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We’re approaching the holidays, which means that it’s gift guide season! This year, I’m highlighting awesome travel products as well as my favorite practical gifts for digital nomads and remote workers.
In this post, you’ll find two sections:
- Travel-related gifts for digital nomads or anyone who loves a little adventure
- Practical gift ideas that make remote work more comfortable
Oh, and if you stick around to the end, I’ll show you one of my all-time favorite and completely ridiculous travel gift ideas. Let’s get shopping!
Best Travel Gifts For Digital Nomads
In this section, we’ll look at popular travel gift ideas for digital nomads. Whether you’re jetting off for two weeks in Portugal, road-tripping the Florida-Georgia coast, or exploring the far-flung beaches of Uluwatu, these gifts are sure to delight.
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
If you’re a hiking enthusiast or planning to travel to destinations a bit off the beaten path, it’s a good idea to have a LifeStraw Personal Water Filter in tow.
I always travel with one and it’s small enough to keep in your purse or backpack. If you or your travel-loving friend ever end up in a situation without clean water, this handy little water filter could be a literal lifesaver.
Lewis N Clark Travel Lightweight Backpack
I bought this Lewis N Clark Travel Backpack before my first Asia trip because I wanted a super lightweight backpack for a day bag. I learned my lesson in Europe as I walked around with my uncomfortable tote bag for day trips, one shoulder always aching.
Also, have you ever tried riding a bike with a tote bag on one arm? Not good, friends. Not good.
This Lewis N Clark backpack has been perfect. I use it as a beach bag, a grocery bag, a laptop bag, everything. And it folds down to the size of a sock when you’re not using it – a fun party trick I like to show my friends again and again even when they don’t ask.
Floating Waterproof Dry Bag
The only time my Lewis N Clarke Backpack gets a break is when I’m going somewhere very wet, like on a boat tour in Ko Phi Phi or snorkeling in Komodo. Enter: the marvelous floating waterproof dry bag.
Drybags do exactly what they say they are going to do. They keep things dry. If you don’t want all your stuff to get wet, pop everything in a dry bag before your water-prone adventures. A great gift for a digital nomad who loves the beach!
Reusable Silicone Straws
Show the environment some love by ditching plastic disposable straws and grabbing your own reusable straw here so you always have one on the go. This set comes with five straws so you can share with your fellow travelers on the road. These make excellent practical travel gifts for nomads that are good for the environment too.
Hydro Flask Reusable Water Bottle
Same concept as above! Having a reusable water bottle can help you reduce plastic waste and save money while traveling. For too long, I used a ratty plastic bottle with a peeling label that looked like it had been run over by a dump truck.
Don’t do that to yourself. Get yourself a nice water bottle that you’ll actually enjoy using.
I like these bottles by Hydro Flask because they actually keep your drink hot or cold, for a ridiculously long time! One time, I brought cold water to the beach in a hydro flask and left the bottle out in the blazing equator sun for four hours. When I took a sip, it was as cold as if it had just come out of the fridge!
BUBM Travel Electronics Organizer
If you work online you’ve probably got enough electronics in your backpack to start your own tech company. Or is that only me?
If your digital nomad packing list includes a ridiculous number of cords, wires, and chargers, don’t cram them into side pockets in a last-minute packing panic. Instead, grab this sleek travel electronics organizer.
Even if I’m just going away for a night or two, having a designated place to store my portable charger, external hard drive, travel adapter, sim cards, SD card, and other electronic devices has been game-changing for my organization and packing skills.
You can read my full review of my favorite travel electronics organizer here!
Thank You Cards
My grandmother told me to always travel with thank you cards. When my grandmother gives advice, like how to make the perfect grapefruit juice cocktail or how to tread water for a ridiculously long time in case one gets thrown off a cruise ship by a Bond villain, I listen.
You never know when someone on the road is going to go above and beyond on your behalf. You may just want to say thank you to an extra nice homestay host or to the barista at your favorite cafe who always gave you an extra little cookie with your coffee.
Thank you cards are one of those things you don’t realize you need until you need them. They make great gifts for hosts when traveling. They weigh virtually nothing and can even slide into your laptop case, easy peasy.
I love these cute thank you cards, but also I’m about to order five packs of these sassy ones which everyone should have just for life in general.
Speakeasy Travel Scarf
Speakeasy Travel Scarves are stylish and functional because they come with a hidden pocket! I hate lugging a purse around, so it’s pretty cool that Speakeasy lets you store your valuables in your scarf!
In addition to being so dang practical, these scarves come in adorable, funky, and classic patterns and colors. A great gift idea for your digital nomad friend or family member.
Clever Fox Travel Planner
The Clever Fox Travel Journal has pretty much everything you could need to keep your adventure organized. It has a durable cover that comes in nine fun colors and inside, you’ll find space to document the details of five separate trips.
In addition to packing lists, journal prompts, booking information, and calendar pages, this travel journal has helpful sections with communication symbols and a world map to track your journey.
You can read about more travel journals in this post!
Eagle Creek Packing Cube Set
Really. Packing cubes? You’re recommending packing cubes? How original.
I’m just gonna leave these Eagle Creek Packing Cubes here in case you want to upgrade your packing cubes to the best ones I’ve ever used. Just saying.
For reference, In my 44L Bag, I use two large cubes and one small cube and they fit together perfectly.
Merino Wool Anything
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably noticed that I’m wearing the same green tee shirt in almost every photo. That’s because it’s merino wool and it’s my favorite. It dries super-fast, it doesn’t wrinkle and it just generally holds up very well to tough travel usage.
Merino wool shirts are more expensive, but they last longer and are more sturdy than your average tee shirt, so for me, it’s been worth it.
Here’s an example of what I mean. In the second picture above, I put my Merino wool shirt to the test by climbing +1,200 stairs in the Thai humidity!
About 5 minutes after this picture was taken, the shirt was completely dry and looked as fresh as it had at the bottom of the mountain. Now that’s a shirt that’s got your back!
See my favorite brand of Merino Wool products here!
Noise Cancelling Headphones
A solid pair of noise cancelling headphones can make long travel days much more manageable. These wireless bluetooth headphones from Sony have over 13,000 five-star reviews and they’re lightweight, making them an easy addition to your carry-on.
Solar Power Bank
How cool is this solar-powered charging block? I can think of so many times when this portable power bank would have come in handy! This charger uses four solar panels to fuel up a battery pack that can be used to power your devices.
As far as digital nomad gifts go, this one could be one of the most practical, especially if you’re traveling in an area prone to power outages.
We use our portable speaker all the time while traveling! It’s small, lightweight, durable, and perfect if you’re hiking, going to the beach, or just want to liven up your day with some tunes.
This one is a bit unexpected but super handy! A Chromecast is a device you can plug into the back of the TV and stream shows directly from your smartphone. It basically turns any TV into a smart TV.
Chromecast is compatible with any streaming service you have on your phone and it can also be used to display pictures and videos from your camera feed. Just plug the Chromecast into the back of the TV in your hotel, hostel, or Airbnb, and you’ll have access to all your shows instantly.
if you haven’t gotten on the Kindle train yet, I highly recommend giving it a try.
I know, I know, I love paper books too. I love the feel of paper books, the smell, the weight, all that. I get it. But you can’t carry an unlimited pile of paper books with you unless you’ve got a magical Mary Poppins bag. (If you do, please tell me where you got it because I need one!)
Kindles are great ways to carry all your books in one tiny lightweight device. You can also use a service like Bookbub to find temporarily discounted and free books for download. Fun!
GoPro HERO Black
Okay, obviously a GoPro is a huge gift to give someone (or yourself), but for adventurous travelers with an eye for video, a GoPro is an awesome investment. The newer models even have waterproof bodies so you don’t have to buy a separate casing to use it underwater.
GoPros make incredible travel, photography, or surfing gifts for anyone who wants to capture their outdoor explorations with beautiful quality.
I got my first GoPro in Bali before my trip to Komodo because I knew we would be snorkeling and I’m sooo glad I did. Why? Because of this.
Since then, I’ve upgraded to a GoPro HERO 9 and I love how it has a front-facing camera and advanced stabilization. The video quality is outstanding and it’s a handy little device that takes up almost no space.
Best Work From Home Gift Ideas
In this section, we’ll look at some of my favorite work from home gifts and tools. For me, these items were total game-changers. I hope they can help make you and your loved ones more comfortable and productive too!
Roost Laptop Stand
Working online can be hard on the body. Remote work might look like lounging on beaches, frolicking through lavender fields, and hiking waterfalls, but the reality is that a ton of time is spent behind a computer screen. And sitting at the computer all day is a recipe for sore muscles.
Using a laptop stand like this one by Roost puts the computer at a better height for long-term use. It also folds down super tiny and is lightweight for travelers.
I have this laptop stand and I use it all the time! It is so helpful for long hours of writing at the computer and it’s been a great addition to my online ESL classroom setup.
Padded Lap Desk
Even if you have a delightful home office setup, you’ll probably end up working on your computer from your couch, your bed, or other unideal locations from time to time.
A padded laptop lap desk that adjusts to different heights improves your posture, even when you’re working from an untraditional office space (aka, in your bed, laptop in one hand, bowl of spaghetti in the other).
I bought this lap desk when I was working from home during lockdowns and I was so impressed with how nice it was, especially considering the low price point. The bottom padding is comfortable, it adjusts to different angles, and I like how it has a lip at the bottom so my laptop doesn’t slide around.
Compare lap desks on Amazon here!
Blue Light-Blocking Glasses
If you or your loved one spends a lot of time on the computer, consider grabbing a pair of these blue light blocking glasses.
Between working online and blogging, I get more than my share of screen time. As a result, I sometimes get headaches and eye fatigue. But that improved dramatically when I started wearing blue light blocking glasses.
Now, I use them almost any time I’m on the computer. These glasses from Trust Optics are super lightweight and comfortable! I also have prescription glasses from Zenni with blue light blocking lenses.
Selfie Ring Light
If you do video calls while working from home, a Selfie Ring Light can make your home office set up look more professional. A ring light clips directly onto your computer and provides extra brightness on your face – perfect if you don’t have great lighting in the room you work from.
This selfie ring light is great for teaching English online and I also use it for Zoom calls and meetings.
Back Massage Stick
Even with the best tools in the world for posture and comfort, it’s still tough to be on the computer for long stretches of time. Loosen up your back and other sore muscles with the Back Buddy massage stick.
This tool is designed to help you reach tight muscles and trigger points so that you can release tension and feel more comfortable after a long day of work. It also comes with a guidebook that shows you how to reach each spot.
Adulting Note Pad
Adulting is hard. With this notepad, it’s a bit easier. Meant to be a funny way to keep track of your day, this “Adulting To Do List” makes a fun, lighthearted gift.
It includes sections like, “errands I can’t ignore anymore” and “People to contact reluctantly” so you’ll get more done and get a chuckle doing it.
Does your desk look like a tangle of cords and wires? Guilty. But having a designated charging station can help reign in the heaps of tech devices that seem to have a mind of their own. These charging stations come with several slots and a variety of charging ports to keep things organized.
The Most Ridiculous Travel Gift of All Time
Just for fun, I have to show you guys this OSTRICH PILLOW. Um. What?
Let’s all take a minute to talk about this ostrich travel pillow. I think you like, stick your head inside it and maybe your hands and try to nap? That’s what the people are doing in the pictures online.
Is it portable? Is it practical? Of course not. Pretty sure this would take up 90% of my bag.
While this may not be one of the most practical gifts for travelers, I’ve almost convinced myself it’s worth it.
I mean can you imagine how amazing this would be on a long flight? In a noisy guest house? Anywhere in the world when you just want some peace?
I love it. I love it so much.
Final Thoughts: Best Gifts for Nomads, Travelers, and Remote Workers
I hope this gift guide has given you some fun ideas for the travelers and remote workers in your life. What’s the best travel gift you’ve ever received? Let me know in the comments!
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I remember your grandmother saying that if you tread water for 12 hours you will lose 20 pounds. Is that how she perished?
I am very excited about all these gift ideas. You make shopping fun. You make everything fun.
My grandmother sure is full of good advice! 🙂
Many great tips! 🙂
Such a great list of gift ideas. I especially liked the reusable straws. They are especially useful here in South East Asia where they waste a lot of plastic.
Thanks for sharing!
So true!! I know it’s a small thing but it really does add up! Plus the reusable ones just feel and look so cool haha! 🙂