10 Gifts to Buy a Backpacker for Xmas

If you have a friend or family member who is about to depart on a period of travel abroad then I’m about to make last-minute Christmas shopping very easy for you! Here are my top 10 gifts to give to any backpacker this Christmas!

1. Mini-Speakers

Everybody needs a soundtrack to their trip. Whether you’re hanging out in the hostel common room, sitting around a camp fire, or just playing your favourite party song before a night out in a new city, a good set of mini-speakers are always a welcome appliance on any trip. It’s also a gift that will suit a lot of people regardless of what type of travel they tend to enjoy – but certainly for backpackers it’s a really great xmas present that doesn’t cost a lot either!

My favourite speakers at the moment for travelling are the XBOOM Mini Capsules. They cost around $14.99 on Amazon (at the time of writing) and come with a rechargeable battery and enhanced bass.

2. Universal Adapter

If I had a penny for every time another backpacker has had to borrow my adapter I’d be a rich lady! Mostly it’s because people bring one adapter for a particular continent, e.g. Europe, and then find out when they get there that countries like the UK and Italy have different sockets.

I personally recommend the Mudder International All In One Adapter. It’s light, compact and can be used in almost every country in the world. It also fits any US, UK, EU and AU plug as well as USB wire, so it’s universal in both what sockets it fits into as well as what plugs you can fit into it.

The current price on Amazon is $13.99, so it’s both a cheap and useful gift to throw in a stocking for someone who is going travelling abroad.

3. Joby Gorillapod

One of the biggest issues when travelling solo (or indeed as a couple if you want to get both people in the picture together) is that there’s not always a good place to put your camera when you set it to timer. You can of course ask someone to take the picture for you, but there’s not always someone around when you need them. In the case where there is, the person sometimes isn’t good at taking pictures and/or might not be someone you want to trust with your phone or camera depending on the situation. On a more practical level, you may also just want to have a few photos from different or unique angles and there’s a limit on where you can place or balance your camera in order to do so. Whilst selfies are cool, nobody wants to come home with only selfies in their photo album.

One of the best things I ever bought for solving this problem was my Joby Gorillapod. It’s essentially a small tripod, with the main difference being that the legs can curl around pretty much anything. The feet ends are also magnetic. I’ve literally attached it to trees, bikes, gates and railings to get my camera in the right position. Even when taking selfies, if you’ve got the curse of the short arms like me, then holding onto the Gorillapod with your camera attached to the end will give you an extra several inches of extension.

The average price of a Gorillapod ranges from around $23 – $53 on Amazon (at the time of writing this) depending on what size you purchase. For phones or regular sized point-and-shoot cameras you’ll usually be looking at the smaller (and cheaper) end of things.

4. Pacsafe (Anti-theft) Bag

It’s been a long time since I had my handbag stolen in Amsterdam in 2010! However, in a weird way I’m glad I had that experience because it made me realise how much of an easy target I was making myself. One key change I made was to make sure whatever bag I was carrying was hard to snatch. The slashproof 25L Pacsafe bag is the perfect gift and daypack for someone who may be travelling to a destination where pick-pocketing or bag snatching is high. It’s built with special slash guards and slash proof material that makes it very hard to cut through. With smart zipper security, a blocking pocket and dual release security buckle, it’s also much harder for pick-pockets to get into the bag in the first place. Definitely one of my top recommended gifts for parents to give to their sons/daughters off on their first trip abroad!

For more information on the Pacsafe 25L GII you can click here.

5. GoPro HERO4

This one is in the more expensive range of Christmas presents (at around $399), but if you have the budget and would like to splash out on someone, this would be an epic gift to get any adventure traveller!

The GoPro’s main features are that it’s both waterproof and highly durable. It can also shoot 12MP photos at speeds of 30 FPS. What that essentially means is that you could literally strap this to an aeroplane, take it underwater or attach it to a motorbike or helmet and it would still capture good quality video! It is designed to withstand extreme environments. Additionally, the GoPro HERO4 has built in wifi + Bluetooth and allows you to control the camera remotely via the GoPro App + software.

For more information and a full spec on the GoPro HERO4 check out its profile here.

6. Vintage Map iPhone Case

Looking for something cheap and easy to give your travelling friend or family member? Why not get them a vintage map iPhone case like this one by Designer Cases? Most cases range from $5 to $15, so it’s a cheap stocking-filler type gift that is also useful in that it protects your phone!

7. Travel Journal

Everybody needs a travel journal to jot down their thoughts and memories on the road. It’s an inexpensive gift, but one that is also very personal. It’s the perfect gift to get for someone who means a lot to you.


8. Aroamas Perfume Sticks

I remember first coming across Aroamas Perfume Sticks last year (designed and hand-made by fellow travel blogger Brooke Shoenman) and thinking – how have these not already been invented until now? They’re such a simple product, yet so ingenious and incredibly useful too.

Aroamas Perfume Sticks are essentially perfume in the shape and style of a lip balm. They are perfect for travelling as there is no risk of spillage, no leakage, you can take them on the plane in your hand luggage and they are also as small as a lip balm, meaning you can fit them into any bag with ease!

The perfect gift for any female traveller!

9. Headphones

Backpackers travel on a budget. This means long distance bus journeys and nights in a hostel dorm room are a regular occurrence. Everybody has headphones, but having a good pair can be the difference between getting a good night’s sleep in a busy hostel dorm room or not. It also just makes you look cool, and there’s no better way to go for street cred than a pair from Dr Dre’s Beats.

10. Guide Books

If you’re still struggling for ideas of what to get your travel-loving friend or loved one, you can’t go much wrong with a guide book. It’s a gift that will always provide some use to them on the road. Just find out where they’re going and buy the relevant Lonely Planet or Rough Guide for that destination. It’s as easy as that!

– So if you’re looking for some last minute Christmas-present ideas, and you have a friend or family member about to depart on a trip, hopefully at least 1 of the above 10 recommendations will have helped you out!

One Response to “10 Gifts to Buy a Backpacker for Xmas”

  1. Johnny Mac says:

    I wish I could get a Go Pro for xmas!!!


Leave a Reply