Spending a celebration or event away from the person who is celebrating can be tough, but if you’re holidaying or living abroad it might just be impossible to join in the big day. Recognising Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries and good news from long distance is more achievable than ever before in the 21st century – here are five ways to do it:


Father's Day




A message from the other side of the world, even if the time zones are completely out of sync between your location and dad’s, is a way of showing that you care. Make time to schedule it and try to plan ahead to find somewhere with good wi-fi. Maybe you’ll even want to try out a new app, such as Airtime.

Failing that, a recorded video might be a fantastic idea. Let’s say, for example, that you’re busy trekking in Europe or Australia. As you are moving along, you could create a series of videos, to be later combined into one smooth message. So, ten seconds in Oslo, ten in Stockholm, 20 in Copenhagen, and so on. Maybe you could even use 360 degree videos, if you’ve got the kit.

Plan ahead, with a different interesting background for each snippet, and then combine it using a simple video editor – and send it on to your dad by email or social media.


Send a photobook


Online companies now enable you to create a fantastic photobook as you’re going along.
So you don’t need to hurriedly put something together at the last minute as you can upload pictures over a day, a week, a month or a year, and then pay for it to be delivered to the home address.

It could be a book of selfies. It could be scenery from jungles or temples or cities or oceans that you’ve seen. Maybe you could intersperse it with family pictures from home, enlisting a brother or sister to source and upload those pictures. Maybe it will be a catalogue of interesting and unusual shots that will appeal to your dad’s quirky sense of humour.


Ordering a gift


Again, the internet allows you to buy presents from long range – perfect gifts from cool to quirky, and big to beautiful. Pretty much anything can be ordered, such as alcohol from across the world in gift cases, sporting memorabilia or artwork, magazine subscriptions, and tickets to events. Perhaps you want a gift that’s personalised; find more here.


Favourite things – continental style


You know how your dad loves those sweets or those type of socks or that team? Well, why not find the equivalent of all of those things, or a close approximation, where you’re living or travelling now? For example, if your dad likes 5% IPA, then get him an authentic one from Mexico, Melbourne or Moscow and pop it in a box to send over? Newspapers, books, pictures, scarves and many other items are all options for a truly unique present box


Flying back!


The last option, and potentially the best if you can do it discretely and without ruining your travel plans – because no dad would want that, even though they would love to see you and know that you are safe by having you near.

Tell mum and brothers and sisters, and ask them to keep the news quiet. There are a number of much more fun options; distracting dad and hiding in a big present box (yes really, it’s corny but very funny), or pretending to set up a Skype call, start it, tell your dad that you wish you were with him – and then walk through the door. Make sure someone is recording the reaction.