We all have that one friend who's constantly traveling to the world's most exotic locations and making us jealous through all the bookworthy status updates and surreal-looking self-portraits. However, although the Christmas reunion with them is usually full-on exciting, many of us struggle to think of a proper gift for our traveling friends. What do you give to a person whose belongings fit into a backpack?
Thankfully, the answer doesn't always have to be "a useless symbolic gift that is supposed to show love but has no real use". Digital nomads are about efficiency, and they don't carry around stuff that they don't actually need. That's why you should think really hard what could help your friend out in the situations he/she is likely to be in. Let's get right into it.
1. A Powerbank
A reliable, capacious powerbank is really one of the best gifts you could give to anyone reliant on mobile devices, let alone travelers who might find themselves in most unexpected situations. Does your friend often talk over the phone for hours? A powerbank will ensure his battery holds throughout the entire conversation. Does he/she have a habit of forgetting to charge his/her phone before leaving the house? Obviously, powerbank is the answer.
The whole point of having a powerbank is to forget about it - and only use it in case of emergencies, large and small. Whether you need to make an emergency call to save someone's life, or buy a last-minute ticket- there's no bigger relief than to remember that you have a fully charged powerbank when your phone's battery is flat and you need it urgently.
This particular model is the 10000 mAh Anker powerbank, recommended by Amazon specialists. It's currently on sale - you can get it for just $23.99, less than a half of its regular price. However, if you're on a tight budget, make sure to check out the portable charger selection at Amazon – combined with a coupon or two, you could get a quality powerbank for $10.
Powerbanks are light and small - just what you'd want for a traveling friend, who's probably planned out every inch in his/her luggage. Just make sure you get the proper cable for their device - the charger doesn't come with any cable at all.
2. A Waterproof Phone Case
What do smartphones and cats have in common? Right, both of them don't especially like water.
Getting your traveling friend a waterproof phone case can help them out in so many situations. Heavy tropical rain? Not a problem. Accidentally find yourself in the middle of the ocean with your clothes on? Bring it on!
No, seriously, these waterproof cases can be life-saving. Travelers are likely to break their phones during most extreme and dangerous situations - situations where having a working phone could mean the difference between life and death.
Even for nomads who don't partake in unsafe adventures too often, getting your phone fixed in a foreign country can be terribly inconvenient or at all impossible, depending on the location.
iPhones are known to be especially prone to water (unlike Androids, which have build-in water protection), so your traveling friends who use one of the Apple smartphones should be the first ones on the list for this gift.
However, it's not necessarily the disasters when the water-proof case can be useful. Having a tool like that opens up a lot of cool possibilities. You can safely call someone in heavy rain. Or you can literally use your phone underwater - for example, take pictures while scuba diving.
The best part - this terribly useful gadget will cost you around $10 - it's very simple in design and cheap to manufacture. This particular best-selling model is currently discounted and costs $7.99 on Amazon.
3. A Mobile Wi-Fi Router/Charger
Now, while these babies will cost you a little more than $10, it's one of the most useful gifts for a palm-sized $100 gadget.
Firstly, it acts as a portable powerbank. Its 4640 mAh capacity is comparable to those of dedicated powerbanks, and is roughly enough to charge an average smartphone twice. The benefits of having a portable charger were already discussed.
Secondly, it is a Wi-Fi router. Bad wireless connection in your hotel room? Just plug the ethernet cable into this multifunctional device and you'll be the one in charge of the signal strength, not the other way around.
Oh, and it's also a universal media reader (reads SD, microSD cards, has USB ports) and an external hard drive (2 TB data storage). Seriously, what more could you ask out of a $100 buy?