60 Unique Gift Ideas Guaranteed to Make a Vanlifer Happy
The Ultimate Gift Guide for Your Friend Who Lives in a Campervan
Shop from our selection of vanlifer-vetted gift ideas that'll make any nomad's day — starting as low as free!
As vanlifers ourselves, we know we aren't an easy bunch to get gifts for. Not only did we make a vow of minimalism, but our storage space is most likely already saturated. And yet, nothing would make us happier than a gift for our home on wheels! The truth is, there are so many products designed to optimize smaller spaces and that could make our nomadic lives way easier: from unique storage solutions to foldable or collapsible home goods or reusable kitchen items... you'd be surprised with all the ways you could make a vanlifer's day on a special occasion!
Since that's what we do, we've put together a list of some of our favorite van life essentials. Cherry on the cake: when buying from us, you're supporting both the nomadic and outdoors community, as well as environmental organizations.
We hope you enjoy this van life gift guide. See you on the road!
Free DIY gift ideas • Under $35 • Under $100 • For the women on the road • For the traveling book worms • For the nomadic foodies • For the little nomads • From women-owned businesses • For the traveling pets • For the car & truck campers • For the coffee lovers • From nomadic makers • For the environmentally conscious • For those who camp in style • For lounging outside • To light up the night • For lifelong memories around the campfire • For the gear junkies
Scroll down to see our selection
Free DIY gift ideas
Intentional gifts without breaking the bank
A lot of nomads have decided for themselves experiences were worth much more than things. A small intention will go a long way with them! Here's some inexpensive gift ideas to let them know you thought about them.
Van Life: Your Home on the Road - Foster Huntington
Enjoy the Journey T-shirt
Let them choose
Simpler Ways Gift Cards
Still not sure what to get them? Worried it won't make it on time? Here's your safest bet: give them the gift of choice! Let your friend or loved one choose from our catalog of over 80 brands and 800 products. You can choose between five amounts from $35 to $200. We even provide the digital file to print out a physical card for their special day.
For the women on the road
For those badass friends doing solo female vanlife
We gathered tips and tricks from a few nomadic women and put together this selection of products ideal for women on the road.
For the traveling book worms
Whether for inspiration for the journey ahead or books to keep in their camper van, here's a selection of our favorite books to read while traveling, including road trip novels, real life stories, van conversion books and coffee table books on tiny living and minimalism.
Cabin Porn: Inspiration for Your Quiet Place Somewhere - Zach Klein
Off Grid Life: Your Ideal Home in the Middle of Nowhere - Foster Huntington
Vanlifers: Beautiful Conversions for Life on the Road - Alex Waite
For the nomadic foodies
Cooking in tiny kitchens
Traveling on the road shouldn't mean living off cans and dry food. There's nothing like cooking a fresh meal while camping! For the nomadic foodies out there, we curated a collection of cookbooks which will keep their inspiration going with recipes made specifically for camping and vanlife.
Read more: Cooking in Tiny Spaces, A Beginner’s Guide
For the little nomads
Living on the road offers an ever-changing real-life playground for kids. But it's also long hours of driving or at camp: keep them happy and entertained with our selection of kids essentials!
Lil Trip - the adventure chair for kids
50 Adventures in the 50 States - Kate Siber, Lydia Hill
From women-owned businesses
Great products made by great women
We strongly believe in representation in the outdoors industry, and we pride ourselves to source our products from brands & makers to reflect that diversity. Here you'll find a few products we love, which all come from women-owned businesses.
KĀMA - origami outdoor adventure mat (3 sizes, 5 colors)
Hydroponic Mason Jar Garden Kit Set
For the traveling pets
Living on the road with pets comes with all sorts of challenges, whether while driving or at the campsite. Here's a curated selection of well-designed gear for those lucky pets living the vanlife!
Aussie Naturals - Eco-friendly dog toy
Compact foldable travel dog bowl (3 colors)
KĀMA Poco - Small outdoor adventure mat, perfect for pets
Hybrid breaded lead and collar with adjustable slip (3 colors)
For the car & truck campers
The smaller the volume, the smarter gear they need
More and more people turn to a lesser known way of living nomadically: car camping. Cheaper to turn into a camper, better gas mileage, easier to park... the list goes on. We've talked to a few car campers, and gathered a few products they love!
For the coffee lovers
When on the road, many won't make concessions on the quality of their coffee. Whether camping in an all-option RV or on the back of your truck, there are ways to brew as fresh of a cup of coffee as your local coffee shop's. Here's some of our favorite coffee gear and innovations we can vouch for!
Rhino Coffee Grinder with AeroPress® Adaptor
Wildland Coffee - Single-Serve Coffee Bags (Variety Pack)
From nomadic makers
Handmade for life on the road
At Simpler Ways, we strive to give more exposure to all the makers out there dedicated to designing products to elevate our nomadic lives. Here a few products that are built by hand.
The Seat Poncho
Outdoor shelf & nylon straps for sliding door or rain gutter
For the environmentally conscious
We've hand picked some alternatives to single-use everyday home goods. All road-tested, well-designed, eco-friendly solutions addressing all kinds of challenges specific to life on the road, and help reduce trash drastically.
Rolled Unpaper® Towels (24-set)
Reusable Silicone Storage Bags (Starter Pack)
For those who camp in style
Road trip inspired and tested
Here's some cool apparel inspired by life on the road — and created by nomads. Support our community of fellow vanlifers and get some road trip-inspired gifts for your friend living on the road.
For lounging outside
There's nothing like setting up camp in the middle of nowhere. You grab that cold drink, reach for that camping chair and join the circle. Later on, a campfire is lit, food is shared, stories are told. Come prepared!
Lava Linens - Flax/Hemp picnic blanket
Hoverquilt - the warmest, lightest blanket you'll ever own
To light up the night
Camping lights that will keep the party going
Help them light up their campsite with our selection of durable camping lights from brands you can trust.
Railroad Lantern - Edison-style LED bulb, battery and USB powered
Luci light - Inflatable solar lantern, 65 lumens lasting up to 24 hours
For lifelong memories around the campfire
Bring warmth and coziness to those long camping nights under the sky with our selection of camping equipment for open flame cooking and more.
For the gear junkies
We all know someone who likes to be prepared for... everything
Help them optimize the use of their trunk, rear doors and all the unused space in and outside their camper van! Here are some smart products designed to help maximize space and organize all your stuff in the back of your vehicle.
Sprinter rear door garage storage system
Foldable recovery board and leveler