2018 Holiday Gift Guide: Useful Travel Gifts for the Minimalist Traveler

The holidays are right around the corner, and we are so excited to bring you our third annual holiday gift guide, 2018 edition. This year, we are focusing on the minimalist traveler because that’s who we are and who many of you are as well. Our 2018 gift guide is once again organized by price point, so you can quickly find exactly what you’re looking for. We’ve spent the last couple of months scouring the web for the most useful and desirable travel gifts for the minimalist traveler and are proud to include a product of our own as well (see #25)! We hope this holiday gift guide helps you find the perfect gift for the traveler in your life, or at least serves as a useful guide to making your own holiday wish list.

Gifts Under $49

1. HERSCHEL STANDARD ISSUE TRAVEL SYSTEM ($39.99)

A quality set of packing cubes is essential to every minimalist traveler’s arsenal, and after testing out multiple brands and styles of packing cubes, there is one clear winner: the Herschel Standard Issue Travel System. This packing cube set includes three packing cubes of different sizes and a tarpaulin roll-bag that you can use for any wet items or dirty laundry. The quality is excellent, and the price is comparable to many lesser-known brands with lesser-quality materials that don’t last nearly as long as the Herschel system does. You can get the Herschel Standard Issue Travel System here.

2018 Holiday Gift Guide: Useful Travel Gifts for the Minimalist Traveler

2. WORKAWAY.INFO SUBSCRIPTION ($38.00)

Workaway.info is a subscription site where you can find workaway opportunities in countries all across the world. This is the ultimate dream lifestyle for many minimalist travelers who are planning for long-term travel without a definitely plan of where they will go or what they will do in each location. Workaway.info gives these types of travelers the opportunity to pick up short gigs in whichever cities they travel to, so that they can replenish their funds and extend their travels as long as they’d like. You can buy a Workaway experience as a gift for the minimalist and spontaneous traveler in your life for only $38.00 for an entire year.

3. FABFITFUN SEASONAL SUBSCRIPTION BOX ($49.99 $39.99)

We can’t tell you how many times we’ve heard female travelers tell us that their skin gets ruined every time they travel because they’re not able to maintain their at-home beauty routine when they travel. Contrary to what many people think, we think it’s a complete misconception that you can’t keep up your at-home beauty routine while on the road. One way to travel with high-quality beauty products without breaking the bank is with FabFitFun, a quarterly subscription box that contains well over $200 worth of products in each box for only $49.99 ($39.99 for your first box). I have found some of my favorite skincare and hair products in travel-size containers from this box, and I’ve been able to portion out the products from larger bottles into small, travel-size containers so that I can always travel with high-quality beauty products. AND FabFitFun is coming out with a box for men soon, so now you can spoil the lucky man in your life, too! Get your FabFitFun subscription or gift one here.

2018 Holiday Gift Guide: Useful Travel Gifts for the Minimalist Traveler

4. NEATPACK FOLDABLE DAYPACK ($23.95 $21.55)

Returning as one of our favorite minimalist travel products for a second year in a row, the NeatPack foldable daypack is a water resistant, durable backpack that folds into a small pouch, so you can easily bring a daypack with you on your travels without taking up space inside your larger backpack. We’ve brought this daypack with us to over 30 countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa, and have sent it to many family members and friends over the years as well, after seeing how much they loved it while traveling with us. Best of all, this daypack costs less than $25, and you can get an additional 10% off with our code ‘MVM10OFF.’ Read more about the NeatPack foldable daypack here or get yours here.

5. HOOTOO TRAVELMATE TITAN N300 ($42.99)

What if you could replace your entire travel gear bag of chargers, wireless routers, external batteries, and streaming devices with one small gadget? Well, you can. The HooToo TravelMate Titan N300 is an all-in-one wireless travel router, file hub, external battery, USB port, and charger in one. This isn’t just for the gadget nerd – it’s for any minimalist traveler who wants to simplify their gadget list as much as possible without sacrificing functionality. You can get the HooToo TravelMate Titan N300 here.

Gifts From $50 to $99

6. SOLO NEW YORK UNBOUND BACKPACK ($86.99)

The Unbound Backpack is one of the newest in Solo New York’s line of backpacks and one of our favorite travel backpacks for a short weekend trip. Since we’re bloggers, we travel everywhere with our laptops, and the Unbound Backpack has a unique laptop compartment that lays flat when opened. This makes the process of getting through airport security quick and simple, as opposed to some backpacks we’ve used that always caused us stress as we fumbled around all our other gear to pull our laptop out. In addition to the laptop compartment, the Unbound Backpack has three additional zippered pockets that help keep all our travel gear organized and minimized.  This is the perfect gift for the minimalist traveler who loves to have everything organized in their bag. You can get the Unbound Backpack here.

7. POCKET MONKII ($149.00 $99.00)

It can be a challenge to keep up your at-home workout routine while traveling, yet an important priority as you’re dining out every day and probably not eating as clean as you normally would at home. That’s where Pocket Monkii comes in. The company is calling itself the world’s most portable fitness device, and that certainly looks to be the case as it can fit in your pocket and allow you to do the same exercises you would do at the gym. While we haven’t tested this one out yet, we are looking forward to making it a staple in our travel backpack as we’re always looking for ways to stay healthy and in shape while traveling. You can get the Pocket Monkii here.

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8. JOBY GRIPTIGHT PRO PHONE ($59.95 $52.95)

We’ve been working on slimming down our camera gear equipment over the last year, and one gadget that’s really helped us be able to maintain the quality and flexibility we loved in our old photos while lightening our backpack load is the Joby GripTight PRO Phone. This flexible tripod works with any smartphone, and its quality design and materials ensure that you’ll be attached to your Joby gorillapod for a long time and your phone stays safe through all the convoluted angles and objects you decide to secure your tripod to. You can get the Joby GripTight PRO Phone tripod here.

9. GRAYL Ultralight Water Purifier Bottle ($59.95)

We have a bad habit of assuming all water is safe and drinking water from the tap on our travels without first verifying its quality. If you’re anything like us, the GRAYL Ultralight Water Purifier Bottle may be a lifesaver. This water bottle has a built in water purifier filter that kills 99.9999% of all viruses and disease-causing bacteria, so if you accidentally pour yourself a bottle from the tap out of habit, you know you’ll be safe. It’s also a great companion for long hikes, when you don’t necessarily know whether the natural water sources you hike across are clean, and you don’t want to carry liters of water on your back. You can get the GRAYL Ultralight Water Purifier Bottle here.

10. BAUBAX SWEATSHIRT ($89.00)

The BauBax Sweatshirt was designed for the traveler in mind, and BauBax has declared its outerwear to be the best travel outerwear out there. On the surface, BauBax just looks like any other sweater or jacket, but it cleverly incorporates 15 travel functionalities into its jackets, including a built-in inflatable neck pillow, built-in eye mask, drink pocket, passport, pocket, phone pocket, tablet pocket, power bank pocket, earphone holders, sunglasses pocket, blanket pocket, and more. You can get the BauBax sweatshirt here.

Gifts From $100 to $149

11. KOSAN GO TRAVEL DRESS ($125.00)

We loved the Kosan Travel Pack System we wrote about in our gift guide from last year so much and have really grown to become big fans of the company over the last year. Thus, you can imagine our excitement when the company decided to create a travel dress, designed for the minimalist female traveler. With 14 unique travel features, this dress looks simple and unassuming yet is packed with hidden compartments so that you can explore a new city with all your essentials on you – making for hassle free travel AND added security. We also love that it comes in two adjustable lengths, so that you can explore more conservative areas with your legs covered, but clip them up to a shorter length when you’re walking around in the scorching heat. You can get it on Kickstarter from now until November 30, 2018 and on the Kosan website thereafter. 

12. TROPIC MONSOON SNEAKER – THE ULTIMATE TRAVEL SHOE ($119.00)

Another crowdfunded product we love is the Tropic Monsoon Sneaker, which the company is calling the Ultimate Travel Shoe – for obvious reasons. This sneaker has four key functionalities that lets you easily reduce the multiple pairs of shoes you would otherwise bring on your travels to one shoe. Not only is it stylish and versatile, which makes it easy to pair with the rest of your wardrobe and wear to both formal and casual settings, but it also doubles as a running shoe, hiking shoe, and even water shoe. So whether you’re trekking around the Sahara Desert or chasing waterfalls in the Faroe Islands, all you need is one pair of shoes. This is the perfect gift for the minimalist traveler who is also always after the next crazy adventure. You can get the Tropic Ultimate Travel Shoe here.

2018 Holiday Gift Guide: Useful Travel Gifts for the Minimalist Traveler

13. LOCTOTE FLAK SACK II ($149.00)

We love our NeatPack, but if you’re traveling to a part of the world where pickpockets are a norm, you may want to consider getting a theft-proof daypack like the LOCTOTE Flak Sack II instead. The Flak Sack II is the world’s toughest travel bag, made with slash-proof material and a built in lock, so that you never have to worry about someone slashing open your bag while it’s on  your back or leaving it on the beach while you jump in for a swim. It’s also got a super sleek and stylish design that any minimalist traveler is sure to love. You can get the LOCTOTE Flak Sack II here.

14. AIRBNB GIFT CARD ($100.00)

Minimalist travelers don’t always want #allthethings, but all travelers need a place to stay on their travels. We love staying at Airbnbs when we travel because of the lower costs, authentic feel of staying in someone’s home, flexibility when traveling in groups, and personalized recommendations we get from the Airbnb owner. This is one of the most practical gifts you can give a traveler, and especially a more seasoned minimalist traveler who already has all the travel essentials. You can purchase your Airbnb gift card here or use this link to take $40 off your first Airbnb stay

15. KINDLE PAPERWHITE ($129.99)

Yet another repeat from our 2017 holiday gift guide (#11), the Kindle Paperwhite is an essential for the minimalist traveler. Although we’ve always been fans of holding an actual hard copy book in our hands, it’s just not the most practical solution while traveling. Many of my favorite books are much too thick to stuff into my backpack, and what usually ends up happening is that I return home from a trip with a book that looks like it was just thrown into a battlefield. We love the Kindle Paperwhite in particular because, let’s be honest, we already spend all day staring at a blue screen, so being able to continue reading off a screen without that harsh glare almost feels like a luxury. Plus, the Paperwhite is new and improved this year with twice as much storage and an added waterproof feature, so you can read your Kindle by the pool or at the beach without worrying about water damage. You can get the Kindle Paperwhite here.

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Gifts From $150 to $199

16. CHESTER TRAVELS: THE MINIMA CARRY-ON ($225.00 $185.00 $166.50)

We’re backpack people when it comes to travel because of the flexibility a backpack allows when running to catch your flight or hopping on and off trains while exploring Europe. However, we’re increasingly finding ourselves in situations where a backpack simply doesn’t cut it. For example, when we travel for a friend’s wedding and have to pack a dress for the wedding, another dress for the rehearsal dinner, our bridesmaid dress, heels, and then our “normal clothes” on top of that, it’s just too much. Our formal clothes get wrinkled and ruined, and we don’t have room for the other clothing and gear we want to bring. That’s where the Chester Minima Carry-On comes in to save the day. This small, carry-on suitcase has all the organizational components we could ever ask for, a super sleek design, and barely feels bigger than our travel backpack, yet keeps our clothes nice and organized and non-wrinkly. It also comes with a built-in, TSA approved lock, so you always have the peace of mind that your belongings are safe inside your suitcase. You can get the Chester Minima Carry-On here and use promo code ‘MVMTBLOG’ for 10% off your order.

17. NOKIA STEEL HR HYBRID SMARTWATCH ($179.95)

I never liked wearing watches, but when I had an opportunity to try out Nokia’s newest Steel HR Hybrid smartwatch, I was intrigued. While designed to replace traditional, bulkier running watches and health monitoring devices, I have found this to be the perfect travel watch. It constantly tracks your physical activity, sleep habits, and heart rate, and it is water resistant up to 50 meters, which means you never need to worry about damaging your watch if you wear it in the shower, get caught in the rain, or forget to take it off before you go snorkeling. It also notifies you of incoming text messages and phone calls, so you won’t miss any important communications when your phone is on silent in your backpack and your hotel is trying to reach you about an upcoming room cancellation or your mother just wants to know you’re still alive. Best of all, the long battery life only requires you to charge your watch about once a month with average use, so you won’t even need to pack your charger unless you’re traveling for more than a few weeks. You can get the Nokia Steel HR Hybrid Smartwatch here.

18. ZMODO GREET PRO DOORBELL ($165.99)

If you’re leaving for a long trip and concerned about the safety of your home while you’re gone, the Zmodo Greet Pro Doorbell will help quell all your concerns. When a visitor rings the doorbell, you will be able to answer on your phone from anywhere in the world and see the person standing at your door. You’ll also be able to speak to them, ask them for their name, and tell them where to place your package. You can get the Zmodo Greet Pro Doorbell here.

19. SONY WX220 CAMERA ($198.00 $195.93)

This pocket-size digital camera is probably the smallest camera you’ll find out there that performs better than a smartphone but isn’t as bulky as a DSLR. It has up to a 10x zoom, which makes it perfect for capturing travel moments from afar, and it’s able to retain its photo quality at that distance, which is rare for such a small camera. This is the perfect gift for the minimalist traveler who wants to capture beautiful photos but isn’t quite on the level of a professional photographer. You can get the Sony WX220 here.

20. SMARTWOOL GIFT CARD ($150.00)

We don’t usually include gift cards in our holiday guides (let alone multiple gift cards), but merino wool is such an integral part of any minimalist traveler’s wardrobe, that we are positive this is a gift that any minimalist traveler would love. Merino wool is the perfect material for travelers because it is lightweight, warm, and moisture-wicking, which means you’ll be able to wear your clothes for a few extra days since the moisture-wicking technology will prevent it from smelling, even after light hikes. Since merino wool products are a bit more expensive, we recommend sending a gift card of $150-200 to your favorite minimalist traveler to give them the opportunity to stock up on an entire outfit that they can wear on all their travels. You can purchase Smartwool gift cards here

READ MORE:  Cycling and Food Tour in the Heart of Slovenia

Gifts Over $200

21. THIS IS GROUND – MOD TABLET MINI ($295.00)

It’s easy to associate “minimalist traveler” with “backpacker,” but the Mod Table Mini is for the high-end, classy, minimalist traveler who values quality over quantity. This leather tablet holder and organizer will keep all your in-flight essentials neatly together so that you’ll never find yourself scrambling to pull out random items from different pockets in your backpack that you’ll need for the next 10 hours as you’re boarding a flight. While designed with the iPad mini in mind, the Mod Tablet Mini is perfect for any smaller tablet or a 5″ x 8″ notebook. There are also designated spots for your passport, phone, credit cards, and cash, as well as a magnetic insert to further assist in helping you stay organized (and, as a result, minimalist). You can get the Mod Tablet Mini here.

22. LUNYA 5-PIECE TRAVEL KIT ($298.00)

The 5-piece Lunya travel kit features the softest and most comfortable wardrobe for jetsetting around the world. It includes a pair of leggings, a muscle tee, long sleeve shirt, bralette, and brief. The neutral colors make it extremely easy to mix and match with each other or other items in your wardrobe to create multiple outfits out of only a few articles of clothing. This is the perfect gift for the minimalist female traveler who values comfort above all. You can get the 5-piece Lunya travel kit here.

23. DJI SPARK DRONE ($399.00)

The battle between wanting to capture awesome photos and videos on our travels and not wanting to pack a drone that’s going to take up 50% of our backpack space has been an ongoing one, until we discovered the DJI Spark. This is one of the smallest drones on the market, if not the smallest one, which makes it easy to pack and easy to carry to whatever destination you’re aiming to film, whether it is at the top of a mountain or out at sea. This is the perfect gift for the minimalist traveler who wants to capture beautiful overhead shots without sacrificing space in their backpack or creating bulk. You can get your DJI Spark here

24. KOSAN TRAVEL PACK SYSTEM ($399.00)

We first introduced the Kosan Travel Pack System to you in our holiday gift guide from last year (#21), and after using our 35L Carryall and 15L Daypack over the course of the last year, we knew we had to bring our favorite travel backpack back for this year’s gift guide. On most of our trips over the last year, we’ve traveled with only the 35L Carryall, as we have found it spacious enough for trips up to one month or longer. When Diana hiked Mt. Kilimanjaro and traveled around Tanzania and Rwanda for three weeks earlier this year, she brought both the 35L Carryall and the 15L Daypack with her, as she had to pack for the hot African summer as well as the freezing temperatures at the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, but otherwise we just use the 35L Carryall for our trips and the 15L Daypack at home or on shorter weekend trips. After traveling to over 10 countries with our Kosan backpacks over the last year, they are still in perfect shape and we have no concerns about beating our backpacks up as Kosan provides a lifetime warranty on all its products. You can read more about the Kosan Travel Pack System here or purchase yours here today.

25. 90 DAYS TO TRAVELING THE WORLD FOR FREE AS A TRAVEL BLOGGER COURSE ($497.00 $347.00)

Last, but not least, we are so excited to announce the launch of our first online course, “90 Days To Traveling The World For Free As A Travel Blogger,” on November 19, 2018. In this course, I’ll teach you the exact strategies I used and steps I took to save over $10,000 in travel expenses over the last 1.5 years. It’s for both the new travel blogger as well as the seasoned travel blogger who hasn’t yet stepped out of their comfort zone to secure partnerships with travel brands. You’ll learn everything from identifying your target niche and building a solid framework to your blog to strategically pitching to your favorite travel brands when you don’t yet have a high following. This is the perfect gift for the travel blogger in your life who wants to expand their travel experiences and reach an even wider audience with curated travel tips from the pros. You can pre-order the course now or sign up to receive email updates on the launch by clicking here.

We hope our 2018 holiday gift guide provides some inspiration for you as you go about your holiday shopping. As minimalist travelers, we are sure that the minimalist traveler in your life will love all 25 items on our list of useful gifts for the minimalist traveler. Happy holidays, and happy gifting!

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Hi, I’m Diana, the big sister in the sister duo. I left my job as an attorney in March 2017 to pursue the work-from-anywhere/travel-everywhere life aka The Dream. I blog about off the beaten trail travel destinations, adventure travel, immersing in local cultures, and publish plenty of travel guides for all you who are too lazy to plan your own trips. I’ve traveled to 53 countries to date, and some of my recent adventures include hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro, visiting a child I’ve sponsored for over 10 years in Rwanda, and exploring the Middle East.

17 Replies to “2018 Holiday Gift Guide: Useful Travel Gifts for the Minimalist Traveler”

  1. These all speak to exactly the type of traveler that I am and I would LOVE any of these useful gifts. That Fab Fit Fun box looks like such a good deal and that it comes with a lot of stuff. Thos Tropic Monsoon sneakers look pretty awesome as well. I’m putting these on my list for Santa to bring me this year.

  2. So many awesome gifts – I want them all! Love how you have put them into different price brackets. I think I would like the Workaway.info subscription, as you said it’s so handy for travellers on the move and has all kinds of work opportunities.

  3. So many great gift ideas. I love packing cubes and can never have enough of them. I have given these as gifts before and everyone has loved them. I need to look into that travel dress on kickstarter. I have seen it advertised and looks amazing. And that drone has been on my list for a while would not mind receiving that as a gift this year. Fantastic list.

  4. What I like about this list is that it covers different budgets too. I really like that travel dress (most of them are a little boring) so I’ll check it out. My boyfriend has been looking at drones for over a year but didn’t want a bulky one – you’ve given me inspiration! Good luck with your course!

  5. We are minimalist travelers and would love to get some of these as gifts. Workaway.info subscription is such an amazing idea. NeatPack foldable day pack looks so useful and convenient, apart from the fact it is water resistant. Managing camera gear is a challenge and what fun to get Joby GripTight PRO Phone. Just perfect to carry something small and get great results. The best for me would be an AirBnB gift card as even now when we are slow traveling Himachal Pradesh in India, we have used multiple AirBnB properties. I would share this holiday gift guide with our friends and family for them to select gifts for us in 2018 🙂

  6. As we get into the festive season and start looking for gifts for our loved ones this is a great post to help us with some top pics. Being a traveller myself The Unbound Backpack is one of the best backpacks I can see and would want as a present. It can get really confusing and looking for ideas but this post is helping chose the right gifts and giving those ideas thanks for sharing

  7. Earlier I used to carry lots of stuff in my luggage but now I have transformed into a minimalist traveler. Loved all your great ideas but they are so confusing as all of seem to look worth. Kosan lightweight black dress with useful pockets looks trendy and worth. Lunya 5 piece travel set is also in my wishlist.

  8. Omg yes these are totally the perfect gift for minimalist travellers. I myself prefer to travel extremely light, mainly always with just carry on so I really do not like too much stuff. The Herschel Standard packing cubes look awesome and I do love that they are not too expensive. I also appreciate the tarpaulin roll-bag for any wet items. I also have been totally avoiding buying a drone because of how pricey it is and also bulky…but am totally loving the idea that the DJI Spark is the smallest in the market. And that price point is actually not bad – I am used to seeing good quality drones from closer to $1k!

  9. I love how well rounded this list is! Totally great for people of all budgets, and I found myself going “oooh I want that!” quite a bit… Merry Christmas to me? Especially that sweatshirt, Flak Bag, and your course! Sounds like a lot of really great stuff. Thanks for the awesome list!

  10. This guide is perfect and so helpful! I love the drone and I actually didn’t realise that you could get such well-priced ones! The Lunya 5-piece travel kit is also so handy! Definitely going to use this as my Christmas gift guide 🙂

  11. What a nice and comprehensive gift guide! So many great ideas, useful and functional gifts that last long are the best kind of gift for Christmas or any occasion 🙂

  12. One day, I’ll indulge in a DJI Spark…but for now (and totally unrelated) that Pocket Monkii looks perfect! No more doing push-ups on concrete floors or scratchy carpets! That’s a pretty well-rounded gift guide 😉

  13. Wow this is the best gift list I have seen so far, the Kosan travel dress, no matter how expensive, it seems like the perfect travel dress. I liked the backpack by Solo New York, not sure if they’re available in India. I’ll save the list, just in case, I visit the states anytime soon 🙂

  14. There are some really neat things on this list that I want to check out for myself! (forget giving them to other people hahaha). Like that gadget that serves as a router, charger, etc. SO neat, and so affordable! That travel dress looks like a great addition too. Thanks for putting this list together!

  15. Love this gift guide full of unique items. I love the practicality of the Kosan dress and all backpacks as well. So glad to see Grayl water bottles on your list. Have them and love them as well. This is a really useful list. Thank you.

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