Gifts for the Expat, Living Abroad Gift Guide


I spent a great deal of my Cyber Monday online shopping, mostly at places like Old Navy and Nordstrom for gifts for myself and Vinn. Clothes are more expensive in Germany compared to the US, so we are getting a wardrobe update this year.

As I was shopping, I realized that I thought it would be a good idea to share some things that would make perfect gifts for an expat. Many of my expat friends go back to the States for the holidays and if you have a friend or family member who lives outside the US, here are some things that they would really love because it’s something they miss or will make their lives much easier abroad.

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Gift Guide for the Expat in Your Life, Everything Your Friend Will Love While Living Abroad

Candy / This may seem strange but American candy is so hard to find abroad. Of course I have grown to love most German candy and chocolates but there’s something so delicious about a Reese’s cup that reminds me of home. A cute little gift bag filled with the person’s favorite candies and treats would make a fantastic gift or care package.

Grocery bags / In Germany especially reusable grocery bags are necessary. If you forget a bag, you have to pay for a plastic one, which is a bummer for the environment and for your wallet. We have accumulated quite a few big bags from the grocery stores here but I wish I had a bag that could fold into itself and could carry in my bag. I found this bag on Amazon that would be absolutely perfect to make an expat’s grocery shopping experience easier.

Nespresso pods / I am obsessed with our Nespresso machine and love that I can make lattes and cappuccinos at home. Nespresso is king in Europe (there isn’t Keurig over here) so some Nespresso pods would make a great gift. I love gifts that I can use daily, which is why these are amazing.

Personal Care Package / Like the candy, certain things are difficult to find abroad when it comes to makeup and other personal care items, like deodorant. A cute idea could be to put a little package together with some mascara, face wash, deodorant, vitamins, hydrocortisone and Advil. It’s certainly a practical gift but I always stock up on all of these items when I visit the States because they are hard to find in Germany or just really expensive. I mean, it’s easy to find mascara, but the specific one I like I have yet to find anywhere! And the deodorant is a big one because Europeans love the roll-on kind and not a stick. Isn’t it funny what things you miss?

iTunes gift cards / And the big one is an iTunes gift card. I couldn’t have gotten through this move without iTunes and all the Real Housewives seasons I’ve bought thanks to iTunes…and my dad/Apple Music. And when you move, you’ll love being able to watch or rent movies on iTunes, as well as tv shows. It’s been a saving grace.

Food scale / I never thought I would want to have a food scale, but now that I look up a lot of recipes in German, it really helps with learning the language, I wish I had something easy to figure out how many grams of an ingredient I need. The would be so helpful and save me from constantly having to look up the conversions!

If you are an expat, what would be on your list? And if you’ve ever been abroad, what do you wish you had brought back with you?

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