If you're unsure what to give someone for a birthday or anniversary, turn to these sites for failsafe – and always welcome - gift vouchers, either in plastic, paper or digital form.

Leaving gift buying it till the last minute? No? Hoping for a miracle? Or are you just doing an ostrich entirely? Well ladies and gentlemen, there is another option, which is the humble but decidedly noble gift voucher, and for the 21st century it’s moved online, which means (drumroll) you don’t even have to wait for it to arrive in the post. Yes, there are a myriad of companies who excel in this department and (without further ado) here they are...



Choosing a new fragrance is such a personal moment and this gift collection has been created for you to take your time finding a favourite. Choose the one you love, then receive it in a luxurious full size bottle. The Jo Loves Shot Box will be accompanied by a unique order card which entitles you to a 100ml fragrance of your choice.



Give the gift of learning. These online courses are taught by experts - famous designers, TV names, and authors. The experts personally give you feedback too. So you know they're trusted, and you'll give someone a very a special experience.



Not sure which magazine or newspaper subscription they want? Give them the choice of over 3,000 titles with a gift card from isubscribe. There’s everything you can imagine, from Vogue, Vanity Fair and GQ magazine to The Week and Wired. Best of all, if you’ve left it really late (tut, tut), you can buy an electronic isubscribe gift voucher that can be emailed to your recipient’s email address, or your own so you can forward it on. Or for a personal touch, print it out to put into a card and give it yourself.



Ooo, give a gift card from One4all and you’re giving someone (almost) free rein on the high street. Let them choose what they want; isn’t that the kindest act of all? One4all vouchers are accepted in over 120 high street shops including Topshop, John Lewis, Halfords, M&S, Debenhams, WHSmith and River Island. Order online and personalize your gift card with a photo and message.



Cowshed is the brand that has reached far and beyond the auspices of Soho House with its spa inspired offerings – and yet you can use your voucher at The Ned, and other super cool venues. Heavenly scents of lavender, Linden blossom, and rose geranium (to name but a few) feature throughout, and more recently the brand has even branched out into nightwear with some seriously snug pyjamas.



How many of us wish, hand on heart, for a delivery from Net-a-Porter this Christmas? There’s just nothing like that smooth black box turning up on your doorstep to make the day go out with a bang, and an online voucher is nothing if not a double whammy, leaving the choice entirely up to your loved one.



Sitting writing this in front of a gently flickering cinnamon, clove and orange scented candle from The White Company, this reviewer sees (and smells) why it’s no wonder that the brand is striding forth in leaps and bounds and is soon to launch in the US. Exceptional quality married with an ethos that’s all about simplicity and elegance, what’s not to love quite frankly?



Cashmere socks and cashmere scarves and oooh a cashmere jumper wouldn’t go amiss either during what is predicted to be one of the coldest winters in history, Brora are of course market leaders and for good reason. A simple stylish gift for the more truculent of your relatives (and no they can’t complain).



We mentioned Net-a-Porter, but for some added brownie points, just think how you’ll be rewarded by the friend/relative/man in your life when he receives a Mr Porter gift voucher to spend as he likes. No you’ll never hear the end of it – serious value for money.



Chic, elegant reasonably priced women’s clothes, knitwear, dresses, and coats - and there’s even bed linen at Toast. Even better, the site has just been completely redesigned and it’s sleeker than ever. Peruse at your leisure.



Planning ahead for that January detox? So are we, and there’s nothing to incentivise you more than some seriously stylish sports wear. Yoga, beach or snow – the brand covers any eventuality. A voucher you might well buy for yourself.

For more instant gift ideas, see Gift Subscriptions | Foodie Gift Subscriptions | Alternative Gift Experiences

Updated December 2018