Minimalist Travel

Minimalist Gifts: 10 Best Christmas Gifts for Minimalist Travellers

Do you have trouble searching for minimalist gifts this Christmas for your minimalist friends, i.e. people who don’t want or need anything? And you only know they enjoy travelling but are very specific about what they like and reject almost everything else?

As a minimalist traveller, I am pretty selective about what I buy. Okay, I am downright picky! I hardly buy anything because I really don’t need much and I hate being wasteful. And whatever I do buy, it has to be practical, useful, small and light enough to travel with.

If you are looking for the perfect minimalist Christmas gifts for travellers, then look no further. I put together the ultimate list of minimalist gift ideas so you can get the perfect gift for the minimalist traveller friends in your life.

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Minimalist Gifts: What to buy a Minimalist?

As a minimalist, I would rather not get anything. Doesn’t matter if they are Christmas gifts or birthday presents; I don’t need or want anything. Perhaps it is years of accumulating things and having the urge to throw things away; I’m okay with not having a lot of “stuff.”

However, I love traditions and the idea of people coming together to celebrate the holidays. And I understand the long-established tradition of gift-giving during Christmas, so I am not 100% opposed to the gesture of gift-giving, especially if it brings joy to your life.

If you are buying a present for someone who has everything or values minimalism, the task of coming up with a gift idea is quite tricky.

I honestly thought it would be easy to come up with a list of minimalist Christmas gifts, but boy was I wrong! Even when I understand minimalism and live the principles myself, I still had difficulty coming up with different ideas.

So after a lot of research, I came up with a list of the best gifts for minimalist travellers. Whether you buy minimalist gifts for her or him, feel free to use this list for Christmas or other occasions like birthdays, events, or just because.

10 Minimalist Gift Ideas for this Christmas

1. A reliable and durable backpack

A reliable and durable backpack is crucial for every traveller. It is one of the things you cannot skimp on. And having the right bag will ultimately enhance your travel experience.

However, a good backpack can be expensive, but you will get many years if you buy a quality backpack. And it is one of the best gifts for travellers!

Osprey Backpack

With its simple and minimal design, the Osprey Arcane Duffel Travel Backpack is one of the best minimalist backpacks on the market.

The pack has one main compartment, a 15″ laptop sleeve and a separate accessory pocket. It comes with tuck-able shoulder straps and an extra over-the-shoulder strap too. It also has a ventilated back panel and is made with recycled materials.

The pack can fit up to 30L of items which satisfies the carry-on size requirements for most airlines and it is big enough for packing all my travel wardrobe and wet and dry toiletries while weighing under 7kg. What’s not to love about a quality backpack like this Osprey?

Fjallraven Re-Kanken Backpack

The efficient 16-litre Fjallraven Re-Kanken backpack is durable and functional. It is an excellent everyday backpack made with recycled polyester from eleven plastic water bottles.

I love this backpack because it can fit my 12″ laptop and is big enough for clothing and personal items for a few days.

Herschel Backpack

Sometimes I use my super lightweight Herschel Backpack as an everyday travel daypack. And I’ve even used this backpack for a trekking trip.

It has proved to be a super durable and reliable travel bag for different occasions! And when I don’t use it, I fold the bag into a pouch inside, keeping it tidy and neat.

Herschel Waist Pack

It is a bonus to have your hands free while travelling, which is why I like my Herschel Fifteen Waist Pack.

Yup, fanny packs are back in! This 2L waist pouch has an adjustable clip-fastened strap, an exposed metal zipper with leather pull and their signature candy-striped lining.

The pouch is big enough for all your daily essentials and flat enough that it hugs your body (only 2″ deep).

Want to pack efficiently for your next trip? Follow my Minimalist Packing List

2. Organizers for all your essentials

Staying organized is one of the main characteristics of a minimalist. There is a place for everything!

I like organizing my clothing in packing cubes and wet and dry toiletries in two compartments. Organizers are essential to any minimalist traveller!

Packing Cubes

Travelling with a set of packing cubes for all your clothing is essential for any minimalist traveller. That’s why I love my Muji packing cubes, and I use them for every trip.

I use two nylon cubes to hold my travel capsule wardrobe. They keep my backpack neat and tidy, so I don’t have to constantly re-pack my stuff. Best of all, the packing cubes weigh next to nothing!

Compression Packing Cube Set

If you like the regular packing cubes but need some help packing everything together, you might want to try the compression packing cubes.

It functions the same as the regular packing cubes where you can compartmentalize all your belongings, but the compression zippers squeeze all the air out of the pack to make the cube even smaller. This is the perfect minimalist gift for anyone who needs help packing efficiently.

Hanging Toiletry Bag

A hanging toiletry bag is essential for every traveller, especially if you are a backpacker. It keeps all the toiletries together, and you can hang the bag in the bathroom if there isn’t a lot of counter space.

Since changing to the hanging toiletry bag many years ago, I haven’t used anything else. And I will never leave home without it!

Clear Toiletry Bag

A minimalist traveller might travel with carry-on luggage only. That means all the wet toiletries must be placed in a separate clear bag.

I use a clear toiletry bag (instead of a ziplock bag) to hold all my 100ml toiletry bottles whenever I travel with carry-on luggage only. Since each traveller can only have one small bag of wet toiletries, this clear toiletry bag is the perfect solution. It is light and is made with durable material that you can use over and over again.

Related Post – DIY eco friendly toiletries

3. Power & Technology

For someone who works on the road, it is important to have the proper equipment. And if you are a digital entrepreneur living the digital nomad life, you will know what I am talking about!

USB Flash Drive

USB flash drives have really improved since they were first created. The amount of memory in the SanDisk 256GB USB 3.1 Flash Drive is huge, not to mention the size and weight of this useful tool.

When you use a USB 3.1 flash drive, it writes 15x faster than the standard USB 2.0. This plug-and-play USB compact flash drive may be the smallest digital nomad tool you will ever get.

External Hard Drive

But if your minimalist friend works on the road and requires a bit more memory than the little USB flash drive, the next best solution is an external hard drive.

I love my Seagate portable external hard drive! It has a slim profile, super light and is easy to use. I plug my external hard drive into my laptop and automatically back up all my files. Simple as that!

USB-C Charger

Since many new laptops and mobile phone models have USB-C ports for charging, it would be swell if a device could charge all your electronics.

Enters Anker 735 USB-C Charger. The compact charger has 3 charging ports: 1 USB-A and 2 USB-C. The device can charge everything simultaneously and is compatible with MacBook Pro/Air, iPhone and Samsung Galaxy.

Best of all, it only weighs 4.65oz, and it has foldable prongs. Plus, it is a GaNPrime product which means it saves a ton of energy.

It’s a bit pricier, but the brand is reputable, and the product comes with a worry-free 24-month warranty.

Universal Adapter

The all-in-one universal adapter will charge anything you want. It comes with four international plug adapters and dual USB ports. Unlike the old-school universal adapter, the new and improved adapters are lightweight and small.

4. Travel gadgets

Travel lovers love gadgets! And the right kind of device can enhance any travel experience. While there are a ton of travel gadgets on the market, these are some of my favourite travel gadgets that would make excellent Christmas gifts for a minimalist.

Microfibre Beach Towel

Any avid backpacker would love a practical gift like a microfibre beach towel. It is fast-drying, absorbent, antimicrobial and sand-free. Great for camping, beach, swimming and backpacking.

And the beach towel is small enough to tuck into your bag and light enough not to add too much weight to your backpack.


A waterproof LED headlamp is very useful equipment that I believe all travellers should have. At first, I didn’t think it would be something I would need, but I like how the headlamp frees my hands so I can do exactly what I need to do.

There were many occasions where I found it useful, especially outdoors, navigating a dorm room in a hostel, and going to the bathroom. Truly one of the best inventions ever!

Waterproof Phone Case

If you know someone who participates in many water activities and takes underwater photos, you should get the Nite Ize Runoff waterproof phone case for your traveller friend.

The case can fit any smartphone including iPhone and Samsung Galaxy, and it can be submerged in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes. Plus, the case is touchscreen friendly and comes with a lanyard and a belt loop.

Dry Sack

The ultralight nylon dry bag will keep all your belongings dry. And when you are not using the dry sack, the waterproof bag can fold together and be stored easily.

I used the dry sack for my laptop and other electronics while spending a few days on a boat. I like to make sure my equipment stays dry and operable.

5. Equipment to capture memories

I don’t know about you, but I have a bad memory. So I take many photos to remember the places I’ve been to. And I don’t have a fancy camera, but I rely on my smartphone to take amazing pictures. Here are some of my favourite minimalist camera gadgets.


Most people travel with their smartphone because it has so many useful functions. Not only can you use it to navigate a new city and check emails, but it can also replace your traditional camera and make your backpack even lighter.

I love my Samsung Galaxy Note 10+! The smartphone has a set of pro lenses with many photo functions. All the photos taken by my Samsung Note 10 are crisp and do not require too much photo editing. And the phone has an S Pen, which you can use as a remote for taking photos. Solo travellers will benefit from having a remote control for taking photos of themselves.

Selfie Stick and Tripod

If you travel alone and want photos of yourself, this might be your solution. The device can be used as an extendable selfie stick and doubles as a tripod. And it is compatible with any smartphone. It is a lifesaver when taking photos of yourself, so you don’t have to rely on strangers taking pictures of you.

Gorilla Tripod

Another excellent tripod is the flexible Gorilla tripod. This compact tripod has flexible “legs” that can be placed on uneven surfaces or wrapped around a solid structure for taking photos. This is an excellent gift for any traveller who likes to spend time in nature. Just make sure to select the tripod with the smartphone mount.

6. Technology for entertainment

We all need to relax and unwind, especially if we are always on the road. Many gadgets in the market will help make your relaxation time more enjoyable.

Wireless Display Receiver

The wireless display receiver is a small device that will allow you to watch any shows from your smartphone. It plugs into any TV with an HDMI port and is small and light. You can watch Youtube, Netflix and anything else on the TV. Connect the device to the TV and cast the show on your mobile phone. 

Bluetooth Speaker

A small, compact JBL Clip 4 Bluetooth portable speaker with fantastic sound may be the perfect gift for music lovers.

The speaker is waterproof and dustproof and has an integrated carabiner so you can bring your speaker anywhere. Plus, a single charge can play up to 10 hours of music! And most of all, it only weighs 8.4 ounces

Wireless Headphones

If your traveller friend enjoys music, then the Bose wireless headphone is the perfect minimalist gift. The Bluetooth wireless headphone is easy to connect and can be synced to all Bluetooth devices. It has comfortable ear cushions, and it looks sleek and sexy.

Charge it for 3 hours, and you’ll get 15 hours of playtime. It’s not the smallest headphone on the market, but the quality of the headphone will bring you hours of entertainment and years of enjoyment.

Wireless Earbuds

These Bose noise-cancelling earbuds are excellent for everyday use. It has an active noise-cancellation function and is water-resistant and sweatproof.

It has a long battery life where you can listen for up to 6 hours on a single charge. Plus, the charging case provides an additional 12 hours of charge.

7. Water bottle

Water is life. We need water to sustain ourselves. But we do not need to accumulate more rubbish by buying water in plastic bottles. We can help the planet by reusing water bottles, minimizing plastic waste and being a more responsible traveller.

Travel Mug

A collapsible travel mug made with food-grade silicone and free of BPA. You can use it for coffee, tea, or even a small bowl. The mug is lightweight and has a heat sleeve. Bring the cup to the local coffee shop and ask to use this instead of paper cups.

Soft Water Bottle

The soft water bottle holds 500ml when it is fully expanded. When you are not using it, it folds up neatly to save space. Moreover, the water bottle is eco-friendly.

Not only is this an excellent gift for minimalists, but it is also an amazing sustainable product. When you no longer use the water bottle, bury it in the soil, which will naturally decompose.

Hydro Flask Bottle

The double-wall vacuum stainless steel flask keeps hot drinks piping hot for up to six hours and cold drinks cold for 24 hours. It comes with a leak-proof lid and is super durable. And it fits in any car cup holder and bicycle bottle rack.

Squeeze Water Bottle

The squeeze water bottle is one of my top travel essential items. Typically, this is a cyclist’s favourite accessory, but I like this bottle because it is light, and I can double as a Netti pot (sounds gross but it works).

8. Sustainable Tool Kit

An eco-conscious traveller must be aware of the amount of waste we produce while travelling the world. We should be conscious of what we use by minimizing single-use plastics and using biodegradable and chemical-free products.

I highly recommend travellers bring their own sustainable tool kit that includes reusable utensils and straws. And as a minimalist traveller, a sustainable tool kit would be small, compact and lightweight. Here are a few excellent minimalist gift ideas that also considers the environment.

A Set of Cutlery

The reusable set of bamboo utensils comes with a fork, spoon, knife, chopsticks, straw, and cleaner. All the utensils are made with 100% natural, eco-friendly and biodegradable bamboo. And the set is neatly kept together with a canvas carrying case.

Collapsible Metal Straw

The FinalStraw collapsible metal straw is so small and lightweight that you wouldn’t even know you are carrying it. The straw itself is made with rainbow rust-proof stainless steel and food-grade silicone. And when you are not using it, the collapsed straw and brush fit nicely in the small case where you can hang it off your keychain or purse.

Collapsible Container

The collapsible food storage box is BPA-free, made with silicone, easy to clean and microwave and dishwasher-safe. It holds 1200ml of food when expanded and only weighs 8.1 ounces.

The container is ideal for any traveller who likes to slow travel and cook while travelling abroad. It is the perfect solution for storing extra food or getting takeout food.

Zero Waste Kit

And if the minimalist travellers in your life do not have any sustainable tools, get them a Zero Waste Kit that includes everything they need to be eco-friendly and not add too much weight to the luggage.

The 11-piece starter kit has the following items:

  • 3-piece biodegradable cutlery set (fork, spoon, knife)
  • 1 bamboo toothbrush with charcoal bristles
  • 1 bamboo straw + brush in a cotton pouch
  • 1 box of 100-pack bamboo cotton buds
  • 2 loofah multipurpose sponges
  • 1 mesh shopping bag

Related Post – 10 Sustainable Travel Tips for any Travellers

9. Notebook or Journal

A journal is one of the best gifts for minimalists for Christmas: a time to celebrate the past year and plan for the new year ahead. Here are a few options for anyone who likes to journal or wants to start writing.

Muji Blank Notebook

I really like the thin and lightweight Muji Blank Notebook because of the paper quality. This craft notebook can be used as a journal, agenda book, sketches or just a spot where you can jot down your ideas. As much as I like to digitize everything, I still like to brainstorm manually, write down my ideas and create checklists in my notebooks.

Moleskin Weekly Planner

The structured twelve-month Moleskin weekly planner is excellent for planning and writing all your weekly notes. The classic planner comes in many colours, and you will feel super professional having a gorgeous Moleskin planner!

Moleskin Classic Soft Cover Notebook

This large, softcover notebook with dotted pages is excellent for journaling, bullet journaling and sketching. This notebook is great for anyone who likes to write and draw in the same book. The dotted lines create a linear structure for writing words but are not intrusive for sketches and drawings.

Leuchtturm Bullet Journal Notebook

The Leuchtturm Bullet Journal notebook is an excellent option for keeping all your notes and ideas in one place. If you haven’t tried the bullet journal method, try it in the new year and see how your life transforms.

10. Minimalist Hiking Gears

For those minimalist travellers who like to hike, there are a lot of tools and accessories that can enhance the experience. Here are some of my favourite minimalist hiking gears.

Hiking jacket

When it comes to hiking, wearing the right type of clothing can really make a difference. I always bring a hiking jacket because it is great for sun protection, a windbreaker, protection from the rain and keeping warm.

I’ve had my Marmot jacket for many years. It is waterproof, lightweight and packable. It is made with Gore-tex paclite waterproofing technology and 100% recycled fabric. Moreover, I can throw it in the washing machine and not worry it will be damaged.

Water Purifier Bottle

The Grayl GeoPress Water Purifier Bottle is excellent for anyone who spends a lot of time in nature. The bottle can fill up to 24oz of water, and the filter can remove viruses and bacteria. One filter cartridge can filter 250L of water! That’s 350 presses!

You can purify water anywhere especially when you spend an extended amount of time in nature with no reliable water source. All you have to do is fill the container with fresh water and push out all the harmful chemicals and heavy metals.

Hiking Poles

The tri-fold hiking poles are excellent for minimalist hikers who want a lightweight and compact accessory.

The foldable hiking poles are made with durable aircraft-grade aluminum. And it can collapse to a portable size of 15 inches, which can fit into any small hiking pack. Plus, each pole only weighs 10.4oz.

This is an excellent hiking gear for preventing knee injury while getting extra support on uneven terrain. I hiked for many years without a hiking pole, but I don’t think I’ll hike without one after getting this.

Hiking Shoes

Having the right hiking shoes makes all the difference in the world! I fully trust my Merrell Moab 2 hiking shoes for all my hiking adventures because they have excellent traction and the best high-performance rubber sole. I feel confident wearing these hiking shoes even on the most difficult trails.

These hiking shoes look pretty sleek (for hiking shoes) and will last a long time. I read an online review for these Merrell hiking shoes, and the person who owns these shoes hiked over 1,200km!

Related Post – How having a Minimalist Mindset helped me save money to travel

Which of these minimalist Christmas gifts do you like?

It wasn’t easy coming up with a list of Christmas gifts for minimalists; I really put a lot of thought into it! I hope this was helpful to you in selecting the best mindful gifts this holiday season.

If you are still unsure what to buy for a minimalist traveller, you can always get them an Amazon eGift Card, and they can select the gifts themselves.

However, if you are up for getting a gift for someone who doesn’t want anything, consider buying one (or more) of these items!

Thank you for reading my post on minimalist gifts

You might also like these other posts on minimalist travel:

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About Author

Hi, my name is Queenie, and I've been a solo traveller for 18+ years and currently based in Hong Kong. Follow me on my adventures through Instagram and my blog!


  • Dee
    November 26, 2018 at 7:34 pm

    Wonderful post, especially if you’re like me and hate shopping! And it actually comes just in time because my parents have been emailing me lately asking about what I’d like for Christmas and I really had no idea.. But now that you mention it a water bottle and portable espresso maker sound very handy 🙂

    • queenie mak
      November 27, 2018 at 1:03 pm

      Me too! I’m not a fan of shopping but online shopping helps a bit. I’m glad you enjoyed my post. Have a hpapy holiday!! 🙂


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