If you’re looking for the best gifts for digital nomads then we’ve got you covered. Travelling the world for two years now while working from all sorts of different settings has meant that we have a list of great possible gifts for digital nomads as long as our sailboat. So with the holidays fast approaching we wanted to share our top ideas for the best gifts for digital nomads, so that you don’t have to do the hard work yourselves!
Why Is It So Hard To Find Great Gifts For Digital Nomads?
Digital nomads live their lives out of a backpack. They really can’t carry much ‘stuff’, and in fact, probably one of the reasons they’ve chosen the digital nomad lifestyle is because they don’t want much stuff.
The good news is that even someone living and working from a backpack has a list of things they need and want. Just because we live simply doesn’t mean we don’t lust after something we wouldn’t buy for ourselves from time to time! There’s also a lot of things that make the life of a digital nomad easier, and when you’re living on the road full time you really do want things to go as smoothly as possible.
What Makes The Best Gifts For Digital Nomads?
The best gifts for digital nomads are the ones that are well thought out. When buying for your friend that lives in a nice two up two down cottage you can get artistic with your gift giving. A digital nomad, however, has no use for pretty candles, vases, a chunky knit sweater when they’re backpacking Asia or a pair of festive socks when they spend their days surfing at the beach.
The best gifts for digital nomads are practical, small (ish) and lightweight. They’re gifts that won’t take up much room at all, or that can be used and then left (a book for example can be read and then left in a hostel for someone else). Think your gifts through carefully (or let us think the gift through carefully by choosing something listed below!) and a digital nomad will be forever thankful for your gift!
Best Gifts For Digital Nomads Under $25
If you’re looking for more of a stocking filler, or a work secret Santa gift, then here is the best section for you. These are great gifts for under $25 that I promise will be loved by any digital nomad.
A Sunglasses Chain
I can’t even count the number of sunglasses I’ve lost on my digital nomad adventures, and I wish I’d been gifted one of these sooner. The days of frumpy sunglasses lanyards are gone. Small business owner sisters – Sun Soul Sisters – have revolutionized sunglasses fashion with these cute, unique designs. They ship worldwide and are a great gift for a digital nomad that feels special but is also super useful!
My favourite is the Langkawi shell design pictured above, but they have a range of individual chains for all tastes. The goa rope designs are great for any digital nomad into their watersports, and something a little more dressy check out the Gili stone design.
A Travel Journal
We spend our whole lives on the road, taking in new experiences and meeting new people. We also spend our whole lives on our laptops, working and catching up with our friends and family back home! Having somewhere to store memories and thoughts away from the computer is not only fun but it’s also a great way to kick back and relax.
I love these travel journals with added pockets, so that you can store leaflets, business cards and any little memory souvenirs you collect along the way.
A Thoughtful Gift Voucher For Digital Nomads
I know that gift cards seem like a boring gift to give a digital nomad, but trust me, they’re the best! Especially gift cards that you can spend on anything, like the ones from Amazon. These are especially great gifts if you know there are lots of you buying for the same person (like a leaving work gift), as you can all club together and get something worth a lot more for a little.
As you travel you start building up a list of things you want to buy but just can’t justify spending the money on, and even though they might not be things you’d want to buy someone as a gift (underwear springs to mind!) they’re things you really want to buy for yourself!
You could always give it with a condition, like you can only spend this gift card on something you wouldn’t buy for yourself usually. Or use the $25 Air BnB as an extra on top of a room rate you’d usually spend, so you get somewhere a little more special to stay for a night! That would be a real treat for any digital nomad!
Foldable Yoga Mat
For any digital nomad that likes to keep fit, this is the perfect gift for them. Even if they have a conventional yoga mat, they will love this foldable one more. Yoga mats are a really useful bit of kit for a digital nomad as it’s often quite hard to find places to work out. With a yoga mat you can work out literally anywhere – in communal spaces, outside, on a sailboat!
The problem with normal yoga mats is that they’re so hard to carry. When you attach them to the top of a backpack they won’t go through as normal luggage on a flight, and you end up taking out every person you walk past.
These foldable ones fit into a backpack or tote bag easily, so you can take them anywhere!
Laptop Sleeve Gift For Digital Nomads
This is the sort of thing the digital nomad in your life probably already has, and it’s probably fraying, covered in coffee stains and looking well past its best. But it’s also the sort of thing you don’t bother to replace.
Having someone to buy you a pretty, smart looking new one is every digital nomads dream!
A Silk Sleeping Mask
This is the perfect present for a digital nomad. We spend half our lives trying to sleep in ‘interesting’ places – buses, trains, noisy hostel rooms. These eye masks are so luxurious and they really do help you sleep. It’s also the sort of thing you would never think to buy yourself, making it the perfect gift for a digital nomad.
Foldable Backpack Gift For Digital Nomads
This is a ” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener nofollow”>super useful gift for a digital nomad. They will obviously have a main backpack that they’ll use for every day life, but sometimes you want to carry a few extras that you’ve picked up along the way, or you want to keep your wet swim stuff separate, or you need to carry a backpack full of food and drink for a long journey.
Usually your spare extra bag is in the form of a tote bag or something impractical so one wrong move and everything is all over the floor, but a rucksack is soooo much more useful. They zip up securely, they have multiple carrying options so you don’t have to try and juggle a million different bags in different ways, and if you need a lightweight day bag they are perfect. Most are also water resistant and have things like pockets for bottles.
These fold down so small you barely notice them, unless you need them!
A Digital Subscription
Though digital nomads don’t have much space in their bags, they do end up with free time on their hands, especially when you wind up in places where it’s harder to meet other people. Long nights alone can be pretty tough at times, and a digital subscription to a favourite entertainment service can be really comforting and just what you need after working in a strange city all day.
We have subscriptions to Netflix (thanks Dad!) and Audible. Both we use almost daily now it’s the winter time and harder to get off the sailboat in the evenings!
You could also consider subscriptions to something like Spotify or the Headspace meditation app. A digital subscription is a really safe bet for any digital nomad, but also a real treat. The perfect gift.
A Dry Bag For Travel
Living on a sailboat means we live out of our dry bags, but they’re incredible for anyone who is travelling – whether it’s in a city or a rainforest! Dry bags make sure all your electronics stay dry in rain, humidity or full on water. When your a digital nomad you’re really relying on those electronics, so having a bag that will keep them safe is essential!
Portable Battery Charger
The amount of times this thing has saved me!
When you’re on the road a lot it’s easy to forget to charge your devices and guaranteed they’ll run out right when you need them (which is often when you’re a digital nomad!) These portable battery chargers are perfect to keep tucked into your day bag, and if you know which phone your digital nomad has then an even more thoughtful gift would be to buy them a USB cable to go with it, so they’re never without a charge solution!
The Best Digital Nomad Gifts For Under $50
If you’re looking to spend a little more money then there are the best digital nomad gifts for under $50.
Speakeasy Travel Scarf
These are very cool. Not only do they come in a range of really pretty designs suited for all sorts of different weather, but they also have an inbuilt secret pocket for you to keep valuables.
This is a great gift idea for any female digital nomads in your life, as we often don’t have pockets in our clothes and don’t want to lug around a bag everywhere we go.
I use mine for all sorts of things too, they make great buffs or head scarfs!
When you’re working on a laptop all day in random places around the world you’re going to come across some pretty awful ‘desks’ (mine is currently in my bed!) Laptop stands are great because you can adjust the height of your workspace to fit your needs. They save you from neck, back and head aches you get from crouching over all the time.
A portable laptop stand is easy to carry around and incredibly useful. Although this isn’t the most fun digital nomad gift it’s one that will be thoroughly appreciated!
If the recipient doesn’t already have an external keyboard for their laptop then you might want to consider getting them one of these too, as it’s hard to use the keyboard on a floating laptop!
Lifestraw Water Bottle
Lifestraw filter bottles are perfect for anyone who loves to travel. They filter out any nasties that you might get from water straight from the tap or rivers and streams, meaning you can save money and the environment and do away with plastic water bottles while you’re on the go!
A Hammock For Two
I love this as a gift for digital nomads as it’s something you totally wouldn’t think to buy for yourself but would just love to receive. You might think digital nomads just sit around all day relaxing with their laptops, and you’d be right. Sort of. Ok, so you don’t often get the opportunity to work from a hammock but if you had one in your backpack then you would absolutely use it – even if just for drinking cocktails after work.
You can get cheap hammocks made from that plastic parachute material, but as it’s a gift I’d recommend you go for something a little nicer like this cotton hammock.
The Best Gifts For Digital Nomads For Under $75
Here are some of the best gifts for digital nomads that you can pick up for under $75.
A Travel Speaker
We have the JBL Charge 4 on the boat and it’s incredible. It’s been thrown around all over the place and is still going strong. We haven’t thrown it over board yet but it’s been splashed – a lot – and the sound quality is still amazing. This is a travel speaker that’s worth the money for any music lovers out there. If you’re looking for the best rugged speaker around then check out our review here.
Perhaps a better alternative for a travel stocking stuffer gift is the JBL Clip 3. It’s tiny, waterproof and rugged but still gives out amazing sound quality. It’s also a great budget option. It will clip onto a hiking bag or backpack for on the go tunes too!
Noise Cancelling Headphones
I wouldn’t normally recommend noise cancelling headphones for travel. I feel like they cut you off from the world too much in unfamiliar places. But when you’re a digital nomad they really are a game changer, especially if you find noise super distracting like Adam.
These are great for working in busy cafes or noisy shared apartments, or even for city apartments where the traffic is a little too much. They make it so much easier to concentrate and you can obviously use them for way more than just work.
Multitool Knife For Digital Nomads
Before I met Adam I never travelled with a multitool but he carries one everywhere, and now I’m not sure how I got by without one! We don’t use all the tools very often, but we use a choice few A LOT. For things like cutting cheese for our picnic sandwiches and rescuing baby birds from balls of string! These Leatherman knives come with a 25 year warrantee, because they’re just so good!
The Best Gifts For Digital Nomads For Under $100
If you’re looking to spend a little more on a digital nomad gift for someone special then here are a few ideas!
An Rugged External Hard Drive
Photos are probably the only thing you really don’t want to lose while you’re travelling. Ever since my sister’s friend lost her memory card full of photos of a year long round the world trip (and obviously most of those photos were of my sister – this was back in the times of when you didn’t take pictures of yourself!) I always carry a portable hard drive.
I try not to delete the photos from my memory card and make back ups on the hard drive, then I know I have them in at least two places. A rugged, portable hard drive is something you probably won’t have thought to pack as a first time traveller, so this is a great digital nomad gift for anyone heading off on a long trip.
Tinggly Gift Card
This is my dream digital nomad gift. The whole reason digital nomads take to the road is because they want to experience the world. Tinggly have come up with the perfect gift for any travel fanatic – an experience.
You choose a gift box to give (starting at $79) and then the recipient can choose from literally hundreds of different experiences in 100 different countries. They could choose a cookery class in Thailand, scuba diving in Mexico, a hot air balloon ride over Prague or bungee jumping in New Zealand. It’s literally the best digital nomad gift out there!
The Best Gifts For Digital Nomads To Splash Out On
These are really special gifts that anyone would love to receive, especially a digital nomad. If you’re looking for the best of the best gift to give a digital nomad then look no further!
This is a very cool gift for a digital nomad. It gives you the ability to watch films from anywhere, and will make you a popular person to be around! You could take it down the beach, round a friends, use it in a campsite, where ever you like! All you need is a blank background or a cleverly placed bedsheet and you’re good to go!
Waterproof Kindle Gift For Digital Nomads
This is the perfect gift for any digital nomad that loves to read. I resisted getting one, as I love the way books feel, but I was given one as a gift and haven’t looked back. You can carry around as many books as you want in a tablet that’s smaller and lighter than a book. I used to read a book a week, and lug around half a bag full of them for when I ran out. It was pretty ridiculous now I think of it!
These waterproof kindles can be used pretty much anywhere and they fit so perfectly into a day bag so you can have it on you at all times (especially useful when you find yourself eating alone in a café!)
Go Pro Hero 9
This is a pretty expensive digital nomad gift so you’d better make sure they’ve been good all year before buying them this travel gift!
The Go Pro ranges of camera are hands down the best for travel or adventure. Travel takes you on some crazy adventures and this is a camera you can really take anywhere.
If you want to look at the best options out there in terms of action cameras then check out our detailed review here.
So there you have – the best gift for digital nomads in one handy list! If you haven’t found something to give as a present to a digital nomad from this list then I’m not sure you will! Let us know how they were received, or if there’s anything we should add! We’re always looking for more interesting gift ideas to add to our own letters to Santa!