For many people, being away from home is a way of life, whether because of business travel obligations, an insatiable wanderlust, military duty, or any number of other reasons. And when you’ve been gone for a long time, nothing feels better than being welcomed back home in a thoughtful way that really makes you feel missed.
Great gifts aren’t about breaking the bank, and this is especially true with welcome home gifts. After weeks or months of being rootless, sleeping in hotels, conversing with strangers, or otherwise feeling out of place, what many people need is to come back to a sense of belonging. For others, it’s about trying to get back into a normal home routine after a long disruption. It’s not always an easy transition. Luckily, you have choices. From the practical to the sentimental, here are seven gifts that will make someone who’s been away feel extra good to be back.
Meal Delivery Service
Finding good food while on the road can be difficult, but there is also a big convenience factor in having someone else cook every meal for you. If they’ve been away for a long time, it may be hard to adjust to the conventional home routine of buying and preparing their own food. Meal delivery services like Blue Apron are a nice midway point: you prepare the food yourself, but you have high-quality ingredients delivered right to your door, and detailed, easy-to-follow directions (even for someone who doesn’t cook) on how to turn them into something delicious. This is an especially great choice for someone who lives alone or is returning to a home without a resident chef.BlueApron.com
Spa Gift Card
Travel can really take a physical toll, especially when you’re sleeping in hotel beds (or hostel beds, which are even worse), as these tend to have the same effect on your body as getting run over by a small truck. For chronic travelers and nomads of all kinds, a day of special attention and pampering is often the best way to set things back in place and decompress. The physical and psychological soothings of a spa visit are great for business travelers, who deal with a heavy dose of stress along with the physical punishment of being on the road. A gift card from SpaFinder offers flexibility and choice, since it can be used at thousands of locations. This is the kind of gift that will make them melt with gratitude.spafinder.com
Desktop Light Therapy Lamp
Everyone knows that getting consistent, restful sleep while traveling can be a real challenge. But in a lot of cases, that challenge doesn’t end when the trip is over. Adjusting back to a normal schedule in their native time zone can be just as hard, and modern professionals don’t have the luxury of easing back in to life at home. A desktop light therapy lamp can greatly speed up the process of re-acclimating to their at-home routine and take the edge off the dreaded jet lag effect.hammacher.com
Personalized Travel Map
Many recreational travelers have an insatiable desire to collect experiences like badges of honor. Areas of the map that remain unvisited often haunt them like an ill-advised twitter rant. This personalized travel map lets them mark off the corners of the earth they’ve already conquered, as well as letting them keep tabs on the territory that yet whispers to them in their dreams. The ultimate visual representation of wanderlust.Hammacher.com
Gift Basket Full of Goodies
This one is an old classic, and it’s a classic for a reason. If they’ve been roughing it for a while, this will be better than a basket full of gold (and cheaper, too). Gift Tree offers a huge range of choices, so whether they would prefer a basket of fruit, meat and cheese, chocolate, bath and body care products, or other personal favorites, you can put together something that they’ll not only love, but that will prove that there’s someone waiting back home who really knows them.GiftTree.com
Air Plant Terrarium
Coming back home to a barren house can be kind of depressing. One of the best ways to brighten up any surroundings is to add some life – literally. Just make sure that it’s low maintenance, especially if it’s for a frequent traveller. Air plants are as low maintenance as a brick wall (almost), needing no soil and only once-a-week watering, so just about anyone can manage not to kill one of these.Amazon.com
Scrapbook of Letters, Emails, or Pictures
This one is very DIY, but it’s also the most personalized. If someone very important to you (like a significant other) has been away for a long time, you’ve probably been corresponding through letters, emails, texts, or some other indirect means. If you really want to show them how much they’re missed, put together a scrapbook of your long-distance conversations in a way that reads like a story. Pepper it with some photos of yourselves or of things that were happening in your lives at specific points along the way to make it even more poignant. Companies like Smilebox and Mixbook offer online digital scrapbooking services, and allow you to create professionally bound hard copies as well. This is a great way to chronicle all of the time, sacrifice, and faith that you’ve invested in a relationship that’s important enough to both of you to survive a long separation.MixBook.com