Every year, the roses for Valentine’s Day are just as freshly prepared as the pine for Christmas. But actually, there is another day that should be marked red on everyone’s calendars. On July 30, we honor our soulmates for International Friendship Day. It’s the day on which we can tell our friends they are the cheese to our wine, the butter to our bread, and the Ron and Hermione to our Harry. So here are 10 small gestures to prove to your long-distance friends or pen pals that they matter (not just on Friendship Day, but also on every other day).

#1 Send a postcard for International Friendship Day

Given that you’re here at PenPal, this is probably the most obvious thing to do. Send your pen pal a postcard for Friend’s Day and tell them what they mean to you. You can use a photo of the two of you or of another picture that illustrates your friendship. The postcard serves as a keepsake and with every look at the wall or postcard collection your friend will think of you. Especially in times when everyone is more used to fast messaging, a postcard means effort and appreciation. It will surprise you how much joy it can bring into someone’s life to simply write down things you actually feel. Because sometimes those feelings aren’t as obvious to the other person as they are to you.

#2 Create a music playlist

Create a music playlist for your long-distance friend. This can be a playlist of songs that remind you of your friendship, or of songs that you would just like to show your pal. Perhaps you can create shared memories with these songs in the years to come. Spotify, for example, makes it easy to create collaborative playlists, so you can continuously add new songs and stay in touch with your pal.

#3 Call your long-distance friend

We know that texts and voice messages can be very convenient. And it’s often easier to stay in touch like this because you don’t have the fear to interrupt someone during the day. But maybe you can take Friendship Day as an occasion to call your long-distance friend. It’s always a nice surprise to receive spontaneous calls, and it helps to stay connected with your long-distance friend.

#4 Send gifts from your hometown or country

This is exciting for those who live in different countries or farther apart. Send a small package of goodies from your hometown or country to your pal. It’s lovely to have your friend try new things and learn about your culture and background. You could prepare a best friend’s care package with treats your friend doesn’t have access to. But be careful: make sure to not send items that can spoil in the package 😉

#5 Learn about your pal’s culture or country

Don’t just teach your friend about your own country, but also try learning about their country and culture. This can even help you understand each other better and deepen your relationship. Also, it shows your pal that you care about them and their friendship. For example, in some countries, Friendship Day is celebrated on the same day as Valentine’s Day to not only focus on love but also on friendship. So it might be a nice gesture to treat them on that day with a surprise. PenPal is great to increase your knowledge about other countries and cultures and to even practice your language skills.

Friendship Day picknick with different food

#6 Make a DIY gift

While you can send goodies from your hometown, it’s also cool to make a gift yourself and show that you’ve put in time and effort. This can be basically anything – depending on where your creative talent lies. You can draw something, make a friendship bracelet, sew or embroider a fabric, write a poem, do Macramé, or whatever else you can think of. And remember, it doesn’t always have to be perfect, so don’t be too self-critical. What counts is the gesture.

#7 Watch a movie together

There are websites where you can watch a movie together – even if you are in other parts of the world. Platforms such as Kast or Amazon Prime can offer such features. It’s a great way to stay connected and feel a little less alone. Laughing or suffering through a movie together creates memories, and it’s much more fun if you can share your thoughts with someone. Maybe you can even watch a movie from our ‘to-watch list’ about pen pal friendships.

#8 Visit your pal at Friend’s Day

International Friendship Day can also be used as an opportunity to visit a long-distance friend. Of course, it depends on how far you live from each other, and going on vacation is a big (and expensive) gesture. But if you haven’t met in ‘real’ life yet, it would be a great way to create memories. So, consider staying at your friend’s place for the next holidays.

Two friends are hugging and meet for friendship day

#9 Send flowers for Friendship Day

It may be a bit old-fashioned, but sending flowers is a nice way to show others you’re thinking of them. Especially if you know your friend’s favorite flower, it can be a lovely surprise for Friendship Day. Since plants serve as a personal keepsake as soon as you enter a room, they can brighten your friend’s mood for quite a few days. Make sure to pick a flower company located close to your pal’s home to save unnecessary CO2 emissions or packaging.

#10 Say ‘thank you’

If you’re a little late for Friendship Day to send a postcard, flowers, or other gifts, it’s just as kind to drop your friend a note thanking them for their friendship. We should take the time to appreciate the people around us more often. And you will be surprised of how much words can mean to someone.

Now it’s on you!

These were our 10 gestures that you can do on International Friendship Day. Remember, that you don’t need to do all of them at once (that would be a bit off the limit). But it is important to show your friends some love and appreciation – and we are sure they will remember it.

Do you have any other gestures for Friendship Day (or any other day of the year) to show your friends they matter to you? Then the comment section below is all yours!


German girl addicted to lemon ice cream who wants to do everything at once. I can't think of a language I wouldn't love to learn, but I often don't take the time to slow down. As a pen pal, I can take a breath and interact with so many inspiring people from different countries.

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