The 2017 Holiday Gift
Guide
for Travelers, RVers
& Vanlifers

a traveling, backpacking santa clause

Photo by Kevin Dooley

By

Yeah, it’s true. Travelers typically love to live small, eschewing possessions in favor of a life of experiences.

That said, some of us still like to be thought of come the holiday season. If you’re searching for the perfect gift for that full-time RVer, vandweller or any other type of traveler out there, check out these great ideas, most of them made by travelers themselves.

BareNaked Santa

boxer shorts gone stockings
Forget the stocking, hang yourself a pair of Santa’s boxers by the chimney…with care!

Want to do some good for families in need, affected by the many hardships of the hurricanes and other disasters that swept through the nation this year? The BareNaked Family is doing their BareNaked Santa fundraiser again this year. For a donation of $25 or more, you’ll not only help a family who could really use it this Christmas, but you’ll also get a pair of boxer shorts–Santa’s boxers by the way–as a sort of ornament / reminder for years to come.

You can even have it sent to that traveler with a sense of humor you know out there!

Check Out BareNaked Santa

Clothing Gift Ideas for Travelers

Uncommonly Normal

three t-shirts for various types of humans from uncommonly normal
Clothes, hats and more for all types of travelers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Andrea Trower was inspired by a friend’s daughter to take back her life and hit the road, so in April of 2016 she and her family ditched their stuff and loaded up into an RV to do just that. Along the way, she created Uncommonly Normal, apparel with an outdoor focus, and where 10% of the proceeds go to a scholarship fund for girls in her hometown.

Shop Uncommonly Normal

Wand’rly Tees in the Road

two young boys wearing t-shirts, doing junior ranger books at a state park in florida
No gift guide would be complete without a little shameless self-promotion, now would it?

We’ve been planning on selling these shirts we made up for our own kids a few years back for a long time…but were just too busy traveling around the world and having fun exploring life with our little boys. Now that we’re taking a minute or two to relax in one place for the holidays, we figured we’d put them out there in the world.

Printed on American Apparel shirts, they’re the lightweight, fitting type every hip toddler wants to wear. Or, at the very least, they’ll make mom smile. For ages 2 – 12, and you can order them right here on our site!

Shop Wand’rly Tees in the Road

Culinary Gift Ideas for Travelers

Third Coast Woodwork

an ipa and olives on a wooden cutting board in front of a mountain scene
Handmade wooden cutting boards

The Wandering Vores–a family of four full-time RVing out of their motorhome–make these beautiful, handmade, high quality wooden cutting boards in several shapes and sizes. After all, friends don’t let friends use plastic cutting boards!

Shop Third Coast Woodwork

Hardcore Smokehouse

smokehouse
Porkfection Rub from Hardcore Smokehouse

Know a traveler in the US who loves to smoke their own pork? Countless smokers all over Texas’ park system can’t be wrong. RVer Chris W. Langer’s Porkfection is the perfect, no-clutter gift to send their way this holiday season.

Chris and his girlfriend Jinx travel the country in their 2003 Fleetwood Excursion. Decades ago he learned to smoke brisket somewhere in Texas, and began catering events and smoking his own barbecue during their travels. In the last few years he began making his own rubs, and has just begun selling them online.

Shop Hardcore Smokehouse

Busy Bees Reusable Food Wrap

organic food wraps
Don’t lose it, reuse it!

We first met Vanessa in Palenque, Chiapas while she and her family were traveling around Mexico in their van. She’s come up with a really cool idea for the environmentally conscious traveler: reusable food wraps.

Coated with organic beeswax and pine rosin, they don’t get all gross like regular fabric and don’t clog up the oceans and landfills like plastic wraps.

Busy Bees on Facebook

Gift Ideas for the Traveling Drinker

Travel Amateurs

green koozies
Camping: Where you pay a small fortune to live like a homeless person

Jenna and Josh left Washington, DC in their truck camper with their sights set on Argentina. Both tend to enjoy an adult beverage or two, and with refrigeration and cool temperatures tending to be scarce as one wanders through the tropics, what better sidekick than these hilarious koozies?

Shop Travel Amateurs

The Roaming Pint

Brian and Maria scour the nation looking for the next best brewery or six pack from their RV / home on the road. Last year they put together a fun holiday guide of their own, check it out here.

Artistic Gift Ideas for Travelers

Get the Camera

photos printed on wood
Nature scenes printed on wood.

Take a beautiful photo of some sweeping natural landscape or the animals that live in those settings…and print it on a board! This truly awesome idea takes the idea of buying someone a gorgeous work of art and sets it apart by printing nature on nature.

Shop Get the Camera

ChiChi’s Whimsical Crochet

unique and cute creations by Rachel
We’ve personally purchased one of these for all of our nieces and nephews!

Rachel and her husband have been traveling the US via their 5th wheel travel trailer since 2016. Somewhere along the way she started making these adorable little crochet animals. More and more people requested them, and now she’s got a whole Etsy store!

Shop ChiChi’s Whimsical Crochet

Vacilando Quilting

a woman holding up a gorgeous quilt in Joshua Tree National Park
One of Laura’s creations blowing in the Mojave wind desert.

Laura and her boyfriend John began full-time RVing in their vintage Airstream, as the Democratic Travelers. We had the pleasure of meeting them years ago in Banff and have been following their journey all along. Somewhere along the way, she began handcrafting these amazing quilts inspired by the places they’ve gone.

Shop Vacilando Quilting

FanGlasstic Glass Ornaments

various glass ornaments
Um, beautiful nature-inspired glass ornaments? Is there a better fit for the season?

Tamsen Arabi makes these adorable glass sculptures that would make a perfect ornament for any holiday-based tree, or just to hang from the rearview mirror!

Shop Fanglasstic

Big Dog Decal Creations

I go where I'm and then there's a picture of a toad
Custom vinyl graphics

Judging from the industries’ desire to put as many swooshes, swipes and swirls as possible on the outside of all their rigs, RVers must love vinyl graphics! If you know someone who’d like to customize their motorhome or travel trailer, or even their tow car, check out these inventive (and customizable) RV vinyl graphics on Etsy.

Shop Big Dog Decal Creations

Book Ideas for Travelers

Airstream Book

my kids holding the living the airstream life book
We’re featured in this book all about the history of Airstream, and those who live and travel in them.

This extremely well made, hardcover book is full of big photos and the stories of people living with Airstreams, traveling families like us and all sorts of other interesting tidbits about the company and culture that has risen up around this true American classic. A great coffee table choice for anyone you know who’s already got an Airstream, or those who are dreaming of getting into the scene.

Get Living the Airstream Life

New American Dream Book

the new american dream propped up on the end table in the back of our van
Stories of full-time RVers and vandwellers by Kristin Shawtree.

This easy-to-read paperback is full of the stories of and interviews with those of us who live the traveling life. It’s perfect for that special someone in your life who isn’t yet on the road, but dreams of it. From traveling couples like the Vagabroads who traveled from Nashville to Central America living out of a rooftop tent to those of families on the road (ahem, we’re in the book), the author breaks things down into bite size, easily digested morsels of goodness. There are also charts and stats that help you figure out which stories are most inline with your own situation, show you how many other people are in a similar situation as you are, and help to overcome any fears you might have of making your own living on the road dream come true.

Get the New American Dream

Gadget Ideas for Travelers

ThePhotoStick Mobile

a small thumb drive type device for use with smartphones
This little guy will allow you to pull thousands of pictures off of your phone, freeing up space for that next perfect shot.

Ever found yourself about to take that perfect shot of the sun rising over your favorite mountain as a herd of bighorns careens down the hillside, lighting perfect, camera in hand, and then…”Sorry, you have no space left on your phone for pictures” happens?

The Photo Stick Mobile aims to remedy this scenario. It’s essentially a thumb drive for your phone, whether it be Android or iPhone, so you never have to miss that perfect picture again.

Get ThePhotoStick Mobile

Cell Booster

a cell phone booster mounted to the top of a van, a rainbow shines behind
Cell booster like the Drive Sleek can make a world of a difference for those travelers who still need cell reception, but want to stay in more remote locations.

We traveled for years without one of these handy little devices, and never knew exactly what we were missing. We’d often give up some of the most beautiful camping spots in North America come Monday morning because, well, no cell service. Ever since WeBoost hooked us up with their Drive Sleek cell phone booster, the opportunities to snag an extra bar or two–or find service where there was no signal before–have opened our world up!

Now, they’re not magic…if there is no service to be had, they won’t help you. But on average they’ll give you an extra bar or two, and sometimes–just sometimes–even manage to rustle up a bar or two where there previously were none.

Get the WeBoost Drive Sleek

Photo by Kevin Dooley