Van Life

Gift Guide for Minimalists + Van Dwellers

With the holidays upon us now, it might be a head-scratcher to figure out what to get for those people in your life who have adopted minimalism or are in tiny homes.

What do you get someone who doesn’t want anything? Or better yet- has no space to spare?

Fortunately, you have come to the right place! There are so many amazing gifts to give the minimalist or van dweller in your life. I have compiled a list that offers gifts from experiences to unique items for you to go about your holiday shopping with ease and enjoyment.

A couple of things I would like to highlight:

1.If the person you are shopping for has a wishlist, make sure you just buy off that list! I know that gift-giving is more fun when the person is surprised, but if you are shopping for someone living in a small space (van, bus, tiny home) or is a minimalist- they truly don’t want or need anything else but what they are asking for.

2. I really want to emphasize how important it is to buy local and/or from small businesses. If you have the opportunity- DO IT. Small businesses can use all the love they can get this holiday season.

Okay- Let’s jump into it!

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Experience Gifts

1. Headspace ($13/month)- Give the gift of a calm mind with a meditation app. Our favorite is Headspace because it gives you options for how long or short you want your session, and you can also pick meditations based on your mood.

2.National Parks Pass ($80)- A perfect gift for those who are traveling and visiting the parks- give them the experience of seeing all the beautiful parks without them having to worry about a fee!

3. Airbnb Credit who doesn’t like to stay in amazing homes/cabins/cottages for a weekend getaway?

4.Pre-Payed Meals– Look into restaurants near you and pre-purchase a meal for take-out! A great way to support local and/or small businesses!

5. Audible ($15/month)- A crowd favorite for those on the road to listen to books on tape.

6. REI Experience Classes ($60-120)- An assortment of classes are available through REI such as navigation, outdoor cooking, snowshoe tours, etc. Covid safe options available, as well!

7. Movie Theater Rent Out ($100)- Did you know you can rent out an entire theater?! What better way to bring in a sense of normalcy than to gift the experience of a movie and popcorn, with COVID safety in mind.

8. Masterclass ($15/month) Give the gift of knowledge this holiday season! Masterclass offers online courses from professionals in an array of categories from celebrities. Let them take a cooking class with Gordon Ramsay (hopefully he doesn’t make anyone cry!)

9. Spa Day – For winter lovers- a great way to relax after the day on the slopes! SpaFinder is a great way to give a spa coupon and have the recipient use it at any participating spas. It is good for a couple of years, so could be a good option even if it can’t be used anytime soon!

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Consumables

1. Jot Coffee Concentrate ($24)- So hear me out- for those with limited space this is a steal! 14 servings packed into a tiny bottle- perfect for space-saving and quick pick me up. Not to mention, you don’t need anything other than a glass to pour it in.

2. Meat + Cheese Items–  If I could eat charcuterie for every meal of the day I would. This is a great gift for the foodie + picnic-goers in your life.  If you live in California, check out Canteen Meats. Owned and operated by some rad people, it’s a small business doing big things.

3. InGoodTaste Wines ($20-$60)-  Have no room for a bottle of wine? Or have you ever opened one up and taken so long to finish that it goes bad? This company has solved the problem. Flights of wine for you to indulge in the comfort of your own home. Support small businesses by drinking wine!

4. Candles– Candles are perfect for low key nights and fantastic smells. This would be a great opportunity to shop at a local store or from Etsy! A word of caution if you are buying for van dwellers- try and find soy or beeswax-based so it has a clean burn, as well as a container that is anything but glass.

5. Mudwtr ($40)- Are you looking for a gift for a health nut? Mudwtr is the perfect alternative to coffee and packed with healthy ingredients such as mushroom compounds and tumeric. A unique and healthy consumable gift for them to try!

6. Coffee Beans– Now for the coffee lovers out there. Bring on the holiday cheer by stocking them up with their favorite beans! Shop your local coffee shops. I’m going to be supporting another van lifer who will be launching her own coffee after Thanksgiving! Check out Sydney @Divineontheroad for updates on how to purchase and support her. Another shop I love is Huckleberry Roasters in Denver, CO!

7. Chocolates– Need I say more?

8. Just Dates Syrup ($9)- Like the name suggests- It’s just dates! I needed to add this on here because it’s currently my obsession and it’s a healthy alternative to maple syrup. I think it’s always fun to try new foods out so if you have a foodie in your life- they will love it!

9. Bath + Body Items- Natural and Eco-friendly soaps, scrubs, face masks, and lotions can be a lovely gift for the ones who love self-care. You can shop locally, small, and even make your own! Need an idea? These CBD facemasks are a must-try.

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Gifts for Tiny Homes

1. Magnetic Spice Rack ($150)- These nifty magnetic jars are a game-changer Not only do they help clear up the limited cabinet space but look very pretty on the wall. They come with a variety of spices that you can refill whenever you need! I’ve had mine for over 3 years now- a staple in our kitchen.

2. Microfiber Towels ($22-$45)- Oh boy- these towels help save so much space in the cabinet! They are super absorbent and are quick-dry- perfect for camping, outdoor showers, and quick rinse offs. We used to have regular towels but they took up a ton of space, so we opted to just use these!

3. Home Theater Compact Projector ($579)- The price is up there, but if you have the budget or are doing a group gift (try using PayPal Money Pools) – this projector is being praised by those who have it. It’s super compact with great quality and perfect for those who love movie nights. (Screen not included)

4.  Collapsable Food Containers ($16.88)- When it comes to food storage and all the containers- the space can get packed fast. In comes the collapsible food containers. You can store them away flat and save a ton of space in the pantry, but still get all the benefits when in use!

5. Cocktail Bar in a Bag ($75)- This fun gift is for the ones who love to be behind the bar. Who wouldn’t want a bar in a bag? I love that it has a place for each item and can stow away nicely.

6. Stainless Steel Fire Pit ($ varies)- Okay there are so many amazing things about this. It can break down flat and fit into tiny spaces, use it when there are no fire pits but fires are allowed for easy BBQ’ing + cleanup, AND it can be customized with a design of your choice. Phew! Not to mention it’s a small business! He is based in the UK, but also has boots in Oklahoma. Make sure to order fast since it will take some time to be made.

7.Collapsible Collander ($12.99)- Space is sacred in tiny homes. Every inch and corner is accounted for, which makes having key kitchen items hard. This strainer is gold in our van since it folds up nice and small, but can hold a lot of items when in use!

8. Plants: No minimalist will EVER be upset about getting plants, but be mindful of the space that your recipient has to work with. For van dwellers- pathos and low light plants are the best with small pots.

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Road Safety

1.Simplisafe Alarm System ($200)- It’s pricey, but it’s hard to put a price on a piece of mind. This system has latches for all the doors, so an alarm will sound if someone opens them while the system is set. There is a camera that you can access on your smartphone so you can feel safe leaving your home on wheels.

2. Snow Chains ($140.00) – You never want to catch yourself without chains in the dead of winter. A must-have for road warriors! Be sure to check the proper sizing and if they are FWD, AWD, or RWD.

3. Snow shovel ($20)- For those adventuring in the mountains, it’s a great idea to have a shovel!

4. Tile ($35)- When your home is your car, and your car is your home, the keys are the most important thing to always have eyes on. Attach the tile on your keychain and you may never lose your keys again. A great gift for those who tend to lose things!

5. Fire Extinguisher/ AFG Fireball Believe it or not, there are many people living without one of these right next to them. Safety is SO important, and when it comes to a fire in a van/RV/tiny home, even a tiny flame can be deadly. A lot of people on the road have been talking about the AFG fireball that is compact and perfect for fires in small spaces, though we haven’t had experiences with it yet. What’s nice is you can decide the size and style you want with it. We just cruise around with a standard fire extinguisher.

6. First Aid Kit ($20)- Stuff happens on the road.. better be prepared for when it does!

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Gift Cards

I know some people don’t like to give gift cards, but sometimes that might be all the individual wants. I would suggest pairing it with something consumable if you are the type that wants to give a physically wrapped present!

1.Visa Pre-Paid Giftcard–  Pay for the gas! A gift of groceries! This is hands down the best gift any van dweller can be given.

2.Apple– You can’t go wrong with an apple gift card!

3.AmazonWe all know this is the mecca for all things. A great gift for someone you are unsure of what they want or need.

4.REI– Another great option is a gift card to REI for the adventure seekers in your life.

5. HomeDepot/Lowes – Because there will ALWAYS be a project that needs to get done.

Final Thoughts

I hope this list has helped put a little excitement into your shopping this year. We all know how hard 2020 has been, so the last thing we would want is to make the holidays even more stressful.

Happy Holidays, and stay safe!

Did I miss something? Feel free to comment what’s on YOUR wish list!

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