So after rushing around the shops last Christmas Eve, you promised yourself that you’d be more prepared this year. And then 2020 happened. If you’ve only just started your Christmas shopping (or if you haven’t even got that far yet), all is not lost! If you want one less gift to worry about, use this handy list to find the perfect present for your favourite backpacker. There’s something for every budget on this list, so whether you’re after high-end or cheap and cheerful, read on to find your perfect gift.
- A Lonely Planet Book
Whether you want to help the backpacker in your life plan their perfect trip, or just give them some inspiration, there’s nothing better than a Lonely Planet guide. They have a book on every destination you can think of, from Brazil to Botswana. What makes Lonely Planet stand out from the rest is how easy the writing is to digest. They provide travellers with all sorts of information, including top activities, shopping hotspots, the best accommodation in the area and so much more. And if the person you’re buying for is more into weekend getaways than long-haul travel, there are some great pocket city guides for you to choose from. Country guides range from £10 to £20, but if you’re on a budget, the city guides are a steal at just £7.99.
However, buying a travel guide can be tricky when your backpacking buddy seems to have a new destination in mind every 5 minutes. If you have no idea what guide would be best for them, check out the travel advice and inspiration section of the online shop. Here, you’ll find a wide range of books providing top travel tips and general inspiration for their next big adventure. If you can stretch your budget to £40, I can highly recommend The Travel Book. My partner got this for me a few years ago, and it’s my go-to guide for deciding where to visit next. The book provides a brief summary of every country in the world and lists the best things to see and do there, as well as the best time of year to visit. And the pictures are absolutely breath-taking too, making it the perfect book for travel inspiration.
If you choose to get something from the Lonely Planet shop, make sure to subscribe to their mailing list to get a 20% off code so you can stretch that Christmas budget a little bit further!
- A Reusable Water Bottle
Travel is thirsty work, so keep your favourite backpacker hydrated with a good quality reusable water bottle. Keeping healthy on the road is so important — after all, you can’t enjoy your time travelling if you spend half the trip in bed! And keeping yourself hydrated is one of the best ways to protect your health on the road, as drinking water helps you boost your energy levels and fight off infections.
To find the perfect water bottle to take on the road, there are a few things for you to consider. Firstly, if the gift recipient prefers to travel in hot climates you should try to find a bottle that’s well insulated, as this is what regulates the temperature of the drink. There’s nothing worse than taking a sip of your water to cool yourself down to find it’s turned lukewarm. If you want to splash out on a big brand, Chilly’s water bottles are popular, stylish and you can even buy a bottle with their favourite city on. But if you’re on a tight budget, my Wilko’s insulated water bottle costs just a fiver and after a couple of years it still gets the job done.
However, if you’re travelling to a country without safe drinking water, keeping hydrated can be pretty tricky. To make life easier for your favourite backpacker (and help them cut down on their single use plastic too), gift them with a filtered water bottle. Prices for these can range from £15 all the way up to £100, so you should be able to find one for your budget. Use this list from Water Filter Magazine to check out the best ones on the market.
- A Passport Cover
If the travel lover in your life is anything like me, the front of their passport will be almost unrecognizable. Obviously, a passport is an absolute essential for any traveller. As well as needing one to explore different countries, they can also be used as ID, and in some countries you need to show your passport when checking into accommodation. It feels like you need to take your passport out of your travel wallet every five minutes, so it’s no surprise that the cover can become pretty knackered in a short space of time.
To protect their most prized travel possession and add a touch of glamour to it too, buy them a passport cover. For a reliable choice that every traveller will love, this world map passport cover is perfect. It’s sleek, stylish, and it comes with matching luggage tags too! If you think that your travel bestie would prefer a minimalist design, this personalised passport holder is ideal. It’s simple, elegant, and you can even have their initials monogrammed in the corner. But my personal favourite is this cover from Etsy that will let your loved one explore their creative side. It allows your friend to personalise the cover themselves by stitching in the countries that they’ve visited. This is perfect for the friend who seems to have visited so many countries that they’ve lost count!
- A Travel Inspired Print
It might be a while before most of us can travel internationally again, so for the time being we’re stuck daydreaming about jetting off on our next adventure. To bring a taste of the world into their own home, treat your favourite globetrotter to a travel print this Christmas. There are so many different kinds to choose from, so you’re bound to find the perfect one for them.
To start with, check out Junique’s collection of stunning travel prints. There’s an enormous range of designs to choose from, and the quality is amazing for the price. You can buy the poster on its own, but if you want your gift to be ready to hang straight away, they have a good range of affordable frames starting at just £15.
As great as it is to have so many options available, sometimes you want to make your gift a bit more personal. If you’re on a tight budget but you still want to make your gift special, why not try making a display of your own? It’s cheap, it’s quick, and you don’t have to be artsy to do it either. A couple of years ago, I surprised my partner at Christmas with a frame consisting of vintage travel postcards of our favourite destinations, and he loved it. A 30cm by 40cm frame from Ikea only costs £8, and sets of travel postcards can be found on eBay for less than a fiver. Once they arrive, all you have to do is stick them in the frame and your work is done! It’s touching, heartfelt, and I can guarantee you that they’ll be so grateful.
- An eBook Reader
Between the long-haul flights and endless bus journeys, you tend to have a lot of free time when you go travelling. And what better way to spend it than getting stuck into a good book? Of course, if you’re away for months at a time, you won’t have the space in your backpack to pack the entire contents of your bookcase. So, allow your friend to save on space and treat them to an eBook reader. Who knows, maybe you’ll get a souvenir as a thank you for the gift and the extra luggage space!
This gift is a bit pricier, so you should only choose this option if you can stretch your budget. If you’re after a reliable and popular brand, you should check out the different options available at kobo.com. The cheapest option available is the Kobo Clara, which is currently priced at £89.99. It comes with ComfortLight PRO and it has the space for up to 6000 eBooks. Although there are more expensive Kobo readers available, the Clara has everything that a traveller needs, so I wouldn’t say it was worth paying extra for a seemingly better model. If you want to treat your backpacking buddy to their first book as well, purchase an eGift card so they can dive straight into their favourite novel.
- An Online Course
Does the travel lover in your life want to make money from their time on the road? Maybe they’re an aspiring travel photographer, or maybe they want to write about their experiences. If so, why not buy them an online course to help them achieve their dreams? Not only is this a really thoughtful gift, but hopefully it will pay off for them in the long run too.
There are a huge range of online course providers, which makes it very daunting to find one that’s legit and good value for money. From personal experience, I can highly recommend Udemy. There’s a huge range of courses, and there’s often a sale on so you can get some great discounts too. At the start of lockdown I purchased 4 courses for £30 in the sale, and I saved over £200! All the courses have reviews and are rated on a 5-star system, so it’s easy to see which course to spend your money on. If you’re looking for some inspiration, here’s a few highly rated courses for you to explore.
- Travel Writing: Explore the World & Publish Your Stories: With an average rating of 4.6/5 from over 1200 reviews, this travel writing course by David Fox is one of the best ones on the market.
- iPhone Photography: Take Professional Photos On Your iPhone: This course on how to take the perfect photo using just your iPhone has achieved an impressive 4.7/5 rating from over 40,000 reviews!
- SEO 2020: Complete SEO Training + SEO for WordPress Websites: If your loved one wants to get into travel blogging, an understanding of search engine optimization (SEO for short) is essential. I’m in the middle of taking this course myself and I can thoroughly recommend it! Arun has made it beginner-friendly, and it’s split up into manageable chunks too. With a 4.4/5 rating from over 11,000 reviews, this course is great value for money.
- A Notebook
Last, but by no means least, a notebook is one of the best possible gifts a backpacker can receive. Of course they’re going to take a bunch of photos, and they’ll never forget how much fun they had on their trip. But sometimes memories can become fuzzy and slip through the cracks in your mind. To stop that happening to your favourite backpacker, buy them a notebook for them to write down all their precious memories. This isn’t just a gift to be used whilst travelling — it’s something that they’ll treasure for the rest of their life.
This is a gift that will suit every budget — you can spend as much or as little on it as you want on the present. If you want to spend a little extra on your notebook, this personalised one found on Etsy is absolutely perfect. It’s extremely durable with a gorgeous minimalist design, and you can even personalise it by adding your loved one’s name and choosing a charm that you think they’d love. If you’re on a budget, these pocket notebooks from Waterstones are less than a fiver, and they’re ideal for making notes on the go. No matter what your budget is, you can’t go wrong with a gift as thoughtful as this.
Have you found the perfect gift?
Hopefully I’ve given you some inspiration for your quest to find the perfect gift for your favourite backpacker. Have you found the perfect present for them? Or maybe you’ve given in to the temptation and bought one for yourself? Let me know in the comments below!