When the holiday season kicks in, it means its time to spoil your loved ones with gifts! But not everyone receives the same kind of presents; gifts for backpackers are going to be different from gifts for a makeup lover or even a non-traveler. So what do you gift someone who travels around the world with just a backpack? It’s quite easy to figure out but only if you know a bit of their lifestyle.
A backpacker’s aim is to travel on a minimum budget with the lightest kind of luggage possible. This means that even a simple thing like a microfiber travel towel is going to make them happy – I mean they don’t need a cool smart TV to be happy on their travels. The only thing that backpackers need is just a cool backpack and a few travel essentials. In my opinion, backpackers are the easiest kind of travelers to please when it comes to gifting.
So in this post, I will be detailing all the best gifts for backpackers so that you don’t have to stress out looking for the ideal Christmas gift for them. These are not just gifts that will make them happy but also ones they can practically use on their adventures around the world.
Best gifts for backpackers
The travel essential gifts for backpackers
1. A Nomatic travel backpack
If you want any backpacker to jump to the moon with excitement, then gift them this Nomatic travel backpack. Well, I would say any backpack can do but if you want to take your gifting to the next level, then this is one of the gift ideas for backpackers that you should consider.
The Nomatic backpack is waterproof, has multiple compartments to keep all travel essentials organized and it is the perfect size for a minimalist traveler. So if you’ve been searching for high ticket backpacking gifts, then I guarantee your backpacker friend/ relative will love this Nomatic travel backpack.
2. International travel adapter
Backpackers are all about staying practical and minimizing costs and the idea of buying a different travel adapter for each country you’re traveling to is not practical at all – but the best option is to but a universal travel adapter which can be used everywhere.
For non-travelers who might not know the best universal travel adapter, this is what I recommend to add your backpacking gift ideas.
3. Microfiber quick-dry travel towel
One of the must-have travel items for backpackers is a lightweight and quick-dry microfiber travel towel. These kinds of towels are small and lightweight which means that they won’t take up a lot of space in the backpack but they also dry easily which is super important for backpackers as they keep moving from one place to another.
So the quick to dry lightweight weight microfiber towel I recommend to buy for your loved one who is a backpacker is this one.
Whether it is to be used during the lights out period in the hostel, the night hikes or in places with absolutely no electricity, a headlamp is a backpacker’s best friend. Though to a “normal” traveler a flashlight may seem like a pretty small gift, to backpackers, it is an essential travel item they’ll be happy to unwrap. However, not all headlamps are created the same, the best headlamp is one that has a strong and sharp light and its battery lasts for quite some time. So if you’ve decided to buy a headlamp as your Christmas gift for a backpacker, then this is the one I recommend you buy for him/her.
5. Packing cubes
If you know anything about traveling light and keeping travel items organized, then you know packing cubes play a huge role in making that happen! Honestly, there is no backpacker who wouldn’t want to get packing cubes for Christmas – they’re like the ultimate backpacking gift. Whether you choose to gift them this 6-set packing cubes, these 7 pieces packing cubes, this 5- set packing cubes or this 4-set packing cubes, you’re bound to make them feel special and loved.
6. External power bank
Whether it to take photos or constantly check TripAdvisor for reviews, your phone battery is bound to be drained. The best way to keep your phone from draining is by having a power bank at all times while traveling. This power bank is light, can charge all kinds of phones multiple times and is a perfect gift for a backpacker.
7. External hard drives and memory cards
Just like all kinds of travelers, backpackers take quite a number of photos while traveling. And whilst it’s fun to take beautiful photos, it’s not fun having to lose them or not take more because you’re out of memory.
So external hard drives and memory cards are pretty important to backpackers. There are a number of external hard drives to choose from but you can buy this one which is highly rated on Amazon.
And if you want to gift them memory cards, you may consider this 125GB Samsung memory card which has enough space to store quite a number of travel photos and videos.
8. Travel wallet/Passport holder
Whether a backpacker or a “normal” traveler, a travel wallet will come in handy to keep your personal belongings safe and organized. This travel wallet is lightweight and small but big enough to accommodate your money, passport, Credit cards are other important documents you may need to walk with.
Any backpacker will appreciate a travel wallet so add it to the holiday shopping list. But if you prefer one they can wear around the neck for more safety, then this Travel Neck Pouch Neck will be perfect.
9. A collapsible water bottle
Want backpackers to be sustainable travelers that are mindful of the environment? Then buy them a collapsible water bottle that they can keep refilling instead of buying plastic water bottles every time they need water. This Anntrue water bottle is lightweight, sturdy and collapsible, so it can easily fit in any backpack without taking up a lot of space.
But if you want to buy a water bottle that can be used with both cold and hot beverages, then this Iron Flask Travel bottle is the ultimate best.
Best gifts for backpackers to stay safe
10. Security travel money belt
This is not just your ordinary belt but rather a security belt that will keep your money safe. Pickpockets are everywhere especially in big cities so the best way to guarantee that you don’t fall a victim is by using a money belt.
This travel money belt has a hidden compartment twith a zipper hat you can fit in a number of notes – and it’s so hard to reach even for the “pro” pickpockets.
If your backpacker friend is not the type that will like this travel money belt, then this waist money belt will be a great gift.
11. A first-aid travel kit
However careful your friend might be, they’ll need a first aid kit while traveling. The unexpected can happen while on the road so it’s always wise to pack a medical kit. This first aid kit has almost all the medical items required to stop minor injuries like cuts, bleeding, or blisters. There is no better way to show your loved one that you care about their wellbeing than buying them a first-aid kit.
And on top of having everything required on the road, it is small and light enough to fit in any kind of backpack – so you can be sure they’ll carry it wherever they travel to.
12. Water filter
Backpackers are known to embark on the most rugged roads than any kind of traveler due to their flexibility but that comes with limitations to access to clean water – at least in some places. Whether it is traveling to some of the cheapest places in Asia or embarking on an African safari, backpackers will need a water filter to try and purify the contaminated water they might come across while on their endless adventures. With a number of water filters on the market, it might be a bit hard to choose the best one – so here is one of the best travel water filter I recommend.
13. Swiss army knife
There is nothing as handy as this swiss army knife while traveling as a backpacker. A swiss army knife comes with a number of items including a screwdriver, can opener, a blade, and other useful items. It is truly one of the backpacking Christmas gifts that you’re loved will appreciate.
Backpacking sometimes comes with going off the beaten path for more adventures – but this also means limited access to clean water in case you run out of what you had carried initially. If you don’t feel like carrying both a water bottle and water filter separately, then this Katadyn Befree collapsible water filter will be perfect as it has both functionalities. The filtration process is quite simple and the bottle itself is lightweight making it one of the perfect gifts for backpackers.
Travel accessories to gift backpackers
15. Sleeping mask
It’s no secret that most backpackers stay in hostels when they travel. That means they can’t just switch lights off when they want to sleep because they have to be mindful of other travelers. The only way to get some sleep (for people who can’t sleep with lights on) is by using a sleeping mask.
To other people, a sleeping mask or even a pair might seem like a small gift, but to backpackers, you’ve just given them one of the hostel travel essentials they’ll always need. Having said that, the best sleeping mask to get is the silk one – this one is what I recommend you buy for your hiker friends.
16. Inflatable travel neck pillow
We know backpackers are always looking for the best bargains on flights, trains or buses – literally everything. This means that the chances of riding on long overnight trains or flights are high! And honestly, some are not the most comfortable to sleep in. But with an inflatable travel neck pillow like this one, you’ll make their long journeys more comfortable and less painful – (neck pains are the worst when it comes to sleeping while traveling)
The best inflatable travel neck pillow I recommend to buy for any backpacker is the Purefly. It is soft, comfortable, packable and above all washable. So if you were wondering what the best gifts for backpackers are, add this inflatable travel neck pillow to the shopping list.
17. Camping tent
A camping tent is one of the backpacking gifts to give your friend if you want them to praise you (literally)! I mean a good camping tent doesn’t come cheap, so this person must be really close to you. If you want to give them a good, sturdy and windproof camping tent, this Coleman Sundome tent is the best choice. But if you just want to buy a tent without splurging, then this one can equally do the trick well.
Just like sleeping masks, earplugs are a must-have for backpackers while sleeping in hostels. While you might keep away the light with a sleeping mask, its not all good unless you have earplugs.
Earplugs help backpackers keep away the noise from hostel mates when he/she wants to get some sleep while others are still chatting in the hostel room corridors.
These ones are cheap but rather efficient. And if you feel like they’re small to be considered as a gift, add a sleeping mask in your gift box and you would have made a concrete gift for a backpacker.
19. Backpack cover
If you’re looking for unique gifts for backpackers then a backpack cover is one of them. A backpack cover is really important in keeping a traveler’s backpack free from dust in dusty areas but also protects their valuables in the backpack on rainy days.
This backpack cover from Gryps is waterproof and has adjustable straps to fit almost any size of a backpack. It’s actually an ideal present since most backpackers easily forget buying one for themselves.
If you’re looking for a simple but important gift to buy your backpacker loved ones, then these polarized sunglasses will be perfect.
If you’re looking for cool gifts for backpackers, then a hammock should be your number one choice. Traveling as a backpacker is fun but can also be tiring. From long transit journeys to carrying a backpack all day around – it definitely gets tiring.
And what better way to cool off and relax from a long day of adventure than chilling in a hammock like this! If you gift a hammock to your backpacker friend, they’ll definitely love it a lot since its one of those travel items that are easily left out given the fact that they’re not like essentials.
22. Sleeping bag liner
If you’ve not heard about this before, some hostels have beg bugs! Aaaaarrrggh, I know, right? (well, not all, just a few of them). But to make sure your friend/ relative doesn’t bring back bedbugs home, gift them a sleeping bag liner.
The sleeping bag liner will not only improve the hygiene but also add more warmth either when camping or sleeping at hostels. For the best results, I recommend you buy this silk sleeping bag liner.
Clothing gifts for backpackers
23. Lightweight Rain jacket
Since sometimes you can never know when it might rain in the place you’re traveling to (especially in tropical countries), it’s always better to be prepared for all weather conditions and this is where a lightweight rain jacket becomes really important.
But before you buy any rain jacket, make sure it is lightweight, waterproof(duh!) and breathable at the same time. If you don’t know where to get one with all those functionalities, this Columbia rain jacket (or this Columbia jacket for women) is the perfect choice to opt for.
24. Merino woolen socks
Backpackers walk – I am talking 1 hour plus of walking because they understand that the best way to enjoy a ceratin area fully is by exploring it on foot – and in a way to reduce transportation fare or even when they go hiking.
This means that they need to wear comfortable and good quality socks to keep their feet warm and dry (not sweaty). The perfect socks for this are these Merino wool Unisex socks – they’re warm, durable, itchy-free, comfortable and will keep backpackers’ feet dry at all times.
25. Travel themed t-shirts
If you have no idea about what present to buy a backpacker, then traveled themed t-shirts are always a great alternative. Whether it is a t-shirt with all the continents, all the tallest mountains in each continent or just showing famous monuments in a specific city, you can never go wrong with them.
Some of the travel-themed t-shirts you can consider include; this Paris travel t-shirt (I mean everyone loves Paris), this bucket list themed t-shirt. There are a lot of travel-themed t-shirts you can choose from but since I can’t list all of them here, you can browse through Amazon from here to choose one that suits your loved one.
26. Convertible pants
Looking for the perfect backpacking gifts for him? Then these convertible pants for men are perfect. They can be converted into shorts when it gets hot and back into full parts when it gets cold or to keep away bugs. Research convertible pants are literally a must-have for any backpacker because they can be worn in any condition and actually take long to show dirt (yeah they can be worn more than once in a row – this might freak out a non-backpacker but it’s totally normal in the backpacking world).
And for your lady loved one, these are the convertible pants for her. They have the same functionalities as those of the guys mentioned above.
27. Laundry travel bag
Backpackers need to do laundry as well while traveling and since it’s hard to do laundry every single day, a laundry travel bag is a great idea to keep all the dirty laundry in.
You’ll be surprised by how many backpackers improvise and use a plastic bag to keep their dirty laundry – this means that receiving a real laundry travel bag this festive season will make them happy.
A laundry bag doesn’t really have to be fancy, anything like this cute Wash me laundry travel bag can get the job done pretty well since it is big enough, sturdy and of good quality.
Gift for backpackers for entertainment
28. Noise-canceling earphones
Whether it is to entertain yourself on a long train journey or flight, noise-canceling earphones are a must-have for all backpackers. Help your friend keep away all the unnecessary noise while listening to a rad podcast or music album on the road by gifting them these noise-canceling earphones.
29. Kindle reader
Even the most adventurous kind of backpacker would need to slow down and relax sometimes and there is no better way to stay entertained on the road like reading. Though there is always an alternative of carrying books, it’s not the smartest one since books are heavy and the goal of a backpacker is to travel light. So if you want to buy presents for backpackers that they’ll actually love, then this Kindle reader is a great option.
30. Backpacking travel books
Instead of buying the “normal” backpacking gifts, why not take it to the next level and gift knowledge in form of backpacking books! Whether it’s to learn how to lower their daily budget while traveling or find the cheapest countries to visit, a wealth of knowledge and information will always be appreciated.
Here are some of the backpacking books you can choose to buy for a backpacker.
I hope with this guide, you won’t spend countless hours looking for the best gifts for backpackers that they will actually love and use on their backpacking adventures across the world.
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