As the final month of the year comes around, we can feel the Christmas gift-buying panic setting in. Have I left it too late? What if I can’t find what I am looking for? And what in the jolly stocking am I going to buy everyone anyway? These are just some of the classic Christmas gift-buying panic questions that we all struggle with. But what if the person you’re buying for lives in a small VW Bus? You can’t very well buy them a new ornament for their fireplace, can you? No, for Buslifers, there’s an extra-long list of factors to consider.
Luckily, as our Christmas gift to you, we have written the ultimate list of gifts for Buslifers in 2022. Every item, from The Scrubba travel washing machine to the 12V coffee machine and unbreakable wine glasses has been carefully chosen with all the practicalities of Buslife in mind.
Tech Christmas gifts for Buslifers
Those with a bigger budget looking to find high-ticket gifts for Buslifers should check out the latest must-have travel gadgets. From photography to electricity, the list of useful Buslife tech items is ever-growing, but we have chosen the ones we think will be the highest on every Buslifers’ wish list.
Solar power solutions: Portable Jackery Folding Solar Panel
Whether you have no solar panels or a generous 500 watts, the solar-powered charging banks for phones and other USB-accessible devices are a useful addition to any VW Bus. This portable 60-watt folding solar panel with USB and USB-C connections by Jackery is easily used, stored, and transported. You can secure it to your roof when driving in good weather and stand it towards the sun when you’re stationary to get the best out of the sun’s power.
Drone: DJI Mavic Mini 2
Help Buslifers document their travels with a drone that allows them to capture the perfect birds-eye-view pictures and videos of their scenic road trips and pretty park-ups. DJI have been at the forefront of drone technology since, well forever and this latest edition of the Mavic Mini is perfect for the hobbist content creator (and professional!). Its less pricy than some of the other DJI drones and packs small.
If you’re really looking to push the boat out though, the DJI Mavic 3 is about as good as it gets!
Internet connectivity: Starlink Satellite for RVs
Give your Buslifer the ultimate gift this Christmas with Starlink — the gift of high-speed internet wherever they go. The revolutionary small wireless satellite dish guarantees a strong internet connection in places 5g or other internet providers could never reach. This allows Buslifers greater freedom to travel further and wider, and wilder.
Mini movie theater: Cine-Lite Cube Projector
This powerful universally compatible Cine-Lite Cube HD projector provides the perfect cinematic experience for Buslifers. Connectable via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB, or HDMI to all mobile and computer devices, it is easy to use no matter where the bus is parked. With a 180” screen projection and 1080p resolution, it allows users to watch Netflix, YouTube, and other streaming services or downloaded videos with clarity.
Solar panel alternatives: Jackery portable power station
The Jackery may not immediately seem as exciting as a drone or projector, but gift a portable power station to your beloved Buslifer and just watch their face beam. After all, Buslifers will love any gift that allows them more freedom, and this rechargeable battery-powered generator will do just that.
Kitchenware Christmas gifts for Buslifers
Inspire the Buslifer in your life to get cooking again this Christmas with gifts that will have them whipping on an apron and digging out the spices. From the latest cookware to classic kitchen gadgets, make sure your beloved Buslifer’s VW is well-equipped. Or simply encourage them to try new dishes with a cookbook designed for Buslifers.
Gift your beloved Buslifer with their very own Omnia Oven to save them from slaving over the stove every day. Convecting heat just like an actual oven, the Omnia makes it easy to make everything from lasagnes and pizza to cakes.
We could all use a little cooking inspo every now and then, especially if you live in a tiny home-on-wheels with limited fridge space. A Buslife-specific cookbook would go a long way in making a nomad’s day, especially if it is digital like this one curated by vanlifers Eamon and Bec.
Portable Picopresso Espresso Machine
Buslifers often miss their home comforts on the road, but with the Wacaco Picopresso portable espresso machine, the road will feel much more like home. Measuring just over 4×3 inches, this nifty little thing is the perfect coffee machine as it’s lightweight and easily stored. Featuring a double filter basket, tamper, scoop, brush, distribution tool, funnel, and protective case, the Picopresso is set to serve café-quality coffee.
Buslifers are always looking for ways to save space in their VW Bus and so they will love this space-saving Abizoe 12 Piece Non-Stick Cookware Set. Not only is it stackable, but you can take off the handles making storage easy and stress-free. Plus, it’s high quality makes it durable, efficient, and long-lasting.
Unbreakable wine glasses by Bravario
Gift your Buslifer with unbreakable wine glasses like these elegant stemless ones from Bravario. They won’t have to choose between drinking wine out of plastic cups or risking it with delicate wine glasses that might not last the trip ever again. Trust us, this is an ever-contemplated conundrum as a Buslifer!
Sustainable Christmas gifts for Buslifers
Buslifers are always looking for new ways to be more sustainable on the road and leave less of a footprint in the places they go. So choosing items that are sustainable and eco-friendly is a thoughtful way of gifting as it shows you care about what they care about. And with brand new ethically-minded businesses popping up all the time, it’s easy to find the perfect sustainable gift.
Organic basics and outerwear
A Buslifer’s wardrobe is limited on the road, which is why they love to have durable staple pieces like organic basics and outerwear. Practical, stylish, and sustainable, brands like Rapanui and Patagonia are perfect gifts for Buslifers, especially those who appreciate sustainable and ethical clothing and those who spend a lot of time outdoors.
Travel washing machine: The Scrubba
Finding places and time to do your laundry on the road can really hinder the freedom of a Buslifer, but thanks to The Scrubba, a packable manual washing machine, this is no longer the case. This carbon-neutral company has created patented technology that allows you to effectively wash clothes in a watertight bag. Since it is super light and folds right down, it is the perfect washing machine solution for us Buslifers.
A VW experience
Perhaps the person you’re buying for is a VW Bus enthusiast, but they’ve never had a taste of the Buslife. If so, you can make their dreams come true by hiring them their own VW Bus for a week or weekend with Goboony or Outdoorsy. Not only are new experiences so much more valuable than new possessions, they’re much more environmentally friendly too!
Reusable garbage bag: TOMBag
Many Buslifers choose to live/travel in vehicles to lower their carbon footprint, but it isn’t very simple when it comes to managing waste on the road. With the TOMBag, a reusable and washable garbage bag made from 100% recycled materials, waste management is much easier. Not only does it save hundreds of plastic bags from being thrown away each year, it contains smells and fits into any space.
Instead of buying a tangible item that requires its own space in the VW Bus, consider gifting an exciting experience instead. This annual Worldpackers subscription will give your beloved Buslifer exclusive access to a list of amazing volunteer opportunities around the world. Plus, many of the opportunities are related to sustainability projects!
Dinnerware is an essential Buslife purchase, but camping items are traditionally made from poor-quality plastic that doesn’t last well. Buslifers would, therefore, be thrilled with a bamboo dinnerware alternative, which is often lighter and more durable than plastic — two big benefits when trying to live a sustainable life on the road.
Zero waste gift box
A zero-waste gift box is ideal for those that want to get a sustainable gift, but don’t know where to start searching for one that would be exciting and purposeful for the recipient. Filled with cool ‘bits-and-bobs’ like metal straws, bamboo toothbrushes, soaps, and much more, this is a gift that can’t go wrong. Check out Earth Hero or Etsy for the best boxes out there.
Inspiring travel books
Yes, books are bulky, heavy items that take up a lot of space in a tiny VW Bus, especially if the to-read list is piling up. However, once the reader is finished with the book, they can regift it to someone else on the road, thus freeing up space again. Plus, peoples’ taste in books are very unique to them, which makes gifting one very special. Luckily, the books on our list of Christmas gifts for Buslifers cover all bases.
A travel-lovers classic: On the road – Jack Kerouac
Not only is this modern classic book about life on the road an enthralling and wanderlust-inducing read, but its author, Jack Kerouac, is also considered to be one of the pioneers of the Buslife movement. A must-read for anyone that loves adventure.
Most inspirational non-fiction: Wild Places (Volume 6) – Sarah Baxter
Inspire your Buslifer to travel to more wild and untamed places in 2023 with this beautifully illustrated book of 25 must-see unspoilt places of the natural world. From the humbling Scottish Highlands to Namibia’s Skeleton Coast and Australia’s Wilpena Pound mountains, it introduces you to places you’ve probably never heard of, but will most definitely want to go.
A gripping new travel book: The Slow Road to Tehran – Rebecca Lowe
A humorous and insightful account of a woman’s solo cycling expedition across the Middle East at the height of the Syrian War. As well as teaching you more about the troubles faced by Middle Eastern countries, this compelling account of Lowe’s travels highlights the beauty of the region and how it transformed her along the way.
Can’t-go-wrong book: 50 States, 500 Campgrounds – Joe Yogerst
There’s no better book to gift a Buslifer than one that shows them exactly where to go and what to do like 50 States, 500 Campgrounds. Finding good places to camp is often a time-consuming struggle and this book, filled with top-tier camping options, will take all of their stress away.
Stocking filler gifts for Buslifers
When it comes to stocking fillers, Buslifers don’t want anything that isn’t going to be consumable or super practical. So avoid cute but useless gifts like snow globes, mini Christmas jukeboxes, and joke books (most of them should never have been published anyway). Instead, fill them with their favorite chocolate, candy, and other treats they might not be able to find on their travels. And for non-consumables? Check this list of gifts for Buslifers below.
Buslifers calendar 2023
This calendar should be in every Buslifers stocking this year! 12 of the most inspirational Buslifers from around the world to inspire your 2023 adventures!
Four boys of summer clothing
This family owned clothing brand from San Diego fit the Buslife vibe perfectly and are offering a 20% discount for all Buslifers. Just use buslifer20 at checkout for your discount!
Ok so this might be the least fun stocking filler to give anyone at first glance, but for a Buslifer, a fridge deodorizer is something to get excited about. Living in a small space, it’s super important to keep the bus smelling fresh and this item will be a big help.
Carbon monoxide detector
Nothing says “I care about you” at Christmas to a Buslifer than a carbon monoxide detector. Again, it might not be very exciting, but it is certainly thoughtful. These detectors are an essential yet often overlooked travel essential that will keep your loved ones safe on the road. Read more about their benefits here.
Stainless steel bottle
A stainless steel water bottle is every Buslifer’s best friend. It helps to reduce plastic waste and keep liquids cool on hot days in the VW. Don’t worry if you think your beloved Buslifer has one already, a second will definitely not go unused.
Designed to fold and fit into small spaces, canvas bags and foldable travel bags that squeeze into a small pouch are the perfect stocking filler gifts for Buslifers. After all, we often have a knack for finding a new need for these kinds of bags all the time, and so they can never have enough.
Miniature board/ card games
With limited Wi-Fi a frequent problem on the road, Buslifers need plenty of ways to stay entertained. Of course, a deck of cards is always handy for those competitive nights of blackjack. However, there are so many mini board games, alternative card games, and quiz cards to choose from these days!
If there is any gift on our Buslifers Christmas list that would satisfy any Buslifer, it would be air fresheners. Small, practical, and still thoughtful, this is an all-round winner of a stocking filler.