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The 5 Best Virtual Gift Ideas For Long-Distance Gifting

By Sajel Parsotam @sajelnisha, commerce student at The University of Auckland

In 2020, the way we interact has changed greatly, while some cities are starting to return to normal, many people are still in lockdown or live in different countries to their family and friends. There are still many celebrations such as graduations, birthdays and get togethers happening and at a distance it can be a challenge to give a gift and still be a part of the celebrations when you can’t be there physically. However, with the world becoming more digital every day, the concept of virtual gifts fits in perfectly. Virtual gifts are the solution to celebrate or make someone feel special even when you can’t be there in person, saving the hassle of shopping and posting packages and bridging the gap between long distances. Thankfully, the culture of gifting is changing to keep up with the current times and make it easier to still celebrate the special people in our lives.


So, here are five of my top picks for virtual gift ideas:


1. Subscriptions to Streaming Platforms

These days our consumption of digital content is constant and an integral part of our everyday lives which is why the gift of a monthly Spotify or Netflix subscription will always be a good idea.


A paid subscription to Spotify allows users to listen to their favourite music or podcasts ad free, downloaded to their device so they can listen offline anytime and anywhere to allow for easy listening on the train, on their way to work, at home or anyplace. Gifting a friend or family member a premium Spotify subscription is suitable for students, young adults and people that are always on-the-go.

A monthly Netflix subscription is perfect for nights in, passing time at home or downloading content to watch on the go. A subscription to the streaming platform unlocks access to a library of tv series and movies available to watch on various devices and Netflix even offers a ‘party’ feature that allows users in difference locations to watch a film virtually with their friends at a distance. The range of content available makes this suitable for all different people as everyone can find something to enjoy.


2. E-book Subscription

With everyone having a little extra time at home, reading is a great way to unwind. The gift of an e-book subscription offered through Kindle allows the purchase of a subscription-based plan or an individual book to gift to a friend. These plans also offer the option of audio books for easy listening and these can be accessed anywhere at any time on an e-book reader or on a mobile device. E-book are the new forward-thinking way to keep reading that is sustainable and cheaper than traditional paper books. And with thousands of titles from all kinds of genres to choose from, there is something for everyone!


3. Online Classes (MasterClass)

With everyone spending more time at home than before, many people are turning to find new hobbies and learning new skills to keep entertained. Online classes are a great way to take part in a digital course and learn at home.


MasterClass is a new online learning platform that is bringing together some of the world’s best and leaders in their respective fields to teach lessons to users around the world. Famous names such as Anna Wintour, Natalie Portman and Martin Scorsese lead the lessons and the platform offers a diverse range of courses such as cooking, writing, acting, gardening, painting and learning a new instrument. This platform allows users to learn at home at their own pace and the courses can be purchased either individually or in an annual package, ideal for anyone wanting to pick up a new hobby at home!


4. Gifticon App

Gifticon is changing the way of gift giving, making it easier and more accessible than ever before. In this digital age, Gifticon is an app that allows users to buy a product and send it to someone, the recipient then receives a QR code through Facebook Messenger, WeChat or another third-party app that they scan at the store outlet and receive the purchased product. Gifticon provides the freedom to gift just about anything, from a drink to movie tickets to anyone, anywhere. Using the app allows users to send gifts to their friends and family no matter the distance, closing the gaps in gift giving between cities and countries. The range of products available for purchase make it perfect for any occasion, whether it be treating a friend to a coffee, sending a birthday present to a loved one overseas or buying someone dinner at a distance. The apps accessibility and straight forward way of digital connections makes celebrations, surprises, and everyday purchases through gift giving that much more special, giving users unlimited reach to their friends and family.


5. Virtual Gym Membership

Whether we are stuck at home or wanting to maintain our fitness in a busy schedule, at home workouts are on the rise. A virtual gym membership is available through plenty of apps and websites that offer workout plans, healthy food schedules and can be personalised to suit each user’s needs. These memberships are perfect for those who struggle to make time to go to the gym, are looking for alternatives to traditional workouts and want to keep up with their fitness.


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