Holiday Gift Guide: How to Buy for People Out of State

Buying gifts for people who live out of state can raise a lot of concerns. Most people don’t want to waste money shipping a large box, but they also want to make sure that their loved ones have enjoyable holidays with excellent gifts. If you plan to buy a gift for someone who lives out of state, use this holiday gift guide for help.

Gift Cards

Image via Flickr by 401(K) 2013

The amount of money spent on gift cards went from $38 billion in 2002 to $107 billion in 2012. Estimates suggest that consumers may purchase $126 billion of gift cards in 2014. In other words, a lot of people are buying gift cards.

The popularity of gift cards makes a lot of sense. People don’t like the risk of sending cash in the mail, but they want to give their loved ones more than just a greeting card. Gift cards offer a somewhat obvious solution that doesn’t give criminals access to cash and still shows loved ones that you care.

Charitable Donations

Charities suffered a huge loss during the recession. Some experts believe that most charities won’t return to pre-recession health until 2018.

This year, you can help speed that recovery by donating in the name of a friend who lives out of state. If you already know that your friend supports a charity, consider donating money to that organization. If you don’t know, then look for charities that match the person’s interests. Someone who loves dogs may want you to donate to the Humane Society. Someone passionate about the environment might want you to give to the National Parks Conservation Association.

Think about what the person would want to fund, and make a donation in his or her name.


Everyone can use extra money around the holidays. When you give the gift of cash, your loved ones can use it however they wish. Even sending someone $20 may give them a chance to splurge on something decadent for themselves, or pay off a bill that was nearly past due.

Obviously, you don’t want to send cash in the mail. It’s also best not to send checks, which often contain your bank account number.

An international money transfer, however, is safe, convenient, and affordable. You can send the money directly to someone’s account. Recipients can either get the money from their bank accounts or a local Ria Money Transfer partner.

Presents From Online Retailers

There are a few people in the world who hate giving money as gifts. Those people still have a good option that lets them buy quality gifts without spending a fortune on shipping.

Many online retailers cater to people who want to purchase presents and have them sent directly to that person. Some retailers will even wrap the gift for you.

This option means that you can choose from millions of items. No matter what your loved one wants for the holidays, a massive online retailer like Amazon, Target, or Walmart probably has the right gift.

Some online retailers also let people make wish lists to tell others what they would like for special occasions. If your friends or relatives already have wish lists published on Amazon and similar sites, you know that you’ll get them something that they really want.


Buying someone a membership is like giving them gifts throughout the year. You could choose to purchase memberships to cultural institutions in their area, such as a local ballet or theater company. You could also buy memberships to online services like Hulu and Netflix.

Tailor the membership to match the interests of your loved one. If she hates watching TV or movies, don’t give her a Netflix membership. If he hates going to plays, don’t give him a year’s membership to a theater company.

You have plenty of options to consider, so choose one that the gift recipient will want to use as often as possible.

What other items do you think would make great presents for people living out of state? Have you ever gotten an out-of-state gift that really impressed you?

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Posted by on December 13, 2014. Filed under SCI/TECH/HOME/TRAVEL. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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