Backpackers are notoriously hard to shop for, they need to save space, are bouncing all over the globe and generally have everything they need to live crammed into a single bag on their backs.

But xmas is round the corner though and parents, friends, family and partners will be wondering what the hell they can buy for someone on the road, or even about to hit the backpacker trail.

So to help you out I’ve out together a list of 12 useful gadgets and gifts that any backpacker would be stoked to get, and more importantly will want to pack!

Click the links for more info!


  1. Gift Cards –  99% of the time backpackers will spend cash on rubbish stuff, like train tickets, food and booze. So if you want your gift to be used on something nicer a gift card is a great idea, it’s small and light too which is a massive  bonus! Even something like a Starbucks card so they can treat themselves would be appreciated! If you want to go all out thought many tour and experience providers will do gift cards or vouchers….skydiving anyone?!
  2. Solar Charger
    – travel and tech is heaps more coming these days and there’s a whole range of awesome solar chargers you can get for a range of stuff; from iPhones to cameras. My buddy on the Inca Trail had one and it was a great investment on his part.
  3. An App Store Card – kinda bundled in with the gift card idea is the App Store or iTunes giftcard, being able to download some tunes, movies or some games to lull away those overnight bus journeys is perfect!
  4. Travel Adaptor
    – I’ve got so many freaking cables and adapters in my rucksack it’s ridiculous, a one size fits all travel adapter sounds boring, but it’ll probably be the most used item you could buy a backpacker!

    backpacker xmas gift ideas

    Xmas On The Road – It’s the Simple Things!

  5. Some Accommodation – if you know what their travel plans are why not get your backpacker some accommodation? A night in a private double room want cost you a whole lot of money but it will be appreciated no end by a weary traveller spending nights in cramped shared dorms get some epic deals on!
  6. Some Currency – this is especially suited for the soon to be backpacker. Nothing gets your travel stoke going more than a crisp wad of exotic looking bank notes! If they’re hitting up a few countries go the extra mile and get them some of each!
  7. An iPad, iPod or unlocked iPhone!
    If you’ve got some more cash to spend than and iDevice you’ll be amazeballs! Apple products have always been one of my top travel accessories and even an iPod touch allows some to Skype, take pictures, Facebook, listen to music, watch movies and keep tabs on their pans and budget. They’ll love you forever!
  8. The Alchemist
    – if there’s a single book that everyone who wants to travel should read it’s the Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It is pretty much single handedly responsible for me quitting the 9-5 grind and exploring the world!
  9. A Swiss Card – I’ve only been made aware of this nifty little gadget recently but its basically a Swiss Army knife in card form, with everything from tweezers to a bottle opener, a small gift that some packs some big kudos
  10. backpacker travel xmas gift sydney australia

    Happy Backpackers All Round!

    Head Torch
    – now this is one of the ultimate travel items and I’ve used mine a lot in various places and circumstance. Get a nice compact one with some good punch, I’ve been using the Petzl Tikka XP since I left in January and its still going strong!

  11. Spare Memory Card/Hard Drive/even a Camera! Every backpacker needs a camera to take with them, and it doesn’t need to cost a bomb. I’ve had my Fuji for nearly 4 years now, it’s battered, scratched but still going strong. It only cost £80 too and it’s always in my pocket, no matter what. Backpackers are always loosing memory cards and their pics too so a spare card (or better still couple of smaller ones) is a great gift. Those with a bit more to spend could invest in an external hard drive to keep all those travel memories safe!
  12. Dry Bag
    – I invested in a dry bag before starting my dive course on Phi Phi and it’s proved a useful bit of kit by the ocean or simply on the move as a small day bag. They’re no too expensive either – you can pick them up from about £5 for a 10litre.

So no matter what your budget there’s always some useful gifts for the backpacker/traveller in your life – or even to ask someone to get for you! And if anyone wanted to get me any of the above I’d be stoked to receive them (hint hint!)


Looking for gift ideas for the nomadic girl in your life?

Check out the ultimate gift guide for female travellers here.

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4 Responses

  1. Rusja

    I think a lot of us travel bloggers have had the same idea about this…got my xmas list post going up tomorrow…not hinting for any travel appropriate pressies or anything! ;P


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