The Valentine’s Day Gift Giving Guide for Long-Distance Loved Ones

Valentine’s Day is around the corner. Whether you are a total romantic or believe the 14th is simply a Hallmark holiday, taking time to celebrate Cupid might help keep you from missing home while on assignment. Not good at gift giving? Don’t worry. We’ve come up with a list of thoughtful and simple ideas — (some of which won’t cost a penny). No matter the distance, there are great ways to let your family and friends know you’re thinking about them. Send a sentimental gift like the ones below to let them know they’re in your heart!

Local Care Packages

Send a care package filled with fun snacks or trinkets you can only get from the city or town you’re working in. If your valentine has been there before, try to get something from their favorite shop or restaurant to for a sweet feel of nostalgia. If your loved one hasn’t been there, share a variety of your favorites including pictures of you in your favorite park, ground coffee from your favorite coffee shop or something small that represents the city. This will give them a close taste of well . . . what you’re tasting and seeing, and help them feel connected with your current lifestyle.


You can’t always be available for a Skype session or make every FaceTime date, so give your significant other or close family members the gift of your presence, without actually being there. Create a series of open-when notes to help your loved ones deal with situations in your absence. Examples include:

  • Open-when… you’re sad
  • Open-when… you’re feeling doubtful
  • Open-when… you need some praise
  • Open-when… you’re feeling lonely
  • Open-when… you’re feeling really excited about something
  • Open-when… you’re angry about something

These notes give you the opportunity to provide support, even when you’re not immediately available. Write one or two a day, pack ‘em all up in a box and ship them out with their favorite treat. Take a look at these ideas for writing open-when letters for anyone.

For the Foodies

Sure, online floral shops make it easy for you to submit orders to your long-distant friends. But if you have a friend who is better at snacking on delicious fruit than they are keeping plants alive, Edible Arrangements is your next stop for gifts! We know you’re busy, which is also why you’ll love Edible Arrangements’ same-day service. It’s perfect for the busy procrastinators. Check out the details on their website!

The Way You Make Me Feeeel

Low on cash from sightseeing and local food tasting? You can still let your loved ones know the way they make you feel, just like Michael Jackson. Grab a computer, go to a nearby library or coffee shop and build a custom-made playlist of the songs you’ve enjoyed together, new songs you know they’d enjoy or songs that describe the way you’ve been feeling lately. Write the playlist out in a word document, including  a memory with each song or the reason you added it on the playlist. Think of it as an audio love letter that speaks volumes!

DIY This, That & the Other

Get crafty without getting your hands dirty. Maybe you’re not so great with the glue gun and glitter, but there are tons of people out there who are and are selling it as a service! We’ve found just a few to get you started on great, sentimental ideas:

When in doubt, Etsy is a no-brainer for finding custom, handmade gifts from really crafty professionals. Not only are you giving the gift of something specially made for your loved one, you’re supporting small businesses—can we say, win, win?

There are many ways to say I love you and I miss you when you’re on an assignment. Have any of these ideas struck a chord with you? Which will you try this Valentine’s Day? Share with us! @TriageStaff