Christmas is right around the corner (how has another year gone by so darn fast?) and with holiday break road trips coming up, I thought I would share some of our family’s favorite road trip gear which would make perfect gifts for road trips and for all those on your gift list who love to travel. A fun travel book such as Road Trip USA: Cross-Country Adventures on America’s Two-Lane Highways with cash or a gift card tucked inside is definitely a welcome present. And gas, restaurant and hotel gift cards are always a great idea for any travel lover, and I’ve been happy to both give and receive gift cards, but I also like to give a more personal gift. The following list includes gifts for road trips which are the things I always pack when hitting the road to make our trips safer, more organized and more fun…and that should make any traveler happy.
Favorite Gifts for Road Trips:
Baggallini Travel Bag-
I adore my Baggallini Cargo Bag which is a special edition bag that I scored at TJ Maxx. It is much like the Baggallini Everywhere Travel Crossbody Bag, and I I love to wear this every day, but especially when traveling! With tons of pockets, this bag will hold all of your things and also keep everything organized. I just returned from New York City and I took my Baggallini with me everywhere we went. I filled the side pockets with my Subway pass and cell phone. The front pocket held my journal, pen, subway map and any tickets we were using that day. And the main compartment held a small umbrella, water bottle, a guidebook and my wallet. I also filled the small pockets in the main compartment with gum, lip gloss and hand sanitizer. Everything stayed organized and I still had tons of room. The comfortable straps are adjustable and can be worn on the shoulder or as a crossbody, which is how I wear it. In my opinion, this is the best travel bag around. With lots of color options and styles to choose from, you can’t go wrong with a Baggallini bag.
I bought Rubberneckers: Everyone’s Favorite Travel Game several years ago, and we all still love it. It is pretty much the perfect road trip game and provides hours of distraction when on the road. While the ages listed for Rubberneckers is 3-12, it is fun for everyone and our whole family still plays it. Kind of like bingo, each player is given a number of cards with various commonly found items, such as clotheslines or trailers, on them and points are earned when found. In addition, points can be earned by getting reactions from people in other cars by doing things like making peace signs or getting truckers to blast their horns which is hilarious. It is a blast to play and we always keep Rubberneckers in the car when road tripping.
I’ve always kept a bag of travel games and activities such as Mad Libs on the Road, Will Shortz Presents The Monster Book of Sudoku for Kids: 150 Fun Puzzles and The Everything Kids’ Puzzle Book: Mazes, Word Games, Puzzles & More! in the back seats for the kids to use during road trips. Now that they are getting older, we also like The New York Times Light and Easy Crossword Puzzles and The New York Times Will Shortz Presents KenKen: 300 Easy to Hard Puzzles That Make You Smarter which are challenging yet fun ways to pass the time. Garrett and Dave especially like to bring a Travel Magnetic Chess Mini-Set for both road trips and backpacking. It’s nice to have non-electronic options for keeping busy on the road.
Stainless Steel Water Bottle-
When on the road, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water and I want to make sure we all stay hydrated. With all the recent publicity of chemicals such as BPA that leach into water from plastic water bottles, I love to drink from a Hydro Flask Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle. While I generally only use it for drinking water, this vacuum insulated bottle keeps cold drinks chilled for up to 24 hours, and hot drinks warm for up to 6. I especially love the 32 ounce size and the sweat proof finish. And because Hydro Flask offers a lifetime warranty, you can be sure that you are purchasing a quality product.
AAA Gift Membership-
24 hour roadside assistance with a AAA Membership is the perfect gift for anyone who likes to travel. But heck, I’ve used AAA more often while in my home town then when on the road. So actually, a AAA Membership is a great gift for anyone who drives anywhere at all. From locking your keys inside your car, to flat tires to dead batteries, AAA is there when you need them. That kind of peace of mind is an awesome gift.
Roadside Emergency Kit-
While camping in Baxter State Park in Maine a few years ago, someone left a light on inside the car and when we went to pack up to leave the park, we realized that our car battery was dead. And during our road trip through the American Southwest a couple of summers ago, we had the bad luck to run into tire trouble not once, but twice during our cross country adventure. While driving on dirt roads, we got two different flat tires within a week of each other. Oh boy. And if that wasn’t unlucky enough, when our battery died and both times our tires were flat, we were out of cell phone range so AAA Roadside Assistance was not available to us. Thank God that Dave was there for all of these car mishaps. He got help jumping the car from a Park Ranger and changed the tire both times. But that’s when I realized that I needed to be more self sufficient when faced with a car emergency. I’ve since learned how to change a tire. About time! And I now carry a Car Battery Charger with Built in Compressor along with a flashlight and our first aid kit. This has given me tremendous peace of mind that I can handle many car emergencies, especially when I’m traveling alone with the kids. You should have a roadside emergency kit available to you for every road trip you take.
Hopefully this list has given you some good ideas for gifts for road trips. It’s hard to believe that another year has gone by. I love thinking back on the memories from the places we’ve been over the last year while also looking forward to the adventures yet to come. I hope that you get to explore many new destinations in the upcoming year and that you make memories you will never forget.
Road Trip Lovers: What is the best gift you have ever been given to use on a road trip?
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