So, my exceptionally non-existent psychic powers are telling me that you’re looking for the best gifts for a road tripper.
Am I right? Umm…hells to the yeah I am since the title definitely gives it away.
But that’s totally okay since I’m here to share with you all of my expert advice on the best gifts for a road trip,
Because guess what on my drive happy-friend? I’ve been going on road trips since birth. Yeah, back in the day my dad would think nothing of doing a six-hour drive up to Vermont on a quiet, Sunday afternoon.
Therefore, I’ve been doing road trips for 30+ years and know exactly what road trippers want and need when they head out on the open road.
That’s why, in this handy dandy guide, you’ll find an expertly curated list of 20 epic gifts for road trips. Wickedly wonderful items that are practical and fun and perfect for anyone that you might want to give a little extra road trip related somethin’, somethin’.
So, check it out now and swan dive into this pool of awesome gift ideas for road trips.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more information. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.
Safety first! Am I right? Because a road trip can’t really be a road trip unless you’re looking out for the Y O U.
And guess what? As much as we don’t like to think about it, accidents happen. There – I said it. But! Fortune favors the prepared, and with a well-managed first aid kit you can easily treat any minor injuries and ailments and keep on moving.
That’s why this particular first aid kit easily makes one of the most amazing gifts for road trippers.
Sure, it’s not the SEXIEST road trip gift idea on this list. BUT, it’s really well designed! I mean, it’s small, but well packed, making it portable and not a huge drain on your packing space.
It also has clear plastic pockets so that you can actually find whatever you need, whenever you need it.
Because let’s be real campers, ain’t nobody got time to fumble around for a band-aid in a disorganized pile of medical supplies while they’re bleeding profusely from a semi-hardcore flesh wound.
Plus, this little modern wonder has got you everything you could ever need, including gauze, burn cream, ibuprofen, aspirin, band-aids (duh), antibiotic ointments, and more.
So, If you run into anything from a nasty insect bite to a scrape from falling off a rock, this compact doctor-in-a-box will get you back on the road in no time. Unless of course, you run into a rogue grizzly bear. Then I hate to say it but this kit probably won’t be all THAT helpful.
But, in all seriousness, a well-stocked first aid kit is one of the most essential things any recreational traveler should have. Which is also why they make some of the best gifts for a road tripper!
So, what are you waiting for? Show someone you care by giving them the gift of safety with this fantastic first aid kit!
2. Roadside Emergency Kit
It’s not just us fragile humans with our soft skin and delicate joints that sometimes need a little TLC. You’ve also got to make sure your car is ship-shaped (but still car-shaped!) while you’re off exploring the world.
That’s why having your very own roadside emergency kit will ensure that you’re prepared for anything and everything, should you actually run into trouble.
Because reliability is the name of the game here. And that’s exactly what you’ll get with this kit since the tools and equipment in this pack are made from high-quality materials, which will 110% get the job done.
So yeah, It’s basically everything you could ever need for roadside assistance, just all wrapped up into one neat little portable bag!
What, need to get out of a difficult ditch? Then the tow rope will come in mighty handy!
Thinking of heading into the mountains? Well, then it’s a good thing that this kit comes with a snow shovel for clearing away any snow or ice that might otherwise stop you in your tracks.
Got to give that engine a helping hand? Well, this handy roadside help has a solution for that too – jumper cables that will have you back on track in no time.
There’s even a raincoat for when (and you KNOW it’s WHEN not IF) you have to deal with any of these things while it’s pouring rain.
Yup, well call this epic road trip gift idea “awesome, party of one”.
3. Travel Tent
The humble tent is just another iconic part of road tripping. Because when you think camping: you obviously think of tents! So, If you’re not going to be sleeping in your vehicle, then you’ll want to have something comfortable, secure, and maybe even a little bit stylish to sleep in.
But road tripping is about fun. Relaxation. Stress relief. I mean, you don’t go on a road trip looking extra hassle, am I right? Especially the hassle of having to do battle with a complicated tent that just doesn’t want to stay up!
So a tent that is easy to put up – AND takedown again – is guaranteed to be one of the best gifts for a road tripper.
And this particular tent right here is just SO easy to use that it can be quickly assembled by just one person. It’s also well ventilated, windproof, and most importantly, completely waterproof.
It also keeps the bugs out – making it the perfect tent to use when camping out next to a picturesque lake or any other beautiful body of water.
Oh yeah – and it’s big. Like, REALLY big. No really, there’s like an insane amount of space in there!
So much so that you can comfortably fit a queen size inflatable mattress in this tent, with plenty of room to spare.
That’s why it’s perfect for couples and small groups alike, or anyone who likes to have a bit more space.
4. Rooftop Tent
If you’ve got support crossbars on top of your vehicle, and you enjoy being able to cozy up and get all warm inside what is basically your own personal mobile treehouse, then a rooftop tent is one of the best road trip gift ideas for you!
Yeah, there’s just something about climbing up a ladder and into a sleeping den that takes me right back to being a kid all tucked up in my blanket fort.
But, just in case you were low-key wondering, yes, there are plenty of sensible adult reasons to have one too, I swear!
For starters, since you’ll be off the ground, you’ll be able to get a more comfortable night’s sleep as you know that you’ll have a smooth, level surface to sleep on.
You know, instead of having to deal with rocky, uneven terrain and rogue tree roots going into your back (yikes).
Plus, If you’re bedding down for the night in an area known that is known for its exceptionally WILD wildlife, then being high up on top of your vehicle is also added protection from wild animals who may get a little too curious about you (and your snacks!) in the middle of the night.
Before your bed down for the night though, just remember to retract this rooftop tent’s access ladder so that you don’t get disturbed by any squirrels!
FYI, rooftop tents are also infinitely more durable than traditional tents in a variety of different ways. Not only do they come with fiberglass panels, but they are made with a sturdier canvas material that will enable your “tent” to withstand some serious beatings from the great outdoors (cue the heinous weather now).
Plus, added bonus? Putting your tent on top of your car actually gives you a lot more storage space inside your vehicle, meaning you can bring more super important things with you on your next road trip – like snacks, snacks, and, oh yeah, more snacks (always one of the best gifts for a road tripper ever).
5. Folding Table
It’s amazing what a difference something as simple as a stable, flat surface makes in the overall quality of your everyday, road trip life.
Plus, after you’ve been driving for a while, all you really want to do is pull up to a beautiful camping spot, sit down, and enjoy a snack/cool drink while savoring those sweet, sweet views.
I mean, that’s the dream, right?
But what are you going to rest that drink on? You sure don’t want to have to hold it the entire time. Well, that’s when this awesome pop-up table totally comes to the rescue!
Because these compact, yet sturdy little folding tables will work wonders for any and all of your attempts at total relaxation. I mean, they’re just the right height for drinks, they’re small enough to fit easily into the back of any vehicle, and they’re light enough that you’ll actually be able to carry them without coughing up a lung.
Heck, they can even withstand the heat from a small grill if you want to get super fancy and get a mini BBQ going!
Also, because of their clever design, you can easily stow a cooler (or any other camping equipment you might need, beneath them, saving you tons of space once you set up camp for the evening.
And after you’re done, they fold up in seconds and you’re well on your way down the road again, making this one of the best gifts for a road tripper on the market today.
6. Travel Chair
Now, this is definitely one of those road trip essentials that also makes for the perfect gift for a road trip.
After all, breaking out the chairs so that you can sit and relax amongst some beautiful scenery is easily one of the main reasons why many people venture out into the great outdoors in the first place.
I know I always look forward to sitting comfortably in the open air after a long drive, and having your own travel chair makes the entire experience so much more appealing!
Plus, each of these super snazzy chairs comes fully outfitted with a mesh cup holder – you know, to keep your drink from spilling all over the place – as well as a side pocket for your book or a magazine or whatever else you might be reading.
Add in a built-in cooler in the armrest that can hold up to four drink cans, and you’ve got one of the best gifts for a road tripper!
And, while most chairs occupy a whole lot of empty space when you’re not using them, these chairs, in particular, are not only spacious to sit in but also fold up pretty neatly and easily – making them an ideal camping chair for any and all of my fellow road trippers out there.
Because each of these camping chairs folds up (like origami) into a small cylinder shape that fits neatly into a small bag that is included with your purchase.
This way, you can always carry your chair around with you, regardless of where your road trip takes you.
7. Portable Hammock
You know you’re REALLY on vacation when you’re relaxing in a hammock – softly swaying between two palm trees with a cool drink in hand while listening to music … anyone else feeling the call of the wild or suddenly have an urge to grab a pina colada and listen to some Jimmy Buffet? No? Just me?
Seriously though, hammocks are the way forward. They’re super comfortable, both for sitting/sleeping in when the weather is warm and you want to make the most of your time outside.
But Kelly – isn’t putting up a hammock really difficult and tricky? Well, I definitely thought so at first. But, after getting this hammock right here, I figured out that it really doesn’t have to be!
Because these portable hammocks are super simple to set up since they come with tree-friendly straps that wrap around the trunk of a tree. So, luckily for you, there’s really no need for any hammering, drilling, or cutting of any kind.
Yup, that’s right. No trees will be harmed in the setting up of this hammock!
Plus, added awesomeness? Hammocks are exceptionally easy to carry around. They’re also lightweight, compact, and easy to fold away in their accompanying travel bag – a bag that can then be hung on a backpack for extra ease.
And the fabric they’re made from is incredibly breathable too. So, you won’t be overheating or getting uncomfortable in one any time soon.
They also come in a variety of different colors, which, let’s be honest, is totally awesome since I personally am all about choices – especially since variety is supposedly the “spice of life”…or so I’ve been told.
8. Cooler Box (aka Icee-less Cooler)
Gotta keep them drinks cold, yo! Because no road trip is a success without a cooler full of refreshingly cold beverages. So much to that i’s sometimes even more important than a full tank of gas!
Just kidding (not really). Seriously though, coolers are one of the first things people look for and head to when you eventually pull over after a long stretch of driving.
So, making sure that you’ve got a good one is a top priority!
And if you’re emphatically nodding your head in agreement right now, then there is really no better cooler than the Igloo Iceless Chest Cooler.
Especially since – hello – there’s no ice involved. Therefore, you won’t have to deal with annoying leaks or gross drips of liquid into your otherwise clean vehicle.
Yup, just plug it right into your cigarette lighter, with the accompanying 8-foot-long power cord, and you too can enjoy ice-cold beverages all night long as your cooler remains plugged in and totally cold.
And, just as an FYI, it can also be plugged into any ordinary electrical outlet if you’re spending the night inside a fancy smancy hotel.
Yessirree, this cooler is incredibly easy to use and carry around! And more importantly, it can hold a decent amount of beverages inside of it too!
Because there’s definitely enough space inside there to pack plenty of drinks and snacks for the entire family. This way, you can go on a scenic picnic or keep all of your passengers super refreshed in-between rest stops since you basically just grab a drink and go – making this one of the best gifts for a road tripper.
9. Foldaway Picnic Blanket
Ugh, grass stains, am I right?
I mean, don’t get me wrong. I for one LOVE getting back into nature. But, I’m really not a huge fan of nasty AF grass stains and getting filthy beyond belief while lying around on the dusty, damp ground.
So, if you feel like I do, then why not check out one of the best gifts for a road tripper and make your picnic exceptionally picturesque with one of these HiSung Picnic Blankets?
Now, because picnic blankets spend most of their life on the ground, in the great outdoors, one of the main things you need to look for is the blanket’s durability.
Fortunately, that’s not a problem here since this product features three layers of high-quality material that are perfectly combined with a waterproof backing.
And, the end result? A blanket that is no thicker than a traditional picnic blanket but that is also waterproof AND sand-proof – in addition to being strong enough to accommodate between five and seven people at any given time.
Plus, it’s just so dang comfortable! Something that is probably due to the layer of high-density foam that is ever-present in the middle of the blanket.
This way, you can seamlessly stretch out and relax in soft comfort just about anywhere you go.
Also, for something so big, it sure rolls up really nicely and can be held by its handle strap or placed inside of its very own fabric carrying bag.
10. Biolite Campstove 2
One of the greatest outdoor activities of all time is roasting marshmallows over an open campfire.
There’s just something so serene about having everyone gathered around together, gazing into the flames, swapping stories, and, you know, just chillin’ before biting into a delicious AF smore.
However, before any of that can happen, you kind of need to set up that roaring fire. A process that can be tricky and super time-consuming.
And although a gas-powered camp stove can get you there, it’s just not the same thing as gathering around a real like a genuine girl scout.
Thankfully though, this Biolite Campstove 2 is one of the best gifts for a road tripper that easily combines the rustic joy of a campfire with the streamlined efficiency of modern-day technology.
Just gather some sticks and twigs together, and pretty soon you’ll have an easy-to-start smokeless fire going.
Yup, it’s perfect for cooking, grilling and boiling, easy to set up and maintain, and pretty dang lightweight since you don’t have to carry around any gas for fuel.
But you know what REALLY seals the deal? The fact that it’s totally eco-friendly and burns nothing but renewable, organic materials like wood.
And, as if all that awesomeness wasn’t already enough, it also CHARGES YOUR USB! Oh. My. GOD. Talk about the past and the future coming together!
Because the power of the fire coupled with keeping your phone, and other appliances, fully charged and ready to go is a total dream come true!
11. Reusable Water Bottle
Regular readers will be aware of how much I love reusable water bottles.
I literally never leave home without one! And after trying out many of the cheaper options out there – all of which either immediately fell apart or started to break after only a couple of months of use – my eternal obsession with finding the perfect reusable water bottle led me to the Nomader Collapsible Water Bottle.
And let me take the briefest of moments to tell you why ….
This water bottle never rips, it NEVER leaks, it’s totally dishwasher safe, it can hold both cold AND hot drinks (which is the miracle we all need in our lives), and best of all, it can be collapsed into a super convenient small size.
The result? You can easily carry it around in your day bag once it’s empty. Cuz I don’t know about you but I find it really irritating to carry around something that you’re not using but that takes up a lot of space.
That’s why get a collapsible water bottle for the win people!
I mean, not only will you use this water bottle all the damn time, but it’s also one of the best eco-friendly options out there on the market today.
So, you can rest easy knowing that you’re doing your part for Mother Earth while you refresh yourself on the road. Because real talk? There’s no landfill in the near future for these bad boys!
Therefore, not only is it one of the best gifts for a road tripper but it’s also an essential part of any beach vacation packing list!
12. Reusable Coffee Flask
Whether you’re all about that herbal tea, or you like a simple cup o’ Joe like me, having a reliable hot drink flask is an essential part of living the road-tripping high life.
Because I know when I’m settling down to listen to a podcast on the beach, or sitting by the campfire as the sun sets behind the trees, having a flask full of something warm and tasty always hits the spot.
And Hydro Flask? Well, this company makes some of the best flasks EVER. Which is good, because it’s in their name!
Their products are also fully customizable, with plenty of different colors and sizes to choose from. So, you can easily tailor each flask to perfectly match the owner’s personality, making it truly one of the best gifts for a road tripper!
The design of these flasks are also insanely efficient. Not only are they nice to look at and hold, but the casing will keep drinks hot OR cold for hours on end.
This flask is also 100% spillproof and comes with a handle that makes it really easy to carry, even fi you’re hiking and need to strap it to the outside of your backpack.
Each one also fits neatly inside every cup holder I’ve come across, allowing you to reduce your use of disposable plastics (three cheers for mother nature because less plastic is always a good thing)!
13. Travel Pillow
If you want to actually enjoy the day, you’re good need a good night’s rest. I mean, that’s my personal motto! Or, at least, one of them anyway. Because a good night’s sleep is super important.
And having your own personal travel pillow can help you feel comfortable and well-rested while you’re on the road. Plus, once you’ve actually had it for a while, you really start to feel like you’re in a familiar sleeping place everywhere you go.
Yup, just another one of those super neat little psychological tricks out there!
But wait. Time out. What pillow should you actually get? I mean, do you go small and compact, sacrificing size for convenience? Or big and soft, but bulky? Do you go traditional rectangle? Or how about one that wraps around your neck?
So many choices! Ahh!! My head hurts!
Well, namaste it up and chill my friends.
Because fortunately for you, Therm-a-Rest pillows are specifically designed for any and all possible travel situations. They’re also soft, yet supportive, and super easy to carry.
They also compress down nicely, making them easy to stow away in your backpack when you’re on the go.
And once they’re packed, they’ll actually stay compressed thanks to the drawstring cord attachment. Yeah, one wants to suddenly find a bulky pillow suddenly exploding out of their backpack, which is why this is definitely one of the best gifts for a road tripper.
14. Portable Power Bank
You can’t ignore it: we live in a digital age. And If you don’t have a cell phone on you at all times, society basically thinks that you don’t exist.
That’s why, it’s not just important to be able to access the internet – to text, call people, use apps, take pictures – it’s plain old essential.
Because If you’re out hiking or driving down a long stretch of road, it’s good to know that you’ll still have the battery life to be able to connect to the wider world (or to connect to Google maps if you’re directionally challenged like me). Or watch a movie, depending on the situation!
And an Anker portable charger will ensure that you have enough power to do whatever it is you need, and then some.
See, these sleek little power banks are super portable and made of high-quality, LG battery cells that will be able to charge your phone seven times over before it needs recharging of any kind.
Add to that some excellent customer service (they once replaced my whole device within a week!) and you’ve got yourself a real winner when it comes to portable power banks!
Yeah, I’ve definitely sung the praises of Anker before, and I’m happy to say that their products are still on point.
Also, not gonna lie, If I had a penny for every time I forgot to charge my phone before I left the house … Ugh I’m not even going to think about it.
And guess what? I don’t have to, thanks to one of these lifesavers and one of the best gifts for a road tripper!
Yup, stress relief: check!
15. Car USB Charger
Now, this is one of the niftiest little gadgets/best gifts for a road tripper on the market today. It’s also super small, but super useful. And, hey, it’s Anker again, so you know it’s high quality!
Now, these little USB chargers fit so neatly into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter, you’d think they were actually part of your vehicle’s original design.
Because in total, the entire charger is less than two inches long, and only about as wide as a quarter! So, it doesn’t really stick out at all – which is awesome since having a ton of unnecessary objects jutting out from my dashboard is not my idea of a good time.
And since it’s plugged right into your vehicle’s battery, you’ll get your devices fully charged in no time. Also, even though it’s small, it’s still got two different USB ports.
Therefore, you can simultaneously charge your phone AND your tablet. It’s also extremely durable since it’s made of an extra-tough aluminum alloy, and features a MultiProtect safety system to protect your devices from any nasty power surges or electrical mishaps.
The charging speed is also wicked fast! So, If your phone has just straight-up died (and I know about this: it takes time to get that perfect selfie, and the battery doesn’t like it!), this will get it up and running again before you know it…or in an hour or two. Whichever time frame you think is more realistic.
So, snag this sweet, sweet car USB charger and enjoy one of the best gifts for a road tripper today!
16. Smartphone Car Mount
Omg, I can’t tell you how much GPS has helped me out on my travels. I mean, having an accurate map, complete with a route finder that corrects me when I’m lost is truly one of the beautiful wonders of the modern age.
Because before GPS, you’d have to pull over, unfold a giant paper map, and try to figure out not just where you’re going but where you are to begin with!
Yup, a total nightmare for a forever lost, inept map reader like me. So, as I said, let’s hear it for GPS!
And if you want to use the GPS on your phone safely, then having your phone visible, accessible, and hands-free while you’re driving is peak safety/efficiency.
And I’m all about efficiency, which is why a Torras cell phone holder is one of my all-time favorite gifts for a road tripper.
It’s durable, super sturdy (#military-grade!), easy to install, and adjustable fit any modern smartphone, regardless of the brand. And mounting it to the dash, instead of your windshield, means that your phone is super close for easy quick viewing.
It also won’t block your view out of the vehicle and has a suction cup attachment for the dashboard that is strong and, more importantly, super reliable.
Because the last thing you really need is for your phone to suddenly leap off the dashboard and break on the floor/fall under your seat!
Yeah, I may or may not have had that happen to me more than a few times before I got this smartphone car mount (spoiler alert, this happened all the time).
17. Head Lamp
I mean, what if you need to get up in the middle of the night, or you need to set up a tent but the light is fading fast? Or, maybe you have to act out being a lighthouse in a game of charades (you never know – it might happen!)!
Whatever the reason, having a reliable headlamp can come in mightly handy every now and then. It’s also good in terms of safety, convenience, and in case of emergencies. So, yeah, just good to have all around, period!
However, what really sets this headlamp apart is the fact that it’s USB chargeable. Because let’s face it: You don’t want to cart around a bunch of batteries that take up precious packing space or have to worry about how to dispose of them once they’re all dead.
Well, problem solved since this headlamp can be plugged into a USB port, no problem.
It’s also super bright, easy to adjust, and comes with several different modes to choose from, including strobe and red flash.
They also hold their charge for a really long time, and by design, are hands-free/ easy to operate. Because even when you’re at home, in-between road trips, this headlamp is still super useful, making it one of the best gifts for a road tripper.
18. Packing Cubes
It can be really demoralizing to see your vehicle completely packed to the gills with road trip essentials when you’ve still got a few more things to throw in there.
I mean, there’s always that one extra thing you just need to bring with you! And if you have one or two sets of these packing cubes handy, you’ll be able to pack pretty much everything you need into a relatively small, travel-friendly amount of space – with nothing left behind and everything scenario prepared for!
Honestly, it’s kind of insane how much stuff you can cram into a very small area with these things. I mean, the largest bag alone can accommodate about a full week’s worth of clothing!
Each packing cube is also made of nylon that’s both lightweight and sturdy. So, yeah, ripping them is next to impossible. They also come fully outfitted with a dual zip system that makes compressing them down a whole hell of a lot easier.
And then, when you’re done, just throw them into your suitcase, along with the rest of your luggage and you’re good to go. Or, use them entirely on their own since they come with these handy handles! Yup, marvel at the total lameness of what I did right there.
They’re also pretty dang cute-looking, easily making them one of my favorite travel gift ideas for her! They are also a total lifesaver when you’re trying to figure out what to pack in your carry-on too!
19. Back Seat Organizer
“Do you have the charger?”
“Where did those snacks get to?”
“Has anyone seen my sunglasses?”
Yes, my friends, I would routinely hear all these questions (and more) during every single one of my road trips
Until I got this back seat organizer of awesome that is! Because all these questions can be avoided answered with one of the best gifts for a road tripper…period!
Okay, I know this isn’t exactly the most exciting of gift ideas for a road trip. but come on people, hear me out – they’re super useful!
Because one of the biggest stresses of going on any trip is organization. I mean, you have to check and then re-check to make sure you’ve got everything you need.
You also want to be extra certain that you can quickly and easily get to whatever you need while road tripping like a total boss.
And these handy organizers allow you to do just that by taking the stress right out of those situations.
Also, did I mention that they slip right onto the back of your seat? Which is slightly obvious since it’s in the name, people!
Anyway, the amount of space that these things save by relocating your essentials to a place that wasn’t previously being utilized is amazing. Plus they’re waterproof and easy to clean, which is music to many parents’ ears!
They’re also particularly helpful if you’re traveling with kids since prolonged periods of time spent in the car can be tough on anyone.
So, being able to put toys, books, snacks, and even tablets on the back of your car seat can be incredibly useful, not to mention entertaining!
20. Waterproof Rear Seat Cover for Pets
So, if you want to give your furry friend a well-deserved upgrade, then boy do I have one of the best gifts for a road tripper dog for you!
Say hello to the Amochien dog hammock. And yes, I see your bewildered look. But it really is a hammock for dogs that will transform your backseat from a human-centric prison into a pure pupp-erific paradise.
Just think of it as business class, but for dogs! This way, your fave canine companion’ can stretch out and relax as you travel down the road.
Especially since the hammock’s structure is exceptionally solid, with padding that is soft, squishy, and supportive for even the largest of dogs.
It’s also really easy to install – just hook it onto the headrests of the seats on both sides, strap down the seat anchors, and you’re good to go!
And if you want, It can also be folded up so that a human passenger can sit in the back seat too. Or, you can fully extend it for maximum canine comfort.
Plus, because it’s removable, it’s easy to clean too – just shake it out, and that fur won’t be anywhere near your upholstery (the heaven’s open up and sing).
Additional Resources You’ll Love
Well my highway-lovin’ homies, that just about wraps up this epic list of some of the best gifts for a road tripper – an expertly curated selection of the best gifts for road trips that are sure to satisfy even the pickiest of shoppers.
Because if someone you love can’t get enough of driving along the open road, then they’ll adore this list of gift ideas for road trips since it’s made by an expert road tripper, for any and every type of traveler out there.
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