Searching for the perfect gift for your favorite vanlifer?! We’ve rounded up some of our favorite campervan essentials that would make super fun and practical gifts for vanlife. This guide is full of campervan gift ideas for all budgets and needs!
Is there someone special in your life who is campervan-obsessed and you want to get them the perfect gift? Or perhaps you’re the #vanlife fiend and you want to send a list to your family and friends that is actually useful…
Either way, we’ve gotchu covered with a carefully curated list of campervan gifts that are sure to be used (and not just sit around collecting dust).
We know from personal experience that when you have limited space, you need to be really mindful of every single item you have.
These campervan gifts are all reasonably priced, and are things you could actually give (or ask for). Because let’s be real, who’s actually going to gift you an entire solar system? As awesome as that would be, the items in this campervan gift guide are a bit more… realistic.
We have both super practical campervan gifts as well as some really fun items that are sure to spark joy and make their (or your!) van feel like home.
Disclosure: Some of the items on this list were gifted to us. As always, all opinions are 100% honest and our own.
1. Hydro Flask Cooler Cup
This cup transforms seamlessly from water cup to wine glass to coffee mug to beer koozie (it holds both bottles and cans!).
It’s insulated, so it’ll keep your beverages cold or hot, and it comes in all sorts of fun colors.
We each have one of these and they are one of our most-used belongings.
Pair a cooler cup in their favorite color with a 6-pack of beer for a thoughtful gift that’ll be sure to get used right away!
2. Wacaco Portable Espresso Maker
Indulging in a fancy coffee doesn’t have to be a once-a-month treat anymore! With this handy little device, you can enjoy espresso anywhere. That’s right — in a forest, on the beach, and even in the middle of the desert with no towns in sight (that was the case in the picture above!).
The Nanopresso has a sleek design and is smaller than a water bottle, making it perfect for storing in a small space (like a campervan). In short, you fill the chambers with ground coffee and hot water then use the pump to create pressure. Like clockwork, on the 8th pump, you’ll start to get a stream of espresso, complete with a layer of crema on top.
Make your gift extra special and pair this device with a milk frother so they can make fancy lattes from the comforts of their van!
Alternative: We’re obsessed with our Aeropress, which makes a killer morning cup o’ joe (just check out their 17,000+ 5-star reviews!). Truth be told, while the Nanopresso is fun, we use our Aeropress way more.
3. Omnia Stovetop Oven
Know a vanlifer who enjoys being on the road but also loves baking? If you’re nodding, we’ve got the perfect gift idea that they will go crazy for…
The Omnia Stovetop Oven is just that — a portable oven that sits on a stovetop! That’s right, this handy device allows vanlifers to bake up a storm without having a traditional oven.
With an Omnia Stovetop Oven, you can bake breads, cakes, cookies, quiches — you name it! You can “bake” your dinner inside this magical device: combine meat and veggies or make your favorite pasta bake, heat over your stove. And boom, dinner is served!
For our first attempt using our Omnia Oven, we made some pretty delicious pumpkin cheesecake muffins, and we can’t wait to test out more recipes soon.
This will definitely be one of the most thoughtful practical gifts you can give a vanlifer who loves to cook.
4. ENO Hammock
Give the gift of adventure and relaxation all melded together in one compact item!
We were gifted a 2-person hammock for our wedding, and it was one of the best presents we received! It has brought us so many memories and has traveled all around the world with us.
Psst! If you need gift ideas for hiking enthusiasts, we’ve got you covered! Check out this extensive list of gifts for hikers that are both unique and practical.
5. Compact camp chairs
While spending time inside your campervan is great, there’s nothing better than sitting outside under the sun on a nice day. Or next to a campfire beneath the stars.
Having a camp chair (or two!) is a super handy way to “expand” your livable space and be able to spend more time in nature.
Trust us, nice camp chairs are a gift that will be used again and again.
Choosing camp chairs that are compact is important when you’re limited with storage space. We love our Cliq chairs that fold up to the size of a 1 liter water bottle, so we can bring them everywhere!
6. National Park Pass
Most vanlifers will agree that visiting the National Parks are some of the highlights of their travels. What better way to give them the gift of experience than with an annual park pass!
The details: An annual pass is priced at $80 and is valid for one full year from the month of purchase. The pass covers the entrance fee for the pass owner and up to 3 accompanying adults in one vehicle. In addition to gaining entrance to all National Parks in the United States, it also grants access to 2,000 Federal natural, historical, and recreational sites across the country.
Not convinced yet? We broke down the value of the annual park pass, also known as the “America the Beautiful pass”, and gave our personal assessment on whether it was worth the price in this detailed guide. (Spoiler Alert: It IS worthwhile!)
7. Book for Road Trip Inspiration
If you want to share some inspiration for the best USA road trips with your campervan-obsessed beneficiary, Amazon is full of books to inspire their next road trip.
Here are a few that we think would make great gifts:
50 States, 5,000 Ideas: Tons of quirky and fun ideas of things to do in all 50 states.
The Open Road: 50 Best Road Trips in the USA: This book covers 50 different road trips across all regions of the US. The itineraries are created to be flexible so you can tailor them to your next escape, whether it’s a weekend getaway or cross-country excursion.
The Most Scenic Drives in America: Each of the featured road trips across the US and Canada are illustrated with vivid detail and stunning photography.
1000 Places to See in the United States & Canada Before You Die: In this version of “1,000 Places to See Before You Die”, the creators hone in on the US and Canada. This baby is full of offbeat attractions and beautiful photography.
Not based in the United States? Use this idea as inspiration to find something similar in the country of your choice. A simple search for “best road trips in [your country] book” should give you some good results!
8. Portable Speaker
Having a portable speaker is kind of a must for vanlife. Your vehicle’s speakers may work well when you’re on the road, but you definitely don’t want to be draining the battery more than necessary when you’re parked.
When you roll up to the perfect camping spot, it’s nice to be able to play a little “happy hour” mix while sipping on wine and taking in the views. While watching Netflix at night, a speaker can make it feel more like you’re at home. And we like listening to morning news podcasts while cooking breakfast in the morning.
We have a BOOM3 from Ultimate Ears and think it’s the perfect size for our campervan — it doesn’t take up much room, yet it creates a really high quality sound. Also, it’s waterproof, making it great for adventurers like us!
Important Note: If you’re camping near other people, be respectful and monitor the volume of whatever it is you’re playing. Don’t be the person who is blasting music so loud the neighbors can hear it.
9. Insulated Window Covers
We recently took a trip in near-freezing temps, and man, we were happy we had insulated window covers. They helped keep it nice and cozy inside. And during the summer, they did an excellent job of keeping the heat out.
Speaking of which… Insulating your van is super important!
I made our window covers myself, but lemme tell ya, it was a process to figure out exactly how to do it. Once I figured out how to put the first one together, the rest came much more easily.
I am sharing my exact method in this step-by-step tutorial (+video!) so others can create these magnetic window covers too. They are seriously game-changing!
If you’re looking for a perfect gift, you could either give the gift of this tutorial, or if you’re incredibly generous, you could offer to make the coverings for the vanlifer in your life (and prove you really love them!).
Word of caution: If you plan to make or buy window covers as a gift, be sure you know what make and model van you’re buying the coverings for. Window dimensions vary slightly.
10. Portable Blender
One of our favorite kitchen items at home is a blender, and while some full-time van lifers install full-sized Ninjas or Vitamixes, we didn’t want to dedicate the space for a beast like that.
So when we heard that there was such a thing as a portable (and rechargeable!) blender, we were stoked to test it out.
Enter the BlendJet.
It’s a great way to have an occasional smoothie on the road or to blend up healthy sauces and dressings. Some of my favorites to make are this “green goddess dressing” (sometimes I add an avocado!), chimichurri, homemade pesto and hummus.
Another great feature about this blender is that it won’t pull energy from your vehicle (like a traditional blender would), so you can blend as much as you want without worrying. Plus, it is self-cleaning (just add water and give it a whirl!) and you can recharge it via USB. Can’t get much more simple than that!
Use coupon code: wanderingsoles12 to get a discount off your first purchase.
11. Microfiber towel
We’re fans of microfiber towels in our van since they take up less space than traditional towels and they dry more quickly.
There are lots of brands out there, but we love Nomadix’s cool designs and high quality feel. Plus, they use recycled water bottles to make their products (30 water bottles = 1 towel, to be exact!).
12. Travel-friendly Yoga Mat
Staying fit on the go can be tough, but having the right equipment makes it easier.
For yogi vanlifers who don’t have much space for storing a traditional mat, we highly recommend this compact travel mat from Yogo.
It’s super lightweight and rolls up much smaller than regular mats. It’s compact size makes it perfect for travel (we’ve backpacked around the world with ours) and #vanlife. Bonus: These mats are sustainably made.
Perfect addition: If you want to give them the gift of health and fitness, add on a pack of resistance bands like these. They take up virtually no space, and can take your workouts to the best level.
Use discount code: TWOWANDERINGSOLES for 10% off your purchase!
13. Give the gift of Warmth!
Traveling in a campervan during the colder months can make staying warm a bit tricky.
If you know a vanlifer who is braving chilly temps, these hot gift idea (get it?!) will keep them comfortable, even in the wintertime:
Heated blanket: Keep them cozy with a heated blanket that’s meant to be used in vehicles (aka with a 12V hookup).
Weighted Blanket: Alternatively, a soft and cozy weighted blanket would work well too!
Hand-warmers: These unique rechargeable hand-warmers can be used on hikes, stuffed into a bed, or placed in a jacket pocket to stay toasty. These are on our personal wish list this year!
Hot Water Bottle: A hot water bottle is old school but very effective.
Mr. Buddy Portable Heater: These do an amazing job of heating a small space. We personally don’t have a built-in heater in our van, so we bought a Mr. Buddy portable heaters and really like it.
Word of warning: Turn on a fan or crack a window when running this and don’t let it run overnight. This device has safety features (it turns off if tipped over), but we still recommend just running it intermittently when needed to be safe. And it’s pretty powerful, so we haven’t felt the need to run it
Slippers: Nothing makes a space feel more homey and cozy than a pair of warm slippers!
Down Booties: Alternatively, down booties pack up super small and are warmer than your typical slipper.
Insider Tip: Why not combine a few of these items to create a cozy-themed gift?! We think slippers, rechargeable hand-warmers and a heated blanket would make a great combo!
14. Compact Board Games
Keep them entertained with a fun game that won’t take up too much space. A typical board game will be too bulky for many vanlifers.
But luckily, there are many game options that take up minimal space and are designed for two players (instead of a group).
Deck of cards: This one’s a classic and you can’t really go wrong, especially if you choose a deck that’s waterproof (like this one!) so it can be taken on all sorts of adventures. The great thing about a classic deck of cards is there are endless games, and it’s perfect even for solo vanlifers.
Bananagrams: Compact and travel-friendly, this word game is oodles of fun!
Travel-friendly Backgammon: The traditional version of Backgammon is pretty bulky, but this sleek travel version is as beautiful as it is fun to play.
A card-based game: There are tons of options out there, like Sushi Go, Phase10, Exploding Kittens… we could go on and on. Simply browse the “game aisle” at Target, or do a little online searching to find one they’ll love.
Important Tip: Be sure you’re choosing a game with the correct player count (instead of a group game) since they’ll likely be playing it inside their van and not with a big group.
15. Fruit Hammock or Mesh Produce Bags
This “fruit hammock” is kind of a prerequisite for #vanlife (I swear, 75% of vanlifers have this exact item!). It could be a cute and practical “welcome to vanlife” gift!
Another option is a few of these mesh produce bags for storing fruits and veggies in their van. We use a lot of produce, so these work really well for us.
Whether you choose a hammock or a mesh bag, you’ll be checking a few boxes: Cheap: check. Cute: check. Practical: check.
16. 12V USB plugs
Perhaps one of the most practical items on this list, this handy little number turns that 12V cigarette lighter in every van into a USB charging station.
Super helpful for vanlifers with gadgets!
17. Packing Cubes
Keeping things organized in a campervan is essential if you want to stay sane in such a tiny space. And packing cubes are pretty much the best way to organize all your stuff — from clothes to toiletries to small tools and other miscellaneous items — these handy pouches are incredibly practical. Plus, they’re super versatile and can be used for other types of travel.
If a sleeping bag and a blanket were to have a baby, it would be a Rumpl. It combines the warmth and coziness of a sleeping bag and the versatility of a blanket for a product that’s perfect for vanlife.
In fact, we used our Rumpl combined with a lighter weight blanket and sheets for bed coverings in our first campervan.
Another great feature is that the Rumpl packs up into a stuff sack (just like a sleeping bag) so we were able to bring it on short backcountry trips.
19. Scrubba Wash Bag
How does one do laundry in a campervan? Good question. There are several options:
go to a laundromat
rent an Airbnb or stay with friends/family every so often
wash clothes by hand & hang dry
wash clothes in a wash bag
We personally do a mixture of all of the above!
In the past, we’ve used a dry bag (like this one) added a laundry tab or a few drops of Dr. Bronner’s soap, a bit of water, and closed up the bag. It’s a bit easier than washing in the sink, and it uses less water.
But ever since we heard of the Scrubba — a bag made specifically for washing clothes — we’ve been contemplating buying one for ourselves. That way we can at least keep our underwear and favorite shirts clean and fresh between bigger loads at a laundromat!
19. Laundry bag
Speaking of dirty laundry…
While not the sexiest gift, this laundry bag packs up incredibly small, making it perfect for vanlife. Plus, with the world map design, it’s pretty cute.
And at $5, you can include this as part of a larger gift if you want!
Great Addition: Throw in a roll of quarters so their first several loads at the laundromat are on you. They’ll thank you for keeping them smelling fresh!
20. DIY #Vanlife Care Kit
I love the idea of putting together a handful of items to create a super useful (and creative!) package. Gather whatever you think would be helpful and put it in a cool pouch or reusable bag to create your own “DIY Van Life Kit”.
Here’s what I would combine:
wipes (SUPER handy for vanlife)
Simple and inexpensive, yet super thoughtful and practical. Can’t get much better than that.
21. Adventure Mug
There’s no way you can go wrong with gifting a cool mug. We love this one because it features a campervan (duh!), is customizable, and is made from enamelware (and won’t crack if it gets knocked around a bit on bumpy roads).
Check out the entire shop because they have a few more designs, like a VW pop-top, a “skoolie”, a tent, and a teardrop trailer!
Cool Addition: Pair this with a bag of local coffee beans or their favorite tea for a well-rounded and super practical gift they’ll be able to actually use!
22. Succulent (+ velcro!)
Maybe your friend already has all of the vanlife essentials. In that case, why not gift them with something to make their campervan feel more like home… like a plant!
Gift your favorite vanlifers a sweet little succulent to make their van feel more homey. Succulents, cacti, or air plants require little care and watering, making them great for life on the road.
Head to your local garden store, Trader Joe’s (they have super affordable and cute plants!), or browse your options online.
Hot Tip: In addition to the little succulent though, be sure to throw in a pack of velcro (or just a piece secured to the bottom of the pot) so it stays in place while they’re driving.
23. Harvest Hosts membership
If you know a vanlifer or RV-er that loves wine, we may have a perfect idea for you…
Get them an annual membership to Harvest Hosts – a program that allows you to park overnight for free at select vineyards around the US.
Cost: $99 for an annual membership, BUT during the holidays they usually run a promotion so keep an eye out for that.
24. Rechargeable Fan
In our first van, we bought a clip-on fan but it was tiny. So we also bought a USB-charged fan, but it would drain our battery pack during the night since it needed to be plugged in…
This rechargeable fan is the best of both worlds, folks. The Goldilocks of fans, if you will.
It clips on easily to cabinets or shelves, is big enough to create enough airflow, and most importantly… lasts all night long!
Give them the priceless gift of a good nights’ sleep.
25. Gift cards for vanlifers
Still undecided? We get it… Sometimes a gift card is the best choice. But what kinds of gift cards do you get someone who’s constantly on the go? We’ve got some ideas for you:
Gas card: This is a no-brainer. Every vanlifer needs to fill up quite often, so gift them a tank on you. Pair the gift card with their favorite road trip snack to make it a bit more personalized.
Airbnb: We love our campervan, but every once in a while it’s nice to treat ourselves to an Airbnb stay. We get to indulge in some of the luxuries of an actual home, like a hot steamy shower, doing laundry (it feels so good!), and just a little extra space. You’d be surprised at what things feel luxurious! Write them a sweet note and gift them a night of “luxury”.
Planet Fitness: A gift card to a popular gym chain would be an amazing gift! Not only does it give vanlifers the opportunity to stay fit on the road, but it’s also the way many of us have access to showers while on the road. Planet Fitness is a good choice in the US because it’s quite common and very cheap.
REI: You can’t go wrong by giving an REI gift card. We could literally spend hours in the store and we have a never-ending list of gear that’s on our perpetual REI wish list. I think most vanlifers can relate. Help them get the gear they’ve been eyeing with a thoughtful gift card.
Are you (or someone you know) thinking about trying out #vanlife?
Lucky for you, we have TONS of resources on converting your own campervan and living the #vanlife. Check out our Ultimate Guide to Van Life for all the answers to your most burning questions, or read some of our favorite articles below.
Interested in engaging with others about all things #vanlife? Join our Vanlife Facebook community!
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We want to hear from you!
What are you most excited to gift this year from the list above?? Do you have any great campervan-inspired gift ideas you think we should add to the list. Comment below and let us know your thoughts!