Gift for backpacking through Europe?

Question by yanks7: Gift for backpacking through Europe?
My sister’s birthday is coming up and she just booked a flight to backpack through Europe with a few friends for a month. I want her gift to be something for the trip….any ideas?

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Answer by Damein41
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3 thoughts on “Gift for backpacking through Europe?”

  1. There are all kinds of possibilities depending on your budget.

    A nice backpack would be an obvious choice if your budget allows for it. A good set of hiking boots is a necessity if she’s doing a significant amount of walking and doesn’t want sore feet or blisters.

    Is she camping? If so, some camping supplies might be helpful. Is she moving around a lot by train? Maybe a Eurailpass or a single-country rail pass would be helpful.

    Or, get her a good guidebook. The Let’s Go series is geared towards budget travelers and backpackers. That would be a great help in deciding what to do and how to get there. If it’s your sister’s first trip, it also has a lot of good information for first-time travelers.

  2. Get her an under-the-trousers security belt – luggage stores sell them. They are a zippered pouch (usually about the size of a letter envelope) and have an elastic strap to go around your waist. Strongly encourage her to carry her passport and most of her cash in it – only take out the passport when she needs to show it to an official.


    Below is the adivice I gave to a Canadian woman planning a 3- month backpacking trip through Europe:

    You already know you can’t pack 3 months of clothing. Assuming you are traveling during the summer, pack 3 sets of casual clothing, 4 sets of underclothing, a towel & 2 washcloths, a light bathrobe, swimsuit & flip-flops, an extra pair of shoes, a sweater, a light jacket or windbreaker. a travel umbrella, sunglasses, and a hat. Wear a set of dressy casual clothing on the flight that would do for going out to a nice club. Make sure everything is hand-washable (nothing that needs dry cleaning). Note that shampoo + conditioner cleans clothes and minimizes wrinkles.

    Europe and North America are no longer as different we once were and you will be able to get toiletries anywhere – no need to pack lots. That also applies to replacement clothing and shoes.

    Also assuming you are a Canadian, you won’t need a visa for almost anywhere in Europe. However, you don’t say where you are going and plans can change so check:

    Get vaccinations for Hepatitis A and B – it is a good idea even if you never leave home. Really – please do this if you have not already gotten the vaccinations.

    Take your driving license or other government-issued photo ID with you in addition to you passport.

    If you were a student anytime recently and have a student ID , take it. Almost all museums and many other places offer a “student discount”. Also check

    Get proof of medical insurance coverage and find out what you have to do if you need medical care in Europe. Please consider purchasing “travel medical insurance” for the duration of your trip. Travel agents sell it and the cost is very small.

    Another answer suggested taking a photocopy of your passport with you, and that’s good. Make it a color copy of the photo page of your passport and have the copy place trim it to actual size and laminate it. Many hostels & hotels require that you leave your passport with the reception desk but they really just need the information – give them the color copy of your passport photo page instead of your real passport.

    Make scanned, color copies of your passport, other IDs, credit/debit card(s), and proof of medical insurance. Send the scanned images to yourself by e-mail. If you take prescription medication and/or wear eyeglasses or contacts include the prescription information in the e-mail. That way you have access to the information anywhere there is Internet.

    Try to avoid using cash. Credit cards and Visa or MasterCharge debit cards are very widely accepted in Europe and you get the best exchange rate that way. Only use ATMs from a real bank – the “free-standing” ones often charge horrific service fees.

    Pre-paid phone cards are a good way to call home and they are sold everywhere.

    Find out if your Canada cellphone works abroad – call customer service and ask. You may need to sign up international service. Using your Canada cellphone in Europe (to make or receive calls) will be expensive but having the option is good.

    Another answer mentions getting electrical adapters for Europe. Many electrical devices now (cellphones, I-Pod, etc) have a power supply that accepts 110 to 240 volt current and you only need an adaptor to connect a 2-flat-prongs North American plug to a 2-round-prongs continental European or 3-prong British outlet. Luggage shops and electronics stores sell adapters. Try them before you leave home to make sure the adapters fit the plugs on your devices.

    Don’t take anything that needs a “voltage converter” – just buy a blow drier and/or curling iron in Europe.

    Finally, don’t try to visit too many places. Three months is a long time but it is MUCH better to visit relatively few locations and get to know them than have the “If it’s Tuesday it Must Be Belgium” experience.

    Good luck!

  3. What could be more appropriate in such a case than a unique and classical-looking painting or portrait handmade from one of the family photos, etc. I am sure she will love to have it with her and to show it aound. You can also select from her most favourite pictures. Just send the photo(s) to the professional artists at and they will do the rest for you – according to your taste!
    The same company also has a studio for oil paintings reproductions. If you are looking for an affordable gift urgently, you can take a look at their ‘stock on sale’. Visit

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