Travelers often find solace in thoughtful gifts that are easy to bring along and also prove useful during their travels. The suggestions below include travel by planes, trains and automobiles, but in certain cases are specifically car friendly. The best gifts for travelers will always have a focus on practicality, otherwise, they’ll end up getting left at home!
Your traveling friend may own one, but they wear out quickly and a second pillow never hurts. These are the little U-shaped pillows that wrap around the neck and look decidedly uncool. But they were designed that way for a purpose, and they work perfectly in cars, trains, planes, and…well, virtually anywhere people need to nod off when there’s no room to lay down.
If your friend or family member doesn’t have these, a decent set can be purchased for under $50. If they do have them, help upgrade or add to their headphone accessory list. Look for headphones that have good battery life, can be recharged easily, and ideally, ones that won’t fall into the crevice between seats and disappear forever.
A cap with their favorite place or pop culture icon will be appreciated, and even better if you can find a patch that fits well with their next cross country or globetrotting adventure.
Small backpacks with features such as waterproofing and multiple pockets are now widely available. Many travelers will be fine sticking with a standard backpack, but for the more serious adventurers out there a versatile, purpose built pack is a genuine upgrade that will be much appreciated.
Two restaurants stand above the rest when it comes to convenience and popularity for road trippers and travelers. Ubiquitous and known for clean bathrooms, McDonald’s may be cheap but that just means more meals from one card. Starbucks is another good bet: they are everywhere, easy to find, and usually loved by travelers of all ages.
A tote bag that is solidly made, insulated and/or waterproof is great for traveling, especially for beach vacations or car travel. It is a simple but practical gift that people will really appreciate once they use it. Most people just tolerate their old, uninspired totes that they got for free from their last conference. A brand new, high-quality tote on the other hand is one gift that travelers will really use (on the road and back at home).
Rain jacket technology has vastly improved in the last decade or so. For about $50 you can find high-quality waterproof gear that is lightweight, feature heavy, and comes in an array of fresh colors.
The new cooler technology is right up there with rain gear. A new, small cooler will almost certainly out perform a big bulky one from the mid-90’s. Although, you may want to split the cost of this gift with a friend, because coolers from YETI and other posh brands can be quite pricey.
Travelers are always trying to save space, and now you can help them avoid carrying a traditional bulky wallet and a phone, by combining them into one slim package. These phone-wallet combination products can be had inexpensively, and they will help take a travelers gear game up another notch.
They come in many fabrics, but we like the leather version the best. It can hold earbuds, memory sticks and cords for compact storage that is always within easy reach of the driver or passengers. The roll-up design helps keep electronics secure and stowed away to save space.
Triple A is an invisible gift, but when you need it, you really need it. And any traveler would be ecstatic for this gift of a little more peace of mind. Yearly memberships are completely reasonable, and many people don’t consider this for themselves.
Lodging through AirBnB and VRBO is available worldwide. A gift card will make it possible to stay somewhere a little nicer, or extend a trip for an extra night.
This handy little item performs as advertised, by filling the gaps between the front car seats and the center console. No more lost earbuds! Never again will your loose change, pens, or cell phone fall between the seats! This is one of the best gifts for travelers because almost no one has it.
Like the PLAM (Pee Like A Man), this little device improvises a restroom when none are available, and it avoids having to use the dreaded bottle-in-the-car method. Use it to pee nearly anywhere (like a man), so you won’t be desperately searching for some privacy when you have to pull off on the side of the road.
Like the Seat Gap Filler, the storage station is a bit of a quirky gift, but comes in very handy for road trippers. Sporting a place for trash bags, water bottles, and even Kleenex, you can’t go wrong with this gift for travelers who love the open road.
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