I’ve become that super annoying person who is impossible to buy gifts for. Basically, I don’t want anything unless it fits in my backpack and has a useful function. While not every traveler feels this way, I figured I’d compile a list of things to get the avid traveler in your life. Whether you’re traveling for business or an adventurer, these items make the perfect holiday gifts!
I’d never heard of packing cubes until I started backpacking. I’d read some good reviews and some bad, but honestly, I absolutely love them. My sister gave me a set last Christmas, and I’ve gotten so much use out of them. They keep my bag organized. I always know where things are, and it’s easy to get to specific items when I need them.
LifeStraw Water Bottle
I actually have a water filtering straw, but I’ve never used it. It’s great when you have an emergency and can’t find a fresh water source, but for day to day use, it’s not really practical. The water bottle version is a lot more useful (in my opinion) as long as you have room in your bag. This is a great gift for travelers who are going green or people who often visit countries without potable tap water.
I feel like everyone should have a battery pack, but it’s especially amazing for people traveling. Whether you’re stuck in an airport, hiking in the mountains, or there’s a power outage, this is easily my favorite thing in my pack. I rarely have to worry about keeping my kindle, phone, or camera charged because I always have a backup. Since I’m often in countries where electricity isn’t easily accessible, it’s great. There’s also a version with a solar panel which I’m going to upgrade to since I’ve fallen in love with trekking.
I want to say that these are most relevant for backpackers, but truth be told, they’re pretty amazing for daily use as well. I’ve gotten caught in torrential downpours and having these Mudder bags in my daypack is a lifesaver. I throw my wallet, cellphone, and camera into one anytime it rains. They’ve also been helpful on boats, cave treks, and kayaking.
Lifeproof Phone Case
While I don’t own a Lifeproof Case, I wish I did. I’ve actually cracked the screen on my phone twice this year in freak phone accidents. One involved hiking to Everest Base Camp where the temperature was so cold that I had to sleep with my electronics to prevent the batteries from dying instantly. At some point in the night, I rolled over on my phone and cracked the screen.
If the person you’re buying a gift for loves adventure and packing light, then a GoPro is perfect. It’s small size makes it ideal for travel, and it’s features make it great for adventurers. This is the only camera I take with me when trekking. It’s also come in handy for things like bungee jumping, paragliding, swimming with elephants, etc.
Noise Canceling Headphones
This is another item I don’t own, but they would definitely come in handy. Whether I’m working in a cafe, sitting in an airport, or just in a noisy dorm room, I could see noise canceling headphones coming in handy all over the place. My friend said he actually can’t believe I don’t already own these, and it’s a good point. Maybe for my next adventure I’ll invest in some noise canceling earbuds.
If you want to get something smaller, I’d recommend a toiletry kit. I absolutely love this toothbrush cover that cleans the toothbrush, solid shampoo or conditioner for carry on luggage, and laundry sheets that take up no space. You can also consider things like this bug repellent that looks like chap stick, solid sunscreen, etc. All of these are so useful and great for people who don’t check their luggage.
First Aid/Emergency Kit
Another great kit idea is for a traveling first aid kit. For backpackers or people traveling in developing countries, these items are a must. After a year of traveling, I’ve used almost all of the emergency items in my bag. I’d recommend zinc, Airborne chewables, Advil, electrolyte powders, probiotics, bandaids, a mini hand sanitizer, cold medicine, and DiaResQ. Having a kit like this in a foreign country makes getting sick a little easier.
Universal Power Adapter
The first few times I travelled, I had a bag of power adapters and played the adapting game. Basically, it took two or three plugs all placed together to get my plug to fit in the socket. An international power adapter is probably the best thing to get someone who goes to foreign countries a lot. I have yet to visit a country where it doesn’t work. It also has USB ports on the side, so I can charge a few things at once. Plus, it has a surge protector which helps in countries where power outages are common.
Kindles are so convenient for travel. I’m always amazed when I meet travelers who carry three or four heavy books with them. I get it. They’re “purists.” I’m all for real books, but when I can have 100 books in my bag and it weighs less than 1lb, I can’t justify carrying a real one. I load my kindle up with books every few months, making it easy to have access on the road. I’m also a member of my local library where I can check out books for free.
While I feel like gift cards are impersonal, these do come in handy when traveling. Getting someone a subscription to Netflix or a gift card to download music, movies, or books is really handy.
What would you get for the traveler in your life? Is there anything you’re asking for this year?
This post originally appeared on www.fulltimeexplorer.com