write to me.
Never underestimate the power of a simple folded piece of paper to show someone how much you love them.
Go “old fashioned” with a mixology kit as a moving gift for guys or girls.
Send this mixology kit directly to their new address.
Your loved one or best friend will feel proud to make drinks at their new home bar with this black-finished 304 steel set, and it may earn them a classy reputation.
This is the perfect gift for roommates moving out or friends moving into their first house.
Country to Country Key Chain Charms
Long-distance friendships require lots of happy little reminders of each other, like adding a personalized key chain charm to your friend’s key ring.
Each charm is hand stamped to order. The left side is where they’re from and the right side is where they’re moving to. You can request initials or only the countries.
These key chains are made of lightweight aluminum, which won’t pull downward and damage your friend’s ignition when they drive.
When it’s time for the big move, ease the miss with a set of friendship lamps. These are the ultimate long-distance relationship gift.
The lamps connect to an app on your phone via Wi-Fi. Each time you touch one of the lamps, it changes the other person’s lamp to the same color. Magic.
Use different colors of light to communicate with each other via code. I love these lamps as graduation gifts for a close family member or friend.
The LuvLink app makes it so you can send a color to a friend’s lamp while on the go–no need for your phone to be connected to the same Wi-Fi as your lamp.
Now, you can stay connected no matter where you are in the world without saying a word.
Crew Neck Sweatshirt
It’s hard to go wrong with another cozy moving gift for the win.
Crew neck sweatshirts are perfect for college hangouts, movie nights, and camping adventures.
Pocket Hug Coin
When you give one of these pocket hug coins to your friend, tell them to use it like a worry stone.
Any time they need a warm hug, they can rub this coin between their forefinger and thumb.
Not only will holding something from you make them smile, but the movement will help ease anxiety.
This is the sort of treasured gift that will end up stored away in a jewelry box. They’ll rediscover it 20 years from now and think of you.
Best friend quilts are seriously over-the-top personalized going-away gifts that will make your loved one squeal with glee.
Show how deep your friendship goes by custom ordering one of these quilts with a few of your favorite pictures together.
These are perfect for the special person in your life who is always cuddled up under a blanket.
The best part? You don’t even have to know how to sew!
I Miss You Mug
The best presents become part of your friend’s daily routine. They will wake up and reach for this mug every morning.
Each mug comes personalized with the home state and names of you and your friend.
Choose from a variety of sizes (11 oz mugs to 20 oz tumblers), depending on how intensely your bestie loves coffee. Fun colors of the rainbow are perfect for any style.
Best of all, choose “Gift Wrap” at checkout, and the mug will come already beautifully wrapped.
At first, I thought these were just sugar pills. Then I realized that each capsule contains a tiny rolled-up message.
In the past, I made jars of folded personal notes for my family’s birthdays. Now, I want to make everyone a bottle of colorful happy personal message capsules.
If you’re in a long-distance relationship and looking for a personalized moving away gift for him, here it is.
Even the ingredient’s label screams “I love you” but not in an embarrassingly public way.
Open When Envelopes
This is the “friend or family member moving away for college” edition of Open When Envelopes.
Each envelope comes prelabeled with a scenario like “Open when you finish an exam” or “Open when you can’t sleep.”
The idea is that your loved one will always have access to a special note, even when they don’t have the energy to call you on the phone or it’s 3 am.
I like the prompts on these envelopes because not everyone has spare hours to painstakingly scroll out the instructions in beautiful handwriting.
There are 16 envelopes in the set. This kit doesn’t come with cards to go inside, which challenges your creativity. Fill the envelopes with photos, gift cards, confetti, or a stick of gum.
Accordion Photo Boxes
Collect special memories in a custom photo box filled with tiny pictures of you and your besties.
There are good friends and then there are great friends. Surprise them with a tiny gift full of tokens to show that you’re the latter.
No more waiting for the puff paint to dry before gifting them a cumbersome scrapbook. Condense everything into this unique going-away gift for easy moving.
The boxes come in bright pink, yellow, blue, and even black.
When your friend arrives at their new home, the photo strip comes out of the box and is ready to display on the fridge or wall.
Go all out and order extra friendship tokens to be added, like a tiny bar of soap or stickers.
Wherever your friend is moving, send them off in style. Personalized tumblers are a bougie replacement for water bottles.
There are 25 cup colors to choose from, including shimmer colors. Have their name or a personalized confidence-boosting word like “Brave” or “Badass” printed on the side in vinyl.
The lid has a sliding lock and is just the right size for reusable straws.
Plus, these tumblers fit in cupholders and are vacuum insulated. They’ll keep your friend’s favorite beverage hot for six hours and cold for 24 hours.
Friendship Pillow Cover
The days and weeks after your friend moves to a new city will not be easy for either of you. Add a fun best friend’s touch to their new home with this friendship pillowcase.
They can squeeze it tight whenever they miss your hugs. Just note that you’ll need a long-distance pillow too since the case doesn’t come with one.
When I was in college, my sorority had a tradition of gifting personalized pillows to each other. It was a cozy way to spruce up each other’s dorms.
Custom Map Ornament
If your friend is moving during the holiday season, give them a custom ornament with conjoining maps of your locations.
These are meaningful farewell gifts for a best friend who will think of you when they hang this on their Christmas tree.
And don’t worry if you live in a small city. The artist who handmakes these ornaments isn’t confined to only using major cities. She cuts the images from vintage maps.
Inspirational Desk Display
Remind a coworker that they have a whole team rooting for them.
Starting a new job can be scary, but desk displays are simple going-away gifts for coworkers that they can take to their new office.
This laser-engraved ceramic display reads: “Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and loved more than you know.”
Hiking Trails Guide
Give your outdoorsy friend a new hiking guide for the location they’re moving to.
Show you care by planning a trip to visit them. Then explore the new surroundings and go on a new adventure together.
This is a unique gift meant to help your friend on their journey.
Cassette Tape Phone Case
New house, new city, new phone case! Set your friend up with a new cassette tape phone case that will draw in new friends.
Having a unique phone case catches people’s eyes. Your friend will get compliments and hopefully make friends who also like retro music.
Quilted Moving Dish Organizers
One of the tricky parts about moving to a new home is transporting all of the dishware. The solution? Invest in a set of quilted moving organizers for their dishes.
Your friend will thank you now and later. They can easily label the outsides of the totes and keep everything organized during their move.
Your friend is going to need somewhere to write about their new experiences. Arm them with a new notebook.
This vegan leather cover notebook comes with sticker labels to organize their ideas into different sections.
I always like having sections for recounting stories from my day and writing project ideas and daily manifestations.
Buy a notebook in bright yellow to lift their spirits–plus, it’s easier to keep track of. Or, you can choose red to express your love.
Otherwise, show them that you remember their favorite color by choosing from the selection of 14 colors.
Blank pages mean that your friend is free to write, sketch, or bullet journal.
The 5.7 x 8 journal is my favorite size. It’s just right for slipping into a backpack or hiding under their pillow.
Buy a new scarf for a friend who is moving somewhere cold. I’m personally guilty of moving to cold places without proper coats, scarves, and hats.
A thick wool and TENCEL scarf will keep long-distance friendship warm no matter the miles between you. TENCEL is a biodegradable fabric sustainably made from trees.
Kids’ Bedroom Nighttime Projection
Need a moving gift for family members? If they have young kids, give them the gift of better sleep.
Moving to a new home can be scary for kids. New shadows shifting with the moon’s light, new closets, and sounds coming from the hallway.
This night sky projector will fill their bedroom with wonder and just enough light to banish the shadow monsters.
Fairy Light Photo Display
Light up their new digs with fairy lights that not only add a warm glow, but display all of the best memories.
Fairy lights make great gift ideas for someone moving out of state who hasn’t visited their new dorm, apartment, or house in person because lighting determines the mood of the room.
I always cover my new homes in fairy lights because they make me feel comfy, like drinking tea or lighting a candle. Plus, their soft lighting is good for movie nights and late-night studying.
Compostable Dishware Gift Basket
The week before the family down the street moves, show up at their house with a moving away gift basket.
The key items to include are compostable dishes. As everything gets packed, it’s easy to rely on plastic cups and cutlery that add to landfills.
These “plastic” cutlery and cups are made with a sugarcane plant-based material that feels like plastic but is fully biodegradable. No need to worry about packing the wine glasses too early!
Some more ideas to add to the basket include chocolate and a bottle of wine…maybe a bottle opener, too, in case theirs is packed.
Mental Health Care Package
Moving is stressful, so a great gift is to send a spa day care package to your loved one’s new address.
Care packages are my favorite way to add a boost of cheer to someone’s mailbox.
There are three sizes: small, medium, and large. All of them come with a candle, bath bomb, soap, lip balm, an amethyst necklace, and sugar scrub.
Favorite Snacks Care Package
This 40-piece snack box is the ultimate college student moving care package. I’m no longer a student, but please send this to my doorstep!
Usually, college students move right after finals. Show your kids, niece, and grandkids that you’ are’re thinking of them by sending a plethora of de-stressing snacks.
This is also a good going-away gift for a guy friend who always has a snack stash.
Snarky Best Bitch Gift Box
It’s time to celebrate the journey of your friendship and how much you miss each other with a best bitch gift box.
The hand lotion in this box is infused with the essence of “Taking on the World” and the candle scent is “Miss Your Face.”
If you’re sending this, you’ve been friends long enough to know that sarcasm is an expression of your love for one another and the miss is strong.
Thinking of You Succulent Gift Box
Succulents are a great moving gift for a best friend because they can be forgotten about and not die.
But seriously, your friend is going to be so busy with work and finding the best route to the grocery store that this will be the perfect no-stress gift.
New Beginnings Daisy Gift Box
This is one of my favorite going away gift ideas; all of my friends are receiving this daisy gift box when they move. It’s full of light and love.
Daisies are a symbol of bright new beginnings. This box comes with a mug and a tile, both beautiful pieces of decor. The note inside the box is tender and written with care.
Packing Supplies Care Package
Alrighty, we’ve made it to the final going-away gift: a packing supplies kit. Ease the process of moving by supplying your friend with packing materials.
These care packages are an excellent moving gift for neighbors–just make sure to also express how sorry you are that they’re leaving.
Use a moving box as packaging. Write kind notes on the outside in sharpy and then toss the pen inside.
Add paper towels, disinfectants, a magic eraser, and packing tape. Maybe even a roll or two of toilet paper…we all know how it is on that final moving day.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jodelle Marx is an artist and writer, adventure seeker, and collaborator. She hikes, swims, chases after her dog, and hums off-tune. When Jodelle is not nerding out about traveling, she is probably working on a community project or performing spoken word poetry.
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