Road Trip Gift Ideas: 50+ Best for All Car Enthusiasts

Man on the roof of his car in winter

Are you looking for the perfect gift for a road trip lover in your life? Look no further! This guide has over 50 of the best road trip gift ideas, including safety items and thoughtful presents. There’s nothing more exciting than getting on the road to explore a new destination and whatever you happen to see along the way. And that goes for whether you’re enjoying day trips, or heading across the country. Prepare for a journey through gift ideas that will delight and inspire your favorite travelers all along their road trip route. We’ll also include some travel tips to share with budding road trippers.

Absolute Best Road Trip Gifts

After traveling thousands of miles through different states and parks, we have a good idea of what makes a great road trip. This guide gives recommendations to help you see more and explore further on road trips.

The 5 best gifts for road trips include:

  1. The iOttie iTap Magnetic 2 is a phone holder for dashboards and windshields. It is user-friendly and secure. It uses magnets to hold smartphones in place for hands free driving without blocking essential car functions.
  2. The CamelBak Eddy+ 25-ounce water bottle is a dependable and versatile road trip companion. It has an integrated straw lid with a plastic bite valve that allows you to sip while keeping your eyes on the road. The leak-proof lid fits in a cup holder and makes it simple to add ice. However, the plastic bottle may cause it to sweat, so choose the insulated version to avoid moisture buildup on the bottle.
  3. The Nekteck PD 45W Type-C Car Charger is a charger that supports fast charging with USB-C. It also comes with a USB-C-to-Lightning cable. This charger is faster than USB-A wall chargers and can charge modern phones, tablets, and laptops. It also supports maximum charge rates on Android phones and laptops.
  4. The Rumpl Down Puffy is a great outdoor blanket that offers warmth and durability at an affordable price and size. The jacket has a soft nylon shell. It is filled with down that repels water and comes from sustainable sources. The down keeps you warm for a long time. The blanket was tested for durability. It stayed intact after four washes and is resistant to stains from dirt, dew, and coffee. Its small size makes it an excellent choice for winter road trips.
  5. The RTIC Soft Pack Cooler 20 Can is a lunch-box-style cooler made of thick closed-cell foam and long-lasting coated nylon. It is ideal for long journeys because it can carry healthy snacks as well as emergency ice packs. In comparison to the Yeti Hopper Flip, the lid is capped by over 2 inches of insulation, providing an insulating edge in keeping drinks cold. The exterior is made of tough nylon that is waterproof and tough. The zippers are also water resistant. However, do not leave the cooler out in the sun because light and heat can degrade the material. The cooler stands upright like a grocery bag, making loading and unloading simple.

Essential Road Trip Gift Ideas

A gift basket filled with road trip essential items such as a paper road atlas, a water bottle, and a travel coffee maker.

When it comes to road trips, practical and useful gifts can make a world of difference. These essentials not only enhance the travel experience, but also provide peace of mind during long car rides. These road trip gifts include emergency and safety items, as well as comfort and convenience accessories. They are perfect for road trip enthusiasts and are sure to impress.

Read on for essentials for road trip travelers, and get everything they need for a smooth journey.

Emergency and Safety Items for Road Trip Gift Ideas

Looking at a map, beach out the window

A roadside emergency kit is required for daily driving as well as long-distance road trips. Preassembled kits are not always the best option because manufacturers often skimp on quality to meet a certain price point. To ensure a good kit, it must be made by hand. Essentials must be researched and tested in advance in the event of an emergency.

Woman excited for another adventure with the best road trip gift

It is also a good idea to join a roadside assistance program. Popular Mechanics provides a guide to selecting a plan that meets your needs. For example, 3 miles of free towing in a city may be sufficient, but paying for more range on a cross country road trip may be worthwhile.

  • The First Aid Only 298 Piece All-Purpose First Aid Kit (FAO-442) has bandages, cleaning supplies, and disinfectants for small injuries. A basic first aid kit is required on the road to ensure that bandages and disinfectants are not degraded or expired. The kit doesn’t have the best tools, but it has enough supplies to treat small injuries on a weekend trip for four people.
  • A portable jump starter is a small battery connected to two booster cables that are used to jump-start a car. With safety features and enough juice to start most cars and SUVs, the Weego Jump Starter 44s is a popular choice. It weighs less than a pound and is compatible with gas and diesel engines up to 7 liters in capacity. The unit can be recharged up to 1,000 times and provides multiple jumps before needing to be recharged. Leaving the battery in very hot or cold temperatures can permanently damage it.
  • If you’re into jumper cables, Lifeline’s AAA Heavy Duty 16-foot 6 Gauge Booster Cables are perfect for you. They have a long and thick cable, a 400-amp current rating, and come with a sturdy mesh storage bag. These 6-gauge cables are accurate, making them suitable for most situations and vehicles. When using booster cables, read the instructions carefully and avoid connecting the black clamp to the dead battery post. Touching the exposed clamps during connection can cause a spark.
  • With 65 individual tools for off-road emergencies, the Decked x BoxoUSA Tool Bag with Tool Roll is an ideal tool kit for home mechanics. The kit weighs 31 pounds and has compartmentalization built in for easy selection. The set includes combination wrenches, sockets, impact sockets, hex and torx keys. It also has breaker bars and a variety of hammers, pliers, and screwdrivers. The tough Cordura nylon bag is great for car maintenance or emergencies because it’s very durable.
  • The Leatherman Skeletool CX is a lightweight, long-lasting multi-tool ideal for emergency situations. It includes pliers, a bit driver, a pocket clip, a carabiner/bottle opener, and a 2.6-inch carbon-fiber stainless steel blade. Unlike other multi-tools, this one is easy to carry and has essential tools for repairs. It’s functional, ergonomic, and well-built.
  • The Accu-Gage RRA60X is the most popular tire gauge among professionals to avoid the dreaded flat tire on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. Proper tire inflation is important for a smooth ride. Too much air can cause bumps and make it hard to stop. Too little air can cause tire wear and overheating. Unlike digital gauges, it is accurate, durable, and has no battery to wear out. The Accu-Gage model comes in a variety of configurations, but the performance is consistent. The version with a hose attached and a straight chuck is better because it allows for easier holding while also checking tire pressure. The model also includes a detachable rubber bumper for accidental drops.

Your road tripper will be well-prepared for any situation while road tripping.

Comfort and Convenience Item for Road Trip Gift Ideas

Map of the United States with a compass, which could make the best travel gifts

Long road trips can be unpleasant due to long periods of sitting, camping, and cheap motel beds. However, with proper planning and small luxuries, you can keep your trip exciting. Pack snacks and a water bottle or two instead of fast food, stay off major highways, and pull over whenever the scenery calls. Remember that it is the journey, not the destination, that is important, and try to enjoy the journey as much as possible.

Travel gifts such as these are perfect for enhancing the overall travel experience, especially on long stretches.

The Nemo Victory Picnic Blanket is a comfy and portable picnic blanket that fits four people. It’s perfect for taking a break from driving and enjoying a picnic.

The Therm-A-Rest Compressible Pillow Cinch is a travel pillow that is versatile and portable. It can meet all your needs for portability, expansion, and support. It folds easily for storage in a backpack or backseat, and it can also be used as a shoulder or neck pillow when necessary. The pillow is slightly larger than standard travel pillows, but it is not as bulky while driving. It unrolls and expands into a decent bed pillow at night, though it may be too thin for side sleepers.

Road trip gift ideas for staying organized

Woman riding in a car, hand feeling the wind

A well-packed car has less than you think you want to bring but everything you actually need. It does not have to include everything; only the essentials are required. This eliminates the need to worry about countless items that may be lost or misplaced, making the drive more enjoyable. To avoid leaving anything behind at the motel, organize your belongings into groups. For example, put emergency supplies in the trunk, water in the back left, spare batteries in the glove compartment, and a power inverter. This also alleviates the stress of losing or misplacing important items, which can make the drive more enjoyable.

Packing cubes are the key to traveling light on a busy road trip. You can use Eagle Creek Packing Cubes to organize different things, like small items and big clothes. Plus, the cubes include compression technology to save even more space.

Woman sitting in front of a beetle along the shoreline

A trunk organizer is a versatile tool that can hold a variety of necessities in one place, such as first aid kits, shopping bags, starter cables, and snacks. And it’s better than a car seat organizer, as it frees-up valuable space. Drive Automotive Products The Car Trunk Storage Organizer With Straps has sturdy straps that are a popular feature. It can hold anything from an ammo case to a survival bag, and its adjustable straps make it easy to place in various locations in the back of your car. This versatile organizer is ideal as a backseat car organizer or for the trunk.

The Yakima Skybox 16 Carbonite is a top-rated car mount cargo box with aerodynamic design, easy mounting, and storage. It doubles trunk space and offers 16 cubic feet of storage, minimizing wind noise and fuel economy impact. The box is easy to use, with tool-free installation and sliding brackets for easy attachment to crossbars.

Road Trip Gift Ideas for helping your favorite road trip lover keep the car clean

Two women enjoying a pause on the journey

Road trips are notorious for making cars filthy. A road tripper on a long trip is likely to use the whole car as a trash can, which makes for a pain collecting garbage at the next stop.

So, in the interest of avoiding, to paraphrase, “messy car, messy head” syndrome, perhaps one of those unique gift ideas are road trip essentials.

The Hotor car trash can is a cost-effective and versatile way to keep your car clean. It has a waterproof vinyl interior and a zippered lid, allowing it to be easily hung on seats, footwells, or behind the center console. The can is leakproof and handy for storing trash on the go. It comes in seven different colors and can hold a lot of trash as well as serve as a car cooler or a place to keep first aid kits, snacks, or toys. Avoid using it for perishable food waste and stock up on trash bags to save money on replacements.

The Black+Decker 20V Max Dustbuster AdvancedClean+ Pet Hand Vacuum HHVK515JP07 is a dependable pet car vacuum. The motorized brush is good at removing stubborn fur from car upholstery. The extendable crevice tool helps reach small spaces. The vacuum has a motorized brush that helps remove debris and stubborn fur by agitating them. The 25-ounce bin volume is the largest of the handheld vacs tested, which is especially useful for large amounts of fur. It can run for up to 25 minutes and charges in under three hours. The HHVK515JP07 is backed by a two-year warranty.

Entertainment Road Trip Gift Ideas

A family playing a game in the car while on a road trip.

Driving in solitude can teach the value of being alone, before instant entertainment. The lack of distractions can help you witness small details that awe and inspire. Close proximity can bond road tripping friends and families, though a packed car can become a pressure cooker. Games, toys, and electronics can provide distraction. And if the scenery changes every 100 miles, you’ll need to keep your phone charged for capturing some of those awe-inspiring moments.

These items help travelers have fun and connect with each other while staying in a hotel room.

On-the-Go Fun

Woman driving along a ridge at sunrise

Make road trips more fun with non-electronic entertainment options like travel bingo and trivia games. Road trip-themed playing cards add nostalgia. These games are a great chance for family and friends to bond and have fun competing.

For example, some excellent gifts for road trip games include:

  • Chat Pack: Fun Questions to Spark Conversations is a game designed to help travelers strike up conversations. The game isn’t always thought-provoking, but it can start interesting conversations. The questions can be thought-provoking or clumsy, but they can also be abrupt and unintentional. The game helps pass the time and takes up little space, making it an excellent way to interact with others on the road.
  • Sushi Go, a fast-paced “pick and pass” card game, is simple enough for children as young as five to learn but challenging enough for older players to enjoy.
  • Regal Games’ Travel Bingo pack is a fun game for the whole family. It includes interstate and license plate cards.
  • TableTopics to Go Road Trip Game, a conversation starter game perfect for long drives
  • The National Parks Playing Cards show beautiful pictures of famous parks in the U.S.

Electronic Entertainment

Woman touching a tablet in a car

If you like modern gadgets, you can give tablets, e-readers, and portable speakers as road trip gifts. You can do many things with these road trip gadgets, like watch movies and play games. You can also listen to music and audiobooks.

A dedicated ebook reader enables you to access a large library of books without being distracted by a phone or tablet. E-readers are smaller than paperbacks and can last for weeks on a single charge, making them ideal for reading on a car trip. For most people, the most affordable Amazon Kindle is the best choice. It has a 6-inch screen with better picture quality and USB-C charging. The Kids version, which costs $20 more, has additional features that make it an excellent option for keeping kids entertained on a long road trip.

The Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 3 is a portable speaker that’s great for outdoor activities. It has natural sound and a stylish design. It has an IP67 water-resistance rating, can withstand 30 minutes of immersion in 1 meter of water, and is dustproof. In tests, the speaker floats and has an 11-hour battery life. However, it is a little bulky and charges via an outdated Micro-USB port.

Inspirational Road Trip Books

A person looking at a map while on a road trip.

Books can be a fantastic source of inspiration and information for road trippers. Here are some types of books that offer valuable insights and ideas for planning the perfect road trip.

  • Detailed travel guides
  • Personal narratives
  • Memoirs
  • Fictional stories set on the road
  • Photography books showcasing scenic routes and destinations

Among the many inspirational road trip books available, some popular titles that make the best gifts include:

  • Road Trip USA
  • Moon Road Trip Travel Guides
  • 50 States, 5,000 Ideas
  • 100 Parks, 5,000 Ideas
  • Epic Drives of the World

Travel Guides

Taking a picture of the open road

With GPS units and smartphone navigation apps, the age of paper road atlases may appear to be over, but a road atlas is still necessary for any road trip. Planning a trip begins with fantasizing about where you could be next weekend. Remember that a road atlas is the beating heart of every journey, inspiring you to discover new places and experiences.

Google Maps can help in locating popular travel destinations, planning your route, and saving a PDF for easy access at each stage of your journey. But that’s way less appealing-sounding.

We like the classic Rand McNally Road Atlas for use in the car—just make sure to get an updated edition. Its large size makes it easy to read and spread out on the hood or in your lap, and the user-friendly design is unbeatable. The arrangement of state and keyhole maps in this paper map atlas is ideal for navigation on car trips.

Popular travel guides for their next road trip include:

  • The Road Trip Book
  • The Most Scenic Drives in America
  • And the Lonely Planet USA Planning Map

These guides are great gifts for road trip lovers who enjoy exploring new places. They provide tips, maps, and itineraries to make the trip easier.

Personal Narratives

Personal narratives tell the stories of other road trippers. They inspire and help people plan their own adventures. These books have different ideas and important lessons, which make them a special gift for people who like road trips.

Some notable personal narratives include:

Road Trip Gift Ideas for Pet Lovers

A person packing a car with pet travel gear such as a pet bed, a pet carrier, and a pet food container.

If your recipient loves road trips with their best friend, get them gifts that make traveling better. These gifts are perfect for both road trippers and their pets, including travel gear and activities.

Some great road trip gifts for pet lovers include:

  • Dog booster seats
  • Pet carriers
  • Pet seat covers
  • Portable water bowls

These items ensure that pets are safe, comfortable, and well-cared for during their road trip adventures.

Pet Travel Gear

Man admiring the sunset with his dog

If you’re going on a road trip with your pet, it’s important to have the right gear. This will make sure your pet is comfortable and prepared for the journey. Items like pet seat belts, travel organizers, and portable water bowls are practical and useful gifts for pet owners who love to hit the open road.

Pet travel gear makes road trips enjoyable for pets and gives peace of mind to owners. Pets are safe and well-taken care of. With the right travel gear, pets can enjoy the adventure just as much as their human companions.

Pet-Friendly Activities

An image showing a happy dog sitting in a car with a pile of road trip gifts in the backseat.

Road travelers with pets need gifts that let the entire group have fun too. Some examples on an upcoming trip include:

  • Parks and beaches where pets are allowed
  • Trails and hiking spots that welcome pets
  • Restaurants with outdoor seating that allow pets
  • Pet-friendly hotels and accommodations

These activities allow pets and their owners to create lasting memories together.

Some pet-friendly activities to consider include:

  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Swimming
  • Visiting pet-friendly parks
  • Visiting pet-friendly beaches
  • Visiting pet-friendly restaurants

By gifting experiences that cater to both the road tripper and their pet, you’re sure to make their journey even more memorable and enjoyable.

Unique and Thoughtful Road Trip Gift Ideas

A person holding personalized travel gifts such as a custom t-shirt or a personalized mug for a road trip traveler.

Sometimes, the most memorable gifts are those that are personalized or experience-based. These special gifts for road trips show you’ve chosen something meaningful and cherished.

You can give unique gifts to your favorite road trippers, like personalized luggage tags and keychains. There are also tour vouchers and attraction passes available. These gifts are tailored to their interests and travel preferences. If they’re going on a road trip or visiting national parks, these gifts will make their journey extra special.

  • Custom luggage tags
  • Engraved keychains
  • Tour vouchers
  • Attraction passes

Road Trip Gift Cards

A man stopping to take a photo next to his camper van

The advantages of travel are impossible to neatly package with a bow. You can’t put a price on the rush of the open road, an impossibly beautiful view, or overcoming a challenge that helps you grow. That said, a travel-related gift card is probably the closest you’ll get to giving your loved ones the actual gift of travel. Unless you book their motel and hotel rooms for them.

You’ll want to choose a gift card that you know they’ll be able to use. If they’re planning a road trip to national parks in the American West, a local gift card will be far more useful than one from a luxury hotel chain.

National Park Pass for America the Beautiful

Driving out West

The America the Beautiful Pass is one of the best gifts for road trippers. This simple gift opens the door to endless adventures! With the annual pass, you can visit over 400:

  • National parks
  • National forests
  • And National historic sites

For a whole year. The pass covers the pass holder and everyone in their vehicle. A national park pass has incredible value and the potential for hundreds of dollars in savings at only $80 per year.

Hotels.com Gift Card

Hotels.com, Expedia’s hotel division, is one of the best places to find cheap hotel reservations and vacation packages. Whether you book now or later, the site is always offering discounts at some of the world’s most popular destinations. You’ll effectively be giving a discount while also paying the bill. And in the hospitality world, it seems like everyone and their mom lists their accommodations on this website. So they’ll hopefully find somewhere reasonable (and well-rated) in the most remote of places.

Airbnb Gift Card

Checking into an Airbnb can make certain travelers feel a lot cozier, especially if they’re planning a long-term trip. With an Airbnb gift card, they can pick their own place to stay and save money.

Apple Gift Card

Have a digital nomad friend that’s always posting their van life on Instagram? They’ve found the cheapest lodging on the road, but their most valuable asset: their technology, could always use a little insurance. They’ll be able to buy accessories or get a discount if their laptop or iPhone breaks down on the road with an Apple gift card.

Personalized Items

Personalized road trip gifts add a unique and individual touch to any journey. You can customize luggage tags, travel bags, and travel journals to match someone’s preferences.

Personalized items demonstrate thoughtfulness and prevent mix-ups during road trips with luggage and belongings. You can find the perfect personalized gift for your road trip-loving friend or family member. There are many custom options available.

Experience-Based Gifts

Forested road in Tennessee

Experiential gifts offer a unique and memorable way for road trippers to enjoy their journey. To enjoy fun activities and see interesting places, you can use tour vouchers, attraction passes, and travel memberships. This will help your loved ones make the most of their road trip adventures.

Some popular experience-based gifts include:

  • AmazingCo Mystery Adventure
  • Tinggly Experience Gift Box
  • And CityPASS E-Voucher for Adventure

These gifts provide various experiences, like hot air balloon rides and guided tours, that suit road trip lovers.

Road Trip Gift Baskets and Sets

A relaxation and self-care set such as a face mask, a scented candle, and a bath bomb.

For a truly thoughtful and comprehensive road trip gift idea, consider creating a themed road trip gift basket or set. Curated collections for road trip lovers are a great gift idea.

You can personalize your road trip gift basket or set to match the recipient’s interests and needs. Some perfect gift ideas for road trip gift baskets or sets include:

  • A Snack-filled road trip care package with a variety of treats for the road
  • Relaxation and self-care sets with items like travel-sized toiletries, a cozy blanket, and a scented candle
  • Entertainment sets with books, puzzles, and games to keep the recipient entertained during the trip

Snack-Filled Baskets

Man driving by beautiful scenery

A road trip isn’t complete without a selection of tasty snacks to enjoy along the way. Road trippers love receiving snack-filled baskets as gifts. These baskets are filled with delicious treats that they can munch on during their journey. It’s a thoughtful and tasty way to show you care. Popular snacks for road trip baskets include:

  • Granola bars
  • Fruit snacks
  • Popcorn
  • Chocolate
  • Candy

These road trip snacks will keep you fueled and satisfied throughout your adventure, even when you can’t find a gas station to stock-up.

By tailoring the selection to the recipient’s tastes, you can create a snack-filled basket that will be both appreciated and enjoyed.

Relaxation and Self-Care Sets

Scene from the dashboard

Long road trips can be tiring, making relaxation and self-care an ideal gift for weary travelers. You can give your loved ones sets with small toiletries, aromatherapy items, and cozy blankets. This will help them relax and recharge while they travel.

Thoughtful items like:

  • Roll-on perfume
  • Body wipes
  • Face masks
  • Nail polish

Can also be included in relaxation and self-care sets, providing a touch of luxury and pampering on the go. These sets are a great way to show road trippers that you care about their well-being and comfort during their travels.

Tips for Choosing from the Perfect Road Trip Gift Ideas

A person looking at a map while planning a road trip.

When selecting from the best road trip gifts, it’s important to keep the recipient’s interests, travel style, and practical needs in mind. By considering these factors, you can choose a gift that will be both useful and meaningful to the road trip enthusiast in your life.

Some tips for choosing the best road trip gift include:

  • Considering the length of the trip
  • Taking into account the recipient’s preferences for entertainment
  • Considering any specific needs or challenges they might face during their journey

By taking these factors into account, you can ensure that your gift will be appreciated and cherished long after the trip is over.

Couple taking a break from driving

A great road trip gift can make traveling more enjoyable and create fond memories for road trippers. This guide has over 50 gift ideas for road trip travelers, including safety items and personalized presents. So buckle up, hit the open road, and make your next journey unforgettable with the perfect road trip gift.

And if your road tripper needs a suggestion or two, a few of our favorite road trips include seeing Finger Lakes waterfalls.

Frequently Asked Questions

Family trip

What is a good gift for someone who travels a lot in a car?

Road Trip Essentials make a great gift for anyone who’s on the road often – making sure they have everything they need to stay safe and comfortable.

They can include items like a first aid kit, a flashlight, a tire pressure gauge, a multi-tool, and a few snacks. All of these items can help make a long drive more bearable and can even help in an emergency.

What do you give someone who is going on a long trip?

These gifts cover everything, from useful travel items to planning tools and safety products. They’ll help your loved one travel in style.

What do you put in a gift bag for a road trip?

Get ready for a fun road trip by packing a gift bag with everything you need. Include a travel journal, word puzzle book, crossword puzzles, old-school games, sudoku book, window crayons, joke book, and pack of cards.

These items will keep you entertained and engaged during your journey. They can also help you pass the time and make the most of your trip. Plus, they make great souvenirs to remember your adventure by.

What are some fun things to bring on a road trip?

Having a great time on a road trip starts with the right gear! So make sure to bring along a tablet, card games, your favorite playlist, a GoPro, a travel journal, portable wifi hotspot and snacks.

You’re sure to have fun and laughs all the way!

What are some essential road trip gifts for safety and convenience?

To make sure you stay safe and comfortable on your road trip, it’s important to have some essential items. These include a roadside assistance kit, first aid kit, portable jump starter, car phone charger, compressible pillow, and car organizer. Having these items on hand will give you peace of mind and make your journey more enjoyable. It’s important to make sure you have the right items for your car and the right supplies for your destination. Take the time to research what you need and make sure you have everything you need.

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