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Affordable and Practical Gifts for Travelers


Living in Cebu translates to random road trips that often culminate in beaches. That’s why I think we travelers must be the easiest to please. Just give us something that feeds our wanderlust, and we are already the happiest creatures on earth.

As a traveler, here are some things I gifted myself, here are some things I would love to receive. For me, these are some of the perfect companions on the road, and your wanderlust friend, lover, or sibling might like them, too. Be it Valentine’s, Christmas’, birthday, anniversary, these are some of the most practical gifts for a wanderer. Personally, these are better than a bouquet, chocolate, or a huge teddy bear.

If you happen to be a wanderlust, I know what you have in mind, you would not wait for someone to buy them for you because you can buy them for yourself. That is, if you have not bought them yet.

Traveler’s Mat and Towel

Yoga Mat and Beach Towel in One

Yoga Mat and Beach Towel in One

I have been looking for an #ootd travel towel for a while. Something that can be easily rolled. Something that does not consume a lot of space in the bag. The search was long, and the choices were narrow. But finding this one pays off. If you want to have your own, just leave a message below or send us a message on Yanni’s Quaint Accents’ Facebook page.


World Map Passport Holder

Passport Holder

We work our butts off to travel. That I know. We work ours butts off more to travel abroad. That I know too. Personally, I loved dressing up my developing country passport. Surprisingly, it turns my time with the immigration officer light and fun. My passport holder sometimes puts a smile in the IO’s face.


Tribal-themed Camera Strap

When writing turns hard, I take a walk, oftentimes with a camera in hand. The thing with using your camera, the strap becomes smelly and is easily dirtied. To have an extra strap to change it to is always a lovely option. To have an instagrammable camera strap is a plus.

Passport Holder at Yanni's for Php250.00 (FREE SHIPPING)

Passport Holder at Yanni’s for Php250.00 (FREE SHIPPING)


World Map Necklace

I love bling-blings that tell the world the things I believe in. I believe in the power of travel. I used to memorize the world map back in high school. The fascination does not die down. So I found this quaint World Map Necklace to use in special occasions.

World Map Necklace at Php230.00 (EXCLUSIVE OF SHIPPING FEE)

World Map Necklace 


Travel the world with a map tote

map tote-001

Most of us are incapable of traveling the whole world, but we can always dream and work our ass off for that dream to come true. In the meantime, why not gift someone or yourself with a map tote? The romantic wanderlust would surely love this. I have a big one myself and use it for day trips somewhere down south. It is foldable; so for longer trips, you can use it as your day bag and fold it (it comes with a pouch) when it is time to move to another place. Carrying a world map tote is like carrying your dream fashionably bold.

QUESTION: Is it expensive? I got mine for P300. I found slightly smaller ones for P100 in Carbon, the biggest market in Cebu, so these bags must be available in chinatowns and downtowns.

Warm up with a thermos

A dear woman gifted me two thermoses two Christmases ago, and I lost them both. Guess where? Yes, on the bus. I would often leave the city at the crack of dawn with sikwate or coffee in the thermos and sip it slowly on the seat across the driver’s to fight the chilly dusk. Since then, I had been on a look out for the perfect thermos. My definition of perfect is just something romantic to look at really. Some months ago, I found a travel-themed thermos with a question itched on the body: where you wanna go? with details such as cactus and Eiffel tower around.


So when I feel like having a date with myself, I pack a cup, some healthy snacks, a book, snorkeling gear, blanket, and thermos filled with hot coffee and go to the nearest beach. I find it romantic for a couple to have coffee while waiting for the sun to rise too. Dates do not have to be expensive.

QUESTION: Is it expensive? I got mine at P180.00 somewhere downtown. Tip: check places where the mass go like Novo or Unitop.

A snorkeling gear for the sea creatures

Snorkeling Gear
I know some travelers who do not know how to swim yet love chilling by the sea. But some travelers like me travel with a snorkeling/diving mask around. If you know someone who loves swimming and does not own a snorkeling gear yet, this is the perfect gift. It is more practical to have one, rentals start at P150.00, and if you go swimming every other week, then that can cost money in the long run. It is a great way to know the sea better too. My all-time project in the Philippines is to visit off-the-beaten islands [blame our 7107 islands: READ: my 12 Months of Beaches in the Philippines], and I never went anywhere without it because some beaches I checked did not have resorts at all.

QUESTION: Is it expensive? Depending on the type, it can be expensive. Mine is a diving mask, so it cost me P1000.00. A diver friend gave his old fins, so a pair did not cost me a cent. But the snorkeling gear (mask and fins) is around P1000. Masks start at P250.00

Write your journey in a journal

Travel Journal

Sometimes a journey happens so fast that you forget some of the details. And when you start reminiscing your trips, you keep asking yourself, what did I do again? with that dumb and empty look on your face. Believe me, it happened to me. A lot.

Keeping a travel journal makes you slow down, contemplate, ponder on the things you have seen, listened to, touched, tasted. It makes you see details that you would normally overlook. And when someone asked you about your trip, you can tell a story with a lot of details.

QUESTION: Is it expensive? I just got yet another travel journal over the weekend for P80.00, another lovely find in Carbon. Hot these days are Surat travel journals. I do not mind receiving yet another travel journal. 😉

Duo gadgets for the road: powerbank and external hard drive

Travel Gear

Having a powerbank is to stay connected you might say, i.e., Facebook, IG, and Twitter. It can be for something else. Your phone or your tablet, and I guess I do not have to tell you this, is not only for social media. A powerbank is a great support when you ran out of battery while on the road. This, I learned when I backpacked five countries and experienced bus-riding for twenty hours.

With VIP buses around mainland Asia (I know, it sounded so elitist, but most locals use it), I could do some writing on my pad or jot down notes on the phone. If you know someone who is a trigger-happy, an external hard drive is a must.

QUESTION: Is it expensive? I bought (and lost) my powerbank (it can fully charge three phones) online for P900.00. A one-terrabyte external hard drive is priced at P3000.00. Tip: Buy the one with a sturdy cable.

Go somewhere you have never been through books

It would be odd to name my blog Backpacking with a Book without mentioning books here. You must have travel guides in mind like Lonely Planet or popular reads like Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love. No. Travel literature is a place worth exploring. What I have in mind are in-depth narratives on places by noteworthy travel writers such as the romanticist and sentimentalist Pico Iyer (he wrote about the Philippines!) and the adventure rock star Paul Theroux (find his essay on Palawan on the New York Times). Or if you know someone who loves the combination of the lyrical and the quotable, Rebecca Solnitt and Andre Aciman are love. Their books can be found in bookstores.

But any book will do really. Right now, Travelling Concepts: Postcolonial Approaches to Exoticism and Diversity interests me. So, I do not mind having it.

QUESTION: Is it expensive? Their books are priced around P600.00. You can take your chance in secondhand bookstores like BookSale for cheaper finds

Gift-giving does not necessarily require money. Well, for me the best gifts are the handcrafted, well-thought-out, something that requires creativity and beautiful worlds of words. Yes, letter, poems, and non-Hallmark kind of cards. Gifts like these are more valued, more valuable than expensive commercial-induced gifts.

How about you? What do you want to receive? What do you want to give?

Jona of Backpacking with a Book

Hi there, I’m Jona, originally from Cebu, Philippines, had live in Hanoi, Vietnam, and now currently based in Munich, Germany. This blog used to house thoughts on life and books, but eventually it morphed into a travel blog. For collaborations, projects, and other things, please email me at For essays, creative nonfiction, and others, find me elsewhere.

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  1. Karin says:

    Hello Jona, the book you are talking about – travel and postcolonialism being both my interests – caught my eye. I have downloaded it as a PDF, if you want, I can pass it along.

  2. I am just fine if somebody pays me an out of the country trip somewhere. Hahaha! XD I really don’t need material things as a gift. A gift of experience I am after for – travel invitations, more memories, photos, videos, laughter. 🙂

  3. […] QUICK TIP! Advanced snorkelers or freedivers, bring your own gear since there is no equipment that can be rented. Tingko Beach has a drop that can be a good place to test your lungs. [READ: Affordable and Practical Gifts to Travelers] […]

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