Who doesn’t love a good road trip? One of our greatest pleasures is hopping in the car and just driving somewhere. Whether you’re stuffing a stocking or giving a big gift, this road trip gift guide offers ideas for things that every road tripper will appreciate having along on the journey. You should know that some of the links are affiliate links, and that as Amazon Influencers we earn from qualifying purchases.

gift ideas for road trips

Road trip gift ideas

An inspirational book Give the gift of inspiration! Author, blogger, and podcaster Bill Clevlen, whom we met at a conference in North Dakota this year, has put together a list of “100 Things to Do In America Before You Die” as well as a book that chronicles his travels while “Driving Across America.” These are sure to plant a seed of wanderlust in any road tripper and we wanted it to be front and center on our gift guide for road trippers. 

Corkcicle cupWe bought these cups a couple of years ago, and since then we have taken them almost everywhere we’ve gone. Fill these cups with ice and water in the morning, and they’ll still have ice in the evening. With plenty of capacity, they fit easily into cupholders, are easy to grip and are perfect for any road trip. 

Car trash cans – This might just be the best car trash can ever invented. With little feet that slide out from the bottom to go under a floor mat, this trash can stays put and doesn’t tip over. Plus, it features an elastic band that goes around the can and holds the trash bag in place. 

Registration and insurance card holder Let’s face it, glove compartments typically aren’t the most organized space in a person’s life. But with this handy folder, the glove box can certainly take a step in the right direction. Your road tripper can use this to hold their car’s registration and insurance card and keep both in one convenient location should they ever need to find them in a hurry.

Car vacuumTruth be told, road trips are not wonderful for a car’s interior. Long hours in the car filled with snacks, sandwiches, and the stuff tracked in from attractions visited can leave the inside of a vehicle in less than mint condition. With several attachments and a plug made for cars, this vacuum will have your roadtripper’s vehicle interior back in shape in no time. 

Norwex car cloth – We have fallen in love with Norwex products for our home, and so were thrilled to see that they now offer a car cloth. This cloth will keep a car’s windows, mirrors, and chrome shining bright!

Tire pressure gauge – Ok, we admit this one isn’t the sexiest gift ever, but it is a useful one for someone who’s on the road. Tire pressure is important, and there will definitely come a day when this road trip gift will come in handy.

Even more road trip gift ideas

National Day CalendarThe National Day Calendar provides inspiration to celebrate every day and gives folks great excuses to get out on the road. Of course your road tripper won’t want to miss celebrating National Road Trip Day (the Friday before Memorial Day each year). They’ll also be able to mark National Plan for Vacation Day, National Camping Month, and National Seat Check Saturday.

Yeti CoolerWe can’t consider heading out on the road without bringing along our Yeti cooler. Truly the best cooler we’ve ever owned, it keeps ice for days. This means road trippers can bring perishable foods along on their journeys and save money at mealtime along the way. 

National Parks PassThe United States has 58 National Parks, and each of them is a great destination for a road trip. Give your traveler a National Parks Pass and they can enjoy a year of access not just to these parks, but to roughly 2,000 recreation areas operated by the federal government. 

Road trip gift cards are great

Pilot/Flying J gift card – What better road trip gift is there than a gift card for gas? And with 750 locations in 44 states and six Canadian provinces, this one is sure to come in handy. We love stopping at these stores while on the road because they have everything we need from gas and clean restrooms to corn dogs and cold drinks. Pick up your Pilot/Flying J gift card at any of their locations. 

Subway gift cardOk, so this is one that we’ve recently come to appreciate. We’ve been working on losing weight, and Subway provides a great calorie-controlled meal while we’re on the road. This gift card is a perfect present for any road tripper who is still trying to lose or maintain weight.

Contigo spill-proof travel mugWe have loved these travel mugs that keep our drinks hot and, perhaps more importantly, unspilled. This mug seals up to resist spilling, but has great insulation to keep that morning cup of coffee piping hot. 

Road AtlasIn recent years, folks have really come to rely on their phones and car GPS systems to guide them while on the road. But sometimes on a road trips take folks to areas where the cell coverage isn’t great and the GPS doesn’t work. In these moments, we’re glad that we have a real-live, honest-to-goodness paper atlas along with us. We flip it open and are pointed in the right direction in no time.

Altoids mintsMaybe it’s that we had onions for lunch, or maybe it’s leftover coffee taste, but having some mints in the car is a wonderful thing. These little gems leave our mouths feeling and tasting fresh, and we know when we get out of the car that we won’t be overwhelming the folks we’ve met. This is a perfect stocking stuffer for the road trip enthusiast on your list.

Car scentAfter any extended trip, a car begins to develop a certain scent on the inside. These little gems fight that smell and make the inside of a road tripper’s car smell fresh and clean. And let’s face it, this gift makes every road trip a little more pleasant. 


What gift ideas do you have for road trippers? Let us know in the comments below. We’d love to share your ideas!

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gift ideas for road trips

  • Sometimes you find things in your own backyard.⁣
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Just up the road from our home in Crete, Nebraska, we found the National Museum of Roller Skating. Our curiosity piqued, we stopped in and took a look around. There we found the world's largest collection of historical roller skates, costumes, and memorabilia. ⁣
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It took us back to our childhood and spending time at the roller skating rink (do kids even skate anymore?). We remembered crossing over on the turns for the first time and bending at the knees for "Downtown" by Petula Clark. So many great memories. ⁣
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Sometimes, we focus so much on getting away that we forget that we have some really interesting places close to home, as well. The next time you feel a hankering to go somewhere, maybe try going down the street. You never know what treasure you might find and what memories it evoke.
  • This was our Valentine’s Day dessert last year. Chef Kurtess Mortensen at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile created this memorable dish he called “Fat Elvis.” It was a chocolate bread pudding, served alongside banana brûlée and caramelized peanuts then topped with marshmallow cream, homemade peanut butter ice cream, and a candied bacon garnish. We are giddy with anticipation to see what he comes up with tonight! We are budgeting our calories accordingly. 😉
  • “Actually, the best gift you could have given her was a lifetime of adventures.”
– Lewis Carroll
  • It's been a long winter. I need to see flowers again! Are you with me?Let's talk about these flowers. ⁣
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We are often asked about our favorite place we've ever visited. While that question is hard to answer, we almost always mention Tallinn, Estonia, as a contender.⁣
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Estonia has an interesting history. Conquered in 1227 by Denmark, it never again enjoyed independence until  1920. That freedom was short lived, however, as the Soviet Union occupied the country in 1940. Finally, in 1991, Estonia regained its independence and has remained free ever since. The country joined NATO in 2004. ⁣
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Visiting Estonia, we could see the remnants of Soviet control. Large block buildings dominate the landscape. They are of Soviet Communist design: utilitarian in nature with no thought given to design. They look just like the buildings you've seen in movies about the Soviet Union. ⁣
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Now free, Estonians have done what they can to erase the gray days of Soviet control. The Soviet-style buildings are painted bright colors, and flowers abound in the streets. The people are warm, cheerful, friendly, and welcoming. ⁣
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Yes, Estonia is a wonderful country, and we can't wait to return.
  • Each year from late February to early April, hundreds of thousands of Sandhills Cranes migrate through Nebraska on their way north to their breeding grounds. It's considered one of the greatest spectacles in nature, so thousands of people come to experience this incredible time.⁣
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We traveled to Kearney, Nebraska, one of the best cities for crane viewing, last year. Because the best times to view the cranes is sunrise and sunset, we found ourselves with some free time during the day. It turns out that Kearney has a lot to offer in terms of things to do.⁣
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Scroll across our highlights on Instagram, and you'll find the stories highlights we made during our time there. On our blog (link in bio) you'll also find a post we wrote with ideas for 20 things to do in Kearney while you wait on the cranes. ⁣
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Put crane viewing on your bucket list. It really is one of the most amazing experiences we've ever had in nature. And don't worry about being bored between sunrise and sunset--Kearney has too much to offer.
  • Sometimes, you find great cocktails where you least expect...⁣
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In the Mason City, Iowa, airport, (about halfway between Mason City and Clear Lake) we found a wonderful little restaurant called CAVU-American Kitchen and Coctail Lounge. It's different from any other airport restaurant and bar in the world because it is place so good, the airport becomes the destination.⁣
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While there last fall, we sampled a couple of their specialty cocktails. On the left a refreshing take on a margarita, on the right, a cocktail featuring St. Germaine Elderflower liqueur. Both were fantastic and worth a trip to the airport, even if you're not flying anywhere.
  • Learn how to avoid being labeled "that annoying guy" on a cruise ship in a new post on our blog that Steve wrote this weekend. ⁣
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You should know that 99% of the people we meet on cruises are nice people and fun to be around. However, it seems like there's always that one guy or gal who just gets under your skin. ⁣
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Click on the link to our blog in our bio and see what made of our list of things to do to avoid being "that guy" on a cruise ship. ⁣
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Are there some things we missed? Let us know - we'd love to hear from you.
  • The Sandhill Crane migration will be starting very soon, and @visitkearney, Nebraska, is the perfect place to go to witness this amazing sight. ⁣
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Because the cranes are best viewed at sunrise and sunset, a good cup of coffee is a necessity. ⁣
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During our hosted visit to town last year, we re-caffinated at a couple different coffee shops, including @baristasdailygrind. ⁣
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Ann loved the way her coffee was served, with a barista's kiss--a chocolate covered espresso bean sitting in a little cloud of whipped cream. Talk about a great good morning kiss!

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