Being away from home for a long time is a big sacrifice. You'll miss the comforts of home, the familiarity of your town or city, and most of all, you're sure to miss the people. Homesickness can become worse when you know you're about to miss a big day, but just because you're far away, doesn't mean you can't be there in spirit.

If you’re struggling to find a way to get a gift to a friend or family member because you just can’t get there yourself or mail a gift in time, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you're away at college and are missing a friend's birthday, or you're traveling abroad and have suddenly realized it's Mother's Day, you want to give a gift, but you just can't get there physically. Well, this list of clever gift ideas from abroad has you covered.

1. GiftTree

If you’re away from home and can’t run to the store to buy a last-minute birthday card or bouquet of Mother’s Day flowers, companies like GiftTree have you covered. GiftTree is perfect for last-minute gifting because they offer same-day delivery gifts, which can be ordered from just about any country. Their gorgeous flower arrangements are perfect for just about any occasion, from birthday to anniversary. You can even throw in a teddy or bottle of wine with the flowers. They also offer same-day delivery on fruit baskets, wine, and potted plants. They even deliver balloon bouquets, perfect for a younger family member's birthday. Just make sure you place your order before 2 PM, and your gift is guaranteed to arrive on the same day.

2. Online gift cards

While gift cards are sometimes seen as a cop-out in the world of gift-giving, when you're away from home, they are sometimes the only option. Your friend will be happy to know you're thinking of them even though you’re miles or countries away. Think about your friend's interests. What do they usually like to spend their money on? If it's clothing or beauty products, try looking for gift cards that cover several different brands or stores. Or, maybe they're currently redoing a room in their house. In that case, have a look at different homeware stores. Or, perhaps they're planning a holiday, and you could try finding gift cards for a travel agency or airline.When in doubt, an Amazon gift card will cover pretty much all bases and will be used and appreciated by just about anyone. The options are just about endless when it comes to buying a suitable gift card, so do some research, and you're sure to come up with a gift that they'll find valuable and considerate.  

3. An event in their area

If you want to get them something more memorable and exciting than a gift card, try looking into events and experiences that are available in their area. There may be a concert or a play that will be in town soon. You could also consider food or wine tours in the area. There may even be a cooking class or an art class that they’d enjoy. By gifting your friend or family member an experience, they're sure to remember and appreciate your thoughtfulness. Plus, it will give them something special to look forward to. Just be sure to buy two tickets. Even though you can't be there to enjoy the experience with them, at least, they will be able to bring someone else to enjoy it with.

4. Subscriptions

Another online gift that will mean a lot to your family member or friend is a subscription. You may think subscriptions only come in the form of magazines and newspapers. However, while these are great options for some, there are plenty of types of subscriptions available. You could take out a membership to a local art gallery, or you could try one of the subscriptions to monthly deliveries of clothes or beauty products. If you're looking for a gift for an older family member, check with someone else in the family to see if they have a Netflix or Spotify subscription. They’ll definitely appreciate having access to movies and music at all times, and maybe when you’re back, you can enjoy the subscription together.

5. Treatment at a nearby spa

If your friend or a family member has seemed a bit stressed lately, do a bit of research into local spas and massage parlors. Giving the gift of a massage or another spa treatment is a relatively cheap and easy way to show them that you're thinking of them even though you're far away. If you can't find a spa nearby, you can always try hair salons or nail parlors to give another gift in a similar, pampering vein.  

6. A meal at their favorite restaurant

If you know the recipient of your gift well, you may know their favorite spot to eat. If you do, try calling the restaurant to see if they can accept payment from a card over the phone. If they do, it should be possible to book your friend a meal at their favorite restaurant on you. This will be a touching and surprising gift that will give your friend a whole evening to enjoy. You could even ask the restaurant to bring a surprise slice of cake at the end of the meal. 

7. A letter

If you're really stuck for ideas, a handwritten letter is a charming and thoughtful gift idea. It's rare to receive post these days, so why not take the opportunity to send something truly meaningful to your loved one while you're abroad?

It can be hard to be away from friends and family, especially when you know you're missing an important day in their lives. But then, with these clever gift ideas, you can remind them how much you care about them and give them a gift they're sure to enjoy. Plus, it's unlikely any of their local friends will come up with anything nearly as interesting or unique!