Help a backpacker prepare for their world travels with a gift that'll come in handy on their exciting adventures.
My Top Gift Choice For Backpackers
Backpacking around the world is full of amazing experiences that create memories that last a lifetime. And while taking as many photos as you can is a great way to capture these moments, there's nothing quite like keeping a travel journal to truly be able to relive your travels for years to come. So getting a backpacker a classy looking travel journal like this one is a lovely gift idea, and one they probably wouldn't think of getting for themselves.
For some of us there's nothing more exciting than traveling the world.
As it opens your mind to new cultures, people, sights, smells, and experiences that make you feel alive inside.
So if you know someone with the wanderlust who is planning an exciting trip, it seems like a great idea to buy them something as a going away gift.
However, space will be at a premium in their backpacks, especially if they are planning on traveling for months at a time.
So when buying a gift for them, stick to things that that they will definitely use and that won't take up too much precious space inside their backpacks.
And to give you some great ideas of items that fit the bill, I've put together the following list of gifts for backpackers that they will find really useful.
1. A Full Size Backpack For All Their Gear
The most important thing they're going to need on their travels is a good quality backpack.
As this will be what they rely on to carry all their worldly possessions in as they move from country to country.
So they'll need one that is rugged enough to survive constant train, bus, and plane journeys, as well as any adverse weather conditions.
And it also needs to be comfortable to carry on your shoulders, and have enough compartments to keep your stuff separate, safe, and well organised.
Which makes the Osprey range of backpacks great gift options, as these are perfect for backpackers and travelers alike.
2. A Backpack They Can Take As Carry On Luggage
Another option is to buy a backpacker the gift of a smaller backpack that they can use as carry on luggage for the plane.
Because if they are a minimalist and like to travel light this can bring a few advantages,
As they can then avoid hefty checked luggage fees, long waits at baggage carousels, and the risk of the airline losing all your worldly possessions.
But even though these carry on backpacks are smaller, they can still fit a lot of stuff in.
And a good example is the Kelty Redwing 44 backpack.
As this one has 40 liters of space for all their stuff, and has separate pockets and compartments to keep things secure and organised.
3. A Day Pack That Doesn't Take Up Space
Our final gift idea for backpackers centered around bags is to get them a day pack bag.
As these come in super handy for keeping all their stuff in when taking a day trip or touring around a city when a bigger bag would be too cumbersome.
And a good choice for a gift is the Active Roots day pack.
As this one is waterproof, has enough space for all their essentials, and can be folded down so it takes up very little space in their main backpack.
4. A Travel Pillow For More Comfort
Having a travel pillow in your backpack can get you out of jail on many occasions when on the road.
As it can give your head a nice cushion to use to get some sleep on plane and bus journeys so you arrive at your destination feeling refreshed rather than tired and with a crook in your neck.
And you can also use it if you find yourself at a hostel or budget hotel with pillows that are too flat or hard.
Or even when camping or sleeping in tents too.
So they make for thoughtful gifts and one that could be a good option is the Infinity travel pillow.
As this one can be shaped and molded to suit a variety of purposes, such as for neck and lumbar support, or to sleep on or relax with.
5. A Blackout Sleep Mask
Another gift idea that can help a backpacker get some valuable sleep on their journeys is a blackout sleep mask.
As these masks give you the total darkness you need to block out the distractions from lights and people moving around that make sleep so hard to get on planes, trains, and buses.
And they will also come in handy for helping you maintain a deep and restorative sleep when staying in dorm rooms at hostels, where being woken up at all hours by your roommates is extremely common (and annoying!).
So your backpacker will love you for getting them one of these, with a good choice being the Manta sleep mask Pro.
6. A Pair Of Apple AirPods Pro
A pair of headphones will be an essential item in every travelers backpack.
As this will allow them to listen to their music, podcasts, or audio books when traveling on planes and buses, sitting on the beach, or walking around and exploring a new city.
And if they're noise cancelling headphones then that's even better.
Because they can use these to get some peace and quiet when in noisy environments, and this can be a big help when getting to sleep in shared dorm rooms in hostels, or at hotels with lots of traffic noise outside.
So a good pair of headphones makes for an ideal gift for a backpacker about to embark on a long journey, and you won't be able to top a pair of Apple AirPods Pro.
7. A Portable Speaker For Playing Music
Headphones are great, but there are also times when a backpacker will want to share their music with their new travel friends.
And this is where having a portable speaker comes in handy.
As this allows them to play their tunes at the beach, at barbecues and picnics, or simply when relaxing at their hostel together.
So getting them a small portable speaker such as the JBL Clip 3 makes for a really nice gift.
As this one is small and takes up hardly any room in their bags, but still packs a punch in terms of volume and sound quality.
8. A Kindle Paperwhite For Easy Reading
Having something to read as you travel around is vital for many backpackers, as this can make long journeys pass much more quickly.
And getting lost in a good book is also great if you find yourself traveling solo for a few days or want to spend some time alone.
However, the last thing you want is a bunch of paperbacks in your bag weighing your down.
So the better option is to use an eReader, as these are lighter than a regular book, take up less room, and can store hundreds of books at a time.
Which means a Kindle Paperwhite is another great gift idea for a backpacker that loves to read.
9. A Slim Travel Wallet For All Their Valuables
When you're traveling around to different countries all the time, your pockets will be full to overflowing with cash in different currencies, boarding passes, your passport, credit cards, and other documents.
So a great gift idea to help a backpacker keep all their stuff well organised, safe, and secure is to get them a travel wallet.
As this way they'll have everything in the same place and won't run the risk of losing something important.
And one that makes for a really attractive gift is the Bellroy travel wallet.
As this is made of a classy leather and has separate compartments for all their important stuff.
10. A Water Filter Bottle To Stay Well Hydrated
Staying hydrated is important when traveling, especially when traveling around hot and humid countries.
So the gift of a water filter bottle is a nice idea for a backpacker.
As they can fill this up as they go and always have a drink on hand when they need it.
So for a good one check out the Lifestraw Go Water filter bottle, as this has a filter that keeps the water safe to drink and helps them avoid tummy upsets.
And using one of these also helps them cut down on their usage of single use plastics too, which is good for the planet.
11. A Rain Cover For Their Backpack
When you're backpacking you are bound to get caught out by the rain at some point.
Especially when traveling through tropical climates where torrential downpours happen without warning and can leave you completely drenched.
So it's always good to have a rain cover for your backpack with you so you can at least keep your stuff dry.
And one of these makes for a great gift as it's something that many backpackers may forget to buy for themselves.
So get one that will fit their particular backpack, with a good example for Osprey backpacks being the Osprey ultralight backpack rain cover.
12. A Lightweight Rain Jacket
You'll want to keep your bag dry in an unexpected downpour, but you'll also want to try and stay dry yourself too.
So another gift idea is to get them a lightweight rain jacket that they can pull out of their bag when the rain starts pouring.
13. A Quick-Drying Microfiber Towel
Another essential item they'll want in their backpack is a microfiber towel.
As they'll need quick drying towels like this to use that they can pack back into their bags without making everything wet and stinky.
And these towels also come in handy for trips to beaches or waterfalls, as they fold up really small so don't take up as much space as a regular towel in your bag.
So for a useful little gift for a backpacker, you could get them one of these towels such as this one by Wise Owl.
14. A Warming Pocket Blanket
Another handy item for a traveler to have in their backpack is a pocket blanket.
As these can used to keep them warm on plane and bus journeys where the air con is a bit chilly.
Or when sat out at the beach after dark or around a campfire.
And they are also a godsend when you arrive at a hostel where the sheets and covers look a bit dingy and unhygienic too.
So for a small and simple gift for a backpacker, check out the Matador pocket blanket.
15. Packing Cubes To Keep Them Organised
A set of packing cubes can be a game changer for a backpacker.
As these give them a way of keeping all their things nicely organised, so no more frustratingly hunting through your backpack trying to find an elusive item.
And using these also allows you to fit more stuff into your backpack, which is extremely handy.
So while a set of packing cubes may not be the sexiest gift idea for a backpacker, it's one they'll find so helpful.
16. A Hanging Toiletry Bag
Having a bag to house all your toiletries in is another backpacking essential.
However, this is even better when it's a hanging toiletry bag.
As you can clip these to the back of the bathroom door to get easy access to your stuff wherever you staying.
So they make for a great gift for a traveler, with a good example being the Sea To Summit hanging toiletry bag.
17. A Backpack Protector Net
While the vast majority of travelers and locals you meet on your backpacking journey around the world will be good eggs, you'll also run in to some less savory characters too.
And unfortunately, petty thefts on buses, trains, and in hostels can be par for the course if you're not careful.
So why not get them a gift that can help keep their stuff safe and out of the hands of opportunistic thieves?
Because this is what the PacSafe backpack protector can do.
As it's a wire meshing they can put around their backpack that stops anyone getting inside it.
Giving them the peace of mind to just enjoy the journey, rather than worrying about anything else.
18. A Portable Power Bank
Gone are the days where a travelers backpack would consist simply of changes of clothes, toiletries, and a dog-eared Lonely Planet guide book.
Because a nowadays it will be full of electronic equipment, such as smartphones, iPods, Kindles, handheld games consoles, laptops, and whatever else.
So an extremely useful gift idea for them is to get them a portable power bank.
As this allows them to keep their gadgets charged up as they travel around and avoid the pain of a dying battery.
With a good choice for this being the Anker portable power bank.
19. A Universal Travel Adapter
Having a universal travel adapter is a must for backpackers that are traveling across many different countries and continents.
As having one of these allows you to plug into a socket anywhere in the world.
So they make for a good stocking stuffer, and one that does the job well is the Epicka universal travel adapter.
20. A Camera To Record All Their Memories
A good quality camera is a must for every backpacker, as you'll have so many amazing things you'll want to photograph each and every day as you travel.
Whether that's famous sights, incredible scenario, or new friends you meet on the way, taking plenty of photos is a great way of capturing the whole experience.
So how about buying them a camera that lets them do this as a gift? As this would be something they'd be so happy with.
And one that would be ideal for a backpacker is the GoPro Hero 8.
As this is rugged enough to withstand any bumps and accidents as they travel around.
And it also lets them capture action video shots too, so they can use this when hang-gliding, surfing, mountain biking, or whatever crazy and fun stuff they get up to.
21. A Travel Journal To Capture The Moment On Paper
When you're backpacking around the world, you'll no doubt take thousands of amazing photos that you can look back over for years to come.
However, while a great photo can evoke many happy memories and experiences, there's nothing quite like keeping a travel journal.
As this will record your most intimate thoughts and feelings at the time and allow you to relive your traveling experiences over and over again.
So buying a backpacker a classy travel journal like the one above as a gift is a wonderful thing to do.
22. A Pair Of Sunglasses
A lovely pair of sunglasses is a gift idea that will get plenty of use during a long backpacking adventure.
Especially for those that are traveling through sunnier climes.
And if you get them a pair of polarized sunglasses then it's an even better gift, as this will protect their eyes from any harmful UV rays too.
So pick out a pair of sunglasses in the style your backpacker likes and I'm sure it'll be a gift that is well received.
With the example above of a pair I think look pretty cool, which are the Oakley sliver stealth square sunglasses.
23. A Spot Headlamp
There will be times on a backpackers journey when they will need a flashlight to find their way.
Whether that is when trying to pack their bags early morning in a dark dorm room and not being able to turn the lights on as it would wake other people up.
Or when camping out in the wilderness and needing to pop outside the tent for a toilet break.
So they make for a handy little gift.
However, you could go one step further and get them a headlamp instead, such as the Black Diamond Spot.
As this will give them the light they need but also keep their hands free for doing what they need to do.
24. Book Them A Round The World Ticket
The more money you're able to save up for your travels the better.
Because this means more time on the road, more places they can visit, and the more fun and exciting activities they can do.
So if you're feeling really generous then how about treating them to their round the world plane tickets?
Because this will give them a bigger travel budget and will be a gift they will love you forever for.
Or if they've already booked their travel then you could just give them the cash to spend on the way instead.
25. Pay For Their Travel Insurance
Now I've left the most boring gift idea for backpackers until last.
But it could very well turn out to be the most valuable gift of them all.
Because not only does offering to pay for their travel insurance give them one less expense to worry about when planning their trip.
It will also ensure they are financially covered if anything serious goes wrong during their trip.
So this is a really caring gift that will give both you and them peace of mind as they travel around.
And when it comes to backpackers, the best travel insurance company to check out is World Nomads, as they offer coverage specifically for long-term travelers.
Embarking on a long backpacking trip is the start of an exciting adventure for any traveler who has been bitten by the travel bug.
So help them on their way with one of these gifts for backpackers that they'll find really handy along the journey.
As each one will be greatly appreciated, and I've tried to cover all the bases here so you can find the one that suits your favourite backpacker.