Serious travelers are funny creatures to buy for: they know exactly what they want to have with them when they travel, and, more annoyingly, exactly what they don’t. Some refuse to ever check luggage, some get very picky about the liters or kilos on them, and some don’t even have a home base to store a gift that’s not travel-ready. So if you are dead set against giving them cash or an Amazon card (which is probably what they want), here’s a guide to digital nomad friendly gifts.
For the traveler who’s trying to turn it into a career, and thus is banking their future success on their ability to communicate through social media, this book is a life-changer (life-saver?) I think it makes a better audiobook than something to sit down and read, because I think reading nonfiction is boring. This is a great gift for any traveler in your life trying to build a business or personal brand. Gift it to them on Audible, Kindle, or (do these still exist) as a physical book. The only reason this book didn’t make my list of 10 Books that Made My Life Better Written in the Last Decade is because I didn’t buy it until two days after this list came out. But it’s already changed my life and is entry #1 for my next list.
Don’t go out and just buy something, because camera setups are VERY personal. But a great gift for a traveler is whatever thing they feel their photography setup is missing: a custom or unique camera strap, a new DSLR bag, a stack of SD cards, a Dropbox or Lightroom subscription, an external hardrive, filters, photography lessons, etc.
Whether to HBO Now, Netflix, Kindle Unlimited, Hulu, Audible, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Vogue, their local newspaper or public radio station, etc, there are many types of subscriptions you can get for your traveler that they can appreciate from the road (provided they travel with the technology to use it). You can gift them a couple of months or a full year, depending on your budget.
A basketball game. The ballet. The museum special exhibit ticket that you know your traveler would never buy for themselves. A chance to see their favorite band. Get your traveler an experience instead of a thing. They don’t have to pack it, they’ll remember it forever, and there’s a high likelihood that this is more in keeping with their personality anyway.
Food & Drinks
Doesn’t necessarily have to be alcohol (although that’s typical). Provided they’ll have a decent chance to eat or drink your gift before they hop on the next plane, this can be a great, personal gift they can enjoy guilt free with no thoughts on how they’ll lug it to the next place.
Laptop Charger Backup
No, this is not a sexy gift. But if your traveler works on the road, a backup laptop charger might save their day, project, or even career. (And would have saved me from running around Cyprus for a day trying to figure out where to get one before a very important meeting…).
A luggage scale is especially helpful for the traveler who likes to stay right under the maximum allowable weight, or the traveler who bounces back and forth between big and budget airlines where the allowances can be different.
For this one, you may want to do some snooping and see if they already own some. But if they don’t, packing cubes can revolutionize a traveler’s life. They keep you organized, and they take up no room in your luggage, instead they actually create room. There are lots of different brands and styles to pick from (I have some from Rick Steves’ that were on sale and have lasted five years so far). And if your traveler actually does have some that are older, they may appreciate getting a fresh set or maybe some new colors that match their luggage.
Portable Power Bank
What can make a six-hour layover fly by? A fully charged cell phone with the knowledge you have three more full charges behind it. I use a power bank from Amazon Basics, but there are many styles and brands to pick from. Even if your traveler already has one, this is one item they’ll be glad to have a backup for.
I LOVE writing postcards. I HATE going to post offices in foreign countries to deal with getting the postage. I have a stack that I couldn’t mail in Cyprus because I bought them in North Cyprus, got in a fight with a mail lady, couldn’t find/forgot about going to a post office in Greece, and now I’m sitting in Bulgaria with two-month-old postcards that I still need to send.
I just learned about Postsnap, and I’m definitely going to try it out this week. You use your own photos and write a note, and Postsnap prints and mails it for you. Pros: your card actually gets mailed and it’s your own photography instead of something generic. Cons: it gets mailed from the UK.
You can buy your beloved traveler pre-paid credit and help them decide if they want to transition to this kind of service for their postcards long-term (or guilt them into sending you postcards at all…).
Because everyone, everywhere will find their feet cold one night, and they will be thrilled to pop on a pair on honest-to-goodness cozy, warm socks. This is luxury.
People who live (or practically live) out of suitcases can be super annoying to buy for. Hopefully something on this list sparked your interest, otherwise there’s still cash…
Do you have any other suggestions to add to this list? Post below!