Last Minute Valentine’s Day Gifts
By Tracey Dowdy
There was a time when last minute Valentine’s Day gifts meant a single rose in a plastic tube or a tiny teddy bear and a mylar balloon with “I Love You Beary Much” stenciled across it. They all carried the sweet smell of gasoline and coffee – the scent of the gas station where they were purchased on the way home from work.
Thankfully, those days are over. Say goodbye to dusty roses and faded teddy bears, now you can order everything from couples massages to an at-home feast straight from your phone. Skip the flowers and candy and surprise your Valentine with one of these sweet gifts.
For the foodie:
OpenTable searches restaurants near you and lets you know which ones have open reservations. You can search menus and make a reservation straight from your phone or tablet. LocalEats focuses its search on smaller restaurants in your area, allows you to make reservations (through OpenTable) and even order a cab.
If you can’t get the reservation that fits your schedule, bring the food to you. Ordering in isn’t limited to pizza or Chinese anymore. Many restaurants offer carry out service and apps like Eat24 and GrubHub search nearby eateries, allow you to choose your cuisine, order and pay all from within the app.
Consider a spa package for him or her. SpaFinder gift cards are good at over 20,000 locations so chances are there’s one near you. Cards are valid not only for pampering services like manicures and massages but also for yoga, spinning and other fitness classes, or can be used toward a spa vacation.
Another fun option is to go with a monthly subscription to a service like Pop Sugar’s “Must Have Box”. For $39.95 a month, recipients have a box filled with an assortment of sample and full-size fashion, cosmetic, beauty, home décor and wellness products delivered to their door.
Birchbox offers a similar service but focuses on high-end beauty and lifestyle products. Because you’re getting samples instead of full-size products the cost is lower, but it’s a great opportunity to try more expensive brands at a reasonable cost. Birchbox also offers a men’s version with 3-4 grooming samples and a full sized accessory like a bar tool or headphones. The women’s Birchbox is $10 a month or $110 a year and for men the cost is $20 a month or $195 a year.
If you really want to impress your sweetheart, get them a Barkbox for their four-legged friend. Every month their pup will receive four or more items ranging from toys and treats to hygiene products and gadgets. Even better, 10% of the profits go directly to rescue organizations, shelters, and volunteer training. Boxes start at $19 a month. How sweet is that?
For the techie:
If your Valentine is a techie, Verizon Wireless has great deals on last minute gifts like phones and tablets, Fitbit wristbands and Beats headphones.
Go even further and add a subscription to a streaming service like Netflix, Hulu Plus, Spotify, or Rhapsody for the music and movie lover in your life. For book lovers, gift cards to Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble and Audible are a guaranteed hit.
Or, simply buy them an app. Seriously. There’s an app for every budget from 99 cent games like “Heads Up” all the way up to VIP Black app (also known as the “The Millionaire’s App”) to the tune of $999.99.
So there’s no need to panic. With so many great options in the palm of your hand, this could be your best Valentine’s Day yet!
Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Toronto, ON. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances and researches on subjects from family and education to pop culture and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.