Are you looking for the best road trip gifts for the travel lover in your life? Do you need road trip gift ideas for someone who is planning to hit the open road or has a birthday coming up?
There is no shortage of road trip accessories on the market, but it can be time consuming and difficult to decide what to buy. So we have put together this complete road trip gift guide to help you choose the perfect travel presents.
From road trip essentials, to the best road trip gadgets, fun road trip gifts, road trip books and road trip gift basket ideas, read on to discover the best gifts for roadtrippers. We have road tripped across 4 continents and have no doubt you will find the perfect road trip gift in this list.
- 1 Best Road Trip Gift Ideas Overall
- 2 Best Gifts for a Road Trip – Experiences
- 3 Best Road Trip Gifts – Comfort
- 4 Road Trip Essentials
- 5 Roadtrip Gift Ideas For Campers
- 6 Practical Gifts For Road Trip Travelers
- 7 Best Road Trip Books And Journals
- 8 Best Road Trip Gadgets
- 9 Best Road Trip Gifts for Her
- 10 Best Road Trip Gifts for Guys
- 11 Best Road Trip Games
- 12 Best Road Trip Gifts for Kids
- 13 Road Trip Gift Basket Ideas
- 14 Before You Go
- 15 More travel gift guides
Best Road Trip Gift Ideas Overall
Don’t have time to read our full list of travel present ideas? Here are our top road trip gifts ideas.
Tinggly Gift Card for the best road trip experiences and activities – The perfect last minute road trip gift
Pacsafe Portable Safe – best road trip gift to keep valuables safe
The Most Scenic Drives in America - 120 Spectacular Road Trips – to find the perfect road trip destination
Rumpl Outdoor Camping Blanket – best camping gifts for road trips
Noise Cancelling Headphones – a practical road trip gift idea
America The Beautiful National Parks Annual Pass – unique gifts for road trips
Regardless of 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 road trip gift ideas.
Best Gifts for a Road Trip – Experiences
One of the highlights of any road trip is the things you do along the way.
If you want to buy one of the best gifts for road trips, why not consider a special activity gift.
One of the best gifts for road trippers 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 roadtrippers are traveling, there is an amazing experience waiting to be had.
And the best part? You don’t need to choose the gift! Simply purchase a gift card and your road tripper can choose their experience when they are ready.
From bungee jumping to balloon rides, wine and food tours to off-road driving experiences and horse riding, an experience is one of the best road trip gifts.
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.
You can purchase the pass online at NPS or at REI. Giving access to more than 2,000 federal sites across the country, the pass covers the vehicle, driver and up to 4 adult passengers. Kids under 15 are free.
Note you must show ID with the pass on entry to each park, so ensure the pass is purchased in the right name.
3. Unique Tour or Activity
Memorable experiences can turn a good road trip into a great one. And if you know the experience you want to gift, then you can find it on Viator.
From helicopter flights to canyon tours, hot air balloon rides to food tours, there is no shortage of amazing options to choose from.
Tours and guided activities are one of my favorite things to do on a road trip. They make the trip so much more special and are a real treat to receive as a gift.
Best Road Trip Gifts – Comfort
4. Noise Cancelling headphones
When you spend a lot of time in the car, it can be such a pleasure to pop on a pair of noise cancelling headphones occasionally.
You can listen to your favorite music, podcast or movie in peace while you are on the go.
These Bose noise cancelling headphones are one of the best products on the market and have up to 24 hours battery life to last the trip.
We all own noise cancelling headphones and they are one of the best road trip gifts you can buy for the road trip lover in your life.
5. Compressible Pillow
If you are short on space in the car and don’t have your pillow from home, a compact compressible pillow is the next best thing to take in the car for a road trip.
The Therm-a-rest compressible pillow comes in three sizes and has a soft insulation layer for a super smooth surface.
Use the pillow in the car for a comfy snooze, when camping or when the hotel pillow is disappointing.
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 road trip gifts.
They may not have the wow factor of other gifts for travel, but when you gift good quality travel gear and accessories you know it will be used day after day for years to come.
Here is some of the best road trip gear to consider.
6. Pacsafe Travelsafe GII 12 Liter Portable Safe
Whether you are road tripping by car, RV or camping, you are bound to have some high value possessions you want to keep safe. Like tablets, cameras, laptops and documents.
Roomy enough to fit all of the above items inside, the Pacsafe portable safe can be secured in your hotel room, in your RV or in your car when you are out and about exploring.
We have travelled with the Pacsafe portable safe for years now and think it is one of the very best roadtrip gifts you could give someone to keep their valuables safe.
7. Scrubba Portable Laundry System
On a road trip, using a laundry service can get quite expensive. So when we travel we 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.
We own this product and use it on every trip. The Scrubba bag means you can wash anywhere, anytime.
8. Roadside Assistance Kit
It includes jumper cables, air compressor, reflective triangle and basic first aid kit among other things, all packed away in a convenient bag.
9. Road Atlas
One thing we discovered when traveling on our South West road trip was just how many places had little or no mobile reception.
This makes it next to impossible to plot your trip, find your destination or plan an alternative route, which is why we always travel with a hard copy road atlas.
The Rand McNally spiral bound road atlas series are a practical road trip gift that keeps on giving. Plus there is a whole range of options and you will find an atlas for every region
I love the spiral bound atlases as they are easy to open and rest on your lap, and the large scale versions are easy on the eyes.
10. EBags Classic Packing Cubes
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.
Our best tip is to purchase a different color for each traveler to make it even easier to sort.
They really are one of the best road trip presents you can give to the organized road tripper.
11. HYDRO CELL Stainless Steel Water Bottles
A water bottle is an essential road trip accessory. The problem is many of them aren’t that good.
What makes the Hydro Cell Water Bottle so great is the leak proof, double walled and vacuum sealed stainless steel body.
The Hydro Cell comes in a range of colors and sizes from 18 oz to 40 oz (500 ml to 1.1 litres).
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.
12. Lusso Gear Car Seat Organizer
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.
A messy car can be so frustrating when you are on a long car trip, especially when traveling with kids. This organizer helps you store and find everything quickly.
Roadtrip Gift Ideas For Campers
If your friends or family will be camping along the way on their road trip, here are some of the best gifts for a road trip when camping.
If you are buying a gift for a RV owner who is heading off on a trip, a Harvest Hosts membership is a fabulous gift idea they will love.
Harvest Hosts offer overnight RV camping in unique camping locations for no fee.
From wineries to farms, golf courses and breweries, they can explore the outdoors for free with a Harvest Host membership.
There are over 4000 unique locations included in the membership and three great value plans to choose from.
14. travel Coffee Maker
For coffee lovers, road trips can be a challenge as rest stops and many (most?) hotels don’t serve great coffee.
Thankfully there are plenty of portable coffee makers on the market. Two of our favorites are:
Aeropress Coffee Maker
To use the Aeropress all you need is hot water and ground coffee to produce great tasting coffee.
Light weight and compact, we own the AeroPress and love the coffee it brews.
It is perfect for solo travelers or a couple traveling together.
The Aeropress makes coffee on the road so simple, and it is one of our road trip necessities.
Espro Travel Coffee Press
For an even simpler option, the Espro French Press Thermos is 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. SO easy!
15. Victorinox Swiss Army Fieldmaster Pocket Knife
For anyone who loves camping, a swiss army knife is a road trip essentials gift. We use ours every day when traveling.
Whether you are opening tins of food, cutting something open, popping the lid on a bottle of beer or sawing small pieces of wood, a knife is one of the most useful gifts for someone going on a road trip.
There are loads of different designs, but the Fieldmaster is a really great choice with a good range of tools for road trips and camping.
16. Rumpl Outdoor Blanket
Anyone who has ever roadtripped knows just how precious space can be in your car or RV! Everything needs to have a purpose and ideally have more than one purpose!
The Puffy Outdoor blanket by Rumpl is one of those items.
Whether you need a picnic blanket for the park, something to keep the kids warm by the campfire or you want to sit at the beach on a wintery day, this is a great road trip gift to consider.
Not only is it warm and ideal for sitting by the campfire, it is also water, sand and dirt resistant.
There are 4 handy loops to stake it down and a clip to use it as a cape for an extra layer. It comes in a 1 or 2 person size and a range of fun colors too.
17. Car Cooler
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.
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.
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.
Coleman Rolling Cooler
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.
Coleman Portable Soft Cooler
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.
18. Portable Inflatable Solar Lantern
For roadtrippers who are camping or have the occasional night sleeping in the car, these inflatable solar lanterns by LuminAID make fantastic gifts.
They take up next to no room in the car, can be charged with solar or USB and emit 75 lumens of LED light when switched on.
Use in the car, at camp, pack in your daypack if you are planning to return late from day hikes, by the campfire or in the RV.
They have a million uses and are one of the best road trip gifts on our list.
Practical Gifts For Road Trip Travelers
19. 2-Way Radios
If you are roadtripping with friends in multiple cars, two-way radios are a fantastic road trip gift idea.
They save you having to use the mobile each time you need to communicate when in the car, plus you can use them when camping to scan for weather updates and hiking to be contactable with friends in camp.
These Midland 2 way radios come in a pair, are rechargeable, water resistant, have over 50 channels, a long 36 mile range, weather alerts and privacy codes.
Whenever we road trip with friends we always carry our 2-way radios. It makes it super simple to communicate on the road without the need to use your mobile phones.
20. Dry Bag
These dry bags by Earth Pak are such a great affordable road trip gift idea for the travel lover in your life.
Coming in a range of sizes they keep your gear dry when you are kayaking, boating, hiking or swimming.
With a shoulder strap for easy carrying, they pack down to next to nothing and will keep your valuables dry on your next adventure.
We always pack our dry bag and use it every time. Whether we are at the beach, stand up paddle boarding or crossing rivers on a hike, it is such a useful piece of gear.
21. Microfibre Towel
Towels are super bulky and take a lot of room in the car, so if you want to take beach towels and/or bath towels on your trip, microfibre towels are the perfect compact solution.
Great for the beach, showering in camp, when staying in hostels or budget hotels, they are lightweight and fast drying.
They come in a range of colors and sizes, but the XL is best for most uses.
We all own microfiber towels and they are great for taking on a road trip.
22. Tech Gear Organizer
Most people these days travel with an array of tech gear which needs to go somewhere when you are getting in and out of the car each day.
These electronic gear organizers by Bagsmart are an absolute lifesaver and the best road trip gift for people who like to be organized.
With plenty of pockets and space for cords, chargers, tablets, plug converters and more, you will wonder how you ever managed without it.
A tech gear organizer is a simple, practical road trip gift for the next long car drive.
23. Car Mount Phone Holder
On a long car drive it is essential these days for the driver to have easy hands free access to your mobile phone.
The iOttie One touch car mount has a suction cup base so you can easily move it from car to car, a telescopic arm to move it in to the right position and a one touch one handed mechanism to lock and release your phone.
If you use your mobile phone for maps, calls or music while driving, the iOttie car mount is a great roadtrip gift idea.
Best Road Trip Books And Journals
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.
24. 100 Parks, 5,000 Ideas
For endless inspiration to help you plan your next National Parks road trip, this book is essential.
With tips on when to go, where to go and what to do and see at each of the Parks, and full of gorgeous photos, this is a wonderful road trip gift idea for Outdoors and National Parks lovers.
It comes in paperback or spiral bound – which I prefer for taking in the car as it easily folds out on your lap for reading and planning in the car.
25. Scenic Drives In America
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.
26. Epic Drives Of The World
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.
27. Moon Road Trip Travel Guide
Moon make awesome road trip guides and they make fantastic gifts for road trip lovers.
With detailed maps, recommended hikes, suggested itineraries and suggestions for activities and sightseeing, these guides are a wonderful gift for road trip lovers.
There are dozens of titles to choose from for regions across America and Europe.
If you are making up a road trip care package, or looking for practical gifts for road trips, a Moon Travel Guide is an excellent choice.
28. Road Trip Journal
These guided journals by Journals Unlimited are a wonderful gift for road trip travelers.
With a practical wire binding to lay flat on your lap in the car, they have prompted pages to capture all the details of your road trip plus plenty of space to document your journey.
Made from recycled heavy duty paper, they have over 200 pages and they offer more than 65 different themes so you are sure to find the right one for your travel lover.
Perfect as roadtrip gifts on their own they are also a great inclusion in a road trip gift basket.
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.
We’ve tried and tested so many travel accessories and think these are some of the best road trip gadgets you can buy.
29. USB Multi-Port Wall Charger
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 use it in the car and can also plug it in when we arrive at our accommodation. It is one of the best road trip items we use every day when traveling.
30. JOBY Gorillapod Compact Tripod
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.
31. Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 3 Wireless Speaker
Enjoy high quality music anywhere with the Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 3 bluetooth speaker.
Whether you are in the car, in the RV, at camp or in the hotel, you know you can play your favorite tunes with this waterproof outdoor speaker.
It offers 360 degree sound and comes in a range of colors and sizes. Dirt resistant and drop proof, you seriously can take this thing anywhere.
We travelled the world with this speaker and love, love, love it! Simply the best gift for road trip lovers who love their music too.
32. 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.
33. Power Inverter
A power inverter is one of the best road trip gadgets for keeping all your tech gear charged on the road.
It can charge your laptop, ipad, tablet, phone, headphones and all your other electronic gear while driving.
You can plug in and play so no more worries about your laptop dying halfway through a movie or the kids running out of tablet power while playing games in the backseat on your road trip.
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.
34. Foldable Panama Hat
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.
35. Batiste Dry Shampoo
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.
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.
36. Foxelli Headlamp Flashlight
One of the best road trip gifts for men is a good quality head torch. Great for early morning runs, cooking by the fire in camp and trips to the campground showers.
We love the Foxelli Headlamp . Super bright, lightweight and waterproof, we own two of these and they have never failed us.
They have a tiltable frame which is great for cooking, adjustable band and have both red and white light modes.
37. Xenvo Pro Lens Kit
If you are looking for gift ideas for a road trip lover, this smartphone lens kit is a great option.
Perfect for taking high quality photos without having to carry an expensive digital SLR camera.
The lens kit comes with a Macro lens for super close ups and a wide angle lens to take amazing landscape shots.
It is compatible with all single and dual camera phones including iPhone, Samsung and Google and comes with a lifetime warranty.
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.
38. Chat Pack Questions
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.
39. Travel Bingo
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.
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.
It is the perfect addition to a family road trip gift basket.
Best 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.
40. Audible Subscription
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.
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.
Before you go, check to see if your local public library has audiobooks available.
If not, subscribe to Audible for access to three titles each month.
The first month with Audible is free and the membership can be cancelled at any time. Click here to check the price and options for Audible.
41. Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet
Any parent who has travelled long distances with kids will tell you that tablets have made road trips with kids about 1 million times easier.
The Fire HD 8 Kids edition tablet is wifi enabled and also has 32 or 64 GB of storage. It can be used for watching movies, listening to music, playing games and reading books.
It also comes with 1 year of Amazon Kids+ included for unlimited access to over 20,000 apps, games, books and video content.
Plus, to top if off, Amazon give you a 2 year worry free guarantee – if it breaks they will replace it!
If you are looking for road trip gift ideas for adults with kids, the Fire HD tablet is the ultimate of car trip gifts.
42. Headphone Splitter
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.
We like this one by Syncwire.
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 and is an awesome road trip gift idea!
A travel themed gift basket is 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.
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 in your road trip care package.
- Snack box care package
- Mad Libs Game
- Bamboo Cutlery Set
- Aerobie Flying Disc
- Acupressure wrist bands for motion sickness
- Reef Safe Sunscreen
- Gas gift card
- Hand lotion
- Lip balm
- Scented tissues
- Hand sanitizer
- Wet wipes
There are plenty of sustainable gift ideas that are great for a road trip too.
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).
Before You Go
So that’s it – a complete guide to the perfect gift for a road trip. We hope you found some good gift ideas for road trippers on our list.
If you are buying a gift for a RV owner, see our comprehensive RV Owners Gift Guide here.
And if you are thinking of a backpack, see our anti theft backpack reviews.
See all our travel gear recommendations and reviews here.
More travel gift guides
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