Amy shopping in a market in Mexico

More Than 50 Gifts for Nomads

November 22, 2021 |

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 to a minimum, or we’re 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, expats, 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). Some of the items and their links are very specific, and others links point to a suggested item or the search results on Amazon so you can find what works best for you.

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

NOTE: Please be sure to check with your favorite nomad before buying them any physical items! Many of us have our packing down to a science and may not have space to add something new, no matter how handy or beautiful it may be.

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 may earn a small commission or other benefit if you make a purchase via these links. As always, there’s no extra cost to you!

 

Travel Goodies and Essentials

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

Essential travel items:

Carry-On Closet suitcase from Solgaard (Lara Eastburn) or the Bigger Carry-On from Away (Erin Elizabeth Wells)

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

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

Cocoon organizerCocoon Grid-It organizer for cords and gadgets (Lynan Saperstein)

A little foldable backpack and a water bottle* (Akira Morita) (Amy says: I love this backpack!)

Travel coffeemaker, like an Aeropress(Kristen Youngs)

 

Gadgets and Tech Stuff

Note: Links with an * are affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission or other benefit if you make a purchase via these links. As always, there’s no extra cost to you!

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

Extra-long USB cable*. Sometimes a plug where I sleep is a long way away or charging a phone at a train station may require plugging in behind vending machines. (Paul Strobl) (Amy says: Make sure it will work for their phone/devices!)

All-in-one travel adapter plug* so you can always charge your devices, no matter where you go

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. (Cate Johnson Brubaker) (Amy says: I agree! As an avid reader, I love being able to access Kindle books from the library or Amazon no matter where I am.)

Noise-canceling headphones*. I could not do without these on planes, buses, trains. (Beth Sheldon)

Roost laptop stand* (Amy says: Be sure they have an external keyboard and mouse to go with it!)

Amazon Fire TV stick(Kristen Youngs)

Combination selfie stick/monopod/tripod(Nancy-Lynn Hoffman)

 

Clothes and Accessories

Note: Links with an * are affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission or other benefit if you make a purchase via these links. As always, there’s no extra cost to you!

Foldable reusable shopping bag (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)

Scarf with hidden pocket(Shannon Moore Martin)

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)

High-quality outerwear and shoes (Shannon Moore Martin)

Sustainable, reusable toiletry items from LastObject (Amy says: I have several of their products and am so glad to be reducing the stuff I throw away!)

 

Miscellaneous

Note: Links with an * are affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission or other benefit if you make a purchase via these links. As always, there’s no extra cost to you!

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

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

Or go high-tech and sustainable with a reusable notebook like a Rocketbook* (Amy says: I got one as an early Christmas present in 2021 and am loving it!)

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

Keep Them Healthy and Safe on the Road

Note: Links with an * are affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission or other benefit if you make a purchase via these links. As always, there’s no extra cost to you!

resistance band setExercise bands* or a resistance band set*

Travel yoga mat (Amy says: I have this one*)

Yoga Paws*

A gift subscription to a website where they can access online fitness classes, like Glo or Yoga Download

Inflatable lumbar support pillow(Kristen Youngs)

SteriPEN water purifier(April Lee)

Collapsible silicone food storage containers*. Having these in my “travel kitchen” has been a lifesaver. (Beth Sheldon)

Door stop alarm (Amy says: I’ve never used one, but they’re often recommended for solo female travelers)

(Give them some extra tips on how to stay fit on the road here and here.)

 

Digital/Virtual Gifts

Note: Links with an * are affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission or other benefit if you make a purchase via these links. As always, there’s no extra cost to you!

Online courses from sites like Udemy (here’s how to gift a course—Kristen Youngs) or CreativeLive*

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)

Amazon gift cardAmazon gift cards* (Lynan Saperstein)

Kindle Unlimited membership* for access to Kindle books, audiobooks, and more

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) (Amy says: You can easily create a Wish List on Amazon and share it with friends and family.)

One year of an online backup plan (Amy says: I use Backblaze*; you can purchase a gift subscription here.)

Airbnb gift card

 

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… (Amy says: 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 (Amy says: This is another longtime favorite in my family!)

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

 

Help Them Visualize, Plan, and Create Their Ideal Life

Note: Links with an * are affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission or other benefit if you make a purchase via these links. As always, there’s no extra cost to you!

Show your support for all their crazy dreams!

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

Give the gift of a supportive community of people on the same path with a subscription to the Nomadtopia Collective! Contact us to set it up.

If they’ve recently returned home and seem to feel a bit out of sorts (or are apprehensive about an upcoming return home), Dr. Cate Brubaker’s Re-Entry Roadmap* is a great resource to help them through the re-entry process, which can be more difficult than we might think!

 

Inspirational Items for Those Who Haven’t Left

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

Note: Links with an * are affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission or other benefit if you make a purchase via these links. As always, there’s no extra cost to you!

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)

1000 Ultimate Adventures*

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

Destinations of a Lifetime: 225 of the World’s Most Amazing Places*

Oldies but goodies: Material World: A Global Family Portrait* and What the World Eats*

 

If you liked this post, won’t you please take a moment to share it using the buttons below? Thanks so much!

 

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

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