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I don’t encourage people to buy more things, especially things they don’t need. But if you’re looking for the best gifts for travelers to give to your friends or family this year, you’re better off buying things that are meant to get them out there experiencing the world with things that they’ll enjoy for years to come and create memories that they will cherish even longer. That’s why I put together this gift guide of products I use and love from my adventures all over the world, so you know it’s quality gear.
I myself have spent a LOT of money on outdoor gear or travel stuff, but I always make sure to buy the best thing I can afford and, most importantly, I make sure to use it. None of it is going to do you much good sitting in the closet or garage…
To help you out (and me, if you decide to shop through my affiliate links), I’ve put together a few ideas for the best gifts for travelers that are well suited for any outdoor lover or adventure travel, things that I myself would enjoy receiving (if I didn’t own them already).
Items in the gift guide range from super cheap to moderately expensive, so there’s something for pretty much all budgets.
Best Gifts for Travelers
Can’t stress the importance of having a small, lightweight, and portable laptop (with a super long battery life). I’ve had the ASUS Transformer for a few years (which my girlfriend now uses as her main laptop) and it’s one of the most affordable and portable options out there at less than $300 or $400 depending on configuration.
But I just bought myself the ASUS ZenBook to serve as my main travel and work laptop for just $700 and I’m SO excited to get my hands on it! My previous laptop was more than five years old so I’ve been way past due for an upgrade.
This new laptop had a great combination of tech specs, portable and battery life, and the features I look for (like an SSD hard drive, backlit keyboard, and matte screen).
I absolutely love my ENO Hammock. It is great for backpacking, road tripping, or even just general travel. So long as you’ve got a few nearby trees, you can strap this thing up and have an amazing place to relax for the evening. Can’t recommend this enough.
You don’t want to get sick from your water source, whether traveling in developing countries or just camping or backpacking. This little UV light will disinfect your water in no time flat and comes in handy from remote streams to a restaurant in Mexico. It’s also one of my hotel essentials when traveling in the developing world.
I love these backpacks that stuff down into their own pouch — they come in handy in so many different ways. I will take it along when we head out for a day in town and we unexpectedly visit the market or grocery store so I can reduce my plastic bag usage, or perfect for daytrips or even while flying if you unexpectedly need to repack some things.
This thin and light solar panel will keep your USB electronics charged and ready to go while you are on the trail or off camping. I love the slim and light design. Check out the review I put together here.
Brought to you by yours truly, this fun t-shirt is meant to inspire more adventures. “Go Outside: Life is too short to watch it pass by from a desk…”
There’s plenty more cool apparel, stickers, and odds and ends from yours truly in the D2D Store — check it out!
I absolutely love these headphones. They are cheap and awesome, and will never slip out of your ear. I bought them primarily for running (here’s my favorite running gear), but the slim profile also means you can sleep with these things, and put on some white noise if you are in a loud environment.
Alright, this is a whole new class of headphones… I’ve had the chance to use these for working and they are so incredible. They block out so much background noise which makes them ideal for plane travel or anyone who needs to work remotely, whether in a coffee shop or a noisy apartment.
I don’t own them myself, yet… But after using them a few times they are most definitely on my wish list.
This little piece of tubular fabric has so many different uses. I use it as a sweatband, a hat, a neckwarmer, and even an eye mask for sleeping. Very useful!
Andrea has one of these drawstring travel toiletry / makeup bags and absolutely loves it. No need to dig around or organize anything, you can simply open it up on the counter or any table to see everything, then you just cinch it back up and toss it into your back. Super easy, fast, and portable.
Meanwhile, I’ve got one of these simple hanging toiletry bags that I prefer. It’s got plenty of space for what I need, I can hang it up in the bathroom, or in the canopy of the truck, and it keeps my stuff organized, which is about all I ask.
GoPro makes the best cameras for adventure travel, action sports, and straight up portability. I’ve used my GoPro for snorkeling, mounted to the top of truck, or just hiking down the trail. These things are tough too.
* Wish you could travel more and more affordably? Click here to grab my free course and resources that will show you exactly how I've been able to travel for more than four years.
Such a simple little thing to have a mini flashlight on your keychain, but I use this so much! Not just for camping or truck camping, but for day to day life. It’s surprising how handy it is. The batteries last forever, and the slim profile is almost unnoticeable in your pocket.
Perhaps one of my most treasured items. It’s an incredible feeling to have a virtually any book available at your fingertips, no matter where you are in the world. You can store literally hundreds of books on the device, and can purchase new books over 3G cell networks. Love this thing. Plus the soft backlight makes it easy to read at night.
Nobody likes to be stinky, but it can be tough to do laundry as often as we should while either traveling or hiking. The Icebreaker Merino wool t-shirts are super odor resistant and can be worn for many days longer than their synthetic counterparts. Check out my more detailed overview of the pros and cons.
If you know somebody who loves great coffee, this will be the best gift you can give. Incredible coffee from anywhere in the world, high mountain tops, hotel rooms, wherever. Combine it with a hand held grinder and some freshly ground beans to go with it. Read my more detailed overview about why this is the best travel coffee maker.
This one is on my wishlist… An ultra portable drone that is built for travel or stuffing in a backpack and is definitely one of the best gifts for travelers. Get those killer aerial shots and a whole new world of photography.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my book, Big Travel, Small Budget: How to Travel More, Spend Less, and See the World. It’s available in paperback or Kindle and will certainly inspire and inform any future adventurer or globetrotter. It has more than 130+ reviews on Amazon now.
The Kindle edition will be ON SALE from 11/20 – 11/24.
I have the ENKNIGHT Money Belt which I grabbed on Amazon. It’s a pretty comfortable, nice fitting money belt with three big pockets where you can stash, money, passports, or even use it for running since it will fit a cell phone and has a hole to pass the earphone cable.
While I don’t love money belts, you can’t really deny their importance, especially if you are traveling in more developing countries, or even in Europe where pick-pocketing is so common.
Stay worry free while your loved-one is deep in the woods or in some remote part of the world. This device sends check-in messages from anywhere to a set of email addresses, to let them know you are safe and sound, and share your exact location so they can follow along.
Know someone who loves to play or has always wanted to teach themselves to play guitar? I picked up the Hofner Travel Guitar which is ultra portable, plays great, and is affordable. Read more about my travel guitar setup here.
This is one on my wish list, but perfect for car camping or road trippers like me. It’s burly design allows it to retain cold much longer than a traditional cooler, allowing you to keep ice on hand for a week or more. That means less runs to the store, and less sloshing around all that melted ice.
I love this portable speaker for days where we are hanging out in the hotel room, an awesome Airbnb, or sometimes even camping (if there is no one else around). Turn on some music from Spotify, turn up the volume on a movie on the laptop, or just listen to a podcast. It’s a cheap and awesome speaker.
Today’s Outdoor Gear Deals & Discounts
A Few More Gift Ideas for Travelers
For the hiker in your life, check out my favorite gear for trekking and hiking.
For the road tripper, check out these awesome products that made my life easier while living out of my truck for the better part of a year. From an awesome food thermos, to multi-functional chargers, to a super comfortable portable bed–it’s nice to have a few creature comforts on the road. Or pick them up one of these must read road trip books.
For the vehicle dwelling road tripper, check out the truck camping essentials for a full run-down on the gear I use and love… This gear has taken me all the USA (a few times) and all the way through Central American and South America.
For the book lover in your life, or for that person just itching for a big change in the New Year, check out my list of life-changing travel books which set me down my current path of perpetual travel in the pursuit of adventure and location independence.
Please take a minute to share these best gifts for travelers on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest!
What’s on your wish list? Sound off in the comments below and maybe someone will be good to you this year! 🙂
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