It’s maddening. Getting the answer “nothing, I have everything I need” when you want to give a gift. Recently, we’ve been driving our family nuts with that answer.
I swear we’re not ungrateful brats. Rather minimalistic nomads, on the road most of the year. We have to pack light, take only what we need. Unfortunately that means, gifts often get left behind. Ugh right!
So what’s a person to do, if they need a gift fit for a traveler or nomad? If you can’t ask, get the dreaded “nothing” or want to surprise them, try looking at travel blogger packing lists.
Gadgets Gifts for Nomads
They are full of what popular publications and product marketing “cool travel gift” lists miss. Necessity. Travel blogger packing lists give you a better chance of having that gift, go on the road.
Here are a few of the cooler gadgets Bello and I, nomadic minimalists, won’t leave home without. These are mostly gifts we gave each other. Things we knew from experience, would make our days on the road easier or more delightful.
Best Gadgets Gifts For Frequent Fliers
Go Go Gadget Travel Vest
One thing you never s , is an expert traveler scrambling in the airport. Their passport and iPhone with electronic boarding pass are at the ready, at all times. Bello pulls this off this with a travel vest, full of interior pockets. He loves his Exofficio Flyq Lite Vest and so do I. Hint, hint Bello, they make women’s too!
It only took one sold out international flight where one of our seat back entertainment units stopped working, for us to split up. Our audio that is. There are a lot of options out there for splitter and prices range. Decent ones can be found for under $7. We prefer the cordless versions to keep down clutter. Since we started traveling with these, zoning out at the airport, in mid-flight and on the beach is much, much more enjoyable.
Wireless Headphone: Perhaps the best gift ever, came from my Mom. She gave Bello and I both, Beats Solo 2 Wireless Headphones for Christmas ($199). I KNOW! We’ve both used them every single day since. We honestly are too cheap to buy these for ourselves but now that we have them. OMG, life has never been the same. We can work side by side all day long and fully concentrate aka not kill each other.
Wireless Keyboard: Another great gift, was the wireless keyboard ($19.99) Bello gave me. Years at the computer left me with chronic pain issues. Any coffee shop, anywhere in the world I’m working in, this puppy keeps me from hunching.
Best Gadget Gifts For Road Warriors
Dual USB Car Charger: Great for a couples or travels with multiple devices. Before, Bello and I were constantly flipping the charging cable back and forth. Now, our road trips are more relaxing and we even found this Dual USB Car Charger ($9) extremely helpful in rental cars all over the world.
Car Phone Mount: Be it music or navigation car mounts are key. We tried a model that stuck to the window but removing it at the end of the trip sucks! Our new mount ($25) is a lot smaller for packing easier to use. Slide a magnetic plate into your phone case and the mount into the car air vent. We have yet to find a car it doesn’t work in. Plus, in our own car vs a rental, we just leave it in place and can swap between our phones easily when we switch drivers.
Car Jump Start/Phone Charger: Let’s say, you know, just for argument’s sake, that you’re horrible at charging your phone each night. You go for a long hike and snap so many photos, your phone dies. No biggie, you’ll charge it back in the car, right? Then you find you left the headlights on and your car battery is dead too. What? it could, hypothetically happen! You know, to a friend. If it does, this helps. A car jumper with USB ports for your iPhone. What you charge first is entirely up to you.
For Entertainment On the Road
Electrical Tape: No this one is not a joke. I positively can not sleep if there are electrical lights in the room. Electrical tape ($6) is the best way to block out annoying lights on phones, cable boxes, microwaves. All the things that you eliminate at home in the bedroom but have to live with in a hotel. It’s one of those things you never knew you needed until you have it! Now, I don’t travel without it.
iPhone Stand: I used to tease Bello about having these at home, but as we’ve traveled more, I see their worth. Our entertainment is often watched on our iPhones! Our inexpensive plastic stand is great for light trips and turning any room into my YouTube Yoga Studio. Our larger Levo ($26.88) one, breaks down and packs away easy enough for longer trips. It tucks under your thigh or a mattress edge perfectly. No more smacking yourself in the face with your phone or tablet when you fall asleep.
Best Gadget Gifts For Digital Nomads
Apple Lighting Adaptor: If you can’t stand movies on an iPhone, you can still stream from your iPhone to a TV screen. All you’ll need an HDMI cable and this little dongle ($49). I’m willing to travel with these because it also connects my Mac to TV monitors which helps with ergonomics on the road and is pretty pro when visiting clients.
iPhone Memory Stick: Backing up your iPhone pics on the road, can be a pain. It is however, far more painful to lose an entire trips worth of photos. Gulp. Enter the iPhone Memory Stick ($59 – $199 based on GB.) I’m a fan of the design from Leef that enables you to back up your phone and later transfer to your computer with ease. Finally!
No WiFi, No Problem: The more we’re on the road, the happier I am we sprung for GlocalMe (starting at $159). The size of a fat iPhone 4, this gadget connects Bello and my laptops and iPhones to 4G WiFi anywhere we can get a phone signal. Data is not free but you can buy as you go in over 100 countries, outside of monthly data plan options.
PayPal iPhone Credit Card Reader: When clients prefer to pay in person by credit card, what are you going to do, so no? No way! You get the money there and then with this handy gadget from Pay Pal (First one free with account $14 for additional). It clicks into an iPhone and allows you to swipe credit cards anywhere.
These are the portable gems that make being on the road easier, more comfortable and yes, even help a nomad feel at home.