The 65 BEST Useful Road Trip Gift Ideas (2024)

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Looking for the best gifts for road trips? Check out these 65 road trip gift ideas to help you find the perfect gift for everyone on your list.

Who doesn’t love a little surprise to kick your road trip off on a high note? Think about it—your co-pilot’s face lighting up as they unwrap a quirky, handy travel gadget, or your kiddos squealing with joy when they discover some games specifically for the journey. Gifts are the secret sauce to elevating any road trip from “great” to “absolutely unforgettable!” And, if you have friends planning a road trip, why not tailor your gift-giving this year to their journey?

Thanks to my years of road trips (and giving gifts for them), I’m diving deep into the world of road trip gifts—how to pick ’em, how to package ’em, and even how to present them for that maximum WOW factor. So buckle up, because we’re about to take this road trip planning into overdrive!

Top Road Trip Gifts

Packing Cubes

I have to admit, I thought packing cubes were a waste of $$ for many years, but on an impulse, I purchased a set and now I’m sold. They really do make organizing and packing your suitcase easier – I’m a convert. This set is super affordable and has terrific ratings.

Atlas

I love having a road Atlas in the car. Although I do depend heavily upon Google Maps these days, there are times when I want to see what’s near where we are going, or I like to get an overview of a state or location.

Fodor’s BEST Road Trips in the USA

Why not package that Atlas with Fodor’s Best Road Trips in the USA? What a fun gift perfect for anyone who loves to plan a good road trip!

Personalized road trip map

If you have a friend or family who has a special road trip planned – or maybe you are going to plan a trip for your family, why not create a personalized road trip map? I have found it quite easy to make my own maps on Google Maps. This would be a terrific gift for a day trip too!

The perfect cooler

A terrific road trip gift is a cooler! Last summer I did quite a bit of research to find the perfect choices, so use my legwork and make your holiday shopping a breeze.

Hydrate with a new water bottle

Staying hydrated is super important while on a road trip, and a nice water bottle is a perfect choice for a road trip gift. You could fill it with a gift card or two or add it to a gift basket. Easy and useful!

Keep your coffee warm with a thermos

If your road tripper is more of a coffee drinker, how about a good-quality thermos to help them keep their coffee warm so they can refill their coffee cup throughout the trip? My husband LOVES his old school Stanley for extra coffee on road trips.

Stocking stuffer idea #1

A few chip clips would be a terrific stocking stuffer idea for someone who loves road trips, or a fantastic addition to a road trip gift basket. After all, how many times have you opened a bag of pretzels on a road trip and not had a way to close them? These chip clips or any of the next few stocking stuffers are great gift ideas for road trips.

Stocking stuffer idea #2

Wet wipes are also much needed on a road trip, right? Especially with kids, things can get messy. So add a package or two of wet wipes to your road trip gift basket or tuck them into a stocking.

Stocking stuffer #3

We all went a little crazy with hand sanitizer a few years ago, but thanks to that I got in the habit of keeping a bottle in the car. It’s incredibly useful on road trips when you find yourself eating on the go!

Stocking Stuffer #4

Although these days we don’t use change as often for tolls (thanks EZPass!), it can come in useful for parking meters. So, having a bit of change (especially quarters) in the car can be a lifesaver. Why not keep it in a cute change purse?

Picnic blanket

In the summer, I always keep a picnic blanket in the car. I use it for impromptu picnics or outdoor concerts wherever we travel. So consider a picnic blanket for your next gift idea.

Beach chairs

I’m not going to lie, I wish I’d had our beach chairs in the car on our last weekend getaway to Petoskey, Michigan. They would have come in so handy at the state park! A set of beach chairs is a great gift idea for road trips.

Car phone mount

I’ve tried several car phone mounts through the years and so far this has been the best. It’s so smart to use one for hands-free driving, and I like the placement of this one for when I’m following maps.

Glove box holder

This would make a terrific stocking stuffer – it will make life easier for your recipient to keep things organized and I LOVE the fun colors – my daughter and I both have this in orange.

Portable charger

I’ve purchased this portable charger twice now (somehow they keep disappearing in our family), and it works great. It’s the ideal gift for anyone road-tripping to an amusement park or Disney!

Flashlight

Keeping a small flashlight in your glove box is a smart idea. So, that makes it a smart option as a road trip gift. It’s another nice item to add to a fun gift basket or stocking.

Umbrella

I don’t know how many times the small umbrella I keep in my car has saved me. It takes up little to no room and comes in so handy. If your road trip gift recipient doesn’t have one in their car already, get them one!

First aid kit

Just like an umbrella, every car should have a first aid kit. I used mine ALL THE TIME when the kiddos were little. Even today, I find myself reaching for a bandaid or some first aid cream regularly.

AAA roadside subscription

If you’ve got family members who frequently road trip, give them (and you) peace of mind with an AAA roadside membership.

Tire pressure gauge

Along with that AAA membership, how about a tire pressure gauge? It’s a useful gift that would also be a good complement to that membership or any of the other auto-related gifts.

Trunk organizer

A trunk organizer is a fun and useful gift that can be used for road trips as well as just everyday running around town. And it’s super affordable.

Car trash can

This car trash can is more than just a trash can, it’s also a car organizer. So, two useful gifts in one!

Headphones

If you are looking for a gift for the car riders on the car trip, how about a pair of headphones? Although my kids like their AirPods, my husband swears by these – and has convinced at least half a dozen friends to buy them!

Audible subscription

Add on an audible subscription to the headphones for a gift that will be used all year long! Entertainment while riding in the car on a long car trip is super appreciated.

Kindle Paperwhite

I absolutely LOVE my Kindle Paperwhite. I take it on every road trip and flight. I can load up tons of books, it is super light and takes up no room at all!

Kindle Unlimited Membership

Along with that Kindle, a Kindle Unlimited Membership would be an awesome gift. I have one and love having dozens of books at my fingertips.

National Parks Pass

If you need a gift for an outdoorsy type of person or someone who’s planning an epic road trip to visit several National Parks, how about a National Parks Pass?

Complete National Parks of the United States

Give that National Parks Pass with this comprehensive guide to the National Parks – it’s the perfect complement!

State Park Pass

If visiting all the National Parks isn’t on the road trip agenda for this year, how about a state park pass? Most states have them and they can inspire a year’s worth of fun and exciting day trips and mini-road trips!

State travel guide

Pick up a fun guidebook (like this one for Indiana) for the state park pass you selected and you’ll have a fantastic gift for any local explorer.

Give the gift of a tour

As someone who likes new experiences, I LOVE this gift idea. We’ve done a variety of tours that would be fantastic gift ideas – food tours, winery tours, e-bikes, you name it – just gear it to the interest of your recipient.

Attraction tickets

Attractions can be a very expensive part of a road trip, especially in a big city like Chicago, so save your friends and family a little money by gifting them tickets!

museum membership cards

Museum memberships

Museum memberships can be a terrific gift because many of them have reciprocal memberships so they can be used all over the United States – perfect for road trips.

Chicago tilt

Go City Pass

If you know your road tripper is going to a specific city, you could gift them a Go City Pass for that location. It will be a huge savings for them, and allow them to do a LOT easily.

Cozy blankets

A warm, cozy blanket can be a lifesaver on a long car ride. I swear by these Vera Bradley ones – they hold up wonderfully!

Warm socks

Even in the summer, I like to have a pair of warm socks in the car on a long road trip. I can slip off my shoes (unless I’m driving🤣 ) and keep my feet warm and cozy. This would be a fantastic addition to road trip goodie bags for adults.

Flip flops

To make it easy to slip on those cozy socks, have a pair of flip-flops (or moccasins in the winter) as your road trip shoes. Give a pair along with some cozy socks for a great gift!

Compression socks

For a really long drive, compression socks can be a lifesaver. I don’t know how your legs get tired just sitting, but compression socks can alleviate some of that – this could end up being one of the best gifts for car travelers.

Road trip games

Help keep the kids busy on a road trip with some fun road trip games. Check out my printable packet with plenty of fun options!

Car bingo

I picked up these car bingo boards for gifts for my kiddos years ago before a road trip to Florida. They’ve been a hit ever since.

Wooden hangman game

Hangman is another fun car game, and this wooden version travels well! We’ve used ours for years on long car trips.

Road trip snack bags

Another great gift for kids going on a road trip is a set of road trip snack bags. Fill them up with goodies and the kids will be thrilled!

Daring & Dangerous books for kids

This series was a BIG hit for our kids on road trips. It kept them entertained in the car and at the final destination. There is a girls version and a boys version. My kids loved them!!

Car seat organizer

There were several years when we used these car seat organizers for every long road trip. They kept the kids organized and they had all their “stuff” at their fingertips.

100 Drives, 5000 Ideas

What a perfect gift for anyone on your list that LOVES a good road trip! I’m picking this one up for myself this year 🌞!!!

Travel Journal

Give the gift of creating memories with a beautiful travel journal. You can select one with prompts or just blank pages – tailor it to your recipient. I like this one.

Road Trip Planner

Help with the details to make the road trip successful with this road trip planner. This set of printables will ensure nothing is left to chance! Gift it with a travel book, or other road trip gift for a fun way to get excited about the planning process.

grower from Primevil brewery

Growler

I know I’m not the only one who loves to visit local breweries when we travel, and having a growler on hand makes it easy to enjoy and share our beer discoveries once we return home. Pick one up at a local brewery – full of beer is best!

Restaurant gift cards

Restaurant gift cards can be a lifesaver for someone heading out on a long road trip. Especially for coffee or quick lunches! Gift cards are fantastic road trip gift ideas for adults.

driving

Gas gift cards

Unless your recipient owns an EV, they are going to need gas for their road trip. So, make life easy and buy them gas gift cards.

Amazon Prime membership

I love having Amazon Prime while on a road trip. If you forget something, you can order it on the road and have it delivered to your destination. Ditto for groceries. You can watch Prime video on the road, and easily get everything you need FOR the trip.

Costco or Sam’s membership

Having a Costco or Sam’s membership can be a treat while you are on a road trip. You can get gas for less, enjoy a quick lunch, or pick up needed supplies. Consider giving a membership as a gift – it WILL be appreciated.

Fun road trip t-shirts

Get everyone excited for the trip with a fun road trip t-shirt! I found SO many cute ones online – definitely something for everyone.

Travel themed sweatshirt

Your family runs cold? Or maybe the road trip will be to a cold destination. Go for a travel-themed sweatshirt.

Sunglasses

No road trip would be complete without a pair of sunglasses. Pick up a pair for everyone in the car as a gift for road trips.

Laundry Bag

It is SO convenient to have a laundry bag along on a road trip. No need to figure out where to put dirty laundry, and since you are driving you have room for another bag!

Beach/ Pool bag

When the kids were little I always had a separate beach or pool bag for our road trips. It was a great way to contain beach toys, sunscreen, swimsuits, flip-flops, etc.!

Beach towels

Having beach towels on your road trip isn’t just useful at the beach or pool. They are fantastic for muddy or wet situations too. That’s why they make a terrific road trip gift.

Rain Poncho

We always have a few rain ponchos in the van when we road trip. They are perfect for amusement parks, sudden storms, or hikes with a potential chance of rain.

Yoga travel mat

If you have fitness enthusiasts on your list for road-tripper gifts, consider a yoga travel mat. They don’t take up much room and can help keep the workouts consistent.

Subscription to Lindywell

Along with that yoga mat, why not give a subscription to Lindywell. With daily pilates routines you can do from anywhere (on your phone), it’s a great way to stay consistent. I’ve been a member for years and love it!

Travel-sized sewing kit

Add a travel-sized sewing kit to a fun road trip gift basket. This would be super helpful and is perfect for someone who has everything.

Tips on How to Choose the Perfect Road Trip Gift

So how do you pick a gift that’s going to knock it out of the park? First things first, consider who you’re gifting it to.

Are they the organized type? A cute, pocket-sized journal and a travel planner might just make their day. Or perhaps they’re a foodie? How about curating a mini snack pack with local treats from every they will make on their route? Yum! The point is to match the gift with their interests.

Also, make it practical for the journey. If they are hitting some trails, think water bottle or a nifty first-aid kit. And hey, if all else fails, a good old gas card can be a lifesaver. Trust me, they’ll want to put that extra cash towards something more fun, like a surprise detour to that giant corn maze they spotted along the highway!

Tips on How to Package the Best Road Trip Gifts

The art of gift-giving doesn’t stop at just picking out the perfect present, does it? Nope, the wrapping and presentation are just as important, especially when you’re on the road. I mean, think about it—you don’t want a beautifully chosen gift tumbling around in the backseat, getting lost amid the bags and snacks, right? So let’s dive into how to package those road trip gifts to wow your travel buddies!

First off, go easy on the wrapping paper. Trust me, I’ve been there. I once wrapped a gift so meticulously with fancy paper and bows, only to find it crumpled and torn after just an hour into the journey. Lesson learned! Instead, consider reusable cloth gift bags or cute totes that can double as an extra carryall for the trip. It’s both eco-friendly and super practical. Plus, these bags are easier to open and close, so if your friend can’t wait to peek at their gift (and who could blame them?), it’s simple to tie back up!

How about those smaller gifts like trinkets or snacks? Create a road trip kit. Small metal tins or sturdy little boxes are amazing for this. You can even add some personal touches like stickers or handwritten labels. Or put a bunch of smaller items together in cute road trip gift basketsMany of the best road trip gifts aren’t big or expensive so a road trip gift basket works well.

So go ahead, and add that extra pizzazz to your road trip gifts with some thoughtful packaging. Not only does it show you care, but it also makes the experience of receiving it all the more special. After all, it’s the little things that make the biggest difference on the open road!

Conclusion: The BEST Road Trip gifts

Well, there you have it, my fellow adventurers—your go-to guide for elevating your road trip with the perfect gifts! Remember, it’s not just about the destination; it’s also about the journey and the joy you bring along the way. Trust me, a thoughtful gift not only adds a sprinkle of magic to your trip, but also creates those priceless memories you’ll be chatting about for years to come.

So, as you map out your next route, make a pit stop at your favorite gift shop or hit up the internet, and spread some of that road trip love. Whether it’s a state park pass, a bag of local treats, or a fancy new thermos for those much-needed caffeine stops, the perfect gift will make your adventure all the more special.

PIN FOR LATER:

Looking for the best gifts for road trips? Check out these 65 road trip gift ideas to help you find the perfect gift for everyone on your list.
Looking for the best gifts for road trips? Check out these 65 road trip gift ideas to help you find the perfect gift for everyone on your list.