Every year, millions of Britons spend Christmas abroad, visiting such locations as Santa's Grotto in Lapland, the Northern Lights in Iceland, or even spending the holiday in warmer climates, ranging from Spain to Dubai.
Many of these individuals will visit destinations such as these on backpacking holidays, staying in hostels and low-cost hotels. For these people, this is not a chance to get away from the stresses and strains of modern life but usually a learning experience - a chance to socialise with the locals and see what makes a region tick.
Regardless, Christmas is still the time for giving and the showing of goodwill. Chances are, you will want to buy something for one of these people and have come to this guide seeking inspiration. Fortunately, this document is designed to deliver plenty of great advice and help you find the perfect present.
Furthermore, if you have any ideas about Christmas gifts for backpackers, not included in this list, get in touch with us today. We would love to hear your opinions!
It can be argued that the best gift is a practical one. Let's face it, when you are halfway around the world carrying everything on your back, you really don't have enough space to pack any luxuries or frivolous items. Consequently, here is a brief selection of gift ideas which should prove very useful:
Although this is probably obvious, it is worth researching to find the best - and most comfortable - backpack around. For example, consider purchasing one with lots of pockets, zips, luggage locks, and padding. If in doubt, head online and see what reviewers are saying about it.
Essential when visiting a new region, travellers will need a language book on hand if they quickly need to order something or chat to one of the locals. Although language phone apps exist, some locations might lack Wi-Fi access or have poor coverage. Consequently, you cannot beat having a trusty guide book at your side.
Do you remember when socks were jokingly regarded as being the worst possible Christmas present? This is different in the case of seasoned backpackers. As they tend to walk miles each day, wearing a poor quality or damp pair of socks can quickly ruin the experience. As a result, it is always worth having several spare pairs on hand. On a related note, chuck in a decent pair of boots as well.
Travel can be confusing in another country - not to mention expensive. Fortunately, some regions offer passes which can be purchased online and used throughout the trip. For an example of how this can work, take a look at the Eurail pass.
Assuming that your gift recipient, be it a loved one or a friend, is staying away for some time it's important that they can protect and have easy access to important documentation. This is likely to include insurance paperwork (ideally specialist backpacker insurance) as well as items like passports, EHICs and more. You can find more information about long stay and backpacker travel here.
Backpacking is not just about walking from one place to another and witnessing new sights. There is usually a significant amount of down time as well. Perhaps this involves killing time in a hostel or waiting for something to happen. Regardless, one or two fun gifts can make this process much more bearable.
Card decks are relativity cheap, easy to find, and - most importantly - the games are often universal. Plus, is there a better way to bond with someone than learning how to play something new? However, don't engage in any gambling and always keep matches friendly!
Due to the amount of space backpackers have to work with, books and similar items are usually left at home because of their size and weight. Fortunately, with a quality E-reader, backpackers can take their entire collection with them - just make sure it can be charged easily.
For a unique touch, why not consider a personalised item, such as a mug or T-shirt? These can even be created with a fun or inspiring message to keep the backpacker going during his or her trip.
Looking for a stocking filler or just an affordable yet essential gift? Here are a few suggestions which could prove useful:
The world is a very noisy place and trying to sleep in a loud hostel can be a challenging task. Fortunately, good pairs of earplugs don't take up much space, are affordable, and tune out loud sounds. Truly, these are essential items for any backpacker.
As not all wall sockets are compatible with UK products, backpackers will need an international adapter to ensure their goods can be charged. Otherwise, your mobile phone, iPod, or E-reader just becomes an expensive paperweight.
A must for any serious traveller, these small flashlights can be attached to a bag or set of keys for quick use. Furthermore, these are always useful and shouldn't cost more than a few pounds.
Backpacking is all about the experience - and any gifts to make it more memorable are always worth the effort. Here are a few examples to preserve the memories:
While some travellers will blog about their experiences or sum up stages of their journeys in 160 characters or less, nothing quite beats the feeling of putting pen to paper and actually writing from the scene.
Furthermore, these are great for jotting down notes, addresses, and reminders. As an added bonus, these can often be personalised as well - reminding the backpacker of home.
Backpacking trips are not short holidays - they are usually grand adventures which involve many different locations. Consequently, thousands of photos will probably be taken in this time, possibly forcing travellers to delete pictures to make space for new ones.
Although there are various ways to overcome this problem, buying a few SD cards is usually an inexpensive way to ensure memories aren't erased.
It is unfortunate fact that backpackers are often targeted by criminals - usually because they are perceived as being easy targets. Fortunately, if you want to keep someone safe while they're travelling, here are a few gift ideas which should prove useful:
Hidden under clothes, these items help to keep valuables safe from any opportunistic pickpockets. Consequently, this should ensure backpackers aren't left in a foreign country with no money.
In a threatening situation, a backpacker can use a loud whistle to deter criminals and alert nearby bystanders to danger. These items are often cheap, simple to find, and - most importantly of all - potentially life-saving.
Essential for healing blisters, cuts, and bruises, a good first aid kit can help get backpackers on their feet again after minor injuries. Although more serious damage will likely require medical intervention, a first aid kit can truly be an essential Christmas gift.
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