Oreo cookies, Girl Gone London book, winter socks
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The Ultimate 2021 Gift Guide for American Expats in the UK

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Hello, lovely friends and family around the world (have you noticed we’ve started saying “lovely” a lot more since moving to the UK?).

As American expats in the UK, there’s a lot that we go through during the year.

Homesickness.

Seasonal depression.

Crying over the fact that it can be so stupidly hard to make friends with Brits because they’re really confused as to why we’re so direct and why we express our emotions so casually.

But now that it’s gift-buying season (lots of amazing UK chocolate coming your way, don’t worry), we just wanted to give you some ideas of what to get us.

You don’t have to get us anything besides your love and friendship and also PLEASE start texting us back more, it can get lonely out here and we just what to hear about your trip to Target.

Where was I?

Right, you don’t have to get us anything, but if you’re looking for ideas of what we could actually use, here are some great ones.

(Also, please, whatever you do, no large furniture because we can barely fit ourselves in our homes at the best of times).

Hey! Sidenote! Planning on visiting the UK or moving to the UK?

For more advice, photos and friendly help, click here to join my UK Travel Facebook group to carry on the conversation with fellow travelers and UK experts.

Long-Distance Touch Lamps

These long distance touch lamps aren’t just for us, but for you too!

They work by connecting to WiFi in whichever country they’re in and being linked through an online account.

Long Distance Touch Lamp
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The end result is that when you touch your lamp, it changes the color of ours to exactly the same as yours in real time, and visa versa.

You can connect up to 4 people with them, and sometimes, there’s nothing more comforting in a dark UK winter than knowing that you’re thinking about us all the way around the world.

Also, it’s kind of futuristic and blows our minds a bit, so there’s that.

Girl Gone London

This “tell all” book written by an American expat in the UK is exactly what we need to keep us going when things get tough, or to help cheer ourselves on when things are going well.

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It can be incredibly isolating to go through this expat stuff alone, but knowing that someone else has also made the mistake of thinking Christmas pudding is pudding helps us feel like there’s someone else out there who gets us.

Also, after you get it for us, we will gladly lend it to you so our hashtag struggles make more sense to you and you get why we’re crying over eating cake with our hands.

Literally Any of Our Favorite American Food

You know what we need more than anything, most days?

Some freaking Cheez-Its, saltine crackers, and Pop-Tarts in more than two flavors, instead of just the American copycat recipes we try and make.

Sure, we might be a bit healthier in the UK because of the lack of our favorite snacks, but if you gift us with anything food related that you know we like, you will shoot up straight to the nice list.

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The more, the better.

We know first hand how many Oatmeal Creame Pies you can stuff in a suitcase before they all turn to mush.

Do not hold back.

Amazon UK Gift Certificates

Amazon works in the UK, sometimes even better than in the US (a smaller country means faster shipping times!), and if you’re unsure what to get us, you can purchase Amazon UK giftcards from the US.

For those of us who don’t have American banking accounts to accept checks from Grandma, this is a really helpful way for us to be able to get what we need in the UK, like copious amounts of Vitamin D pills.

Anything Warm or Waterproof

From about the months of October to March, the UK is very soggy and cold.

How cold we think it is depends on where we’re from, but if your expat loved one is from a warm place, take pity on them because their days of sunny bliss are over for most of the year.

A lady in a coat and hat on a street in London at night with a London cab taxi in the background
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Rain jackets like these ones, warm blankets like these ones, or cozy slippers like these are all well-received.

Get Your Guide Gift Card

Sometimes, in a brand new country, it can be easy to get so overwhelmed by everything new to learn that we don’t get out and see as much as we should.

We’re surrounded by thriving cities, gorgeous countryside, and historic towns, and if you want to help us see some of it, there’s a company called Get Your Guide that offer plenty of excursions and attraction tickets in the UK like walking tours in London, day trips to Stonehenge, and more!

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They sell giftcards that we can use to book our own experiences.

We promise we’ll send just the right amount of pictures so as to show you we are enjoying ourselves without overwhelming you with 4,524 pictures of our thumb in front of the lens.

A Reminder You Love Us

Hey, you know how you think that we probably never think about you because we’re off living this glamorous expat life abroad?

Yeah, well.

It’s not true.

We’re all on a spectrum of thriving to panicking, depending on the day, but what never changes is how much we need to know that you’re thinking of us from our hometowns, home states, and home country.

Whether we’ve moved to be with our British partner or we’ve come as a student or for work, this whole expat thing can be a barrel of emotions and new experiences and we just want to know that we have someone who loves us, even if that love is coming from really far away.

Because your love is familiar, it’s comforting, it’s what we miss when we turn out the lights and are left alone with our thoughts of whether we just saw a mouse in the corner of the room.

The jokes and the laughs and the good times we’ve shared with you are what get us through those days when we just don’t seem to fit in here.

Now, I’m not saying we’re going to turn down this Cheez-Its or gift cards or those awesome long-distance touch lamps, but at the end of the day, if you get us nothing else, just send us a letter, a photo, a reminder of the connection we share and a little token to let us know that we’re not alone.

But seriously, we really hope you like Cadbury’s chocolate and Queen bobbleheads because this country is bursting at the seams with them!

The Ultimate 2021 Gift Guide for American Expats in the UK via @girlsgonelondon
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1 thought on “The Ultimate 2021 Gift Guide for American Expats in the UK”

  1. As someone who’s going on 6 months living here, the amount of truth in this post is unreal! Down to the mouse in the corner lol #triggered! Thank you for summarizing ALL of the feels so perfectly <3

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