The Top 5 Gifts Travelers Really Don’t Want

Posted July 15, 2013 by Adrian Qais in Travel Lists

I’ve never been ungrateful for any gift I’ve ever received, but there are some things that I’ve been given before a backpacking trip that I’ve carried around for months without ever opening. I’m sure we’ve all received these kinds of gifts, especially on our first backpacking adventure; if you want to give a good friend or family member a present before they set off into the great unknown, please do them a favor and stay clear of these 5 items:

1. Water Purifier / Water Purification Tablets

There are very few situations when modern travelers have to drink river water through a straw or after using purification tables. Even if you are in the middle of the wilderness, climbing up an epic mountain, or on the most remote Pacific island, any water you find to drink is probably going to be cleaner than any city tap water. If you are in a city and don’t trust the tap water, bottled water is everywhere.

2. Water Canister

It’s a nice thought, but a waste of time. Like point number 1, if you’re thirsty and don’t want to drink tap water, a traveler is simply going to buy a PET water bottle. In many of countries I’ve traveled in, I wouldn’t trust the tap water as far as I could spit it. And with that being said, I have never and will never use a water canister to carry water in. And it suffices to say, in my opinion, they are massive space killers!

3. Travel Wash Soap

Like everyone else, when travelers start smelling, they wash up–most carry a little bar of soap or a little packet of washing powder, and when that runs out, we simply buy more. If we can’t buy more, we borrow some. It’s simple, obvious, effective and cheap. Hence, even though travel wash soap is a nice idea, please don’t buy it. It is way too expensive and there are better and cheaper alternatives on the road.

4. Travel Kits and Toothbrushes

You know what I mean by travel kits and toothbrushes: the ones with a sewing kit, plug, clothesline, travel toothpaste, and a travel toothbrush. I have never seen a traveler actually use any of these ‘essential’ travel items, so save your money and instead of buying them one of these, buy them a nice travel wash bag.

5. ‘I love London (your hometown)’ T-shirts

I only have one thing to say about these types of T-shirts, and it is that we travel to explore the world, gain new experiences, and friends, not to shout out that we are a ‘foreigner’ and that we love our home-town to anyone who happens to have the misfortune of glancing upon us. Simply… No.

What are some of the gifts you would NOT want to receive? Leave them in the comments below!

About the Author

Adrian Qais

Born in England and raised in Oman Adrian Qais (a.k.a. AQ) has always had a love for travelling. After backpacking, living, volunteering and working in over 50 countries he doesn’t mean to stop his adventures now. AQ’s next escapade is Tokyo, Japan and after that who knows… His intention is not to brag but to demonstrate that the travelling lifestyle is not a fantasy but a reality, with the hope that he can somehow encourage you to go out there, do the same and become the person you always wanted to be. To find out more about him check his website out at:-

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