Are you searching for gifts for road trips to give to someone who loves hitting the open road frequently?
Buying gifts for someone who hits the road can be tricky because you need to think about something that’s useful, but that also travels easily.
You also need to think about getting them something that they don’t already have. This means you may need to do a little snooping to see what they need!
We’ve rounded up 37 of the best gifts for road trips that will take any road trip to the next level.
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37 Gifts for Road Trips
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1. Roadside Emergency Kit
This is a no-brainer for getting gifts for road trippers. Every car should have a roadside emergency kit because you never know when you might need it. Imagine those movie scenes where you’re in the middle of nowhere, no cell reception, and your tire has blown.
All these scenes didn’t have a handy dandy roadside emergency kit. You can buy many on the market, ranging from basic to fully-fledged mechanic. When looking for one to buy, find one with at least a good set of jumper cables and a tow strap.
This emergency kit comes fully kitted out and is in a convenient case that makes it easy to move between vehicles. Make sure that the kit comes with an instruction manual too. There’s nothing worse than having all the tools but having no idea how to use them.
2. Paper Road Atlas
A paper atlas! Who even uses those these days, you may be wondering? Trust me. These are invaluable because you can’t always get cell reception for your Google Maps when you’re on the open road.
A road atlas like this Rand McNally 2022 Road Atlas is the best gift for road trippers because it covers all the main routes your road tripper will take in the region. They’ll thank you for it when their cell reception cuts out, and they need to know where to go next.
3. First Aid Kit
Just like you need an emergency kit for your car, an excellent gift for road trips is a first aid kit. You never know when someone will need a bandaid or a car-sick bag when you’re hitting the road.
This first aid kit comes with everything you need in a handy case. It even comes with some handy tweezers, which are excellent to pick out splinters after hiking during a road trip.
4. Car Mount Phone Holder
Car mount phone holders are a seriously undervalued car essential. Think about all the times you need to check your phone when you’re driving – but you can’t take your eyes off the road.
An excellent gift for road trippers is this phone holder, as they’ll be able to mount their phone during long drives. They’ll also be able to check their navigation and take calls if needed without taking their eyes off the road. Safety is paramount, so this gift is great.
5. Car Phone Charger
Everyone’s worst nightmare is losing battery while out on the open road. We rely so much on our phones these days that if you’re looking for simple gifts for road trips, a car charger is it.
This will require some research, as you need to check the model of your road tripper’s phone. Once you do, check if the car they’re using has a USB port. You need to get a cable they can plug into the car if it does. Otherwise, you can get them a phone charger that plugs into the car’s DC outlet.
6. Backseat Car Organizer
If your road tripper is traveling for a few weeks or with kids, you’re going to need to put your backseat into some order, or it’ll just be chaos back there. You know the one, juice boxes, magazines, pillows. Everything is everywhere.
7. Packing Cubes
If you’re looking for gifts for a road tripper who’s a planner and travels with a few people in the car, packing cubes is the way to go. If you’re packing for your family, get a set of packing cubes, and each family member can have one cube.
Not only does it take the complexity out of packing, but it also makes unpacking and repacking your suitcase a breeze. No more having to sit on your bag to make sure everything fits.
8. Vehicle Trash Bin
Remember the last road trip you went on? Did your back seat and cup holder resemble a trash can after eating all the snacks? Well, that’s where a vehicle trash bin becomes one of the best gifts for road trips.
It is so easy for wrappers and receipts to pile up when you’re on the road for a while. Grab a vehicle trash can that’s leakproof, and you’ll be able to keep your car nice and tidy, even after being on the road for weeks. Your future self will thank you for it.
9. Cable Organizer
Travelers are most likely traveling with multiple devices. Even for road trips, you’ll probably have a different cable for your phone, laptop, or tablet. Remembering where these are can be confusing and annoying if you need it quickly but have to dig through a perfectly packed bag.
Gift ideas for road trippers should always include a cable organizer as it’s a useful gift for long road trips to the regular weekend getaway.
10. Travel Mug
I can barely function until I’ve had a cup of coffee in my system. Having a travel mug makes sure that I can get caffeinated when on the road. It’s one of the best gifts for a road trip because not only can you use it to grab a coffee to keep you awake. It also keeps the mess in your car down as you are reusing your cup.
Make sure to grab a travel mug that can also keep cold drinks. This way, you’ll be set for road trips all through the year.
11. Water Bottle
Hydration. You may think you don’t want to be hydrating during a road trip, as that could mean more toilet stops. But having some water on hand is always essential to make sure that you’re not going hours without any hydration.
Gifts for road trips travelers should include a water bottle because it can be used every day. Grab a large water bottle so your road tripper won’t have to be finding places to fill it repeatedly.
12. Travel Pillow, Blanket, And Eyeshades
You may think that this is something for someone who travels by plane, but people nap in cars. One of the best gifts for road trips is a travel pillow, blanket, and eyeshades. Pop the seat back, and you’ll be able to nap comfortably without getting a kink in your neck.
The glare from the road can make driving long distances uncomfortable. If you’re unsure what style to get as a gift, check what they have already and grab another pair. Having two pairs of sunglasses means you can have one in the car and one in a bag.
Grab a couple of sunglasses cases as well. Having a case to swap out with sunglasses is very handy for someone who wears glasses to see.
14. Compression Socks
These socks keep your feet feeling fresh, not swollen from sitting, ready to hit the trails or some city sightseeing.
Does the driver get to pick the music on your road trips? Does that mean listening to something you don’t want to listen to for hours on end? If you’re looking for gifts for someone going on a road trip, this is where a good pair of headphones comes in.
When choosing a pair of headphones, find ones that plug into a device or have good battery power. There’s nothing worse than losing battery halfway through a long trip. A pair that’s noise-canceling can mean that you get a bit of peace even in a car full of people.
16. Gift Basket With Travel Snacks
Snacks are essential on a road trip. Petrol stations and random diners on the side of the road may not help with the hunger from traveling miles for hours. An excellent gift for a road tripper can be a gift basket filled with their favorite snacks.
Find a mix of healthy and unhealthy snacks that travel easily and don’t require cutlery. The less handling required, the better.
17. Iceless Cooler
Many roadies include some form of outdoor eating during their trips. This is where an iceless cooler comes in. Gone are the days where you have a cooler that’s dripping with water – iceless is the way to go.
18. Portable Jump Starter
If you decide not to go with the complete roadside emergency kit, just getting a portable jump starter is a lifesaver for any serious road tripper. Cars do break down, and it’s usually when there’s no one else on the road that you can flag down and get a jump start.
Not to mention that it could be dangerous to do so. Having a portable jump starter in the boot when heading out on the road is a thoughtful gift for road trips.
19. Conversation Starters
If your road tripper is heading out on the road with a couple of people, they are bound to run out of things to chat about. If the music isn’t great either, conversation starters are a great way to keep people entertained and are road trip essentials gift.
20. Dog Booster Seat
Roadtrippers with a fur friend will need something in the back to keep their fur friends safe. A dog booster seat is for your smaller fur friends who need a boost to see out the window. It also secures them in place.
Best of all, it’s machine-washable so that the fur baby can be covered in dirt, and you won’t have to worry about a dirty back seat.
21. Portable Hammock
Having a place to lay your head is ideal for road trippers who stop at beautiful spots. Think, laying and taking in some scenic views. What does that need? A hammock, of course!
A portable hammock gives you the ability to find beautiful spots and rest your head.
This portable hammock stuffs down to the size of a baseball, so it is perfect for road trip travel as it doesn’t take up much space.
22. Portable Light
When you need a little light to read or play cards at the end of a long day driving, a portable light is precisely what’s required. Find some solar-powered lights, and you don’t have to worry about the battery running out.
The lights can charge while soaking up the sun on your dashboard, and once nighttime comes, you’ll get all the light you need.
23. Folding Table And Chairs
When you’re on a road trip, you’re likely going to see something beautiful along the way and pull over to take it in. You may also want to take a break and grab a bite to eat (out of the cooler that you have).
Having a folding table and chair set is perfect and guarantees that you do not have to sit on a gravel road. It packs down easily what you want to get as your gift for your road tripper because it still needs to fit in their boot.
24. Portable Stove
Not all roadside diners are ranked well for their food options. Being a road tripper doesn’t mean you have to eat fries and burgers all day, every day. A portable stove is a great gift for road trips because they’ll be able to cook food while on the go.
Grab a portable stove that doesn’t require a power socket or a big gas tank, as that will take up a lot of space, which isn’t ideal when saving space is vital.
25. Portable BBQ
If your road tripper has a little more space in their boot, a portable bbq is a type of gift that keeps giving. Not only does it make great tasting food, but it can also be used throughout the year for day to day cooking.
This portable BBQ can be easily set up and feed a family of four quite easily. It also packs down quickly, and clean-up is a breeze. What more could you want as a gift!
26. Travel Set Of Herbs And Spices
A travel set of herbs and spices is the perfect gift for the road tripper who likes to add flavor to their cooking. These spice pods are so handy as they don’t require refilling – which means you don’t have to worry about stale spices.
Otherwise, refillable spice shakers are an easy gift for road trips, as your road tripper can fill their most loved spices and take them on the go with them.
27. Travel Espresso Maker
This is for coffee lovers. I legitimately can’t start my day until I have some caffeine in my system. If you’re buying a gift for someone who falls in the caffeine to function camp, a travel espresso maker will make their road trip so much smoother.
Getting a good cup of coffee is quite tricky when out on the road. When instant coffee just isn’t going to cut it, this is where a travel espresso maker comes in. It’s an epic gift for a road tripper who needs caffeine.
28. Outdoor Cook Prep Set
To go with the travel spices and portable BBQ, your road tripper is going to need something to use to cook their food. Travel cutlery may not fit the bill as they’re not made for proper cooking.
Again, make sure you get something that packs down easily, like this camp kitchen set. It has all the essentials, from tongs to turn food to a pair of scissors to open the packaging. Sometimes, teeth just don’t cut the mustard.
29. National Park Pass
For the outdoorsy road tripper, most of them, a national park pass is an unexpected gift for road trips. In the United States, 61 national parks and over 400 monuments, forests, and seashores form part of these National Parks.
The Annual America the Beautiful Parks pass gives you access to all the famous road trip destinations around the country and includes admission of the driver, a vehicle, and all the passengers.
30. Spotify Subscription
This is another unexpected gift for road trips. Still, after hours spent on the road, you will want to be able to listen to more than just the radio (especially once the radio cuts out). A Spotify subscription is a great gift, and your road tripper can download some playlists and podcasts so they can access them once the reception cuts out.
31. Storage Bags
No doubt, when you’re on the road, you’ll need some spare bags to store things like food or wet swimwear. Storage bags are a simple gift for your road tripper that won’t break the bank. Get some reusable ones as they can be washed and ready to use for the next trip.
You might like this article Gifts For Outdoor Moms (31 Ideas To Make Her Happy)
32. Portable Laundry System
Washing machines don’t always have to be heavy and plugged into a water supply. These nifty portable washing machines pack down and are a great way to avoid the high costs of getting clothes cleaned while on the road.
33. Pocket Knife
This is a no-brainer for road trippers. As with the emergency kits, a pocket knife is a seriously underestimated tool with many uses. Grab one with a proper blade that can cut things and is a decent size. Getting one that is too small gathers dust.
34. Inflatable Solar Lantern
A lantern is different from a solar light as it adds ambient light, but not light that you’d expect to use to cook your food in the middle of the night. It’s an excellent way to add some ambiance when your road tripper pulls over after a long day of driving.
35. Portable Speaker
To go with that Spotify subscription, a portable speaker is an excellent gift for road trips. It’s a great gift in general, so this is one of those gifts that keeps on giving. Grab a speaker that’s waterproof and easy to charge, and it’s the perfect gift for an adventurous someone who’s on the move regularly.
36. Tile Pro
Another unexpected gift, but I regularly lose my car keys. Having a Tile has made locating my keys when I need them so much easier. It’s a small but mighty gift that proves its purpose when you’re in a rush, and your keys are stuck between car seats.
37. Picnic Backpack With Cutlery And Blanket
Finally, road trips will inevitably require having to eat outdoors or unexpected places at some point in the journey. A picnic backpack and blanket is the kind of gift that will get so much use out of it.
What Do You Get Someone For A Long Road Trip
When looking for a gift to get someone for a long road trip, think about where they’re going and the kind of stops they’ll be making along the way. Based on your budget, a roadside emergency kit is a great gift for long road trips or even the travel espresso maker. Caffeine is needed for those long drives.
What Do You Put In A Care Package For A Road Trip
If you’re going down the care package route, here are some things to add:
1. Travel-ready Snacks
2. Gift Cards to Travel Stores
3. Warm and Lightweight Blankets
4. Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer
5. Travel-sized Games
6. Hot and Cold Travel Mug Or Bottle
7. Family Pack Wet Wipes
8. Light-smelling Car Air Freshener
9. Paper Atlas
10. SPF Lip Balm
Fun Things To Buy For A Road Trip
Road trips can be very long and boring. When looking for fun things to buy for a road trip, think about the person you’re buying for and what they like. A Spotify subscription is a great gift because there are hours of entertainment in music and podcasts.
There you have it. We’ve rounded up the 37 best gifts for road trips. You have gifts for both short and long trips, and even the road trips in between. We’ve even thrown in a couple of unexpected gifts that the person you’re gifting to won’t even see coming such as the National Parks pass.
Many of these gifts for road trips can be used day-to-day, such as the portable BBQ, so just when you’re looking for a gift for a road tripper, think about what they need, both day-to-day and during their trips. You’ll win the gift-giving game.