Everyone knows that one person. They seem perennially on the road, posting social media pics in front of far-flung landmarks, unable to attend Thanksgiving this year because they’re “on a remote island in the Philippines,” and always showing up to hangouts sporting a fresh tan.
If you know and love an avid traveller, then you know how challenging it can be to shop for them. How do you buy for someone who rarely puts down roots long enough to own home décor? How do you shop for someone who lives most of their lives out of a backpack?
In this post, let’s cover the five best holiday gifts for perpetual nomads. These are functional gifts that a traveller can actually use (i.e., you won’t find any bespoke atlases or shirts that say “Live, Love, Travel”). Best of all, each of these gifts is affordable and readily available online.
Sometimes, travelling means sitting next to a crying baby on a long-haul flight, or enduring a seatmate on the train who’s loudly conducting business via Bluetooth. A traveller can’t change their environment; they can only respond to it.
That’s why noise-cancelling headphones are such a godsend. They allow travellers to tune out the din around them, catching up on remote work or much-needed rest. You can find good noise-cancellers in high price ranges, but even affordable ones work like a charm. This year, consider giving the gift of peace and quiet.
Merino Wool Underwear
This is no ordinary pair of underwear – this is sweat-wicking, antimicrobial, breathable wool underwear that’s built for long journeys.
Avid travellers swear by their merino wool underwear. Because the material is breathable and antibacterial, it lasts for days, sometimes weeks between washes. (Yes, people have done the tests; the science checks out!) This allows travellers to pack less – a couple of pairs – and make fewer time-consuming visits to the laundromat. It might seem like just a pair of underwear to you, but to the travel enthusiast in your life, it will be a huge gesture of convenience.
A Collapsible Water Bottle
Staying hydrated on long journeys is a must. But who wants to lug around one of those coffee-can-sized water bottles, which consume inordinate space in a backpack?
Most travellers would rather opt for a streamlined, foldable hydration solution that they can neatly stow in the side pocket of a carry-on. Collapsible water bottles are relatively inexpensive (around $15), making them a fantastic stocking stuffer alongside merino wool underwear and headphones.
An Electronics Organizer and Portable Charger
This is a two-in-one gift that takes care of your traveller’s electronics.
Modern travel means carting around various charger cords and small electronics, which can easily get tangled or misplaced. An electronics organizer (it basically looks like a zip-up medic’s kit) allows travellers to categorize and secure their various electronic accoutrements. Modern travel also relies heavily on cell phones for navigation, communication, translation apps etc. Giving them a portable charger ensures that their lifeline will always have power.
If you’re feeling generous, consider making a “travel basket” with all the above. However, if you had to choose just a couple of these, go for the merino wool underwear and headphones –those are the most useful items on the list. Happy shopping!