Best gifts for longterm travelers 

(Updated February, 5th, 2016). When someone is about to go on a worldtrip for a whole year, all they can think about is how to get the gadgets that they can’t do without during that time, in the cheapest way possible. To afford them all, it would be nice to get support by friends and family. Apparently most of the people I know at home didn’t really have a clue what a traveler could need. Or they just didn’t put an effort to think about it. Sorry, I don’t want to be mean. Of course I had many ideas about the perfect farewell-gifts, because I had been preparing that trip over many months.
So in case you have a friend or family member who is about to start a around-the-world trip, here are some suggestions that might help you find a suitable gift and make your friend very happy about it:

  • USB sticks
    One of our production partners have proven a lot of creativity over the years making us presents that were all related to film production and creative likes. For example this USB stick with 16 GB, branded with their name. Pretty and practical!
    IMG_7351Nowadays you can find many pen drives with many GBs for little money. I can guarantee you that this is a welcomed present! In my case I had to deal a lot with documents applying for a student Visa for the filmmaking workshop I did in the U.S.. I was very happy to have them mobile to go to let them be printed and scanned. Certainly it’s handy for other important documents for whatever situations you are in, too.
  • Memory cards for cameras
    When you’re traveling to another country you might be carrying your camera with you. When you’re traveling for a long time, you are going to need more than just one memory card. Yes, your friend will probably have a laptop to transfer the pictures to. But not always will your friend have the time to do this. And there’s the chance that he or she will take a short trip where to the laptop will not be taken along with. Changing memory cards during a day trip will be needed.
    If you consider buying a memory card for her/him, first make sure what kind of camera she/he has. For example, if it’s a Canon 7D, this camera only operates with Compact Flash cards. Many other cameras operate with SD cards.
  • Photocamera bag
    Walking around with an expensive camera in a country known for its dangers can be very risky. The best you can do to avoid criminal attention and intention is to have a bag for your camera that doesn’t look like a camera bag. This is what I found, it even has an extra place for the lens and it wasn’t even that expensive, costing 29 Euros.
    (null) IMG_7407 IMG_7409
  • Go pro
    Action travellers that are film freaks at the same time can’t travel without a Go Pro camera. But also for less adrenalin junkies a Go Pro goes handy. Me myself I had just one that I got as a present from above mentioned production company which I used driving up a Favela in Rio de Janeiro. I felt that it was safer for me to have just a little camera that isn’t easily noticeable to avoid unwanted attention and being robbed.
    In this case, too, one can find more expensive but also quite affordable ones.

  • Traveler kits
    Whether it is a washbag or a camping kit, there are some that are made for travelers only and don’t take much space in your luggage. If your friend intends to travel independently, meaning without booking a hostel, open to camping spontanously, this is a MUST, too.
  • External hard drive
    I haven’t counted the number of pictures I have taken over the 12 months. But it must have been more than you can imagine. Using not only a Canon Powershot S95 compact camera, but also 3 different iPhones – iPhone 3G, 4S (both in Brazil) and 5S (in the USA) -, and last but not least two different DSLRs (not at the same time), not only generates tons of pictures but videos, too!
    Hence, the most useful gift I got, was an external harddrive from my family (applause, applause!) with 1 TB saving space. Your traveling friend will definitely need and absolutely appreciate it. It’s not expensive either, so go get your friend this without hesitation.img_7349b
  • Ebook
    Traveling for a long time makes you want to save space in your luggage as possible as you can. You don’t want to carry around heavy stuff, for sure. Hence, books are sometimes the things that you have to leave at home even if it hurts people who are passionate about literature. But you don’t have to give up reading. Ebooks are very light travel companions! I don’t have to tell you more about the models, because they are very popular amongst non-travelers, too. But it’s a good farewell-gift to consider.
  • Selfie-Stick
    Ask a friendly person to take a picture of you with the designated background, and very often this picture is so badly shot… Not everyone can be talented in taking picture (thank god!).
    Yes, if one is traveling alone and wants to take pictures where you see more than just her/his face, a selfie-stick really helps doing this. I hear many people in Germany or Europe bad-mouthing about. Get over it, it’s helpful, it’s cool and it’s even fun for group pictures when you don’t have a tripod with you.


  • Mini tripod
    Traveling on your own makes it hard to take pictures with yourself. A mini-tripod might do the job if you don’t want to take these obvious selfies shot with your smartphones and if you want them with a better quality.
  • Lens hood (see pic above)
    To get even better light quality in your pictures, lens hoods for the camera are a perfect support. Check the lens sizes of your friend’s camera to make sure you buy a lens hood that fits.
  • Mini lenses for Smartphones and iPhones
    If your friend doesn’t want to carry around his/her expensive and heavy camera all the time, there are also mini-lenses for the smartphones to obtain a better quality in smartphone pictures than usual. Not expensive at all! But don’t choose the cheapest ones as they don’t show any difference to your smartphone’s camera. I chose the ones that cost around 25 Euros. They were okay. But I’m sure there are even better ones to find. Make sure there a wide-angle and telephoto lenses in addition to the popular fisheye-lens.
  • Small portable speakers
    Sometimes listening to music over the headphones just isn’t enough. Here’s a gift I got from that production company that proved to be a very good travel companion because of its size and quality. You can plug into your cell phone and into your laptop. This way music pleasure is guaranteed during your trip as well.
  • A little bag to keep the most important things together (passport, flight tickets, etc)
    This little bag I got many years ago as a birthday present by a dear friend turned out to be extremely useful for organizing all your documents and have them ready at the airport. Brand: muji.


Have fun finding this stuff! I’m sure with these gadgets you can make your traveler-friend very happy.

Pictures All Rights Reseverd. ©2015 Cristina Bergfeld.

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