As rather minimalistic travelers, we always say that “less is more”. Carrying around less things indeed gives you more flexibility of movement, and more power to improvise. Still, like most regular human beings, there is some stuff we do like. We are fond of certain gadgets that keep us entertained during our trips, as well as other travel accessories that have provided us an increased level of comfort while on the road.
With the holidays around the corner, we thought we’d suggest to you some of the travel related accessories we own. If you are looking for original ideas to gift to any travel lover out there, these may come in handy. We have included a variety of things, from practical, to fun, to truly meaningful, and they are all objects or services that we use regularly, trust and would recommend.
Browse our suggestions and join Backpack ME’s Xmas Giveaway below. We’re giving away a bundle worth more than USD200, including:
- 1 Handpresso Black Hybrid Pump to make espresso coffee anywhere you are;
- 1 Trtl Pillow to make your trips way more comfortable;
- 1 Sawyer MINI Filter to enjoy safe drinking water during your adventures;
- USD45 donated in your name to Diksha School in India, to cover education + food + clothing + healthcare for 1 child in India during 3 months!
These are The Best Gifts for Regular Travelers
Follow the orange links for further info, prices and purchasing options
Before heading on our travels 5 years ago, we did A LOT of research on what type of luggage we should buy. After comparing some of the available options out there, we decided to buy a versatile bag that could not only be used as a backpack, but also as a carry-on. The Osprey Meridian backpack has straps so that it can be placed on your back in a more “traditional” way, but it also has wheels that allow you to pull the weight on most surfaces, avoiding straining your back. After rolling around our Osprey Meridian backpacks for all these years, we can’t help but wonder why some folks still use good ‘ol backpacks on their shoulders, which cause an incredible amount of strain on their bodies. These packs are practical, healthy and very durable too!
Getting some sleep during a flight is no easy task! There is no shortage of travel accessories that are supposed to help you feel comfortable so that you can rest while you travel. But the truth is that most don’t actually help your posture that much. Trtl Pillow is the most supportive travel pillow we’ve experienced until today. Instead of consisting of a ball of fluff around your neck, this scarf looking accessory has a strong structure meant to keep your neck in place while you rest. read our full review of the Trtl Pillow here to understand why this is a healthier option than most travel pillows out there.
Another of our must-haves during flights are compression socks. We may sound like old people saying this, but trust us, these make all the difference when you are up in the air for a solid amount of hours! Wearing compression socks reduces swelling in your feet and legs during long flights and improves your circulation. These aren’t only a matter of comfort, but also of good health! So if you are pulling a traditional move this Christmas and you want to gift a loved one socks.. make sure you add a special touch, and choose compression socks instead!
Simply put, this is the simplest and most reliable way to obtain drinking water during your outdoor adventures. Instead of carrying with you plastic bottles of water, which you will end up running short of eventually, choose to carry around a mini filter instead. With the Sawyer filter you can get water straight out of Nature (ponds, lakes, rivers, etc.), filter it, and turn it into safe drinking water in no time! It’s straight forward and sustainable, and as long as you are near a water source, you will never run out of supplies! See the photos from when we tried out the Sawyer MINI Filter in Patagonia.
If you have water… why not make coffee too?! We’ve owned a Handpresso for about one year, and we are such great fans! This pump based system allows you to make espresso coffee wherever you are, as long as you carry some hot water with you. You produce the pressure needed to make an espresso by manually pumping the handpresso. There is no waste of any sort, as this machine uses regular ground coffee, and not one of those wasteful coffee capsules that seem to be so popular these days. We have the Handpresso Outdoor Espresso Set, which includes a cute set of unbreakable coffee cups, as well as a robust flask with a thermometer which indicates if the water you stored in there is still hot enough. The handpresso is one of the coolest travel accessories we own, and one we have used in all sorts of situations: during road-trips, picnics, at home when we rent an Airbnb that doesn’t have a coffee machine, and even in hotel rooms in parts of the world where espresso coffee is not readily available.
Another fun addition to our travel accessories this past year was the Fujifilm Instax. This camera is small and light enough so that it won’t add much space or weight to your existing luggage. You can click photos and print them on the spot. For us, the Fujifilm has proven particularly interesting in developing countries, where call phones and selfies may not be that common yet. You can make friends during your travels, click a photo with them, and gift them a print out right away! Being an instant photo camera, you can only imagine the awe some kids will experience when they see a white piece of paper coming out of the camera and, instants later, observe how their very own faces suddenly start appearing on the paper. It’s almost like magic, guaranteeing a fun moment, which both children and adults will enjoy!
The latest GoPro we own is the HD Hero 4 Silver Edition. It is ultra light, water-proof and provides incredible image quality. This version of the GoPro also has a view finder, making video shooting and photography much easier than in the previous version of this popular gadget. Considering its size and the quality of the images you can obtain with it, it’s an ideal camera for most travelers, and even more so for those who have a thing for adventure! The GoPro comes with mounts so that you can place it on a bike, car, surfboard, etc. Thanks to its size and shape, this is also a great option for when you want to film somewhere and you want to keep a low profile.
If you like reading when you travel, or know a book worm you’d like to make happy this Christmas, keep the Kindle in mind! You can have pretty much all the books in the world inside one device, without having to carry around all their corresponding weight. This is something any regular traveler who likes to read will appreciate! And if you want to take the Kindle experience to the next level, read about our little secret to get all Kindle ebooks way cheaper than the unusual prices…
If you’d like to make a meaningful Christmas gift that involves no actual objects, consider making a donation in someone else’s name. By donating this way to a good cause of your choice, you are actually making a double gift: to the person you love + whoever may benefit from your donation. We do not normally support big NGOs where they spend lots of money on advertising, because in such big operations you can never be sure of what percentage of your donation actually reaches the cause you would like to make a positive impact upon. Following this logic, we favor smaller operations which we have seen do make an impact on individuals’ lives. For healthcare support for those in need, we recommend donations to Watsi.org. If you’d like to make sure an Indian child in need gets an education, you can also support Diksha School near New Delhi, where a small amount of USD15 covers the entire education, clothing, feeding and healthcare needs of a kid, for an entire month. We visited this school on our last trip to India, and we can guarantee you that whatever amount you can give will be put to extremely good use!
This draw is open to everyone. The gifts will be shipped to you no matter where in the world you are! For a chance to win, all you have to do is:
1 – Subscribe to the Backpack ME newsletter Enter your email in the form below
2 – Leave a comment on this article and tell us what your top travel destination for 2017 is, and why! Ex: I really want to visit Seoul next year, because I am addicted to Korean BBQ and I can’t wait to try the real deal!
Entries are valid until the 25th of December.