These are all of the things I want to buy when I save up some money for travel. They are all either dream items for traveling that I want, or things that I need, but expensive versions of them. That, or they are some things I want, but just can’t justify buying right now.
Traveler Gift Ideas Under $25
Moleskin Travel Journal / Trip Planner – $20
Travelers love to document their journeys and look back on them for some great memories abroad. While there are many different travel journals out there, this is one of my favorites. It is a Moleskin book so you know it is good quality. I like the “nutmeg brown” option since it has a bit of a journeyman look to it.
This journal for travelers comes with some great pages specifically for travelers including detachable packing lists, daily planning sections, and budget pages.
Sleep Headphones / Eyemask – $25
There are another pair of headphones I need in addition to my Bose travel headphones. I already have a pair of sleep headphones, but they are wired and I move around too much in my sleep. I like the ones I have because it doubles as a sleep eyemask. Pairing this with some binaural beats or a guided mediation would really help with sleeping problems or jet lag when traveling.
Solar Powered Battery Backup – $25
I have a really bad habit of letting my phone die when I’m wandering around a city. I’ll even burn through a backup battery early in the day. For those days that I’m out the door by 8:00am and not coming back until bedtime, I could use a backup battery charger that I can charge itself. There are a few solar powered battery backups that you can get online. I haven’t seen any that charge up too quickly, but even getting enough juice to call an Uber home would be nice.
Gift Ideas for Travelers Under $100
Scrubba Travel “Washing Machine” – $50
I’ve been using my Sea to Summit dry bag in a similar way to this. Shout out to Reddit for that travel tip! The Scrubba Wash Bag looks exactly like a dry bag, except that it has a scrubbing/washing board built into it.
The wash bag is also super small so it won’t take up much space in your backpack. I assume I can use this to store dirty clothes airtight to keep the laundry odors at bay like I do my Sea to Summit bag. If this takes 3 minutes to clean laundry like the site says, then this is the perfect travel tool to help free up more time to go out and travel. Just scrub your clothes before bed and hang them up to dry by morning. What’s easier…packing 1-2 extra pieces of each type of clothing, or keeping this on hand to wash clothes as needed? Exactly.
This goes for around $50 on Amazon. I’ll just use the laundry rooms in my hostels for now.
Gift Ideas for Travelers Under $200
Baubax 2.0 Travel Jacket – $180
I already bought the original Baubax travel jacket for my trip around Europe in April of this year. They recently announced that there is an updated model that got launched on a Kickstarter campaign just like the first one. I hope this jacket doesn’t become the new iPhone for me, getting all worked up about upgrading every couple of years for it.
To be honest, there aren’t that many new features that I’m excited about. I do want the hoodie or the windbreaker this time around though. I got the bomber jacket last time which I love (except they forgot to send me the hood!) but I’m looking for something for warmer weather travel.
The features in the new Baubax jackets include:
- Detachable hood with neck pillow and eye mask
- Pull out fingerless gloves (proven extremely helpful on cold flights)
- Travel footrest (I’m skeptical about this)
- Travel blanket – Super small and fits in the dedicated blanket pocket
- Travel bottle – I’ll probably just use mine instead
- Airpod straps – make your wireless Airpods…wired
- Passport pocket – You won’t understand how useful this is until you need it
- Tablet pocket – I like this giant zip up pocket to store extra stuff for a flight
- RFID proof pocket
- And so much more haha!
The last model was about $180 on Amazon. The Baubax 2.0 isn’t yet available for purchase until they go through all of their Kickstarter pre-orders.
Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot – $150 +subscription
After my first solo Europe backpacking trip, I quickly realized I needed a data alternative. My AT&T cell phone bill when I got home was about $400. That’s even after I signed up for all of the international deals I was told to get.
The SKYROAM Solis is considered by most people to be the best Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot. You can either rent the unit for single trips or buy it outright. Either way you’ll have to pay a daily or monthly fee to get the data on it. As of this writing it is $9/day or $99/month for unlimited global data if you own it.
Very Generous Gift Ideas for Travelers and Backpackers
The Best Warm Weather Jacket – $300
I really want the Patagonia Micro Puff Hoodie Jacket! It keeps you just as warm as a big heavy jacket, but you can squash it down to a small stuffsack so it doesn’t take up too much room in your bags. It even comes with a reinforced carabiner clip-in loop so you can just attached it to your bags instead of taking up more space.
I sadly try this on every time I go to REI, which is too often lately. It’s so soft and lightweight, plus I don’t look too shabby in it. If only this wasn’t a $300 purchase!
A Better Camera Lens – $700-$1500
Right now I’m still rocking the stock 18-55mm lens that came with my Canon Rebel T3i that I bought 4 years ago. The camera is still in mint condition, but I could definitely use a lens upgrade…or two.
I’m still a pretty amateur photographer at this point, but I do get excited when I take those perfect shots. I know that with a better lens I can accomplish so much more with my camera, and maybe even get paid to do travel photography.
I’d like different lenses for difference scenarios. I’d love to have multiple cameras for each trip, but as a backpacker there is only so much room and so much weight I can handle. If you want a good lens for travel I recommend this National Geographic post to find the lens for your style of travel. The majority of my travel photos are of landscapes and interiors so I need a zoom lens for sure. Until I get more comfortable with advanced photo techniques my dream lens is the Canon EF-S 18-200mm zoom lens. This bad boy should cover all of my bases for my backpacking trips in Europe, South America, and Southeast Asia. I’d only need to upgrade to a bigger zoom if I ever make it to an African safari.
I currently have an older model of the iPad Air, but I REALLY want the iPad Pro. This iPad would be indispensable for working on the travel blog. I could use the iPad to work on that so much better than my Air. For some reason, I just need a bigger screen when I’m writing anything. The 10.5 inch screen should be perfect for that. There also isn’t any tablet out there that is better for editing photos than an iPad Pro.
Also, one of my side hustles is designing and selling t-shirt on Amazon, Etsy, other PODs, and my own sites. The iPad Pro would make it so much easier for me to work on those side businesses while I sit in airports.
I have wanted to get a drone for so long. I love the videos that they allow you to take. I’m just cheap and broke, with expensive taste, so I’m going to have to really save up for a good one. I’ve read a lot about the DJI Mavic Pro as being one of the best drones for traveling.
The DJI Mavic Pro folds up nicely into a compact body that fits into backpacks a lot easier than bulkier drones. Not only does the camera on here have amazing quality, but the battery allows it to travel up to 27 minutes of flight time.
The Best Action Camera – $400
Seriously, am I the only person that doesn’t have a GoPro yet? I haven’t gone on the types of trips that would require one yet, but it would be nice to have. In the near future I want to start doing some adventure travel so I’ll 100% need a good GoPro by then. I’d rather wait until I can afford the best model for my needs which is the HERO6 Black. The GoPro Fusion has some crazy features and spherical capture, but I don’t think I need any of that.
Maybe getting this GoPro will finally motivate me to get Scuba certified. It does go up to (down to?) 33 feet of water.
Best Travel Headphones – $350
It seems like everyone on my flights have a great pair of noise cancelling headphones. I’m just sitting here with my urBeats earbuds like a sucker. One day I’ll finally splurge and get some Bose QuietComfort headphones. Bose has always made the best speakers and headphones, but I’ve never had the cash to justify buying them. When I lose another 3 or 4 pairs of my earbuds, I’ll finally make the switch though!