11 Christmas gift ideas for backpackers

When buying gifts for someone that lives out of a backpack, the usual Christmas and holiday gifts just don’t quite cut it. 

Ann and Adam in Christmas hats

A good pair of warm socks don’t quite work in Vietnam, a hilarious new board game is incredibly difficult to pack and a novelty mug won’t last more than a couple of weeks on the road. 

As travel starts to get back on track in 2021, you might know someone who’s planning to jet away in the New Year. This is likely to make gift-choosing difficult as there will probably be very little room left in their backpack, but it isn’t impossible.

So, what are the top Christmas gift ideas for backpackers, travellers and globetrotters this year as travel resumes?

1. Worldwide portable adapter

If there’s one thing that every backpacker should have, it’s a good-quality worldwide travel adapter. 

Hyleton travel adapter

Without one of these bad boys, I don’t know how I’d have coped on my travels and this example from Hyleton is one of the best out there. The handy plug converter can be used in just about every socket imaginable and will allow devices to work just as well in the UK as they will in Europe, South East Asia, Australia and more. 

As well as the single plug adapter, the adapter comes with four separate USB ports that can be used at the same time meaning laptops, phones, headphones and portable chargers can all be topped up at the same time. A lifesaver when you’re getting that final charge before the airport.

2. Travel date voucher

If your backpacker usually travels with a friend or better half, why not purchase them an experience voucher?

Ann and Adam at Blengdale viewpoint

Date Nights Away offers unique experiences for couples in the UK. This is especially great right now, as you can book with peace of mind knowing your trips are under the care of a third party. Vouchers last for up to 12 months and are sent by email immediately after purchase, so they’re also a nice quick fix if you’re forgotten a birthday/anniversary/other special date.

Think llama walks in Keswick, speed boat rides along the Thames, cheese tasting in York, and many more. The site can also be browsed by price, which we love.

3. AeroPress Coffee Maker

Finding good coffee on the go is one of the most challenging parts of world travel. 

Aeropress coffee mug

It sounds cliche, but when you’ve only slept 3 hours in the last 48, a good cup of coffee can make the world of difference. Instead of suffering from the dirt-like hotel and hostel coffee, an AeroPress travel coffee maker will make the mornings approximately 14x better. 

AeroPress has earned a great reputation among backpackers for a reason and with everything you need to make a professional tasting coffee, there’s a good reason for it. But the most important feature of the coffee maker is its size as the AeroPress compresses down to an almost non-existent 5.3” x 3.9” x 3.9” – vital when backpack space is at a premium.

4. Portable charger 

A portable charger is one of the most useful gadgets ever packed into a travel backpack, something we learned the hard way.

Anker Powerbank

When you’re in the middle of Vietnam with no real idea of where you are and where you’re supposed to be going, a couple of extra percent in your phone battery could save you from hours of aimless wandering. 

They may be small but they sure are powerful, it’s an absolute must for any globetrotter, making it one of our top Christmas gift ideas for backpackers!

5. Bluetooth speaker

Wherever you may find yourself in the world, it can always be improved with just a little bit of music.

Anker portable speaker

The Anker SoundCore mini is one of the best portable speakers out there for backpackers today.

It’s a speaker that won’t break the bank, meaning travellers won’t be overly distressed if they lose, break or unwillingly donate their Spotify sharer. It’s also, as the name suggests, incredibly small, making it perfect for throwing into a backpack, or even a pocket, before heading to the beach.

With over 15 hours of playtime and impressive sound performance, the Anker SoundCore mini is the perfect Bluetooth backpacker speaker.

6. Swiss Army pocket knife

Arguably the single most useful tool in the world, the Swiss Army pocket knife a pocket-sized treasure trove of practicality that every person, nevermind backpacker, should own.

Swiss army knife

Popular for a reason, the Swiss Army pocket knife is a staple for any backpacker, hiker or adventurer with a multitool so small that it can find into any pocket.

The basic knife comes with a blade, corkscrew, screwdriver, scissors, bottle opener, toothpick and more, solving any situation a traveller may find themselves in. They’re ultra iconic and one of the perfect Christmas gift ideas for backpackers – it’s even coloured festively!

7. Mini first aid kit

Speaking of useful gifts, it doesn’t get much more practical than a mini first aid kit to keep any clumsy traveller as safe as possible on their trip.

First aid kit

A small first aid kit comes in incredibly useful and with 92 first-aid essentials packed into this tiny kit, including blister pads, bandages, safety pins, medical scissors, tweezers and even an emergency blanket. 

It’s a case of being safe rather than sorry and although it’s not the cheeriest of holiday gifts, it’s one of the most thoughtful.

8. Lonely Planet World Travel book

In order to travel the world, you’ve got to have some sort of plan in place – not an easy task, but that’s where the Lonely Planet comes in.

The Travel Book - Lonely Planet

The Lonely Planet Travel Book is packed full of useful information with a journey through every single country in the world.

In what may be the most comprehensive travel book ever published, The Lonely Planet takes you around the globe with over 230 pitstops to take in the vibrant cultures and beautiful landscapes. At over 850+ pages, it’s unlikely this is something to be taken away, but as a coffee table book to thumb through, it doesn’t get much better for one of the best Christmas gifts for backpackers.

There’s also plenty of 2021 travel books out there if you’re looking for something a little more current!

9. Scratch-off world map poster

When it’s time to take a break from travel and return home, it can feel like you’ve got nothing to show for your time away.

Woman using a scratch map

A scratch-off world map poster is the one piece of wall art that every backpacker, world traveller or island hopper should have in their home. Not only does it act as a constant reminder of the incredible time away, but it also shows off just how much of the world they’ve covered (and how much is left to go).

It’s also a great way to get guests to ask about your travels instead of forcing your knowledge on them – like a travel-chat boobytrap.

10. Travel scrapbook

There’s no better way to relive your time away than creating a scrapbook filled with all of your favourite pictures from your trip.

Brown travel journal

This leather scrapbook from ZEEYUAN is the perfect addition to any backpackers collection of memorabilia from their travels.

With 60 pages to play with, even the snappiest of photographers will find plenty of space to arrange their picture and tell their own story of their time away. It’s simple, it’s thoughtful and it’s a great looking gift that anybody would enjoy!

11. Filter water bottle

Last up on our list, we’re going back to the functional side of things with an incredible filter water bottle. 

Brita water bottle

The BRITA filter water bottle reduces both chlorine and organic impurities, making it the perfect companion when travelling in locations with low-quality water sources.

Not only is this an eco-friendly and cost-effective way to drink water abroad, but it’s also safe too with a BPA-free construction, ensuring there’s nothing but the best tasting water coming through the cap. It’s nice and small at 600ml, making it easy to carry and with over 60 litres of fresh water on a single filter, it lasts a long time too!

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11 Christmas gift ideas for backpackers

There you have it, our top 11 Christmas gift ideas for backpackers in 2021 as travel resumes.

Do let us know in the comments below if there’s anything that you think we’ve missed and we’ll be sure to add it to our extensive gift list!

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