Gift Giving Guide for the Minimalist Traveler
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We are coming up on that time of year where people start asking you what you want for the holidays. If you’re anything like me you usually end up giving them a blank stare as you rack your brain for things you want. I’m not the type of person that makes lists of what I want and save it for the end of the year. Instead I buy things as I need them, leaving me little to ask for during the holiday season.
This year I’ve been trying to go more minimal in general, which is great for my everyday life and has left me feeling better as a person in general, but sadly it has made my problem of gift ideas even worse. My standard answer is that I really don’t need anything. But telling your family not to get you anything doesn’t always fly, so I’ve come up with a short list of ideas a minimalist traveler can ask for. Or if you know a minimalist traveler I hope these can help inspire some good ideas for this holiday season.
Camera equipment- Please note that these items can get pretty expensive pretty fast, so this might not be something to ask for from a friend or someone you know is on a budget. Take a look at what you have and what you need to update. I recently got a wide angle lens because I mostly take landscape shots and I’ve been getting into night photography. I’m also looking at camera hand stabilizers for videos, that would work with both my camera and my phone. Other items may include camera bags, filters, neck or shoulder straps.
Packing Gear- no matter how you travel you need good luggage to keep your items safe and dry. Take a look at your current gear and see if it’s time to replace anything. This will require more work on the travelers side as bags can be very personal and what might appeal to you might not appeal to others. There are a ton of new styles of bags that can keep you organized and even charge your cellphone (Check out Away Luggage here). If you do decide to ask for a new bag remember to be specific! There’s nothing worse than getting a bag you don’t like and having to play off the disappointment. Other things that might be helpful are solar paneled backpacks (check out companies like Birk Sun) or backpack covers (to protect all your stuff from the elements).
Charge It!- Charging your devices has never been easier now that you can buy a ton of products that will charge them on the side. Flashlights that charge your cellphone? Check! Solar panels that’s rest on top of your backpack that will charge you device over night? Check! No longer do you have to carry extra battery chargers that only do one thing, now you can bring one item that serves multiple functions. And isn’t that what we’re all aiming for in the end?
Companies like Voltaic sell solar panels that clip onto your backpack to charge during the day so you can charge your devices overnight.
Stocking Stuffers- I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I always bring a laundry soap bar when I travel. Check out my 6 Tips for the Female Traveler post to learn more. These small inexpensive bars are perfect as stocking stuffers. Another idea would be an underwater case for your phone. This way you can take photos and video of all your water adventures.
Another cool gift idea is the hp Sprocket, this small printer requires no ink and is easy to carry in you camera bag. It allows you to print out small 2x3 photos through a Bluetooth connection to your phone. It's easy to set up and creates a fun way to share memories with people you meet along your travels.
Gift Cards- I love gift cards! Or should I say I love gift cards to the right stores. I know some people don’t like giving them but honestly it’s a great way for me to really figure out what I need without the pressure. I can also save them up to get something that might be out of my price range otherwise. Remember that camera lens I mentioned in #1? That was bought using multiple gift cards to Amazon. They ended up covering over half the cost of the lens! If you’re into photography you understand my excitement.
This season I’m really trying to think hard about what I actually need. Getting things that don’t serve a purpose only add clutter and that’s exactly what I’m trying to eliminate. If you have any ideas to add please let me know in the comments below.