How to Buy Presents for Out of Town Family or Friends

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Feliz Navidad
Feliz Navidad (Image: Elizabeth Simpson)

Is an out of town family member or friend on your gift list this Christmas? When buying a present for someone who lives far away, it's easy to be put off by the difficulties and inconvenience in choosing a gift they'll like, fighting through lines at the post office and paying for postage. Instead of dreading the gift-buying, why not think of some different ways to send people far away their presents? These steps will save you time and money, compared to sending traditional gifts through the mail.

Send gift cards. When you're unsure of what to send, gift cards are still the answer. Nowadays, nearly every store, restaurant or service industry has a gift card for you to buy. For a great out of town present, choose a store or restaurant that you're sure exists in the city of the receiver. To save on money, be sure to check on the company's website to see if they offer a virtual gift card which you can buy and email to your recipient. Then, the person who receives it just prints it out and uses it, either in person or online.

Send an online order. If you know a great book or film you'd like to buy as a present, don't pay shipping and handling twice! If you are ordering the film or book from Amazon.com or any other online business, check the gift wrap box, write a message and have it shipped to the recipient's house. This way you have a few extra shipping days to spare because you don't have to wait for it to arrive at your house, then at theirs, and you'll save money.

Buy only one gift. If you're buying a present for someone who lives out of town, and the rest of your friends or family live in the same town as you, why not get together? Talk to others in your circle and find out how many are planning on sending a present to the out of towner. Think about going in together, buying a bigger gift, and splitting the shipping costs. The person who lives out of town will be surprised at the great gift and you'll save time and money.

Send something sentimental. Instead of buying any old present for a friend or family member who is far from you this Christmas, think about a thoughtful gift to send them. If they have recently moved and this is their first holiday season away, make a video of a get together or have others sign a card to send them. If they are studying far from home, make them a care package full of goodies they always enjoyed during the holidays at home. This is a great gift that will make them feel loved and remembered.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be sure to think about your gifts early, this will give you lots of time to plan something special.
  • Whatever gift you send, just the thought will make the receiver feel special. Holidays shouldn't be about stress!

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