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Minimalist Travel

Christmas Gifts for Minimalists: 9 Gift Ideas for Minimalist Travellers

Do you have trouble searching for Christmas gifts for minimalists, i.e. friends 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, look no further. I put together a list of the best gifts for minimalists so you can get the perfect present for the minimalist traveller friends in your life.

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Minimalist Christmas 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 like the long-established tradition of gift-giving during Christmas, so I am not 100% opposed to the gift-giving gesture, especially if it brings joy to your life.

If you are buying a present for someone who has everything or values minimalism, it might be difficult to figure out what to buy someone who doesn’t want anything.

I thought it would be easy to come up with a list of minimalist Christmas gifts, but boy, was I wrong!

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.

9 Types of Christmas Gifts for Minimalists

1. Organized minimalist travellers

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

I like organizing my clothing in packing cubes and wet and dry toiletries in two compartments. Here are some organizers that can keep your belongings tidy.

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 use them for every trip.

I use two nylon cubes to hold my travel capsule wardrobe. They keep my backpack 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 perfect for anyone who needs help packing efficiently or travelling during winter when clothing is a bit bulkier.

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.

I haven’t used anything else since changing to the hanging toiletry bag many years ago. 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.

2. Gifts for high-tech minimalist travellers

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 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 find.

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, it would be swell if a device could charge all your electronics.

Enters Anker 735 USB-C Charger. The compact charger has three 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 has foldable prongs. Plus, it is a GaNPrime product, saving 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.

3. Trinkets for minimalist travellers

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 trinkets and tools that would make excellent Christmas gifts for a minimalist backpacker. Plus, they make excellent stocking stuffers.

Pen-style Scissors

The compact pen-style scissors have to be one of my favourite minimalist gadgets. It is 2.4″ inches long and weighs 0.02 pounds. And when it is folded in the case, it doesn’t look like a pair of scissors, and it can pass through airport security x-ray check! 100% TSA compliant.

I bring my compact foldable scissors on every trip! I won’t go on any trip without it!

Luggage Scale

I bought my luggage scale many years ago, and it has to be my go-to minimalist gadget. The electric handheld scale can weigh up to 110 pounds/50kg.

You don’t need to bring this on your travels. Just weigh your bag before you go to make sure you are not packing on the excessive weight. This is especially important if you travel without checked luggage and want to pack under 7kg.

Carabiner

A carabiner has multiple purposes. It is excellent for clipping your flip-flops to your bag, connecting your gear to your pack, hanging anything from a closet rod or towel bar, etc.

And it only weighs 14g! Just clip it on your bag, and you won’t even know it’s there.

Keychain multi-tool

This small geeky keychain multi-tool has 16 different functions. It is a screwdriver, a wrench, a file, a ruler, and it’s even a bottle opener.

The tool is less than 2.76″ long, weighs 0.44 ounces and is TSA-compliant.

4. Gifts for minimalist backpackers

Backpackers need to bring practical and useful things throughout the trip. Here are some practical gifts that a minimalist backpacker would love.

Headlamp

A waterproof LED headlamp is a very useful piece of 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 to 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!

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.

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

Waterproof Phone Case

If you know a minimalist backpacker who likes water activities and takes underwater photos, you should get the Nite Ize Runoff waterproof phone case for your friend.

The case can fit any smartphone, including the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy, and can be submerged in 1 meter water for up to 30 minutes. The case is touchscreen-friendly and comes with a lanyard and 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. Minimalist travellers who like 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 camera gadgets.

Smartphone

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 S23 Ultra! The smartphone has a set of pro lenses with many photo functions. All the photos on this blog are taken with a Samsung smartphone (I had three other ones before my S23 Ultra). The photos 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. An excellent function for solo travellers!

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. 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. It can secure any smartphone in the mount, and you can take horizontal or vertical photos or videos.

6. Gift ideas for minimalists who love 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 allows 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, 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 headphones on the market, but the quality of the headphones 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. Eco-conscious minimalist traveller gifts 

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 that travellers bring their sustainable tool kit with reusable utensils and straws. And as a minimalist traveller, a sustainable tool kit would be small, compact and lightweight. Here are a few gift ideas for minimalists who also love the planet.

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. 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. When not in use, the collapsed straw and brush fit nicely in the small case where you can hang it off your keychain or purse.

Soft Water Bottle

The soft water bottle holds 500ml when it is fully expanded. It folds up neatly to save space when you are not using it. 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.

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

8. Gifts for minimalist hikers

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

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.

Water Purifier Bottle

The Grayl GeoPress Water Purifier Bottle is excellent for anyone who spends much 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 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 Gloves

Sometimes, when you have to climb up a hill or balance yourself while going down a mountain, it is super useful to have a pair of hiking gloves.

These are lightweight, and they fold into nothing. And they keep your hands warm, and you can still use your smartphone with the gloves on.

12-in-1 Multi-Tool

The 12-in-1 multi-tool includes a hammer, claw hammer, knife, regular pliers, needlenose pliers, Phillips screwdriver, flat screwdriver, bottle opener, wire cutter, saw, serrated blade, and can opener.

This sounds like an excellent gift for men in general but also for anyone who enjoys outdoor activities.

9. Gifts for minimalist campers

Campers know how important it is to pack the right equipment. And the right equipment can truly make your experience that much better. Here are some gift ideas for campers who want to bring as little as possible.

Utensils Set

Made with aluminum, the set of utensils (knife, fork and spoon) is lightweight (only 2 ounces) and is perfect for camping. The reusable metal utensils have embedded magnets to keep them together neatly in the polyester pouch (which is made from plastic bottles). The portable travel cutlery set is an excellent alternative to single-use plastic utensils.

Collapsible Container

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

The container is great for bringing dry food to the campsite and can be used as a bowl. And when you are done, collapse it and store it neatly in your bag.

Camping Chair

This compact camping chair has two height adjustments, two pockets (back magazine pocket and zippered pocket) and a drink holder. It has a load capacity of up to 330 lbs, and it is lightweight and folds neatly into a pouch when not in use. The portable folding chair is great for camping, going to the beach and other outdoor activities.

Hammock

The nylon hammock is easy to set up and is lightweight and compact. It is easy to set up and has plenty of space for two people to share and snuggle comfortably.

This is a fun gift for people who like outdoor activities and camping. It is not something you would buy for yourself, but great to receive as a gift.

Which of these minimalist gifts are you getting this Christmas?

It wasn’t easy coming up with a list of Christmas presents for minimalists; I really put a lot of thought into it! I hope these minimalist gift ideas are helpful to you this shopping season.

Let me know in the comments below if you find something not part of this list. I am always on the hunt for more minimalist travel gadgets. Happy holidays!

Thank you for reading my post on minimalist gift ideas

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 20+ years and currently based in Hong Kong. Follow me on my adventures through Instagram and my blog!

2 Comments

  • 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 🙂

    Reply
    • 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!! 🙂

      Reply

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