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Do you know someone who loves nothing more than traveling the open road? Who prefers long car rides to short plane trips? Who keeps a National Parks passport in their glovebox and the Roadside America app on their phone? Who will drive anywhere at any time for any reason? If you’re looking for some road trip gift ideas for road trip travelers you know, look no further. We’ve compiled fifty of the best road trip gift ideas that any roadtripper would love!
Whether you need a Christmas present for your road trip loving husband or wife, need birthday gifts for travelers in your family, or just want a special bon voyage present for a loved one taking off on an cross-country adventure, we’ve got you covered. From classic essentials and newfangled gadgets to indispensable books and unique experiences, our recommendations for the best gifts for road trip travelers will have your friends or family thanking you from the road.
Best Road Trip Gift Ideas for Road Trip Travelers:
Road Trip Essentials Gift Ideas
There are certain things that every road trip traveler needs: things that keep them safe, on track, and comfortable when traversing their route. Any road trip essential would make the best gift for a cross country road trip from New York to California or a cross city day trip that ends before midnight.
1. YETI Hopper Flip Portable Cooler
Every road trip lover needs a good cooler. They are essential for keeping sodas, waters, snacks, and picnic lunches cool and fresh while on the road.
Good quality coolers like the YETI Hopper make great gifts for long car rides or short day trips.
2. Rumpl The Original Puffy Outdoor Camping Blanket
A cozy blanket is always a welcome gift no matter who the recipient. Road trippers know that a warm indoor and outdoor blanket is an indispensable item to keep in the car.
A puffy but lightweight blanket like the Rumpl Camping Blanket can provide an intimate shield while sleeping under the stars, a comfortable layer for backseat passengers, and in-case-of emergency warmth for snow storms and blistery nights.
3. Osprey Packs Talon Hiking Backpack
Whether hiking up a mountain or hiking up to the bar, every road tripper needs a good quality day pack. A smaller-sized hiking backpack allows you to keep your luggage in the trunk and only bring the basics when taking a stroll down a trail or hopping in and out of the car.
4. Rand McNally Road Atlas
Friends don’t let friends get lost on the road. Even though many of us rely on on our smartphones and Google maps nowadays to get us to our destination, sometimes a good old fashioned paper atlas is a necessity.
Atlases allow you to see the big picture when driving across the country and, if technology fails or you’re out of a cell phone service zone, it can come in handy for reference. Every road trip lover should have an atlas in his or her car, so it makes a perfect road trip essentials gift.
5. Lonely Planet USA Planning Map
This durable, folded, road trip planning map contains information about the top country attractions, itinerary suggestions, a transport guide, road trip planning information, and travel tips. It’s a great reference for on the road and a perfect addition to any road tripper’s glove box or Christmas stocking.
6. Magnetic Car Mount
While driving the interstate, you want to keep your eyes on the road. You also, often, need to check your phone quickly for directions or to pick up a hand-free call. This magnetic car mount locks to your air vent keeping your smartphone in place while not blocking any essential car functions. When shopping for gifts for car trips, a magnetic car mount makes for a great addition to your cart.
7. VIM & VIGR Compression Socks
Chances are, you’ve given socks for a present once or twice in your life. This holiday, skip the novelty socks with Santa’s face or smiling schnauzers and give some socks road trippers can really put to use.
Compression socks like these from VIM & VIGR increase circulation and blood flow, provide a great remedy for tired legs and cramped calves after being confined in a car all day, and should top any list of travel essentials gift ideas.
8. Car Back Seat Organizer
No one likes a messy car. Car organizers make good road trip gifts because they keep all of those essentials, like road trip games, snacks, and maps, in one place. Be sure to get one with an iPad holder to turn a boring back seat into an entertaining TV and movie station for kids or other passengers.
9. Samsonite Winfield 2 Expandable Hardside Luggage with Spinner Wheels
Luxurious luggage sets make the best road trip gifts. If you’re looking to splurge, a hardside luggage set like the Samsonite Winfield will be a present to impress. Wheeled luggage makes getting from the trunk to the hotel room easy and the tough exterior means nothing gets crushed along the way. No road trip traveler should be without a nice set of baggage.
Must-Have Electronics for Road Trippers
Electronics and techy gadgets make for some of the best gifts for road trips. Cameras and camera accessories are imperative for capturing memories perfect for sharing on Instagram or framing on your living room gallery wall. Portable gaming systems and tablets keep your passengers happy on long stretches of highway. And car accessories will keep them safe, on track, and charged up all the way to the end of the road.
10. Fujifilm X-T30 Mirrorless Digital Camera
The best gift ideas for travelers are ones that they will use over and over again. And nothing (besides the car) will get as much use on a road trip as a camera.
The Fujifilm X-T30 is my favorite road trip camera and an essential item in my road trip kit. This mid-range mirrorless camera offers sharp photos in a compact and lightweight package, perfect for capturing all the world’s largest things.
11. GoPro HERO8 Black
For those looking to step up their road trip captures, GoPro cameras make excellent road trip cameras.
Designed for action, the best unique feature of the GoPro is TimeWarp, which allows you to take a super fast hyperlapse of the road trip journey. How cool would that be?
12. BlitzWolf Bluetooth Selfie Stick Tripod
We’ve all been there: you’ve trying to take a selfie in front of the world’s largest cow and all you can get in frame if half your face and half her udder.
As much as selfie sticks get a bad rap, they can be life savers when trying to take photos of yourself at road trip pit stops. Ones like this BlitzWolf Bluetooth Selfie Stick that doubles as a tripod make great gifts for roadtrippers to ensure they can always get the perfect selfie.
13. Nintendo Switch Portable Gaming System
Play all your favorite games on the go. Keep your family entertained and never hear, “are we there yet?” again. The portable design of the Nintendo Switch makes it the perfect gaming system for road trips and back seat play and the perfect road trip gift for children and adult passengers alike.
14. WONNIE Dual Screen DVD Player
A duel car DVD player that clips to a car’s headrests can provide hours of entertainment for road trip passengers. This one plays DVDs or digital files stored on a USB or card reader.
15. Fire HD 10 Tablet
For long car trips, nothing beats an e-reader or tablet for keeping people entertained. Individual tablets like the Fire HD allow car passengers or a driver on break to watch movies, listen to music, read, or play games and make great gifts for long car trips and the families taking them.
16. Garmin Drive 51 GPS Navigator System
Even if someone’s phone has GPS capabilities, it’s always a good idea to invest in a separate GPS navigator. That way they have that extra insurance in case their phone dies, loses reception, or is in use by a backseat passenger.
GPS navigator systems like the Garmin Drive make great roadtrip gifts because you’ll know you’re helping to keep your loved one safe on the road by keeping them connected apart from their cell phone.
17. Tile Pro Key Finder
Attach a tile to your keychain and never lose your keys. It’s the best gift for road trippers who are going back and forth from their car to gas stations, roadside attractions, hotels, and more. Moving around so much there’s always the possibility of losing your keys or dropping them between the seats. Pinging the tile from your phone helps you locate just where your keys are no matter where you left them.
18. USB Car Charger
You never want your phone to go dead when on a road trip. It’s essential for GPS directions, looking up roadside attractions, booking hotels on the go, making emergency calls, and taking photos of every Welcome to State sign. Every road trip lover needs a USB charger for their car, especially one with multiple ports so everyone can keep charged at once.
19. DJI Spark Drone with Remote Control
Imagine being able to follow your car with a camera as it winds down an abandoned road or being able to capture all of Carhenge from above. The only way to get epic aerial road trip videos and photos is with a drone.
Drones, like the DJI Spark, make the best gifts for road trippers who want to take their road trip videography and photography to the next level.
20. 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer for Smartphone
Most road trip videos are unwatchable. Trying to take a video of that epic waterfall or breathtaking National Park view with a handheld iPhone will always result in a shaky movie that no one wants to watch. How do fix it? With a gimbal.
Gimbals suspend your phone for smooth stabilization that will take any road trip video from disastrous to delightful.
21. Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera
For fun road trip photos that make retro souvenirs, an instant camera is a must have gift for road trip lovers.
The Fujifilm Instax Mini is a cute camera that is compact enough to fit in the glove box to make memories on the go.
Just for Fun Road Trip Gifts
Not all gifts for road trip travelers have to be entirely practical. Sometimes the best gifts for someone who travels are just fun. These presents will add a smile on the face of any recipient who loves car travel and seeing the world.
22. Scratch Off USA Map Poster
Help your favorite road tripper keep track of his or her travels with a scratch-off map of the United States. Complete with stickers and place markers this map will commemorate everywhere a road tripper has traveled and help them plan where to head to next.
23. Homesick Scented Candle, Road Trip
For the road trip lover stuck at home, this road trip scented candle is a perfect stocking stuffer. With scents of amber, musk, leather, paper, and jasmine, it will remind the recipient of sight seeing on the open road (minus the stuffy car and air freshener smell).
24. S’well Stainless Steel Travel Mug
S’well travel mugs keep cold beverages cold for 24 hours and hot beverages hot for 26. Your gift recipient will thank you for the money and time (and environment) she or he will save when filling this stylish vessel up with refreshing water or pick-me-up coffee at the hotel.
25. Pendleton Yellowstone Marigold National Park Blanket
Pendleton blankets offer the cozy comfort of a thick wool cover alongside style and history. Their National Park collection pays homage to your favorite road trip destinations that feature distinctive colors, the park name, and an image of an important natural feature. Pendleton National Park Blankets make fantastic gifts for road travelers who want to commemorate a special trip to their new favorite park.
26. National Parks Playing Cards
National Parks playing cards make double duty gifts for road trips. Featuring iconic scenery from parks around the United States they serve as both a memento and inspiration while giving travelers entertaining opportunities for game play whether at home, in an AirBNB, or at a campsite.
27. Sunflora Picnic Backpack for 4 Person Set Pack
For anyone planning on packing their own food, camping, or picnicking on a road trip, a picnic backpack complete with plates, glasses, and utensils would make a great road trip gift. It’s better for the environment than using disposable plastic plates and forks, and will have everything needed to enjoy meals on the go.
28. Home State Necklace by The Folk
When trying to find road trip gifts for her, whether she is your girlfriend, wife, sister, mother, or best friend, jewelry probably will cross your mind. And a state-shaped necklace is the way to go.
Gift the state she lives in so she never feels far from home or a particularly memorable road trip destination so she’s never forget the fun you had there.
29. CMYK Polaroid Scented Car Air Freshener by Bel-Air Air Fresheners
Air fresheners always make funny road trip gifts for someone who loves their car. Instead of a boring pine tree purchased at the gas station checkout give one they might actually love like this cure retro Polaroid-shaped air freshener from Bel-Air.
30. Syntus USB Car Essential Oil Diffuser
After a few days in the car, it sometimes will start smelling less than fresh. A portable essential oil diffuser makes a great stocking stuffer and will bring a fresh scent to any long car ride.
31. Road Trip Passport – Travel Journal by Letterfolk
Collect experiences on the road. This journal has blank pages to free-record your thoughts alongside pages of prompts to record your road trip destination, meaningful stops, and favorite moments. There are also bonus pages of checklists, bucket list destinations, rites of passage, road trip games, iconic roadside attractions, and more.
32. Maui Jim Polarized Sunglasses
Every road trip lover needs a good pair of sunglasses. These lenses feature PolarizedPlus 2 technology, which eliminates reflective, direct, and bounce-back glare — essential features when driving on a sunny highway.
33. United States Map Road Trip Wall Hanging by Her Silver Lining
A personalized and sentimental gift is often the way to go. A wall hanging featuring a map can be personalized to show the route of a trip you took, perfect if you’re looking for cross country gift ideas or something to commemorate an epic adventure.
34. TableTopics to GO Road Trip
Get the whole family excited and talking on your next car trip by gifting this TableTopics to GO Road Trip game. With travel-specific questions you’ll have fun while learning a lot about your fellow passengers.
35. Road Trip Personalized Ornament by Ornaments in the Green
Is a new Christmas ornament a yearly tradition? Celebrate that year’s road trip with a personalized ornament that depicts your whole family and your summer vacation destination.
36. This Must Be The Place Hotel Key Tag by Three Potato Four
An homage to vintage hotel key chains, modern versions with catchy phrases make fun road trip gifts for adults.
37. Retro Motel Sign Enamel Pin by Merch Motel
Vintage motels and road trips go hand in hand. Inspired by mid-century American motel signs, this enamel pin is trendy and would make a great roadtrip gift for travelers of any age.
38. Hidden Pocket Infinity Scarf by Speakeasy Supply Co.
A scarf that’s both pretty and functional? Sign me up! The hidden pocket infinity scarves by Speakeasy Supply Co. are stylish wraps with a secret twist: inside is a pocket to keep your ID, credit card, keys, or whatever you want to conceal. These scarves are perfect for all types of travelers but especially helpful to roadtrippers who might be hopping in and out of the car all day and don’t want to carry a bag around or leave their essentials behind.
Road Trip Books
Books make fantastic gifts for roadtrip fanatics. They’re fun to flip through to enjoy photos of destinations near and far and provide inspiration for anyone planning a trip for the first time or not sure where they want to go next.
39. 50 States, 5,000 Ideas: Where to Go, When to Go, What to See, What to Do
Find the best things to do and see in every state in America with this illustrated book from National Geographic. From national parks to beaches, war memorials to museums, this guidebook has it all and will ignite your imagination and kick start your trip planning. It should top any road trip gift wish list!
40. 100 Parks, 5,000 Ideas: Where to Go, When to Go, What to See, What to Do
Like the previous book suggestion, but for national parks alone, this sequel is full of breathtaking photography and travel tips for getting the most of the country’s national parks. These books make good gifts for car travelers, whether they are a national park novice or have every page stamped in their park passport.
41. The Road Trip Book: 1001 Drives of a Lifetime
This book let’s you explore all the possibilities road trips have to offer. It presents a variety of road trips of all lengths and levels of challenge, including a transglobal route inspired by Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman’s Long Way Round documentary series. This book will inspire you to hit the road and take a trip you couldn’t even imagine possible.
42. Road Trip USA: Cross-Country Adventures on America’s Two-Lane Highways
With route recommendations, off-the-road highlights, driving maps, colorful photography, and expert advice, Road Trip USA would be a fun gift for someone going on a road trip for the first time or the fiftieth!
43. She Explores: Stories of Life-Changing Adventures on the Road and in the Wild
She Explores celebrates women on the road. With photography, narrative, and practical tips this book is an essential read for any woman who wants to take off on an outdoor adventure. Engage with the stories of 40 women who have taken unforgettable trips into nature: women who live in vans, hike, road trip, or backpack.
44. Unique America – Strange, Unusual, and Just Plain Fun: A Trip Through America
I can’t have a guide of road trip gift ideas without a book all about my favorite thing: roadside attractions.
Unique America celebrates the unusual sights you’ll find while road tripping the country with full-color highlights that will have anyone enthusiastically asking, “are we there yet?”
45. Life’s a ROAD TRIP Journal (Insert Your Story)
Life’s a ROAD TRIP is a hybid journal/non fiction volume. Part of the Axel & Ash ‘Insert Your Story’ series it includes writing prompts (“my wildest moment along the way,” “the most picturesque spots,” “a beautiful encounter”), gorgeous photography, inspirational quotes, and moving stories from travelers like yourself.
46. Roadside Attractions Adult Coloring Book
If you know someone who loves roadside attractions as much as I do and are looking for gift ideas for road trippers who love the weird and wacky, this roadside attractions coloring book will allow the recipient to unleash their inner child to color between the lines of some of America’s best world’s largest things.
Experiential Road Trip Gifts
Not all gifts for a road trip have to be physical things. Sometimes the best gifts are those you can’t see but can experience instead.
47. America the Beautiful – National Parks & Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass
America the Beautiful passes make excellent gifts for car travelers. The annual pass allows the recipient to skip the entrance fee on over 2,000 federal recreation sites, including national parks, national wildlife refuges, national forests, and grasslands. For the serious road tripper, this pass is gold.
48. Audible Gift Membership
Looking for unique gift ideas for car travelers? Give the gift of audio books! An Audible Gift Membership allows the recipient to download their favorite books along with new originals to listen to from anywhere, even their car. Audio books provide relief from the same Spotify playlists and double your productivity level allowing you to “read” while you drive.
A prepaid CityPass ticket booklet will save the recipient time and money at great road trip destinations across the US. If a big city excursion is on the list for the new year, this will help take their trip from ordinary to extraordinary. The passes will allow the holder to skip the line into popular tourist attractions and make the most of their road trip.
50. Book a Day Tour through Viator
For the ultimate gift idea for someone going on a trip, why not book them an excursion? Tour companies like Viator offer tours, day trips, sightseeing, museum entrances, and more. Help your friend or loved one out by gifting them an experience to experience on their next road trip.