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When you can't be with someone in-person, that doesn't mean you can't show them how much your care. A great virtual gift works well for the giver (you don't have to leave home to purchase it!) and the recipient, who can use the item from the comfort of home. Some fun options can include an olive oil tasting taught by the pros, guitar lessons for the musician in the family, or cooking classes for kids. All done virtually.
Here are the best virtual gifts.
Airbnb Virtual Cultural Tour
Even if you or your loved one isn’t planning a trip at the moment, you can still give that special someone the gift of travel—well, sort of. Though they won’t venture out their front door for this excursion, they'll be transported to the destination of your choice through an immersive online experience. Choose from a variety of classes, all taught by industry experts, that range from traditional dance routines to museum tours to private tarot readings.
Netflix Gift Card
For anyone who enjoys Netflix and chill, then a Netflix gift card is a simple, but useful gift. Simply choose the amount (there's a $25 minimum) and it can be applied to the recipient's account. To make the gift even more special, plan a virtual screening or watch party so you can both view the same show or movie at the same time.
Pasolivo Virtual Tasting
Gather your friends, family, or co-workers for a yummy olive oil tasting. Pasolivo's tastings include up to two hours of a virtual experience with one of their experts and a sampling of two olive oils, vinegars, and spices. It's such a fun way to learn about foundational ingredients that can truly make a dish shine.
Rosetta Stone Lifetime Unlimited Language Learning
To help give them that cultural immersion they’re looking for (and maybe prepare for an upcoming trip), consider enrolling them in this popular language learning program. For a flat fee, you can give them a lifetime membership, giving them access to immersive and interactive exercises in any language of their choosing—both written and oral—that’ll help them become fluent in no time.
Audible is a go-to for those who prefer listening to a book or podcast. Just select the membership (a month to a year) and your recipient has access to thousands of programs. Share your favorite audiobook with them, listen along together and compare notes on your favorite crime podcast, and so much more.
Havenly Virtual Interior Design
Working with an interior designer can be a bit expensive and even time consuming, but Havenly's virtual packages make that process a bit easier. Gift cards can be sent via mail or email and the recipient simply has to take a quiz before selecting a designer to help them decorate a room or small space. This is sure to offer tons of inspo and styling ideas.
TaskRabbit Gift Card
Assembling furniture, perfectly hanging pictures for a gallery wall, mounting a television, or picking up deliveries. These are all essential household tasks that not everyone has the time or skills to do. That's where TaskRabbit comes in. Their skilled Taskers can be selected based on fields of expertise, rates, and availability.
Masterclass Virtual Cooking Class
Even the most avid cooks may be tiring of their standard rotation of meals. Spice things up by giving them a cooking class with the world-renowned, Michelin-star chef Thomas Kellar. He teaches fundamental cooking techniques as well as the notoriously tough-to-master hollandaise sauce.
Uncommon Goods Uncommon Experiences
Uncommon Goods is known for selling products that are fun and unique and now they have Uncommon Experiences. The selection of virtual classes includes knitting, mixology, baking, and so much more. There's seriously something for every interest and level of experience. Some of the packages are just a lesson, while others also have the option to add-on necessary products and ingredients.
Just Like Me Box Subscription
Encouraging and showcasing diversity in children's books is the mission of Just Like Me. The subscription features up to three books that feature characters of color. Each box is curated based on age, from newborns to 12 years old. Also included in the themed box is activities for families and even quarterly gifts that encourage development.
Studio Sweat on Demand Online Classes
When you want to get in a good workout but you don't have a home gym, Studio Sweat on Demand has hundreds of classes to choose from. There's yoga, spinning, HIIT, dance, and kettlebell-centered workouts. Classes can be streamed from your phone or pretty much any device and there's even the option of one-on-one virtual training.
Touring Rome from the comfort of your couch? Or how about journeying to Japan's largest fish market? Those are just a few of the experiences a recipient can enjoy if you gift them Amazon Explore. The local hosts provide an immersive experience from regions across the globe.
Curlbox Gift Card
Finding the right beauty products and hair care can feel like a pain, but Curlbox is a subscription that offers a range of products at a discounted rate. A gift card can be used towards the purchase of a box. This is a genius way to allow someone to try products and see what's a haircare winner.
BloomsyBox Flower Subscription
A bouquet of flowers is always a great gift, but a monthly subscription is even better. BloomsyBox has a range of subscriptions from Original (22-24 stems) to Premium (27-32 stems) which can be delivered weekly, biweekly, or monthly. There's also a plant subscription and blooms that are pet-safe.
Outschool Online Classes
Outschool has more than 100,000 online classes catering to kids of all ages. There's creative writing, how to draw a dragon, advanced chess, singing, and way more. There's also a range of one-on-one private lessons. Supply your recipient with a gift card and they can then search for the perfect class based on date, price, and subject.
Uber Gift Card
Simply select an amount, card design, and delivery date to have an Uber gift card sent directly to your recipient's inbox. The card can be used for rides, but also Uber Eats on those nights when takeout is a lifesaver. For added convenience, you can select the delivery date of the gift card up to a year in advance.
Cameo Celebrity Shout-Out
For a really special gift they won’t soon forget, tap a celebrity to send a personalized message. No, you don’t need to finagle any networking magic to make it happen, just the easy-to-navigate service called Cameo. Browse from thousands of familiar faces—actors, musicians, athletes, and influencers— who'll send your recipient a direct message, and even book a live call through Zoom. Price varies based on the celebrity you choose, but there are plenty of great, affordable picks.
Treat a budding musician to online guitar, bass, or ukulele lessons. Through a series of step-by-step classes taught by experienced instructors, they’ll learn the basics of playing a string instrument at their own pace. The program promises that after just three lessons, they’ll walk away knowing how to play along to the tunes of popular songs, like “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles and “Give Me Love” by Ed Sheeran.
Happily Date Night Subscription
As a fun present or anniversary gift for your favorite couple, Happily is a subscription box that makes date nights easy. Each delivery includes activities, conversation starters, and even a curated playlist so couples can have a fun date night at home. There are also online classes like how to make a charcuterie board, partner yoga, and painting with red wine.
Williams Sonoma Virtual Cooking Events
Williams Sonoma's virtual events have something for everyone in the family. There are cooking and baking camps for the kids, a coffee club, or even a cocktail-making course taught by pro mixologists. Some of the classes are individual and others are part of a weekly series.
Jonathan Yarwood Golf Lesson
Missing quality time on the course? With the gift of feedback from a world-renowned pro, your recipient can up their golf game right from the comfort of their backyard. Just send a short video of their swing to the provided email and within 48 hours, they'll receive a response from Jonathan Yarwood. The personalized response video will address any adjustments or improvements that can be made.
Drizly Gift Card
Help someone stock their home bar with a gift card to Drizly. The site makes it easy to shop for beer, wine, and spirits from the comfort of home and have them delivered right to your doorstep. This is a thoughtful gift for someone who may be prepping for a small gathering or a thoughtful present for someone who appreciates a glass of wine after a long day.
Udemy Online Courses
Offer the gift of learning with a subscription to Udemy. They have more than 150,00 courses on marketing, design, coding, photography, and more. Membership includes lifetime access to the virtual courses, which can be viewed on a desktop or mobile.
Shipt Gift Membership
Shipt is a service that's all about convenience, which we can all appreciate. Select a yearly or six-month gift membership and the recipient gets free deliveries from select stores in their area. It's easy to shop for groceries, home goods, office supplies, and more.
Priority Wine Pass Virtual Wine Tasting
Though a winery visit may not be within everyone's budget or schedule, you can still give someone the gift of a unique tasting session. Through Priority Wine’s virtual tastings, you’ll have the ability to set up a private, live event. Simply choose a package of wine (there are 25 packages that range in price, according to your budget and location) from U.S. wineries, then schedule the actual tasting with the winemaker or winery owner.
Atlas Coffee Club
Traveling to a different country each month isn't exactly feasible for most people, but it sure is possible to sip some brew from around the world. Atlas coffee club sends a fresh brew to your doorstep each month. It includes 12 ounces of the coffee, brewing tips, and of course information on where the coffee came from.
Know someone who just moved into a new home and could use a bit of decor? Then set them up with a subscription to Vellabox. There's the choice of three different sizes and each box comes with a natural candle and a different theme each month. There's also a surprise item with each delivery.
Nordstrom Trunk Club
A personal stylist can cost a pretty penny, but having access to a pro is easy with Nordstrom's Trunk Club. Simply answer a few style questions and before you know it, a box of clothes is at your front door. The selection can be tailored to specific occasions and a budget. Only keep what you love and return the rest within five days.
Hey Bartender Virtual Cocktail Experience
For a fun, interactive experience friends and family can enjoy virtually, Hey Bartender is a great option. Participants are paired with a bartender who walks them through cocktail creations. There's the choice of buying the products yourself or having a list of items sent to everyone in advance.
Ess-a-Bagel New York Bagel Brunch
This bagel brunch, from the famed Essa Bagel, comes with six of the fluffiest, most delicious bagels (in a choice of two flavors), a half-pound of lox, and a half-pound of cream cheese (with plenty of flavors to pick from). Of course, you can up the lot by adding a second serving of cream cheese or additional smoked fish for bigger families.
How do you send a virtual gift card?
Sending a virtual gift card is easy and convenient. Most websites allow you to sign up for a gift card or gift subscription and recipients are notified via email or even text message. Some retailers have the option to receive a gift card via snail mail.
How do you activate a virtual gift card?
For most retailers, activating a gift card is as simple as clicking a dedicated link or entering a promo code. This is usually sent to the recipient’s email inbox and they can redeem it when they're ready.
Does Amazon sell virtual gift cards?
Amazon sells quite a few virtual gift cards. In addition to selling gift cards you can use on their site, you’ll also find gift cards for Netflix, Uber, and many more. Select the amount of the gift card, a design, include a message, and then choose the date the recipient will receive it.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This roundup was written by Patrice J. Williams. She has contributed gift guides to The Spruce since 2020 and included well researched products that send a virtual hug to the people you care about the most. In addition to her work for The Spruce, she writes commerce articles, including product suggestions and reviews, for other outlets as well as appearing on air for The Today Show, WEtv, and she was the Savvy Shopper reporter for WPIX in New York City.