As much as we wish we were the type of person who shops ahead for everyone's gifts, we're usually just happy to shop for dinner. If you're like us and wait until the last minute, miss shipping deadlines and then scramble to get it all done year after year, may we suggest shopping for virtual gifts? Luckily for us procrastinators, there are plenty of gift ideas that can be bought with the click of a button and delivered digitally. From online classes to an array of organic snacks to munch on, there are tons of fabulous virtual gifts that everyone in your life will adore. We’re talking kids, family members, friends flung far across the country and remote employees and coworkers. After all, what says “I’m thinking of you” or “You’re appreciated” more than a little treat in the inbox or on the front doorstep? Here are 40 of our favorite virtual gifts for every occasion.
These 40 Virtual Gifts Are So Good, Nobody Will Suspect You Bought Them Last Minute
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The Top Five Virtual Gifts at a Glance
What Are Virtual Gifts?
Virtual gifts can be delivered electronically, often in the form of a gift card or voucher, which gives your recipient access to a service (like a streaming platform), subscription (think a coffee or book of the month) or experience. They’re notified instantly of the gift via email, though some retailers offer a physical card as well. Virtual gifts are a great idea because they can usually be sent anywhere, especially when it comes to subscription services. It’s an easy way to let someone—whether that’s a friend, faraway family member or coworker—know you’re thinking about them and appreciate them.
What to Look for in a Virtual Gift
When shopping for a virtual gift, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Expiration: make sure that your gift recipient has plenty of time to activate their gift. Depending on the retailer, there could be no expiration date, while others will set a time limit.
- Delivery: if you’ve subscribed someone to receive a series of products, give them a head’s up so they know to expect it. Some companies, like those that do cocktail subscriptions, may require someone over the age of 21 to sign for the package.
- Shipping: many companies will deliver within a week, but check the policy to make sure the first shipment arrives within your desired time frame.
- Customer reviews: before you buy, see what others are saying. Reviews can clue you in on what people really love, and any hiccups or surprises that you should expect.
- Subscription length: do you want to gift a monthly or yearly subscription? Often, companies will offer a discount for longer subscriptions. If you do plan to give more than a one-off box of olive oil samplers or 30 days of Hulu, just make sure you’ve also got the billing straightened out. Renewals are usually automatic, so unless you’re planning to give the same thing next year, it’s best to have the gift automatically end so you’re not on the hook for remembering to cancel.
For the Lifetime Learner
- Price: $120/year
For your college roommate who loves becoming an expert in everything and anything, there’s Masterclass. The star-studded lecture series has been offering a variety of courses taught by successful athletes, actors, scientists, mixologists and more since 2015. Each course covers a variety of topics as the instructor moves through the lessons. Whether your pal wants to learn some acting skills from Natalie Portman or take a beginner cooking lesson from Gordon Ramsay, the gift of a one-year membership means they can take unlimited classes.
For the Sweet Tooth
- Price: from $142
The sweet tooth in your life will be utterly delighted with this DIY dessert subscription from Uncommon Goods. Choose from a three- or 12- month subscription, which will send the company’s best-selling baking kits right to their door. Among the confections: Hong Kong bubble waffles, Scandinavian cinnamon buns, strawberry hand pies and mochi ice cream. Better invite yourself over.
For the Wannabe Sommelier
In Good Taste
- Price: from $49
Whether they’re a self-proclaimed wine snob or are just trying to sound like they know what they’re talking about when choosing between Pinot Noir and Merlot at dinner, In Good Taste’s box of curated flights will expand their palette and practice. Choose from red wine, the winemaker’s unique selects, California-grown wine and even uncommon grape wine boxes. With eight glasses of wine in each subscription box, In Good Taste will make your loved one’s "Wine Wednesdays" full of experimentation so they can decipher between a crisp white or full-bodied red, pick out the hints of blackcurrant and blueberries and find the right pairing to go with their delicious meal or special occasion.
For the Craft Beer Enthusiast
Craft Beer Club
- Price: $48/month
If they would pick beer over wine, then you know what to do. Each month they'll enjoy 12 premium 12-ounce beers from around the world to switch up from their usual go-to. They can even learn more about the beers, including where they originated and what they pair well with, in the included Monthly Beer Club newsletter.
For the Book Fiend
Book of the Month
- Price: from $60/year
If your pal isn’t aboard the audiobook train, the OG book subscription company, Book of the Month, is ideal for them. Every month, a team of seasoned editors hand-picks five books (narrowed down from hundreds of new releases) and then sends you one that you’ll love (and sometimes a small gift is tucked inside, too).
For the Romantic
Venus et Fleur
- Price: from $50
Life may be like a box of chocolates, but nothing says I love you like a gift card from Venus et Fleur. The brand's Eternity Rose arrangements are picked at full bloom and undergo a treatment with a non-toxic solution, non-allergenic wax and natural oils to dehydrate and preserve the flowers so they can last more than a year when cared for properly. Your giftee will love customizing their arrangement with colors and designs, and you can send them a hint that their gift card is on the way when you checkout.
For the Philanthropist
- Price: Any
There have never been more causes worth donating to. Not to mention, contributing in someone else’s name is a thoughtful way to show you care. In terms of where to donate, we’re fans of Charity Navigator, a trustworthy site that investigates nonprofits and where their money is going. Right now, we’d urge donating on behalf of yourself and your friends to any civil rights charities that are protecting legal rights and promoting tolerance and understanding across the U.S.
For the Haircare Maven
- Price: from $64
If your friend has been lamenting to you about their hair woes, gift them a custom hair formula from Prose. Once you send the digital gift, they’ll be directed to take the hair quiz, which allows them to build formulas that address myriad concerns, from oiliness to split ends and hair loss. The essentials kit will provide a tailored shampoo and conditioner, while the complete set includes a pre-shampoo mask that will treat their hair or scalp before washing.
For the Sports Junkie
- Price: $100/year
They never miss a game, so we bet they'd love watching live soccer, basketball, tennis and more events from the top leagues and tournaments any time of day. In fact, there are thousands to choose from, so they'll never be without something to watch. P.S. The membership covers up to three devices, so you can get in on it, too.
Best for the Music Lover
- Price: $99
Is there any situation that can't be made just a little bit better by a great playlist? We don't think so, and if there's someone in your life you think would agree, a Spotify subscription is a fabulous way to appeal to their musical side.
For the Home Fragrance Enthusiast
Nest New York
- Price: from $44
Give the gift of a sweet-smelling home with a fragrance subscription from Nest. Every one of Nest's fragrances is a glorious blend of unique, unexpected aroma combinations. Whether you opt for the single candle or candle and diffuser combo box, your BFF will love receiving a new one each month. Plus, every time they inhale the delectable scents, they'll think of you.
For the Organic Eater
- Price: from $5/month
Think of Thrive Market as a virtual grocery store. Offering more than 6,000 different products—from yummy munchies to eco-friendly cleaning products—Thrive allows your pals to stock up on snacks without leaving their houses. After they build their box, they can choose how frequently they receive deliveries and can change their order at any time. And with more than 90 different diet offerings (including gluten-free, vegan, keto and more), they'll find dozens of goodies that fit within their dietary restrictions.
For the Zen Seeker
- Price: from $39
To help your friends and family cope with everything that’s going on in their life and the world at large, give the gift of calm. Aka, a subscription to the meditation app Headspace. The easy-to-navigate app has hundreds of guided meditations for everything from stress and anxiety to sleep and walking (just not sleepwalking).
For the Avid Shopper
- Price: from $20
If your best friend constantly complains about having nothing to wear, she'll love Stitch Fix. After taking a quick and easy style quiz, she's given a personalized, unique-to-her online shop with clothes curated for her personal style. Or, she can partner with a Stitch Fix stylist that will send her a box filled with hand-selected options.
For the Gym Buff
16. obé Fitness
- Price: from $25/month
OK, we know there’s some stigma around gifting, like, a treadmill, to someone who might take it as an insult. But this is so not that. You know that your old roommate has been missing the gym, so give her the gift of at-home fitness with obé Fitness’s signature 28-minute classes, all of which are quick and effective. Once she signs up, she can opt to take a live class in strength, cardio or stretching or choose one from their on-demand selection.
For the Caffeine Addict
- Price: from $40
Perfect for your pal who starts their day with a cup of Joe, Trade Coffee will mail fresh, gourmet blends right to their doorstep. Choose anywhere between two to 24 personalized coffees hand-picked from the best roasters in the United States, and score a free bag for yourself while you're at it. Every bag is also roasted on demand and delivered at lightning to ensure ultimate freshness.
For the Beauty Guru
Allure Beauty Box
- Price: from $15
It seems like every other day your sister-in-law texts you photos of her latest makeup obsession. She’s a great candidate, then, for a beauty subscription box, which will send her new products every single month. For the ultimate beauty buff, the Allure Beauty Box is a cut above. She’ll get deluxe and full-size picks that are vetted by a team of experts, plus a mini-mag with tips and step-by-step instructions on how to use the products.
Best for the Overworked and Overstressed
- Price: from $40
Each of these sweet care packages includes one carefully curated exercise designed to encourage a happier outlook, as well as items intended to help them take care of themselves emotionally, mentally and physically. We're thinking a little gratitude journaling plus aromatherapy bath salts is going to be interesting to our frazzled bestie.
For the TV Fanatic
- Price: from $10/month
This one is basically foolproof. Gifting a streaming service membership (we’re partial to Disney+ right now) means your nearest and dearest will never be without a TV show, miniseries or movie to entertain them. Easy peasy.
For the Mixologist
Shaker & Spoon
- Price: from $59
Get boozy with it and give your friends’ bar cart the facelift it needs. Every one of Shaker & Spoon's boxes comes filled to the brim with all of the necessities required to make tasty cocktails each month—bitters, syrups, garnishes, mixers, a recipe card and more. All they need to do is add their liquor of choice and, voila, delicious drinks made from the comfort of their own home. We'll cheers to that!
For the Explorer
- Price: $80
A fantastic option for the person in your life who seems to always be hiking, running and/or camping, the U.S. Geological Survey has a pass for entry to all of America’s 62 national parks. Valid for one full year, the America the Beautiful Lands Pass covers the pass’s owner and accompanying passengers in a single, private, non-commercial vehicle. Basically, your pal and their guests can drive one car into any National Park and get in gratis. Hopefully, you’ll get invited along on an adventure or two.
For the Fashionista
- Price: from $98/month
Anthropologie, Free People and Urban Outfitters are some of their favorite places to shop, but we all know they can get pricey. That’s where Nuuly comes in. The subscription service allows you to rent six styles from the aforementioned stores and many more brands every month. Oh, and there’s free shipping and free returns, meaning there are no hidden fees.
For the Anti-Chef
- Price: from $50
Just because you can’t take them out to dinner IRL doesn’t mean you can’t treat them to a meal (and the opportunity to skip doing the dishes for one night). Goldbelly offers a mecca of different treats from across the country, with everything from famous NYC bagel joints to Chicago's iconic deep-dish pizzas. Or select from a variety of subscription boxes, cooking classes or care packages put together by top chefs that they (and their stomachs) will love. Bon appétit.
For the Bargain Shopper
- Price: $60/year
Italic is a membership-based site that uses the same materials and manufacturers as your fave designer clothing, accessories and home goods...all served up at prices you can actually afford. Yes, you're paying a membership fee just so your friend can spend more money, but trust us, it’s worth the savings they can score on luxe sunglasses, men's leather wallets and $40 leggings that are nearly identical to a pair from Alo Yoga.
For the Audiobook Enthusiast
- Price: $8/month
One of our favorite gifts to receive is a good book. But our favorite gift to give is a book (or audiobook) subscription that allows grandma to choose what and when she wants to read. With Audible, you have the option to gift a membership for one month, three months, six months or one year, and if she already has a membership, you can send her credits to use on future book purchases. (Just make sure to send over this list of audiobooks that are even better than the print version.)
For the Aspiring Chef
The Chef and the Dish
- Price: from $100
The Chef and the Dish is like inviting a chef into your kitchen to teach you how to cook, except it’s entirely over Skype, so you can be in the comfort of your own home. The virtual private lessons are taught by pros from around the world and cover single dishes like pho, paella and fresh pasta. In general, each class costs $300 for two people, and you can add up to two more guests for $50 each, but you can choose your gift card amount starting at $100.
For the Pinterest Interior Designer
- Price: from $20/month
For anyone who just bought a new house, moved apartments or just happens to love a gallery wall, this service is for them. Art Crate will set your giftee up with a curator each month to select one piece of art for their space (and provide solid decorating advice). Choose a gift card amount, which can then be applied to four different month-to-month plans based on their preferred artwork size, budget and whether they want frames or not. If they're ever unhappy with a print, Art Crate offers a money-back guarantee.
For the New Parents (and Their Kiddos)
- Price: from $80/kit
Take the guesswork out of trying to figure out exactly what toys are most age appropriate (or that they don’t already own) for your little niece or nephew with this adorable activity subscription box. There are lots of box options to choose from for newborns all the way up to 3-year-olds, and each one comes packed with toys and games to help stimulate and develop their growing minds. Add to that the fact that everything is made with sustainability in mind—i.e., organic fabrics and nontoxic paints—and you’ve got yourself a total no-brainer.
For the Gut-Conscious
My Girl Wellness
- Price: from $92
If the past few years have taught us anything, it’s that health is wealth. Put your loved one first and give them the tools they need to live their life to the fullest with My Girl Wellness’s Better Belly System. The subscription comes with a probiotic that replenishes good bacteria in the gut and boosts their immunity, a digestive enzyme to aid the body in the breakdown and proper nutrient absorption of food and their famous magnesium-rich “You Go Girl” supplement that regulates bowel movements and eases painful constipation. PureWow’s associate fashion commerce editor Stephanie Meraz raves, “I myself deal with many food intolerances, and after only two weeks of taking Eat Your Heart Out regularly, I had less discomfort in my stomach after eating and almost no bloat.”
For the Busy Fashionista
- Price: from $60/month
Daily Look is the subscription box for the fashionista who needs options. The clothing subscription box comes with 12 items in sizes from XS to 3X. There’s a $40 style fee that can be applied as credit to any purchases, with the average cost of an item being $60. Your bestie can request clothes for any occasion, business casual to classic wardrobe staples and date night. Shipments can come monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly, with the option to skip a delivery. There's also an option to preview your box before it ships, so their stylist can make any requested adjustments.
For the lululemon Devotee
- Price: $39/month
A lululemon Studio membership will delight any lover of the brand’s ultra-comfy leggings. For $39/month, members receive tons of perks, including ten percent off gear, early access to new products, free hemming and receipt-free in-store returns. In the app, they’ll have access to over 10,000 workouts across 60 different categories with renowned studios like PureBarre, DOGPOUND and YogaSix. So, whether they’re into boxing, dance or meditation, there are plenty of opportunities to get moving, including with daily live classes.
For the World Traveler
- Price: varies based on box selection
If you want to gift an experience, Tinggly has a bevy of them on offer for everyone in your life. From weddings to birthdays, solo trips and gap years, it’s easy to bequeath your traveler with an experience they won’t forget. Once you choose a gift box, Tinggly will mail it to the recipient’s home. Inside is a catalogue of activities from which they can choose one to book through the company’s website. There’s no expiration date and exchanges are accepted. So, sit back and let them choose the bucket-list item for their next trip—Venice gondola rides, spa treatments, cooking classes and hot air balloon excursions are all on the table. (And that's just a start.)
For the Staycationer
- Price: from $50
Whoever said you had to skip town to have a good time didn’t know about ResortPass. The platform gives easy access to luxury hotel amenities in a plethora of cities such as Los Angeles, New York and Miami. The pass allows you to relax on private beaches, spend the day in a spa, lounge by rooftop pools and more. It’s great for a staycation if the recipient lives in a big city like Los Angeles or New York, where it’s easy to drop into hotels like The Roosevelt and The Dominick. The pass is also great while traveling—simply reserve amenities for the cities you’ll be visiting.
For the Bravo Addict
- Price: from $1
Cameo is an online service that allows you to buy personalized shout-outs from celebs and reality stars—ideal for your Bravo-obsessed coworker. The company has a roster of thousands of athletes, comedians and personalities to choose from, including Debra Messing, Billy Porter and tons of Bravo-lebrities. The stars set their own price per message, which can range from $1 to over $1,000, and you can request exactly what they say in their video.
For the Young Adult and Middle Grade Reader
- Price: from $34/month
Owl Crate is a book subscription focusing on young adult and middle grade literature. Each monthly box comes packed with a signed hardback, monthly magazine, pin, handwritten author letter and bookish goodies from small businesses and artists. Great for kids, teens and anyone who loves the YA genre.
A Thoughtful Self-Care Gift
- Price: from $50/box
The Ambrosia Box is a thoughtful gift that will encourage the recipient to practice the art of self-care. Each box has a seasonal theme and includes four full-sized products that span beauty and wellness, from sunscreen to bath salts, candles and artisan soap bars. No sample sizes here—Ambrosia is on a mission to help people cultivate daily rituals for mindful living.
For the Sentimental One
40. Postable Letters
When it comes to holiday notes, forget email. Send snail mail right from your phone with Postable. Just pick a card, write a message and Postable will send your recipients a request to input their mailing address and then handle the shipping for you.