Christmas Gift Ideas For Travellers.

What To Pack For Your Gap Year

Looking for that ideal gift for the traveller in your life? Struggling to find something they would actually want or find useful on the road? Look no further!

I know many of the shopping centres and supermarkets have had their decorations up since mid October, but it really is December now and that means we can really start turning our mind to the best time of the year, Christmas!

Of course one of the best parts of Christmas (apart from getting presents of course) is actually giving them. The problem is what do you get for those travellers in your life who already seem to have it all and often have little need for random stuff?

Don’t worry, whether you have a perpetual traveller in your life or a loved one dreaming of taking a gap year, here are my suggestions for some awesome gift ideas they will love!

Vango Sherpa 60 + 10 litre backpack.

Vango sherpa

If you or a loved one needs an actual pack as a gift, then you really can’t go wrong with this beauty! Vango are a consistently strong brand and make great packs, whether you choose this or another one (dependent of course on your size, build and own packing needs) I would recommend them as a brand. This particular pack is the perfect size for the average traveller on an average gap year, has the standard back adjust system and enough padding in the right places which makes it comfortable to wear, and decent sized internal sections. Want one? Buy one here.

Water To Go bottle.

Water To Go Bemused Backpacker

Ever since I discovered these amazing water filter bottles I have taken one with me on every trip, because lets face it, in certain countries you just can’t always get access to clean, safe water. Bottled water is generally the answer but the cost as well as the carbon footprint soon adds up. These filter bottles are the perfect answer for those travellers who have an eco conscience as the water filter completely negates any need to buy or carry countless plastic water bottles on the road, they can make safe, clean and tasty drinking water from any water source and they can even be used as a normal sports bottle for city breaks or the gym by taking the filter part out!  Read a full review here and remember Readers of Bemused Backpacker get an awesome 15% discount with the unique discount code BEMUSED15 by buying here.

Sony Cybershot range camera.

There are plenty of amazing cameras out there and it can be a tough call to choose the best camera for travelling with. I have used a Sony camera in one form or another pretty much since the digital camera first moved beyond the very first 2 or 3 megapixel varieties. (Yes I have been travelling that long!) I have only upgraded a few of times over the last ten or so years, and for me they are perfect. They take consistently great shots with very little expertise needed and are small and compact enough to keep in a pocket. They aren’t as trendy as a go pro of course, but I’d much rather take really good shots of the places and things I am seeing rather than endless vain selfies at the end of an attention grabbing pole!


This is an absolute basic piece of kit for any backpacker, whether they use it on a night time mountain climb to see a sunrise or in the hostel at 3 am to avoid waking every other traveller up when sneaking in, they are an absolute must have item. They are also relatively cheap and are a great stocking filler. Buy one here.

Pacsafe or a Pacsafe cable lock.

Pacsafe mesh


I have reviewed Pacsafe’s before, and they are in my opinion an absolute travel essential for any backpacker. These Pacsafe backpack protectors and not only keep your loved ones kit safe on the road but gives you the peace of mind that you have contributed to reducing their risk of having their stuff nicked!  

Microfiber towel.

Microfibre travel towel review gap year

These towels are a basic essential in any backpackers kit and I absolutely love them. They’ll never be as comfortable as one of those huge fluffy ones at a luxury hotel of course but this is one instance where practicality wins over every other factor. It is small, lightweight, easy to pack and saves you the space and weight of having to carry around a traditional towel. It also dries ultra quickly, which saves you from having to  carry around wet or damp towels if you have to leave early. Craghoppers, Lifeventure or Trespass are all good brands to choose, and you can buy one here, obviously just choose the size that is appropriate for you.

Bemused Backpacker travel books!

Bemused Backpacker travel guides

Is 2015 the year one of your friends or family is setting off around the world? Are you planning to go yourself? These books make the perfect stocking filler for any of your friends or family who need advice, tips or inspiration to follow their own dreams of round the world travel, and they even make a perfect self gift to spoil yourself with! You can find the full range of eBooks and paperbacks here.

Waterproof Dry Bags. 

Craghoppers dry bag review

There are quite a few different brands of these out there and to be honest many are just as good as the others. Basically these are waterproof stuff sacks that not only keep your kit organised and separated within your backpack, but also keep it bone dry and protected from the elements. An absolute must have when travellers are heading somewhere in the rainy season or anywhere where there is a risk of being caught in the rain. Not the most glamorous of gifts I grant you, but any traveller will be eternally grateful to you when they find themselves needing to keep their stuff dry. Buy here.

E Reader.

When I first started backpacking paperbacks really were the only option if you wanted to read something in those long hours spent in transit or you fancied a lazy day in a hammock on the beach, and although the traditional book swaps in backpacker handouts were a romantic part of a bygone age of travel and a great way to find new authors, lugging round heavy paperbacks did add weight and take up space in your pack. E Readers have replaced all that and now you can carry a whole library in a small, light device! Trust me, if your loved one is an eternal traveller then they will love you for this! You can buy one here.

A good book. 

Sphinx Legacy cover

I can’t travel without a good book, and have always had a couple of good novels on me. If you want a bit of action and adventure to keep you entertained on the road as well as a ton of prose about Egypt to inspire a good dose of wanderlust, then you can’t go wrong with The Sphinx Legacy! Available in both eBook version on all formats as well as traditional paperback version, you can buy your copy here

Did you enjoy this article? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below or on my Facebook or Twitter pages and please feel free to share it with any or all of the social media buttons. If you want to get more great backpacking tips, advice and inspiration, please subscribe to updates via email in the box to your right.

Related Articldes

What to pack for your gap year.


This post is not in any way a sponsored post. Although affiliate links are used to help pay for the upkeep of the site, I received no compensation or incentive for mentioning these products in this article, they are simply products that I have used myself over a period of many years travelling – or in the case of my books, have written myself – and am happy to recommend them to you.  

Michael Huxley is a published author, professional adventurer and founder of the travel website, Bemused Backpacker. He has spent the last twenty years travelling to over 100 countries on almost every continent, slowly building Bemused Backpacker into a successful business after leaving a former career in emergency nursing and travel medicine, and continues to travel the world on numerous adventures every year.

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4 comments on “Christmas Gift Ideas For Travellers.
  1. Bree says:

    I love this list! That water bottle is especially awesome.

  2. I want the pacsafe and rolo! Yay!

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Hi, I'm Michael! I'm a published author, qualified nurse and world travelling professional adventurer! I have spent 15 years travelling over 100 countries and I want to inspire you to do the same! Want to know more about me? Just click here!

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