Are you looking for road trip gift ideas for someone who is planning or loves to hit the open road? We have road tripped across 4 continents and decided to put together this complete road trip gift guide to help you choose the perfect travel presents.
Our list is full of the best road trip gifts for travel lovers. You can be confident each and every one of these useful travel gifts will be loved and valued.
From road trip essentials, to the best road trip gadgets, books and travel gift basket ideas, read on to discover the best gifts for travelers.
Top Gifts For Road Trip Travelers
Don’t have time to read our full list of travel present ideas? Here are our top 5 gifts for road trip travelers.
Tinggly Gift Box for the best road trip experiences and activities along the way
Foldable Panama hat – best travel gifts for her
JOBY Gorillapod compact tripod – great gifts for road trips
Espro Travel Coffee Press – for great coffee on the road
The Most Scenic Drives in America – 120 Spectacular Road Trips
Whether you are looking for christmas gift ideas for travellers or the best birthday gifts for travelers, you can’t really go wrong with any of these travel gifts.
Road Trip Essentials
We often feel compelled to buy unique or fun travel gifts. But sometimes the best road trip gift ideas are practical and useful travel gifts.
They may not have the wow factor of other gifts for travel, but when you gift good quality travel gear you know it will be used day after day for years to come. Here is some of the best road trip gear to consider.
Packing cubes are road trip must haves – they keep everyone’s clothes packed away and easy to find each day when you check in and out of your hotel.
They are not only great for clothes, but for other travel packing items too – games and crafts, dirty washing and cables and cords. They are one of the best road trip presents you can give to the organized road tripper.
Our best tip is to purchase a different color for each traveler to make it even easier to sort. Click here to see the color range and sizes.
A water bottle is an essential road trip accessory. The problem is many of them aren’t that good. What makes the Hydro Cell so great is the leak proof, double walled and vacuum sealed stainless steel body.
This water bottle keeps your cold drinks cold and your hot drinks hot for hours. They are perfect for car drives on the open road.
The Hydro Cell comes in a range of colors and sizes from 18 oz to 40 oz (500 ml to 1.1 litres). Click here to see the selection and check the price.
On a road trip, using a laundry service can get quite expensive. So why not save time and money on the road with the Scrubba wash bag.
Compact and lightweight (it folds down to the size of a wallet) it is the simplest way to wash clothes without using a laundry service, bucket or sinks.
Simply place dirty laundry, water and detergent in the bag, seal and scrub. The small bumps on the inside of the bag help clean the clothes. Wring and hang to dry.
We own this product and use it on every trip. The Scrubba bag means you can wash anywhere, anytime. Click here to find out more and read more reviews.. Our Australian readers can see it here.
America the Beautiful Pass
If your road tripping friends are exploring the USA, one of the best gifts for car travelers is an annual pass to the National Parks.
Note you must show ID with the pass on entry to each park, so ensure the pass is purchased in the right name.
Regardless of the type of road trip (off grid or staying in hotels along the way), it is a good idea to have a cooler in the car. Great for storing cold drinks, snacks and lunch ingredients, they really are road trip necessities.
There are a huge range of coolers to choose from, both soft and hard. If we have room we take a hard sided cooler as they can generally fit more inside.
This hard sided cooler by Coleman is a good option. Coleman have a strong reputation for producing quality outdoor gear and manufacture some of the best road trip coolers.
With a 50-Quart capacity (84 cans) it is large enough to fit a couple of days food and drinks inside and can keep food cool for up to 5 days.
It has heavy duty wheels and handle to make moving it a breeze. Click here to check the price and read more reviews.
If we are tight on space, a soft cooler bag in between the seats inside the car is a good option too. We like the Coleman Soft Cooler.
It has a smaller 30 can capacity and is perfect for popping inside the car to keep drinks and car snacks cool. Click here to read more reviews and check the price.
Our best tip with car coolers is to get the biggest you can fit in your car or trunk. It is always better to have more room than you need.
Best Road Trip Games
With long stretches of time on the road, having a few fun games to play is essential. There are loads of free games to play there are also some you can buy that make good gifts for road trips.
Pop them in a road trip gift basket or give as a gift on their own. Here are some of the best road trip games for kids, friends and couples.
Have interesting conversations on the road with this fun card game.
With 156 cards, each card has a question to prompt conversation and is sure to get people talking.
Fantastic for couples or a group of friends, there is also a kids version for families to enjoy. Click here to check the price and read more reviews.
My kids are getting a little older now, but travel bingo is still one of the best road trip card games for kids and adults alike. It is the perfect addition to a family road trip gift basket.
You can make your own bingo sets or buy this 4 pack by Regal Games with options for interstate and license plate cards.
The small sliding windows mean no messy markers or pens are required. Click here to see the pack options and check the price.
Best Road Trip Books
If you want to inspire a friend to take a road trip, books are great road trip gifts for adults and kids. Full of road trip ideas and beautiful photos, it is hard not to be inspired to book a road trip!
Here are some of the best road trip books to buy.
If you are looking for a book to help plan an epic US Road Trip, this is a great choice.
With 120 road trip ideas, detailed maps, travel tips and gorgeous photos, this hard cover book is one of the best road trip planners.Click here to check the price and look inside.
For worldwide road trip inspiration, you cannot go past this book by Lonely Planet.
With 50 road trip ideas in Europe, Australia, Asia, the Americas and Africa, this hardcover book is one of the best road trip books to buy your road tripping friend.Click here to check the price and look inside.
Best Road Trip Gadgets
There are thousands of road trip accessories on the market, but not all of them are useful or even that practical. With space often at a premium when taking a road trip, you only want to pack what you really need.
Smartphones, bluetooth headphones, iPads, portable chargers…nowadays most people travel with a number of devices that need charging each day.
We own this multi-port USB charger by Anker and it can charge 6 devices simultaneously in a few hours.
We plug it in when we arrive at our accommodation. It is one of the best road trip items we use every day when traveling. Click here to check the price and read the reviews
On our family gap year we took thousands of photos, but there are only a handful where we are all in the frame. Why? No tripod and no selfie stick.
This compact tripod by JOBY solves this problem. Perfect for taking group photos when on the road, the Gorillapod tripod can be used with cameras up to 2.2 pounds (1 kg) or smartphones (with the use of an adaptor that can be purchased).
The lightweight Gorillapod has wrappable legs so it can be held, wrapped or stood up to take your vacation photos. It is ideal for taking photos in remote places where you can’t ask for help from others.
This tripod is one of the best things to take on a road trip to ensure you capture the memories for everyone. Click here to see the range and check the price
iKross Car Tablet Mount holder
A tablet mount holder is the easiest way to make playing movies in the backseat easy.
The iKross holder can be mounted from either front seat, swivels 360 degrees and can hold most smartphones, iPads and other tablets.
As the tablet is at eye height it reduces the chance of motion sickness often experienced when looking down. This is one of the best road trip accessories and essential for long family road trips.Click here to check the price and read more reviews
Best Road Trip Gifts for Her
Looking for car travel gifts for the women in your life? Here are some of the best road trip gifts for her.
I find a good wide brimmed hat to be one of the most difficult travel packing items.
You want a hat that gives good protection from the sun but is robust enough to throw in the back of the car, pack in your luggage or roll up in a day pack.
This wide brim Panama hat by Lanzom is the answer.
It looks great, comes in a range of colors and band designs, is foldable AND crushable. This hat is one of the best travel presents for women on our list. Click here to check the range and price.
If the road trip will be a little off the beaten track and daily showers are unlikely, dry shampoos are great car travel gift ideas for women.
This one by Batiste is one of the most popular dry shampoos on the market for all hair types. It removes oil, masks odor with a light fragrance and add life back into your hair.Click here to read the reviews and check the price.
Best Road Trip Gifts for Guys
These on the road gifts may not exclusively be for men, but you can be sure he will love them.
One of the best road trip gifts for men is an experience gift and a Tinggly gift box makes it as simple as can be.
With experiences in over 100 countries, no matter where your road trip is, there is an amazing experience waiting to be had.
From bungee jumping to balloon rides, wine and food tours to off-road driving experiences, an experience is one of the best road trip gifts. Click here to see the gift box range and prices.
travel Coffee Maker
If you love to drink good coffee, road trips can be a challenge as rest stops and many hotels don’t serve great coffee.
Thankfully there are plenty of portable coffee makers on the market. Two of our favorites are:
AeroPress – all you need is hot water and ground coffee to produce fine tasting coffee in the AeroPress.
Light weight and compact, we own the AeroPress and love the coffee it makes – it is one of our road trip necessities. Click here to find out more.
Espro Travel Coffee Press – for an even simpler option, the Espro French Press Thermos are one of the best gifts for road warriors.
Boil the water, drop the ground coffee in the flask, top with hot water.
Press down and drink straight from the coffee press which will keep coffee warm for hours. Easy! Click here to check the price.
Good Road Trip Gifts for Kids
Brave enough to take a road trip with kids? Just kidding, you don’t need to be brave. Well, maybe just a little.
We have traveled with our kids across 5 continents so we know a thing or two about how to keep them entertained on long car rides.
In addition to the road trip games for kids we have already shared, here are some extra practical ideas for road trip gifts for kids.
Have everything within in arms reach in the back seat with the Lusso Gear car seat organizer.
With plenty of room to store drink bottles, snacks, games and toys, this organizer is such a life saver and one of the best gifts for long car rides with kids.Click here to see the color range and check the price.
Audiobooks are one of the best road trip gifts for kids, particularly school aged kids (they are great for adults too). A great audiobook can help pass hours at a time with ease. You can listen to them together or on your own.
Before you go, check to see if your local public library has audiobooks available.
Some of the best road trip audiobooks for kids include:
- Harry Potter series for wizard adventures
- Percy Jackson series for Greek mythology kid-style
- Roald Dahl series for imaginative and funny stories
- The classic Wizard of Oz.
How many times have you been on a road trip with kids and had to listen to the iPad or laptop playing a kids’ movie in the backseat?
A headphone splitter enables two kids (or adults) to share the audio from a device on their headphones so you can enjoy music or some conversation in the front seat.
Now a headphone splitter does not sound like the most exciting gift, BUT it is essential when on a road trip with kids and would be perfect in a family road trip gift basket.
Be sure to get a good quality splitter as the sound quality does vary and cheaper ones can break quite easily.
Road Trip Gift Basket Ideas
Finally, a car travel gift basket can include anything! They are one of the most popular gifts for road travelers as they can be as cheap or expensive as you choose and can be personalized to your road tripper’s needs.
There are plenty of sustainable gift ideas that are great for a road trip. If you are looking for some more road trip basket ideas, here are some extra practical road trip goodies and road trip snacks to include.
- Gas gift card
- Mad Libs
- Bamboo Cutlery Set
- Aerobie Flying Disc
- Acupressure wrist bands for motion sickness
- Hand lotion
- Lip balm
- Scented tissues
- Hand sanitizer
- Wet wipes
Remember the best road trip toys are small and made of one piece. Avoid anything sticky or with lots of small pieces (that are easy to drop or lose in between seats).
We hope you found some good gift ideas for road trippers on our list. See all our travel gear recommendations here.