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Minimalist Christmas Gifts: Best Gifts for a Minimalist Who Doesn’t Need Anything

Last Updated on November 27, 2020 by Queenie Mak

Do you have trouble buying gifts for the people in your life who doesn’t want or need anything? You know they enjoy travelling but they are very specific on what they like and rejects almost everything else?

As a minimalist traveller myself, 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 don’t like to be 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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Related Post – How to Create a Minimalist Travel Wardrobe

Minimalist Gift Ideas: 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 really 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 do love traditions and the idea of people coming together to celebrate around 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 someone who values the principles of minimalism, the actual task of coming up with the gift idea is quite tricky.

I honestly thought it would be easy to come up with a list of ideas for gift-giving for a minimalist traveller, but boy was I wrong! Even when I unerstand minimalism and living the principles myself, I still had a hard time coming up with different ideas.

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

Christmas Gifts for Minimalists: 10 Best Gifts for Minimalists

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 is not an inexpensive purchase, but you will get many years if you buy a quality backpack.

Osprey Backpack

The Osprey Talon 33 is the perfect size for any trip and one of my favourite backpacks of all time! I’ve had mine for over seven years, and I still use the pack. It doesn’t matter if I am solo travelling for a week or a few months, it has all the space I need. It has proven to be reliable and durable after all these years.

Osprey re-branded their bags where the Talon backpacks are for men, and Tempest backpacks are for women. The main difference between the two backpacks is the length of the pack; generally, women have a shorter torso. So the woman’s backpack can accommodate women’s anatomy better. Take a look at Osprey Tempest 30, which is similar to Osprey Talon 33.

Wanaka Adapt Backpack

When I am not using my Osprey backpack, I use my favourite minimalist backpack, Wanaka Adapt Backpack. I switch between the two packs depending on the type of trip.

As for the 24-litre pack, I like the minimalistic aesthetics of the bag. It only has three compartments, with minimal straps and very light. It comes with an inflatable airframe and an insulated camera bag (or use it as a cooler). The pack is small enough for any airplane overhead compartment but big enough for packing all my travel wardrobe and wet and dry toiletries for any city trips of more than three months while weighing under 7kg.

Fjallraven Re-Kanken Backpack

The efficient 16-litre Fjallraven Re-Kanken backpack is durable and functional. It is an excellent everyday backpack and it is made with recycled polyester from eleven plastic water bottles. I love it because it can fit my 12″ laptop and enough 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 big 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, and it keeps it tidy and neat.

Want to pack efficient 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!

When it comes to travelling, I like to keep my clothing organized in packing cubes, toiletries in one compartment and technology in another compartment. Organizers are essential to any minimalist traveller!

Packing cubes

Having a set of packing cubes that can store all your clothing for any trip is essential! It is especially useful if you travel with a top-down backpack where it is difficult to stay organized. I use two durable, water-resistant and lightweight packing cubes to keep my minimalist wardrobe together and is sufficient for trips up to a few months.

Compression packing cube set

If you like the regular packing cubes but need a bit of help packing everything together, you might want to try the compression packing cubes. It is the same idea as regular packings cubes where you can compartmentalize all your belongings but the compression zippers squeeze out all the air out of the pack to make the cube even smaller. This is the perfect gift for anyone who needs help on packing efficiently.

Hanging toiletry bag

A hanging toiletry bag is essential for every type of traveller, especially if you are a backpacker. It keeps all the contents together, and you can hang it in the bathroom if there isn’t a whole lot of counter space. Since changing to the hanging toiletry bag many moons ago, I haven’t used anything else. And I will never leave home without it!

Cable organizer

If you travel with many gadgets that require charging, then you know how annoying it is to keep all your cables together. The cable organizer case is big enough to hold a wireless mouse, and it has separate mesh compartments and elastic loops for wires and cables.

Related Post – DIY eco friendly toiletries

3. Power & technology

For someone who is travelling, having the proper equipment is essential. And if you are an entrepreneur working on the road and living the digital nomad life, you will know what I am talking about!

Battery power bank

A battery power bank is excellent for charging smartphones and other smaller electronic equipment. Typically, battery banks are quite heavy. But this is only 1.3 lb and is small (almost the same size as an iPhone). It has eleven days of power, where you can charge your iPhone seven times or Android phone up to six times. And it can charge up to three devices at the same time, and it comes with charging cables and a carry pouch.

Solar power bank

If you spend a lot of your time outdoors, it might be great to have a solar power bank strapped to your backpack. It harvests solar energy while you are outside and is an excellent source of emergency power. Talk about renewable energy! The device itself is compact, waterproof, and lightweight. Your mobile phone can be charged via the micro USB port or Type-C port, or place your phone directly onto the device.

Universal adapter

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

External hard drive

I love my Seagate portable external hard drive! It has a slim profile, super light and easy to use. I plug in my external hard drive to my laptop, and it automatically backups all my files. Simple as that! The hard drive is a must-have accessory for any digital nomads!

4. Travel gadgets

Travel lovers love gadgets! And there are a ton of travel gadgets on the market. The right kind of device can really enhance any travel experience. These are some of my favourite gadgets and they would make excellent Christmas gifts for travellers.

Microfibre Towel

Any avid backpacker would love to get a practical gift like a microfibre towel. It is fast-drying, absorbent and antimicrobial. Great for camping, beach, swimming and backpacking. And it is small enough to tuck into your bag and light enough that it will not add too much weight to your backpack.

Headlamp

A waterproof LED headlamp is very useful equipment that I believe all travellers should have. At first I didnt’ think it would be something I like, but I like how the headlamp frees my hands so I can do exactly what I need to do. There were many occassions where I found it useful especially in the outdoors and navigating in a dorm room in a hostel and going to the bathroom! Truly one of the best inventions ever!

Travel blanket

The nylon and polyester travel blanket can be used for a picnic or at the beach. The water-repellent backside is super durable and really compact when it is folded back into the pouch. You wouldn’t even know its in your backpack! And its one of those things that you normally wouldnt buy for yourself but would love to get!

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 can be stored easily. I’ve used the dry sack for my laptop and other electronics when I was on a boat for a few days. I like to make sure my equipment stays dry.

5. Equipment to capture memories

I don’t know about you, but I have a pretty bad memory. So I take a lot of photos to remember the places I’ve been to. And I don’t have a fancy camera, but I do rely on my smartphone to take amazing pictures. Here are some of my favourite and minimal 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 new 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. Any solo traveller will benefit from having the remote control!

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 life-saver when it comes to taking photos of yourself, so you don’t have to rely on strangers taking pictures of you.

Mobile phone camera lenses

If you want to have some fun with your smartphone camera and take photos with different lenses, try one of the 11 types of lenses for your mobile phone. It makes photography a whole lot more fun!

6. Technology for entertainment

We all need to relax and unwind, especially if you are always on the road. There are lots of gadgets in the market that will help make your relaxation time a bit more enjoyable.

Wireless Display Receiver

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

Blue Tooth Speaker

A small and compact Bluetooth portable speaker with fantastic sound may be the perfect gift for any music lovers. The speaker is water-resistant, wireless and great to use anywhere. Plus, a single charge can play up to 24 hours of music! And most of all, it only weighs 12.6 ounces

Headphones

Music is essential for every trip! This is an excellent set of headphones and is compatible with Samsung and any Android devices. And it comes with a protective case.

Wireless Headphones

This is one of the smallest true wireless earbuds with a compact charging case. It is easy to connect to your Android or iPhone via Bluetooth. And the small headphones come with a mic too!

7. Water bottle

Water is life. We need water to sustain ourselves. But we do not need to accumulate more garbage by buying water in plastic bottles. By reusing a water bottle, we can help the planet by minimizing plastic waste and be 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 use it like a small bowl. The mug is lightweight and has a heat sleeve. Bring the cup to the local coffee shop and asked 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. Furthermore, the water bottle is eco-friendly. When you no longer use the water bottle, bury it into the soil, and it will naturally decompose.

Hydro flask bottle

The double-wall vacuum stainless steel flask keeps hot drinks piping hot up to six hours and cold drinks cold for 24 hours. It comes with a leak-proof lid and 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 use it as a Netti pot as well.

8. Sustainable Tool Kit

Part of being an eco-conscious traveller is to be aware of the amount of wastes we produce while we travel the world and minimize single-use plastics, and use products that are biodegradable and chemical-free.

I highly recommend travellers to bring their own sustainable tool kit that includes reusable utensils and straw. And as a minimalist traveller, a sustainable tool kit would be something small, compact and lightweight. Here are a few excellent gift ideas for minimalists who are also eco-conscious and care about the environment.

A Set of Cutlery

The reusable set of bamboo utensils comes with a fork, spoon, knife, chopsticks, straw and a straw cleaner. All the utensils are made with bamboo which is 100% natural, eco-friendly and biodegradable. 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 set of collapsible food storage boxes is made with silicone which is easy to clean, BPA free and microwave and dishwasher safe. The set comes in four sizes: 350ml, 500ml, 800ml and 1200ml.

The container is ideal for any traveller who likes to slow travel and cook while travelling abroad. You don’t necessarily need to take all four containers. Perhaps, just use a small/medium size container for storing cooked food and buying take out food.

Zero Waste Kit

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

The starter kit starts with a cotton fabric travel bag with the following items:

  • 3 piece biodegradable cutlery set (fork, spoon, knife)
  • 2 Bamboo toothbrush with charcoal bristles
  • 3 stainles steel straws + brush in cotton pouch
  • 1 cotton mesh reusable bag

Related Post – 10 Sustainable Travel Tips for any Travellers

9. Kindle

For a minimalist traveller who is always on the road, bringing a ton of books is not ideal.

But I like to read so my go-to solution is e-books. Typically, I read e-books on my Samsung Note 10+ but the device is still pretty small. Enters the Kindle E-reader!

Kindle E-reader

The all-new Kindle Paperwhite waterproof reader allows you to read all your favourite books while you are travelling. The waterproof device has twice as much storage as before, and a single charge can last for weeks. The sleek and thin e-reader is small enough to pack in any backpacks but big enough for you to enjoy all your favourite books. There are several Kindle e-readers on the market, but there must be one that will fit all your requirements.

10. Notebook or Journal

A journal is one of the best ssmall travel gifts specially around Christmas time: a time for celebrating the past year and planning for the new year ahead.

I started journaling in the past couple of years and have seen so many benefits from journaling. It keeps me on track on what I have to do regarding work and my healthy habits. Also, I practice morning pages where I write 750 words every morning when I wake up. It is about a stream of consciousness longhand writing, where you can uncover your creativity.

I find that the practice of writing helps me focus on what I need to each day. It feels like I am decluttering the mind so the mind can be clear and concentrate on creative things. I’ve been doing my pages on and off for the past 2.5 years, and I just love it!

If you want to try journaling or start a habit of writing, try one of these options.

Muji Blank Notebook

I really like the thin and lightweight Muji Blank Notebook because of the paper quality. These craft notebooks 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 like to manually braindstorm, 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 is a large, softcover notebook with dotted pages that is excellent for journaling, bullet journal and sketching. This notebook is great for anyone who likes to write and draw at the same time. The dotted lines create a liner structure for writing words but 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.

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 not sure 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 the challenge of getting a gift for someone who doesn’t want anything, then consider buying one (or more) of these items!

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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!

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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