Home Backpacking Tips 10 Useful Items Every Backpacker Needs as a Gift!

10 Useful Items Every Backpacker Needs as a Gift!

by TheWanderingQuinn

Some links in this post contain affiliate links including amazon associate links. I receive a small commission if you use the links at no extra cost to you.

If you are looking for a gift or present to by the backpacker in your life then you may be struggling for ideas as really, backpackers do not want to take too many things with them do they!

Plus, many of the  Gift Guides for Backpackers online are full of really nice products and ideas but I tend to find that they’re either products that are not actually that useful and can be a bit of a waste of money, or there’s too many options in the list to choose from!

That’s why I wanted to share with you just 10 items that are perfect for the backpacker or traveller in your life, or for you if you just want to treat yourself.

Gifts for Backpackers

They’re not particularly glamorous but they are useful and the prices of them range from a bit of a splurge to pretty cheap, perfect for stocking fillers!

I’ve been backpacking full time for 2 years and all of these products are things I have used pretty much everyday and I am so happy with them which is why I’m recommending them as the perfect products to buy for the traveller in your life as a gift.

1) LifeStraw Bottle

This is revolutionary! Everyone is so focused on reducing plastic right now and rightly so but what happens when you’re in Countries where you can’t re-fill that pretty, re-usable water bottle straight from the tap (aka in most of the world!).

That’s where this water bottle comes in because it has a filter straw in it so you can fill it up in any water source – from the normal places like bathroom and kitchen taps to rivers and lakes and even puddles (I haven’t tried the last 3 yet just FYI!).

I’ve found that not only has it reduced me buying bottles of water at all and therefore throwing away plastic bottles, it has meant I don’t need to spend money on bottles of water (the cost of water does add up), but it’s so much more convenient. 

Without this bottle every traveller has to constantly think about where and when they’ll next buy water and make sure they have enough for the morning or for that train journey but with this bottle you can fill it up anywhere that has a water source. I just fill mine up in my bathroom.

If you’re wondering how it works, it has a filter at the top of the straw that does need changing. I read that LifeStraw initially said this filter lasts 3 months of constant drinking (3-4 litres a day) but has since said it will last a lot longer, one review I read said up to 1 year but LifeStraw also say up to 4 years of constant use!

Basically once the filter is done you’ll no longer be able to suck any water through the straw which is when you’ll know it’s finished and you can purchase another small filter to go into your original bottle. There’s no need to worry about drinking water through the filter once it’s finished.

I promise you, if you know someone or you yourself are travelling to Asia, Africa, the Middle East, South or Central America or even parts of Europe where you cannot drink the tap water, this is the best gift you could get them to help with the environment and ensure they don’t have to buy any water when they’re travelling! Win, Win!

Read my full review of the Lifestraw Go here!

How Much? From £41.95 depending on the colour.

Shop Amazon UK Here! / Shop on Amazon US Here!

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lifestraw bottle for travel


2) 2 in 1 Adapter & Power Bank Charger

These days with the amount we use our phones and the not-so-long-lasting battery life of our phones, every traveller needs to be carrying a portable power bank charger with them!

Being able to charge my phone during the day without going back to my accommodation or knowing that even on a 18-hour journey I can go on my phone as much as I want as I can charge it and charge it again, is not only great for my entertainment and social media use but it’s so much safer!

There is nothing worse than having a dead phone with no map when you arrive after a long overnight journey because you used the battery earlier in the day! This would be a great gift for family travellers so the kids never end up with a dead iPad!

However, the only issue with portable power bank chargers is remembering to charge them and often with limited plug sockets in hotels and hostels this can be hard and easy to forget.

What’s worse than a dead phone? A dead phone AND a dead portable charger that you were relying on!

That’s where this 2 in 1 adapter and power bank charger comes in which I have been using for most of this year! The battery pack has 2 USB plugs on it and it has 2 pins for the Asian plug socket built in, in addition to this it comes with 2 extra adapters for Europe (which India uses too FYI) and for the UK!

I plug this into the wall to charge my phone at night just like I would with any other adapter or plug socket but the difference with this is that the battery pack also charges whilst it is in the wall and charging my phone. So in the morning when I take it out of the wall I have a fully charged portable battery pack! Genius!

This is a game changer and is not only the best battery pack charger for travellers but it is perfect for day to day use at home too!

How Much? £18.99

Shop on Amazon UK Here! / Shop on Amazon US Here!

pisen international charger and power bank


3) SunGod Adventure Sunglasses

These sunglasses have been my to-go for the last few months!

Usually I wear fashion sunglasses from Accessorize or something like that because ‘adventure’ sunglasses are usually pretty ugly and I wondered what was different between these and my usual sunglasses to make them perfect for adventure.

As it turns out, everything.

They’re so unbelievably light and feel really robust, not like the filmsy metal of my fashion glasses, this is because they have been made with trademark material to make them lightweight, flexible and long lasting.

They have 100% UV protection and scratch resistant lenses. They fit my head well, they don’t fall down my nose at all, they don’t leave a print on my nose after being on all day, they sit on my head well when I put them up and not only this but you can choose the glass shape and style!

I have the Sierra Style in Black Matte Frame, Polarised Smoke Lenses and Brushed Gold Rose Icons. Check Out My Exact Design Here!

In addition to this SunGod have a lifetime guarantee so if they break or you break them, SunGod will replace them free of charge!

Basically if you know someone going off to a sunny Country and you want to get them a useful and stylish product that they will use everyday.. these SunGod Glasses are it!

How Much? £75.00 inc P&P

Shop SunGod Sunglasses Directly on their Website Here!

Sungod sunglasses


4) Amazon Fire / Kindle

I had wanted a Kindle for awhile but I had resisted it a lot. I love reading when I’m travelling and I think its such an important thing to do and although I would weigh my bags down with big books I liked the idea of having a physical book and was reluctant to give this up and go digital, I know many other people are the same!

Another thing that put me off was the price of a Kindle, some are over £100.00, that was too much for me!

Then I thought about getting a tablet, the same size as a Kindle where I could just use the Kindle app and it would be a Kindle!

Luckily I came across Amazon Fire which my parents got me for Christmas last year. It’s half the price of a Kindle and a lot more versatile as it is a tablet where you can access the internet, play games, download loads of apps and so much more.

Although I do not use it for any of this and only use it for the Kindle app I love that I basically managed to get a Kindle for half the price and the ability to do so much more on it if I wish.

Related Post: Pro’s & Con’s of an E-Reader and the Best One for Travel!

I got the 7 inch Amazon Fire in Yellow which is a perfect size. It’s light too with a good battery life (I also charge this via the 2 in 1 adapter and portable charger!) and best of all I actually really like reading books on it and the switch from an actual book to a digital one wasn’t that hard!

I like that I can log onto my Amazon account and order any book I want and it will download on the Amazon Fire when it’s connected to WiFi and I can read in the dark without the use of a light or torch!

This is such a good gift for a backpacker!

If you want to download a book for them or buy them a book, check out my recommended Best Backpacker Books here!

How Much? £49.99

Shop on Amazon UK Here! / Shop on Amazon US Here!

Amazon Fire

5) Wire Organiser

This is probably the least glamorous item in this list but ooh wow is it useful!

I, along with a lot of other people these days, travel with quite a bit of tech- phone, laptop, cameras, tablet, chargers, which creates the need for a lot of wires!

In the past I’ve shoved these wires into a make up bag or a plastic bag but they get tangled, I don’t know quickly which one is which and there’s not much protection. So I decided to get a wire organising case and it has been so so handy!

It’s not only been handy when backpacking in the last few months but I took it on all of my short European Breaks this year and I used it as my wire organiser at home instead of having all the wires tangled in a draw!

All of my wires fit inside perfectly as well as all of my adapters and it compresses them surprisingly well. Now I know which loop holds which black wire for which product meaning it’s easy to access the right wire all of the time and keep them safe!

How Much? £7.79

Shop on Amazon UK Here! / Shop on Amazon US Here!

wire organiser for travel

6) Insect Bite Pen

Also pretty unglamorous but so handy and something that will certainly start a conversation.

It’s pretty revolutionary actually and I totally get that it sounds a bit weird, but essentially if/when you get an insect bite (travellers usually get bitten alive by mosquitos!) you place the end of the pen on the bite, press a button, the tip heats up, beeps when it’s done and all of a sudden the itching from the bite is gone!!

This is so good because often we end up scratching bites and picking them causing pain and potentially scars but this just makes it disappear and not itch at all!

Sometimes I need to use the pen on the same bite a few hours later but even so, it still keeps the itch at rest for a long time and most of the time I never have to think about that bite again!

This is a total game changer and the pen is only quite small and light, it fits well in a handbag and really well in a backpack so it can be taken around with you all day to get rid of those itching bites that we all hate, and it is chemical free!

How Much? £34.90

Shop on Amazon UK Here! / Shop on Amazon US Here!

bite away mosquito pen


7) 3 Metre Phone Charging Cable

Often a lot of hostels and hotels do not have plugs close to bed and if you use a phone as an alarm as most of us do, you don’t want it to be the other side of the room (hello not waking up to the alarm!). This 3 metre cable is great when this happens as it means you can still have your phone by your bed. It’s also good in airports and cafes when you’re not close to a plug but need to charge your phone!

How Much? £8.79

Shop on Amazon UK Here! / Shop on Amazon US Here!

Extra long iPhone cable for travel

8) International Adapter

Although I prefer the 2 in 1 Adapter above, a standard International Adapter is always still needed and I still carry one with me just in case. When you’re jumping from Country to Country it’s hard to know what adapter is used and these adapters cater for every plug both ways so you’ll never be caught out!

How Much? £14.00

Shop on Amazon UK Here! / Shop on Amazon US Here!

international adapter for travel

9) Eye Mask, Ear Plug & Travel Pillow Set

An Eye Mask and Ear Plugs are invaluable when travelling, especially in hostels and dorm rooms but also in rooms that let in a lot of light and are by a noisy road. I use mine all the time! A Travel Pillow is also great not only for flying but for bus and train journeys too!

This is a simple but useful present for any traveller!

How Much? £15.22

Shop on Amazon UK Here! / Shop on Amazon US Here!

eye mask eye plugs travel pillow for travel

10) Padlock

So Simple too but also so useful! Whether it’s for lockers in hostels, for your bag when you’re flying or on transport, a good lock always comes in handy and they’re inexpensive and small!

How Much? £8.88

Shop on Amazon UK Here! / Shop on Amazon US Here!

best padlock for travel

I hope you like these items!

If you order one, like I said, I would appreciate you using the links, and I’d also love to know what you like the look of and order so let me know in the comments below or by tweeting me @wandering_quinn!

You may also like:

A Checklist Of Things You Need To Do Before You Go Backpacking!

12 Of The Best Travel Books For Backpackers To Read!

9 Of The Best Travel Talk Tours To Go On in 2019!

gifts for backpackers


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Shayne November 13, 2018 - 11:15 am

Fantastic list, I would definitely want the 2 in 1 Adapter & Power Bank Charger and the Eye Mask, Ear Plug & Travel Pillow Set to keep me away from noisy and nosy passengers on the trains in India. haha.

TheWanderingQuinn November 15, 2018 - 7:01 am

Vert true! Good things for the Indian Trains for sure!

Emma December 16, 2018 - 8:08 pm

I’m about to head off travelling again in Feb and there are so many helpful things here that I might just need to gift to myself ?

Thanks for the ideas!

TheWanderingQuinn December 17, 2018 - 6:32 am

Ahh good! Honestly I have every single one in my bag and use them all the time! Gifts for yourself are good too! 😉


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