Gifts for Van Lifers


On the Road Alone but Not Lonely: The Ultimate Guide to Nomadic Gifts For Van Lifers and Avid Campers

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Gifts for Van Lifers

Welcoming Fellow Wanderers

Hey there, fellow travellers! As someone who’s been living the full-time RV life since 2009, I’ve got a treasure trove of stories and experiences to share. I’ve learned a thing or two about what makes this nomadic journey smoother and more enjoyable. I know for a fact how hard it is to buy gifts for van lifers and RV campers. Space is at such a premium we can be quite the giftee challenge!

That being said, whether you’re camping with the kids for the weekend or living full time solo van life, having some entertainment just for you is a must.

Today, I’m going to spill the beans on the best van life gifts, the eReader you need for the road, and some ear candy to keep you company on those long stretches of highway. Let’s dive in!

Audiobooks – The Perfect Road Trip Companion

There’s something magical about hitting the open road, the scenery changing before your eyes, and a gripping tale spinning in your ears. Audiobooks have been my trusty companions on countless journeys, adding an extra layer of enjoyment to my road trips.
Don’t get me wrong, I love music and have a multitude of playslist I love when I’m on the road, but there is something to be said to having other forms entertainment that occupy the mind and enhance your journey.

Best Audiobooks for Family Road Trips

I don’t have any kids of my own, but I have read all of these books and for those times when you have little ones or the whole family on board, these are my top picks:

  1. “Harry Potter” Series by J.K. Rowling: Magic, adventure, friendship – what’s not to love?
  2. “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis: Transport your family to a magical land with this timeless classic.
  3. “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio: A heartwarming tale that teaches kids about empathy and courage.

Best Road Trip Audiobooks for the Solo Traveler

And for my solo road warriors, these audiobooks will keep you company:

  1. “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed: A woman’s solo journey on the Pacific Crest Trail – you’ll resonate with this one!
  2. “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac: This classic road trip novel is even better in audio form.
  3. “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert: Travel the world and embark on a journey of self-discovery with this memoir.

Audiobook Subscriptions – Stories for the Road

Audiobooks make the miles fly by, turning long drives into immersive experiences. Here are a few subscription services that will keep the stories flowing:

  1. Audible: As one of the largest audiobook platforms, Audible boasts an extensive library. Subscribers get a certain number of credits per month, which they can exchange for any audiobook, regardless of its list price. Check out audible by clicking here.
  2. Scribd: This service offers unlimited access to eBooks, audiobooks, and more. The library might not be as extensive as Audible’s, but the unlimited factor means your giftee can listen to their heart’s content without worrying about credits. Check out scribd by clicking here.
  3. Spotify: If you’re already a member of Spotify they have an amazing selection of audiobooks. Check them out by clicking here.

These subscription services can be a game-changer gift for someone living the van life. They offer endless entertainment and require no physical space – perfect for those of us who call the open road our home. And the best part? It’s one of the gifts for van lifers that keeps on giving, month after month.

eReader for Nomads – Compact Library on the Go

As much as I love the feel of a real book, they can take up precious space in the van. Enter the eReader – a nomad’s best friend! There are two key brands on the market Kindle, and Kobo.

1. Ecosystem and Book Availability:

Kindle is tied to the Amazon ecosystem, meaning you have direct access to one of the world’s largest eBook marketplaces. However, Kindle does not natively support ePub files, a common format for eBooks from libraries and other stores.

Kobo eReaders, on the other hand, are compatible with the ePub format. This means you can buy books from a variety of online stores, not just the Kobo store, and borrow eBooks from most libraries.

Kindle Versus Kobo:

Both Kindle and Kobo offer a range of devices at different price points, from basic models to premium ones.

High-end Kindles like the Oasis have unique features like a warm light for more comfortable night reading, and page-turn buttons. They also have a feature known as X-Ray that allows you to explore more about characters, places, and terms used in the book.

Kobo’s premium model, the Forma, is larger than any Kindle and has a unique design for comfortable holding. Kobo also offers the Kobo Libra H2O, a cheaper, water-resistant option with page-turn buttons.

My pick? The Kindle Paperwhite. It’s light, waterproof, and has a built-in adjustable light for night-time reading. The best part? You can download countless books and carry a whole library with you without the extra weight.

My second choice is the Kobo Libra.  It’s offers many of the same features but works on a different platform.  Kobo and Kindle use different file types and although you can make it so they will work it’s a bit of a run around.  Read more about that here.

Best Choice

Kindle Paperwhite

  • Resolution (Pixels Per Inch): 300
  • Dimensions (Inches): 6.9 x 4.9 x 0.3
  • Weight (Ounces): 7.2
  • Claimed Battery Life: 10 weeks
  • Water Resistance: Yes, IPX8
  • Screen Size (Inches): 6.8
  • Storage: 8GB | 32GB
  • roughly $150
2nd Choice

Kobo Libra H20

  • Resolution (Pixels Per Inch): 300
  • Dimensions (Inches): 7.01 x 7.64×1.18
  • Weight (Ounces): .01
  • Claimed Battery Life: 2 months
  • Water Resistance: Yes, IPX8
  • Screen Size (Inches): 7
  • Storage: 32GB
  • roughly $189
Check Price

It is my opinion that the Kindle is the better choice. I’m basing this on the price and the library that is available. The Kobo is apparently more user-friendly when it comes to borrowed books from your local library. I’m on the road so much I don’t have a library card, I’d love to hear from others how hard it is to get a local library card when you’re a tourist? Please chime in at the comments section below!

The Best Nomad Gift Idea – Subscriptions That Keep on Giving

Choosing the perfect gift for van lifers and nomads can sometimes feel like navigating a labyrinth. After all, when you’re living on the road, every item you carry needs to pull its weight. It’s all about striking the balance between maximizing enjoyment and minimizing physical clutter. Traditional gifts, while appreciated, can sometimes add unnecessary weight or take up valuable space. So, what’s the solution?

That’s where the brilliance of digital subscriptions comes in. One of the best gifts you can give a fellow van lifer, or perhaps add to your own wish list, is the gift of boundless entertainment, knowledge, and adventure, all packaged in the form of eBook and audiobook subscriptions.

Imagine the joy of having thousands of books and stories at your fingertips, ready to accompany you on your travels. Whether it’s a riveting mystery novel for those cozy nights in the van, a fantasy epic to escape into during a rainy afternoon, or a motivational audiobook to start your day with positivity as you drive towards the sunrise, these subscriptions can truly enrich the nomadic experience.

eBook Subscriptions – A Library at Their Fingertips

An eBook subscription service is an excellent gift for nomads. It offers access to a wealth of reading material without adding a single ounce to their luggage. Here are a couple of top choices:

  1. Kindle Unlimited: If your giftee is a Kindle user, this is a no-brainer. With over a million titles and thousands of audiobooks, Kindle Unlimited offers a vast selection for a flat monthly fee. 30 day free trial, $9.99/Month USD
  2. Kobo Plus: For the Kobo users out there, Kobo Plus offers a similar deal – unlimited access to a massive library of eBooks for a monthly subscription fee. 30 day free trial, $9.99/month USD
  3. Scribd: Works for Kindle only. 300,000 plus books, 1,000,000 magazines and news articles. 30 day free trial. $9.99/month USD.

The Ultimate Gifts for Van Lifers

Now, here’s the fun part – my top 5 favorite van life gifts that make the nomadic lifestyle a little more comfortable and high class:

  1. Solar-Powered Charger: For those moments when you’re off-grid but need some juice for your devices.
  2. The JoGo Brewing Straw: Who says you can’t enjoy a great cup of coffee in the middle of nowhere?
  3. Hammock: For lazy afternoons in nature.
  4. Compact Multi-tool: Always handy in unexpected situations.
  5. Custom Map Jewelry: A beautiful, personalized reminder of you

The Gift of Endless Adventure

And there you have it, fellow wanderers! As we’ve journeyed through the world of audiobooks and eBooks, it’s clear to see that these digital companions are truly among the best ‘gifts for van lifers.’ They bring stories to life, filling our solo road trips with excitement, wisdom, and companionship.

But beyond individual books, the gift of unlimited subscriptions stands out as the ultimate present. Offering a ticket to endless adventures, these subscriptions are the embodiment of the nomadic spirit – freedom, exploration, and boundless possibilities. They bring the world to our fingertips, adding depth and color to our travels without taking up a single inch of our precious van space.

So, next time you’re scratching your head over what to gift your fellow van lifers, or even what to ask for yourself, remember that the best gifts don’t always come in boxes. Often, they’re as limitless as the open road we so love, leading us to the most enchanting places and the most thrilling narratives.

Here’s to the love of the journey and the stories that light our way. Happy travels, everyone!

I wrote another blog post with a broader range of Van Life Gift ideas, check it out here. If you’re reading this and you’re the van lifer or tiny home dweller have you considered making yourself a gift list registry on amazon to help take the guess work out of it for your friends and family? Here’s a quick link to build your own and share it with your people. I know it says wedding registry but this method allows you to

My 1st book is available!

I can offer the book at a much better price on the website to my visitors vs. using online publishers.

My 15+ years of full time RV living and travel through North America in the convenience of a PDF file.

Phew! You made it to the end of the post . . . who writes this much about these things? You COULD share the story on one of your socials, it would mean a lot to me!
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