Travelers, nomads, and future nomads can be tough to shop for.

Many of us are in the process of paring down our possessions, or keeping them minimal, or already living out of a backpack or suitcase, so we’re averse to acquiring more stuff.

We’re often on the road, so it might not be possible give us gifts in person. And if we’re moving around a lot, or staying somewhere without reliable postal service, it might not be possible to mail us something, either!

So what are the best gifts for nomads and travelers?

I asked experienced travelers, nomads, expats, and future nomads to share their suggestions. Their names are provided in parentheses, and the list also includes some of my own ideas (many of which are things I own and use and/or that I’ve actually received from friends and family).

If you’ve ever struggled with what to buy for the avid traveler or nomad in your life, this is for you.

And if you’re tired of your family and friends complaining that you’re difficult to shop for, just send them this post.

Note: Links with an * are affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission if you purchase the product using this link. As always, there’s no extra cost to you!

 

Gadgets and Travel Goodies

Gift card for local travel/outdoor store such as MEC, REI, or EMS (Tammy Perry)

Essential travel items:

External battery pack for smartphones, ereaders, and other small electronics

All-in-one travel adapter plug*

CocoonCocoon for cords and gadgets (Lynan Saperstein)

A Moleskine journal (and a good pen) (Akira Morita)

(Here’s a great selection of travel journals.)

An iPad Mini (Lynan Saperstein)

A Kindle.* I LOVE my Kindle Paperwhite. I can read it on dark planes and while sitting next to the window on trains. If I’m traveling for less than a month I don’t need to bring my charger. It’s small and lightweight enough that I carry it everywhere. And I can read for hours without eye strain. I also really like the travel case I bought for it. At first I was disappointed that the case is bigger than my Kindle, but now I love it because it’s a very handy organizer! Just enough room for my Kindle, my little notebook, a pen, and a couple other things (my BritRail Pass, passport, etc). (Cate Johnson Brubaker)

A little foldable backpack and a water canteen(Akira Morita)

I received a foldable reusable shopping bag as a gift years ago and I still use it constantly, no matter where I am in the world (something like this).

NapAnywhere: it supports your neck so you can nap anywhere. I backed this from Kickstarter and the quality is surprisingly good. I look forward to using it to nap anywhere when I travel. (Brian Kwong)

scrubbaThe Scrubba is a great solution for anyone who travels (Jill Sessa)

Foreign currency to the country where a person is traveling (Lynan Saperstein)

Icebreaker* clothes: you can wear them for quite some time and they do not smell. Lightweight, wrinkles come out quickly. They make just about everything you need to wear! (Sarah Cook)

Jackets, pants, and other things from SCOTTEVEST. They are designed mostly with travelers in mind: thinking of being able to carry things while traveling by air. Lots of little pockets, and some very big pockets, so you can put things right in your clothing, instead of having to carry bags. (Linda Eskin) 

Roost laptop stand* (be sure they have an external keyboard and mouse to go with it!)

Enjoying this post? Click to Tweet: Great gifts for the #traveler, #expat, or #nomad in your life from @nomadamyscott: http://ctt.ec/NSbBx+

Keep Them Healthy and Safe on the Road

resistance band setExercise bands* or a resistance band set*

Travel yoga mat*

Yoga Paws*

SteriPEN water purifier (April Lee)

Door stop alarm (Great for solo female travelers)

Membership to a site like YogaGlo, which offers online yoga classes.

(Find out more about how to stay fit on the road here.)

 

Digital/Virtual Gifts

An iTunes voucher! That way I can buy more books when I need them, more music, movies, etc. and it takes up no space. I really don’t want more objects when I’m traveling. (Sharon Gourlay)

Skype credit is something I’d like as it would show interest in keeping in touch with me. I think generally the idea would be to buy something you know for sure the person actually uses, e.g., if they use Skype to contact you, then you know they need Skype credit. (Kate Voyage)

Amazon gift cardAmazon gift cards* (Lynan Saperstein)

We like to give Kindle books* (and also request them as gifts for ourselves!). You can set it up so they are delivered by email on a set date so it’s still a surprise to “open”. (Bethaney Davies)

(You can easily create a Wish List on Amazon and share it with friends and family. Looking for book suggestions? Check out the titles in the Nomadtopia store on Amazon*!)

One year of an online backup plan (we prefer Crashplan(Audrey Scott)

Subscription to take online classes, such as with CreativeLive.

 

More Personal Gifts

Handmade “coupons” accompanied by cash for something specific: a special dinner out, a city tour, cooking classes, language classes, spa day, hotel stay… (My family has been doing this for years and I love it!)

Videos/slideshows of family (Tammy Perry)

Make plans to meet them somewhere in the world (Lynan Saperstein)

If they’re staying in one place for a while, maybe shipping some hard-to-find goodies, toiletries, or other things from “back home.” Something they might miss, like their favorite flavor of gum, or the toothpaste they can’t get where they are now. (Linda Eskin) 

Donation to a favorite charity

Offering to host them in your guest room/on the couch (Lynan Saperstein)

 

Help Them Visualize, Plan, and Create Their Ideal Life

Show your support for all their crazy dreams!

Destination: Nomadtopia ebook: Jam-packed with beautiful photos from all over the world, case studies, and powerful questions to help them identify what their ideal lifestyle looks like.

You can also contact me about gifting a coaching session to your favorite nomad.

 

Inspirational Items for Those Who Haven’t Left 

(or have a home base where they can leave things!)

vintage travel poster calendarA calendar of vintage travel posters, gorgeous scenes around the world, a dream destination, daily inspiration, or to learn a language (Calendars.com has all of these and more)

A Year of Adventures (Rebecca Merrifield)

1000 Ultimate Adventures*

Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Greatest Trips*

World’s Best Travel Experiences: 400 Extraordinary Places*

Material World: A Global Family Portrait*

What the World Eats*

 

What are your favorite gifts to give or receive? Share your ideas in the comments.

 

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Note: Links with an * are affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission if you purchase the product using this link. As always, there’s no extra cost to you!

 

Linked to the My Global Life Link-Up at SmallPlanetStudio.com in 2013.

 

This post was originally published in 2013 and I’ve been updating it ever since. If you find any outdated links or have anything to add, please let me know!