Gifts for Road Trips People Will Actually Love

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A woman looking at a map on her road trip

Whether it’s a birthday gift, a holiday gift, or a just-because gift, it can be hard to pick out that perfect something for a traveling friend or family member.

Maybe you don’t know what a traveler would like. Here are 12 gifts for road trips that your favorite traveler will love. 

Take these suggestions and find a useful and functional gift for the next journey!

Why Do People Go on Road Trips?

Some find thrill and adventure on a road trip. For some travelers, the road beckons them to explore cities, national parks, and quirky attractions.

For others, they want to experience new cultures and cuisines from the Southwest to the Northeast. 

People may go on road trips to see family, for work, or for a special vacation. And traveling together with a group of friends or family members can also bring you together for a common goal. Whether it’s for a week or a month, a road trip can be a journey of a lifetime.

What Makes a Good Gift for Road Trips?

The main criterion for a good gift for road trips is its functionality. If it’s not useful, it’s not worth it. Consider what will make the road tripper’s life easier on the journey, not always something cute or comical. 

A funny keychain about backing up a camper might get a few laughs, but it’s not the most useful gift. Often, travelers have limited space, so they’ll want to fill it with things that matter.

12 Gifts for Road Trips People Will Actually Love

Below are 12 great gifts for road trips that people will find functional. You might think a magnetic key box isn’t a very thoughtful gift, but it’s very helpful for someone going on a road trip.

No one wants to get locked out of their car while discovering the sights and sounds of Houston, Texas. 

You could say the same thing about compression socks. Who wants to give socks to a friend? But understanding the usefulness of such a gift will make it the perfect option.

1. YETI Hopper

Available in seven different colors, this YETI Hopper is small enough for almost any vehicle.

You know you’ll get a quality product when you go with YETI. This cooler has a durable shell and can fit six cans, making it perfect for a travel day.

YETI Hopper Flip 8 Portable Cooler, Navy
  • The Hopper Flip 8 has ColdCell Insulation, a closed-cell foam that offers superior cold-holding to ordinary soft...
  • Features a 100% leakproof HydroLok Zipper and high-density fabric that withstands punctures and UV rays

2. Rand McNally Road Atlas

Your road-tripping friend will appreciate an atlas when they venture into areas without cell service and lose their GPS signal.

Getting the most up-to-date Rand McNally Road Atlas is a great gift to encourage adventure while ensuring your friend doesn’t get lost.

3. Compression Socks

Okay, this sounds weird, but these socks work great for long travel days of sitting in the car. The quick dry fabric makes them breathable and comfortable. 

Additionally, the double-stitched fabric provides compression and support on the heel, foot, and calves, increasing circulation while sitting for long periods.

A man running with compression socks on his road trip

4. Car Seat Back Organizer

Help your family members stay organized on their road trip by getting a seat back organizer for the car. They can easily store snacks, charging cords, and maps.

Whether on a solo trip or with others, having an organizer on the back of a seat will help the driver find whatever they need quickly.

Helteko Backseat Car Organizer, Kick Mats Back Seat Protector with Touch Screen Tablet Holder, Back Seat Organizer for Kids, Travel Accessories with 9 Storage Pockets 2 Pack, Black
  • ORGANIZE YOUR STUFF - With our kick mats your stuff will be not only at hand while traveling, but also you’ll forget...
  • PLENTY OF POCKETS - The backseat car organizer comes with 9 different-sized storage compartments including a clear...

5. Selfie Stick and Tripod

You might not get to go on the road trip with your friends, but you can ask them to take photos to share with you. A great gift for road trips is a selfie stick and tripod. 

They may love the tripod to capture epic moments at Yosemite National Park and the selfie stick as they walk the streets of Savannah.

bluehorn Selfie stick Portable 40 Inch Aluminum Alloy Selfie Stick Phone Tripod new model with Wireless Remote Shutter Compatible with All Cell Phones for Selfie/Video Recording/Photo/Live Stream/Vlog
  • 【Selfie Stick Tripod】: Bluehorn*YUN TENG Joint brand Model. Wireless Remote Control. The range of the wireless...
  • 【EXTENDABLE & FOLDABLE】Extendable length from 8.1 inches to 40 inches so you can choose your desired length.Compact...
A couple using a selfie stick gifted for their road trip

6. Carpool Karaoke Mic

Sometimes long travel days can become boring and tiresome. Help break up the monotony by getting a carpool karaoke mic.

This model has a duet feature, sound effects, and voice-changing features. Your family can also sing along by reading lyrics from a paired phone.

Keep in Mind: Is Highway Hypnosis a Real Thing? Let’s find out!

Carpool Karaoke Machine for Kids & Adults, Carpool Karaoke The Mic 2.0 - Wireless & Bluetooth Karaoke Microphone with Voice Changing Sound Effects as White Elephant Gift - Rose Gold
  • Hear Yourself Sing On the Radio: Introducing Singing Machine’s new Carpool Karaoke Mic 2.0! Recreate the excitement...
  • Take Your Karaoke Experience to New Levels: Stream music from your phone or Bluetooth device to sing your favorite...

7. Magnetic Key Box

Although a magnetic key box is a great gift for any car owner, it’s especially important for someone traveling to unfamiliar locations. No one wants to get locked out of their car in a busy city or remote national forest. 

Ensure your friend or family member has a backup on their road trip. They can stick it in a hidden area under their car if they lose their key.

Nite Ize Hideout Magnetic Key Box - Waterproof Key Hider - Magnetic Key Holder & Box - Waterproof Key Storage for Spare Keys - Keycase - Key Box Organizer - Black, XL
  • Magnetic Key Holder Box: This key hider is perfect for storing keys and any other items you want to stash out of sight...
  • Waterproof Key Holder: This magnetic key box is waterproof (ipx7) and durable; this key holder design keeps your...

8. Scratch-Off Travel Map

A scratch-off travel map is fun and keeps the adventurous spirit going. Especially when a road trip lasts for several weeks, morale may fall.

Encourage the wanderlust by giving a road tripper a map to track their travels and keep them motivated on the journey. 

Scratch Off Map of The United States – US Scratch Off Travel Map with 50 State Flags and Landmarks – Map to Track States Visited, Full Accessories Set Included, Gift for Travelers, by Earthabitats
  • ✈ SCRATCH OFF US MAP. Track your travels, scratch off where you have traveled in the USA to reveal the beautifully...
  • ✈ PERFECT GIFT FOR TRAVELERS. Our map comes in gift ready packaging to delight the travel enthusiasts in your life. A...

9. Sunflora Picnic Backpack

Road trips call for lots of sandwiches and picnics at rest areas and travel centers. Make lunchtime more enjoyable by giving a picnic backpack. 

This Sunflora option has place settings for four people, plus one cheese knife and wine opener, a metal salt/pepper shaker, and a bamboo cutting board.

Sunflora Picnic Backpack for 4 Person with Blanket Picnic Basket Set for 2 with Insulated Cooler Wine Pouch for Family Couples (Brush Beige)
  • Stylish and Practical All in one Picnic Backpacks - Impressed with the quality! Crafted with sturdy fabric, Sunflora...
  • Top Notch Gift Choice - Premium picnic accessories are neatly organized and fixed. Insulated Picnic bag comes with 4...

10. Road Trip Journal

Another great gift for road trips is a journal. You can choose from many kinds, but a pocket-sized one can fit into a glove compartment or center console. 

It offers lines to write about special experiences and memorable moments and blank pages to draw or doodle. It’s a great way for your friend or family member to record their road trip and share it when they return.

Keep in Mind: Before your next road trip, amp up your playlist with these 15 Country Songs You Have to Listen to on Your Next Road Trip

Letterfolk Trip Passport Journal — Pocket-sized Experience Book (3.5" W x 5.5")
  • COLLECT EXPERIENCES: The Trip Passport is a 48-page pocket-sized journal that includes 20 entry pages to record...
  • SIMPLE, MEANINGFUL JOURNAL: Each entry log page includes prompted sections to help you remember the important details...

11. Road Trip TableTopics To Go

Like the Carpool Karaoke Mic, this Road Trip TableTopics to Go game livens the mood on long travel days. These 40 questions spark conversation among people of all ages. 

For example, discuss whether you like the city or the country more or what food you’d choose if you could be in a food-eating competition. This is an easy way to have some fun while in the car.

TableTopics to GO Road Trip
  • For all ages
  • Product Type: Game

12. 50 States 5000 Ideas Book

Finally, spark new adventures with this book by National Geographic. 50 States 5,000 Ideas showcases travel experiences in every state, from battlefields to beaches. 

It even gives tour suggestions so travelers can get their money’s worth wherever they go. Plus, this book may initiate additional road trips.

50 States, 5,000 Ideas: Where to Go, When to Go, What to See, What to Do
  • National Geographic (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Encourage Adventure With These Gifts for Road Trips

You’ll find all kinds of gifts for road trips that you can get a friend or family member who’s hitting the road this year. But these are 12 gifts they’ll love because of their usefulness and functionality.

Don’t get another t-shirt or hand towel or coaster. Get them something they’ll benefit from as they take an epic journey.

Which road trip gift do you think you’ll be getting soon?

Last update on 2024-05-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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