In today’s digital age, gifting has taken a delightful turn with the advent of virtual gifts – a perfect blend of convenience and environmental consciousness. If you’re a last-minute shopper (yes, I’m looking at you, procrastinators), or someone deeply concerned about our planet, virtual gifts are your go-to solution.
In this post, we’re exploring a variety of digital gift options that are not just thoughtful but also eco-friendly. From eBooks and audiobooks for the literary enthusiasts to subscription services for movie buffs, music lovers, and even lifelong learners, there’s something for everyone.
Let’s dive into this digital wonderland and find the perfect virtual present that resonates with your loved ones, making your gift-giving experience both meaningful and modern.
Related: 30 Creative Thanksgiving Gift Ideas
Virtual Gifts to Send Online
Here are some great virtual gifts to buy and send online
Most online bookstores include the option to buy eBook versions. For instance, Amazon Books allows you to use the option ‘Buy for others’ to send eBooks as gifts. Barnes & Noble has a similar feature called ‘Buy as Gift’. Besides gifting individual ebooks, there is also the option to gift a subscription-based service which provides access to tons of ebooks and podcasts covering various genres.
This is indeed the perfect gift for the bookish in your gifting list. Kindle Unlimited is definitely my favorite in this regard. It offers unlimited access to over 3 million titles, unlimited audiobooks, and with the free Kindle app readers can read on any device anytime anywhere.
Kindle Unlimited costs $9.99 per month and also offers prepaid subscription packs of 6 or 12 months usually with discounts. There is also a free one-month trial to test the service before you buy the subscription.
Audible is one of my favorite apps that I have been using religiously for the last three years. I have over 400 audiobooks in my library which I would listen to when working out, cooking, driving, in waiting rooms, and in any other situation where I would have periods of what I call dead time.
Give your loved ones or friend an audible gift membership and let them access thousands of audiobooks, podcasts, and Audible originals. There are different membership options you can purchase: a single month ($15), 3 months ($45), 6 months ($90), or 12 months ($150).
When you buy a Premium Plus gift membership, “Amazon will send your gift recipient an email on the day you choose along with redemption instructions, or allow you to print and give it directly based on the option you select.”
3. Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime is a subscription based service that offers a wide variety of benefits which include fast shipping and delivery, exclusive deals, access to several services, among others. Amazon Prime offers a 30-day trial after which you can get one of these plans: Prime Monthly for $14.99 per month, Prime Annually for $139 per year, or Prime Student Monthly for $7.99 per month.
Among the services you can access through your Prime membership are:
– Prime Video: Offers access to exclusive Amazon Originals, movies, and TV shows.
– Prime Video Channels: Allows you to watch TV shows and movies from various channels including Discovery+, Paramount+, EPIX, NBA League Pass, and STARZ channels. No cable required ($4.99–$14.99/month for Prime members).
– Amazon Music: Access and listen to a huge catalog of songs and podcasts without ads. You can listen offline and in HD audio (starts $8.99/month with Prime)
– Prime Gaming: Get free games and access in-game content for your favourite games across all available devices.
– Amazon Photos: As a Prime member you get unlimited full-resolution photo storage and 5GB for video storage.
– Amazon Kids+: Provides kids access to thousands of kid-friendly books, movies, educational apps and games on compatible devices.
– Prime Reading: Access and read a wide variety of eBooks, popular magazines, comics, and audiobooks.
– Amazon First Reads: Offers Prime members early access to “an editorially curated selection of new books one month before they officially publish”.
– Books with Audible Narration: This service is available through Kindle app and Audible app.
4. Premium Apps
Paid apps can make a perfect digital present. From games to language and music learning, the app store has tons of awesome premium apps to gift your special ones. Apple Store makes it easy to gift paid apps using the share button but there is also the option to buy gift cards to use towards buying apps on both Apple App store and Google Play store..
5. Video Streaming Services
How about gifting your loved ones or friends an entire year of family-friendly movies and TV shows? Here are some good streaming services to consider:
Amazon Prime Video subscription provides you access to thousands of popular movies, TV shows, sports, and Amazon Originals (e.g., The Boys, The Marvelous, Mrs. Maisel, and Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan). Prime Video subscription costs $14.99 per month after the 30-day free trial.
Netflix gift cards can be used to pay for Netflix or to offer as a present. Gift cards do not expire but are non-refundable. “You can use a gift card purchased in a different country as long as the gift card is in the same currency as your Netflix bill.”
C- Disney Plus
Disney+ gift subscription allows you to offer a one year of Disney+ stories, movies, and TV Shows from Pixar, Marvel, National Geographic, among others. The subscription costs $119.99 and can only be redeemed by new Disney+ subscribers and in the country in which they are bought.
6. Airbnb gift cards
Airbnb gift cards are ideal for the holiday season when everybody is on the go. You can get an AirBnb gift card online (or in a physical location such as Walmart, Target, Best Buy, etc). These cards can be used for any stay, Experience, or Online Experience on Airbnb. Gift Cards bought in the United States can only be redeemed by users who live in the United States. Airbnb gift cards do not expire.
7. Online Learning gift cards
Offer somebody the gift of learning and help them develop new skills and competencies through on-demand videos and online classes taught by world leading experts, performers, artists, entrepreneurs, instructors, among others. MasterClass is one of these wonderful learning platforms that you may want to consider in your gifting options.
virtual gifts represent a thoughtful and sustainable way to show our affection and appreciation for our loved ones. In an era where our lives are increasingly intertwined with the digital realm, these gifts offer a seamless integration of thoughtfulness and practicality, all while being kind to our planet.
Whether it’s an eBook for the avid reader, an Audible subscription for the multitasking audiophile, a MasterClass membership for the lifelong learner, or a PayPal gift card for the ultimate in flexibility, each of these options provides a unique way to celebrate special occasions without the environmental footprint of traditional gifts.
So, as you consider your next gift-giving opportunity, remember that the best presents might not be those you can wrap in a bow. They might be the ones that arrive in an email, bring a world of knowledge, entertainment, and convenience to your fingertips, and most importantly, leave a lasting impact without leaving a mark on our environment.