Is a family member or close friend planning an upcoming move to another country, in order to further their career or just for the adventure of it all? If so, they may be relocating to the UK, continental Europe, or any one of a number of countries in Asia or even the UAE on the Arabian Peninsula.
These are all popular expat locations around the globe, though this list certainly isn’t exhaustive. No matter what country your loved one is going to be living in, a thoughtful tech gift can help make their transition easier. With that in mind, here are 5 amazing tech gift ideas for expats – so you can buy them the perfect leaving present.
Being far away from family, friends and familiar surroundings can be quite lonely at times. On top of that, they’ll be immersed in a new culture which may seem strange at first. The ability to stay connected with loved ones back home will be invaluable, which is why tech that makes this easy and convenient is such a great gift idea.
However, cell phone coverage in their destination country may be spotty or require a different phone, SIM card or local plan, none of which they’ll have in place when they first move. In addition, fast cell data coverage may be non-existent, and they may even have trouble getting internet with decent download speeds in their home.
The solution to all of these issues is SkyRoam, which bills itself as a portable Wi-Fi hotspot that works in more than 120 countries globally. That’s right, it allows you to literally bring fast, reliable internet with you wherever you go!
This opens up possibilities for your traveller friend, as they’ll have constant access to their email (so you can stay in touch). SkyRoam internet speeds may even be able to support video chat back, so you can say hi “face to face” even when thousands of miles away. This will go a long way towards diminishing that homesick feeling, as they can reach out to you anytime that they wish (1).
#2: Duolingo App
Knowing at least some of the language of their destination country, will help your friend or loved one get around much more easily. Yet, they may have trouble finding the time or motivation to learn another tongue. Enter the Duolingo app, which makes taking on a new language enjoyable and convenient. You can select a host of popular languages, and it can track your friend’s progress automatically, as they gain proficiency in their new skill (2).
The app includes more common languages like Spanish, French and German – but it also boasts much more exotic options like Vietnamese, Hungarian, Welsh, and even Swahili. If your friend is up for a flight of fancy, the app can even teach them fun (and fictional) choices like High Valyrian from the popular Game of Thrones novels or Klingon from Star Trek.
For those on a budget the price of this gift is ideal, as it’s totally free to use. In order to give a thoughtful gift to your soon-to-be expat friend or family member you don’t have to break the bank.
#3: Travel Adapter with Power Bank included
If you’re thinking about buying a farewell gift with a technology focus for your friend then they probably can’t live without their screens and gadgets. Perhaps the best gift you can bestow, is the gift of being able to charge up all their other pieces of tech, anywhere they roam. A full-featured travel adapter will fit nearly any type of electrical outlet around the world, and allow your loved one to plug in their laptop, phone, MP3 player and other devices.
However, to make this gift even more useful, purchase a model that has an on-board power bank included. This type of built-in rechargeable lithium ion battery, will ensure that your friend never has to go without their devices, even when they’re far away from a power outlet.
#4: High-Resolution Webcam
If they’re going to be relocating long-term, then you may not have a chance to visit in person for an extended length of time. You may be accustomed to much more regular interactions, perhaps seeing your loved one every week (or even every day). If that’s the case, there are solutions which let you feel like you’re nearly in the same room, even remotely.
Enter a high-resolution webcam. These devices are purpose-built for video streaming and chatting, and are an enormous departure from the pixelated, choppy, low resolution built-in webcams that come with most laptops. For personal (not business) use, the Logitech C920 regularly tops lists of the best options available, and it is extremely affordable for even those on a limited budget. While about twice the price of a standard, run-of-the-mill webcam, the upgrade in quality, colour and smooth picture delivery is hard to overstate. Considering that a plane ticket to visit your friend or loved one is likely to cost a lot of money, buying a high-end webcam is an absolute bargain.
The Logitech C920 will allow you to simply log on and see their face in high definition – anytime that you feel the need to talk. Obviously, performance will be dictated by the quality of their internet connection, but that caveat aside, you’ll instantly see an enormous improvement in your video conversations.
#5: Aftermarket Lens for Smartphone
If your loved one is going to be moving to a far-flung location, then they’ll likely want to take lots of pictures of the local sights and scenery. They may be concerned about bringing a bulky high-end camera with them, due to the extra luggage space it will demand, and the chance that it could get lost, damaged or stolen. Or, perhaps an expensive professional-grade camera is overkill, as your family member isn’t interested in becoming an amateur photography buff.
Instead, they may just want to take quality photos using their phone, for the small space requirements, ease of use, and inexpensive nature of this alternative. If this describes your loved one’s needs, then an aftermarket lens for their smartphone is likely the way to go. This will simply clip on over their existing phone camera to boost the magnification, clarity, and available photo choices (like a fisheye lens).
In addition to being small and sleek (the lens can easily fit in their pocket), this solution is very affordable too. While high resolution cameras can quickly run into the thousands, a very respectable aftermarket smartphone lens can be very low cost (3).
Well, there you have 5 amazing tech gift ideas for that special person in your life, who’s about to become (or already is) an expat. These great gadgets will make their life abroad easier, more convenient, and possibly even more accessible to you back home as well. From something as simple as the ability to keep all their gear charged up wherever they go, to products that allow you to see their face in high definition from across the world, the above choices are sure to be a hit.