If you are looking for the best travel gifts for mom for her birthday or the holidays, stop your search and pick your favourite from this list.
Whether you need something for your mother, your wife or a friend, finding good gifts for travellers isn’t always easy. You want a present that is useful or meaningful but it still has to be compact enough to take with her.
Together with travelling moms, we’ve compiled a list of over 40 activities or accessories that will be on the wish list of any globetrotting mom. To make it easier for you, we’ve divided them into three budget groups: small, medium and high.
Activities are one of the best and most original gifts for travel lovers. Most travelers try to only take the bare minimum on a trip, so instead of giving them an item, you could give them something they’ll remember forever!
Have you heard about this amazing concept yet?
Many people love having professional photos taken on special occasions: their wedding, the arrival of their new baby, a family shoot. Flytographer takes that a little further and provides you with the opportunity to have these pictures taken at an exotic location (or wherever your next trip is taking you).
There are over 300 destinations at the moment and by booking this shoot you’ll not only leave with wonderful memories and gorgeous pics but you’ll get to know and support local artists as well!
Check out the Flytographer website to see examples of shoots and read reviews! When you use the code FLY25, you’ll save $25 on your first shoot.
Recommended by Bec from Wyld Family Travel
What do you buy a woman that has her birthday on Christmas Day and is leaving the country for 12 months? Experiences! It was an easy way of getting to do some things I may not have been able to afford on this trip and it was easy for our family members/friends to get it all out of the way in one go!
Booking a tour, cooking class or other special experience is undoubtedly one of the most unique travel gifts you can find.
A few suggestions:
- Harry Potter guided walking tour in London
- Camel safari with BBQ in Dubai
- Swim with dolphins in Mauritius
- Cooking class in Bali
- Watch a show on Broadway in New York
Experiences are a big part of travelling and a lot of people will prefer an activity as a birthday gift over material items anyway.
If you know what her next destination is, take a look at Get Your Guide to find the most amazing experiences! There are activities in every budget range.
Recommended by Kylie from Visiting Dordogne
Travelling with your family is a wonderful life-changing experience. It creates a family bond that will last a lifetime. However, there are always those days when you need a little time to yourself when you need a little break from your wonderful kids, when some “me time” and a little pampering wouldn’t go astray.
So when you’re on the road and Mum needs a break, try a luxurious massage at a day spa. They’re at most good resorts or available in many of the tourist hot spots around the world. And you don’t always have to break the back to give Mum two or three hours of pure, kid-free, relaxation. The perfect travel gift!
Not everything needs to resolve about the person you’re buying a gift for. Many people – and especially travelers, since they see a lot of the world – would prefer it if someone else who would benefit more from it, could receive their gift.
Plan International makes it possible to sponsor a child (and their community) somewhere in the world. This is a very personal way of donating as you can form a bond with that child (through letters) and you can even visit them if you’d like to. Supporting a child costs $35 a month.
A subscription to something we like or need might be one of our personal favorites. It’s an original gift and avoids the stacking of materialistic things. Nowadays, you can get a membership on just about anything.
Travel Magazine Subscription
Recommended by Mary Beth from MB Sees
Before leaving on an epic family trip, moms always tend to get cool travel gifts for their kids before thinking of themselves. So, to the kids and dads out there, here’s my PSA to you: get mom something to inspire her wanderlust, too! My personal favorite is an annual travel magazine subscription.
There are literally dozens of options depending on her travel style, whether it be budget, luxury, outdoorsy, eco-friendly… you name it. Is she interested in exploring the US’s 50 states? They each have their own state-specific magazine. Is she into international 5-star dining experiences? There are tons of travel and food mags out there, too. My own top pics are Nat Geo Traveler, Food & Wine, and Outside.
Magazine subscriptions are gifts that literally keep on giving, and are great for mom’s destination inspiration!
National Geographic (history) subscription
Amazon Prime subscription
Giving someone an Amazon Prime subscription is actually giving them a whole lot in one!
Unlimited music streaming, unlimited photo storage, unlimited reading and access to movie streaming with Amazon Movie are the main benefits! That’s 4 presents in one, can you believe that!
If your friend, partner or mom prefers tv and movies, another superb option is a Netflix membership. This way they can watch their favorite shows wherever in the world they are.
Photo storage subscription
Both parents as travelers have a big thing in common: they love to take an endless amount of pictures. So, when we’re talking about a traveling mom, she’ll definitely need some additional photo storage space.
Pick a cloud storage service to prevent ever losing those pictures.
You can find subscription plans at Google One, Flickr, Amazon Prime, Apple iCloud, Windows Onedrive etc. A subscription for 1 to 2 TB or space will usually cost around $10 a month.
SMALL BUDGET TRAVEL GIFTS FOR MOM
Recommended by Lauren from My favorite Job Title is Mom
Any traveling mom knows the importance of technology. Entertaining a child with an ipad or cell phone can be sanity saving on long travel days.
However, each piece of technology comes with its own charger and headphones are often required. The result is often a knot of cords in the bottom of your bag. They take up tons of space and you can never find the one you need.
That’s why a cable organizer is an absolutely perfect gift for a travelling mum!
These are readily available on Amazon and come in a variety of sizes ranging from pocketbook size to laptop size. The crisscross of straps makes it ideal for any type of plug or cord collection.
This gift isn’t expensive which makes it perfect for smaller celebrations, or as a just-because gift to celebrate your favorite mom.
Recommeded by Holly from Four around the World
When it comes to travel, there are a few really practical items I love and would appreciate as a gift. Packing cubes are top of that list.
We discovered the benefits of packing cubes fairly early in our travels as parents and they completely transformed the way we pack. As a family, we tend to pack fairly light and often share a suitcase or two between the four of us, depending on the length of our trip.
Packing cubes not only make it easier to pack your clothing compactly, they also keep your cloths and belongings organised in the suitcase. We use different coloured cubes for each family member so we can quickly grab the right one per person when changing.
No more disorganised mess in the suitcase after a day or two, making them a wonderful gift for mum’s who love to keep everything tidy!
Travel Jewelry Organizer
Any jewelry-loving woman will know how annoying it is to try to put your accessories into your toilet bag. They will either get lost or broken.
In comes the travel jewelry organizer!
There are many types of jewelry bags for travel purposes, but we especially like this one that looks like an envelope pouch bag. It takes up little space and can hold a more than decent amount of items.
Travel Hair Dryer
Recommended by Ingrid from Fabulous and Fun Life
My recommended travel gift for mums is an effective travel hair dryer.
Mums like to be able to dry and style their hair quickly on holidays so a hair dryer is essential for this. Hair dryers in hotels and resorts however always seem to be so weak and ineffective and regular hair dryers like most mums use in their everyday home life are too bulky to take traveling, hence the need for a travel hair dryer.
Travel hair dryers are light and compact, and usually have dual voltage so they can be used in any country internationally.
If you know a mum who loves to have weekends away or longer trips away I believe they will love a travel hair dryer as a gift.
Travel Document Organizer
Bringing a travel passport wallet is a great way to keep all your documents together, especially if you’re traveling with your family.
Don’t forget to pick one with Rfid-block to prevent copying of credit cards.
Recommended by Chelsea from Pack More into Life
If you are looking for a fun travel gift for the mother/wife in your life, look no further than a travel-inspired necklace from Etsy.
Is there a special place that she loves? You can purchase a necklace with the coordinates of that location on a necklace or bracelet as a simple reminder. Is she an adventurer always looking for a new destination to explore? Perhaps a simple gold necklace with the words “wanderlust” would be her style.
You can always add the children’s birthstones to add a bit of personalized touch and help honor her as a mother.
If you like the compass necklace from the picture above, it is available on Amazon! You can find more travel-inspired jewelry here as well, but for handmade or customized items, you better head to Etsy.
Collapsible Water Bottle
Our love for traveling goes hand in hand with a sustainable way of living. Buying a couple of plastic bottles a day doesn’t line up with that.
Any eco-minded mom will love this collapsible water bottle that they can take anywhere!
Recommended by Emily from Journey of Parenthood
A make-up bag is a must-have travel item for every mom on the go!
I travel frequently and am always frustrated when getting ready on vacation due to having to dig through a travel makeup case to find everything I need.
Then I discovered this awesome travel makeup bag and my life is forever changed! Not only is it super easy to toss all my makeup in when packing, but it LAYS FLAT so I can see every single item which makes getting ready A BREEZE!
Waist Bag / Fanny Pack
Recommended by Ania from The Travelling Twins
The best travelling presents I have received are waist bags. I have quite a few of them, and I use them all the time. Choosing which one to wear depends where we are going and for how long.
The sporty one I use for running fits tightly around my waist. It holds nothing but my phone and a key. There is nothing better to run with than my small pouch.
The city pouch is the one I will choose if we go just for a short walk. This is a small one, and perfect for my phone, keys, sunglasses wallet and a small snack.
The travelling one is for airports and days out. With different compartments, it is ideal for passports, wallets, phone and an extra charger. Mine even has a side pocket where I can fit a water bottle. It is easy to take this off at airport security and know that my pockets are empty for the scanners. Whenever I put this amount of stuff into a shoulder bag I really feel the weight – but since I carry it on my hips, life is easier. Check out this one, with ample space for a bottle of water, an umbrella, your wallet, smartphone and keys.
Recommended by Audrey from Gumnuts Abroad
Any skin type is susceptible to skin dryness. This is particularly true for busy mums, especially when travelling on holiday. Sun exposure, chlorinated pools, hot showers and dry soaps can all dry out your skin.
This is why a beautiful and luxurious moisturiser makes a great gift for travel loving mums.
It takes just a minute to put on some moisturiser and protect your skin from the stresses of the day. And it’s a simple way to pamper yourself and leave your skin feeling divine.
Recommended by Sinead from Map Made Memories
When we left home for our family around the world trip, I was given the gift of a lovely, lightweight travel journal by a kind friend. I loved the gift as I felt that it was something for me, and not for the trip.
In addition to using the journal as a record of where we went and what we saw, I also used it to document the ‘wow’ moments our children experienced. I wrote down their comments, quips and questions about their new experiences and the places, animals and plants we were seeing for the first time.
My now battered journal is full of scribbled one-liners such as, upon seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time, my son asked ‘Is that a painting?’ In the years to come, it will be these jottings in my journal that will mean the most to me.
Infinity scarf with hidden pocket
We never leave our home base without our infinity scarfs!
They’re pretty, protect us from the cold or chill and can function as pillows or blankets.
Pick one with a hidden pocket to give an extra travel dimension to your gift. Having a safe place to put your smartphone or your credit card is extremely useful on a trip.
Recommended by Clare from Epic Road Rides
If you’re buying a gift for a mum with children still at home, I would highly recommend splashing out on a Fly Legs Up footrest for her. She will love you forever – particularly if she’s heading off on a longhaul flight somewhere and has kids that will need to sleep!
Fly Legs Up allows you to fill in the gap between your child’s chair and the chair in front. The child version includes three inflatable cushions that you blow up. You put these into the hammock that fits over the tray table. You can add more air to the cushions or release some to create the right height. The cushions can also be used as footrests for adults when the kids aren’t using them.
It’s worth knowing that some airlines do not allow these to be used on safety grounds, however we haven’t had any problems using them.
I’ve been impressed by Fly Legs Up and think it makes a great gift for that special travel-loving mum in your life!
Recommended by Diana from The Elusive Family
Moms get tired. A lot. It’s inevitable. From waking up with early rise kiddos, going to work at dawn, hustling kids around all day, to activities, errands and everything else, moms are tired by the end of the day. Even exhausted, and it can be hard to fall asleep.
One item that is essential to help you fall asleep is an eye mask. Using a silk eye mask is great for your skin, while it blocks out light and helps you ease into sleep.
There are a variety of eye masks, but it’s essential to make sure that the material is soft and good for your skin. Eye masks help in keeping your eyes shut at night and blocking out any light that may stream in. It is relaxing and has been a wonderful help in getting that extra sleep when needed.
World Map Coloring Poster
Recommended by Paul from Travel Is Life (this map was created by Paul himself!)
Every home should have a world map on the wall, so why not a one of a kind map that you created?
My mission was to create a gift that got people excited about world travel – and that includes travel loving mums! I also wanted to make something that families could spend time doing together and away from a screen.
You’ll notice that the map isn’t of geographic or political borders. Instead, I went with a mandala design to show that we are all part of one big connected world, a sentiment that I know travelers agree with.
Families find that coloring this poster is relaxing, therapeutic, creatively inspiring, and the perfect mix of challenge and fun. I hope that it inspires hours of conversation about traveling the world in your home.
MEDIUM BUDGET TRAVEL GIFTS FOR HER
Anti-Theft Travel Purse
Recommended by Justine from Latitude 41
One of the best travel gifts that a mum will find useful during – and after – her travels is an anti-theft travel purse.
Basically, it’s a purse that has special features that stop pickpockets from trying to get their hands on your valuables like your passport, wallet, or mobile phone.
We mothers always have our hands full, either holding our children or wiping down their dirty cheeks. So when you’re traveling, it’s hard to focus on your stuff.
An anti-theft travel purse has pickpocket-proof features. For one, the straps are cut-proof, so a thief can’t easily cut off your straps and snatch your purse. It also has locking features on the zipper so that the zip attaches to a tab. A pickpocket will have a hard time figuring out how to open it! The locking zipper is always in the main compartment and may have one in the outer pocket. It also has a slash-proof body material, so you can’t cut the bottom with a knife so the contents fall out. There is also an RFID blocking compartment.
I highly suggest the Travelon brand for an anti-theft purse because they have a myriad of stylish and fashionable options.
Portable Coffee Maker
Recommended by Rachel from Creators of Coffee
For the travel loving, coffee loving mum, one of the best gifts you can buy is an Aeropress.
Designed to be lightweight and compact, the Aeropress coffee maker is the perfect travel accessory. Whether you are camping in the National Parks, traveling to a country that doesn’t make great coffee, or coffee is just too expensive to buy every day, the Aeropress means you can enjoy a cup of coffee whenever and wherever you are.
All you need is access to hot water and ground coffee. Pop the coffee in the chamber, add hot water, let it rest then plunge the coffee through the chamber into your cup et voila! Espresso quality coffee in a matter of minutes.
Barefoot Travel Shoes
Packing shoes can be a terrible affair as they take up so much space! Bringing shoes that are foldable is a great solution.
Furthermore, there have been a lot of studies proving the benefits of walking barefoot, which resulted in the development of barefoot shoes. They’re becoming very popular both for adults and children!
Organic Facial Sunscreen
Recommended by Karen from Smart Steps to Australia
As a mum who loves to travel, I love receiving gifts that are practical, thoughtful and luxurious. I usually spend so much time making sure my kids have everything they need that often I don’t think to buy things for myself.
For me, a great gift is a high-quality facial sunscreen with natural ingredients that won’t harm the planet. I look for at least factor 30 with UVA and UVB protection.
Packable Rain Jacket
It’s usually smart to bring a rain jacket on your trip. Make your favorite mom happy with one that is lightweight and ultra-compact.
Recommended by Deeptha from The Globe Trotter
For the mom who travels a lot and who carries her iPad along with her, an iPad case (for example the Pelican i1065 iPad Case) would make an excellent gift. It is a practical gift that will protect the device from accidental drops, smudges and drink spills.
Peli has been making protective equipment for more than 40 years now and their i1065 iPad case offers watertight, crushproof protection for the iPad 2, 3, 4 or iPad Air. The iPad case will protect your device against any kind of impact shock. It also comes with an integrated easel which ensures easy hands-free viewing with multiple angles. And the case even comes with a lifetime guarantee! This is surely a very practical gift for the travel-loving mom.
Recommended by Karolina from Lazy Travel Blog
The best gift for traveling mothers is a travel breastfeeding pillow that will allow them to feed their baby hands-free.
Aside from giving her hand a bit of a rest, this specially shaped pillow will allow mom to multi-task as she is feeding, a skill that is expected from all new mothers. And, if the baby does not have his own seat, the nursing pillow is a life-saver that gives mommy’s arms a rest.
To find the best nursing pillow, pick the one that is compact and easy to carry around. After all, no one wants to drag a bulky pillow through a narrow economy aisle with a hand carry. Another sought-out feature is a wrap-around design with an adjustable belt that will keep the baby secure. A side pocket can also come in handy, especially for moms on the go who might need somewhere to put their water bottles and wet wipes.
A cashmere wrap scarf is such a multifunctional item that many moms would be so happy to receive it as a gift.
It can be used as a regular scarf, as a wrap scarf for themselves or for their kiddo’s as well, a blanket, a pillow and as a nursing cover.
Recommended by Angela from Chasing the Unexpected
A portable travel blender is a perfect gift for travelling mums because it can ensure to keep our healthy lifestyle even when we are out of our home.
We can buy our own fresh fruits and veggies wherever we are and make a healthy and delicious smoothie for lunch, dinner, a snack or just to quench our thirst.
A portable blender is usually small, easy to carry around in a backpack and easy to charge as they often feature USB doors. So you can either make your smoothie in your hotel room or fill the blender and turn it on whenever you want while on the road or during your sightseeing.
Hip Seat Carrier
Recommended by Mitchelle from Mama Buzz Blog
As a first-time mom, this has been my ultimate and favorite baby item.
The Bebamour Six-position hip seat carrier is on my top list for traveling. The upper part can be detached to be a single hip seat carrier and you can put baby in multiple ways such as horizontal, face-forward and face-inward. I love that I don’t need to always put the whole attachment every time I use it. The hip seat can even be folded into a piece.
Having an above average-sized baby, this was a hit for me and my husband. It helped my back a lot especially when I went for Mom & Baby classes that require dancing and movement. My baby loves it and this can be used from 0-36 months. whose weight is about 0-44 lbs (0-14.9kg).
Another aspect of it is that it has various pockets of different sizes. As I am usually out and about with my little one, I use the baby carrier’s pockets easily for keys and my phone. How convenient is that? There is a larger pocket which you can use to store for extra diapers. This Baby Registry item is really a must-have for safety, convenience and comfort.
Mifold Grab-and-go Booster Seat
Hardly anyone will drag along a car seat or booster seat for their preschooler or school-aged kid. However, that doesn’t mean letting them sit in a regular seat is safe yet.
In comes the Mifold. This tiny wallet-sized package transforms into a booster seat for kids age 4+.
With the lightweight booster, the car strap fits around the shoulder of the child instead of the chin/neck and on the hips instead of the belly.
They’re extremely useful when traveling by rental car or taxi but also at home when you’ve got to drive another kid home suddenly or for the grandparents’ car.
HIGHER BUDGET TRAVEL GIFT IDEAS FOR HER
Recommended by Betty from Mom Brite
For a mom, getting time to relax and read a book is rare. While she is traveling, chances are she will have some downtime to sit and unwind while she is on the airplane.
This is the perfect opportunity for her to pick up a book that she probably has started a long time ago but never got to finish. However, books are big and heavy and not exactly the best use of luggage space.
Therefore, a Kindle or iPad that she can simply throw in her purse filled with a library of books she can access at her fingertips is the perfect gift for a traveling mom. Plus, if she has an iPad, she can also use it to browse the internet and check emails – perhaps from her precious kids!
TIP: If she already owns an ebook reader, a great alternative is Kindle Unlimited, with over 1 million titles and thousands of audiobooks available for a fixed price per month. Click here to learn more.
Essential Oil diffuser in glass
Recommended by Mel from Mel’s Garden
One of the best travel gifts I have received is a glass essential oil diffuser. Mine is smallish, cordless, and fits in the cup holder of my car. I love diffusing essential oils to create a feeling of relaxation after a long travel day or to motivate me for a work day on the road.
The Mobile Mini by Organic Aromas is also special because the oils only touch glass – never plastic. Given all the chemicals in plastic and the ability of oils to absorb them, this is its top feature, in my opinion. I am so happy with my travel diffuser, that I’ve given them as gifts to several other traveling moms.
Travel Backpack (with daypack)
Recommended by Melissa from The Family Voyage
For a mum going on a great adventure, whether with kids or not, there’s nothing more important than a practical, comfortable way to carry all her clothing and gear!
When traveling with children, it’s imperative to keep hands free so I’d recommend buying the mum in your life a travel backpack designed just for women.
What makes a women’s travel backpack different from a men’s or unisex model? It’s all about the fit! The best ones are designed with a woman’s body in mind. The shoulder straps will be set narrower, the torso height will be available in shorter lengths and the materials may be softer to accommodate wearing sleeveless shirts. Look out for extra features like organization pockets, detachable daypacks and even a hydration sleeve if she loves to get out on the trail.
Tieks foldable travel flats
Look, there’s no way around it: Tieks are expensive. There. I’ve said it. But man, are they worth it!
Available in over 60 prints and both in leather as vegan ones, being trendy is not a problem at all. But the fact that they are super comfortable to walk around in all day and you can fold them to this tiny package makes them superb travel companions. They’ve been recommended by Oprah and many fulltime world travelers.
Metal World Map Wall Decoration
Recommended by Thassia from Family Off Duty
This is a unique gift for mums who enjoy travelling but don’t need any more travel gear.
This beautiful home accessory is perfect as a wall art piece for your space but works just as well as a reminder of the places the family has been on holidays. Simply hang up this wall decor in the living room and display your family travel images around it.
Recommended by Chris from More Life in your Days
One of the best gifts for travel-loving mums has to be a baby carrier. This accessory will allow them to get out there and enjoy all of the things that they love best about travel, whether that is hiking in the mountains, sightseeing around town or climbing ancient ruins.
A baby carrier will give them the freedom to go where they please with their baby safely and comfortably held close to them.
A soft structured carrier like the Ergobaby 360 is a good choice as it is lightweight and compact enough for mums to take with them on all their adventures.
TIP: learn more about baby carriers in our babywearing section
Filtered Water Bottle
A filtered water bottle is a great gift for the more adventurous moms!
They will be able to fill their tank anywhere (on the tab, in a stream,…) as the Grayl Geopress filters any freshwater source in just 8 seconds.
The most unique gift for a globetrotting mom is definitely a photoshoot with Flytographer.
Click here to read more about the services they offer and why you should buy this gift.
Our most popular small budget gifts are a travel document organizer, a subscription to her favorite travel magazine and an infinity scarf with a hidden pocket.
Click here to check out more small budget ideas!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Barbara Rodrigus is passionate about travelling – especially with her wife and daughter. She loves to show others that it’s far from impossible to travel with (young) children. A big part of that is spent on making travelling easier by bringing the right travel gear for kids.
Babs loves animals, chocolate (what did you expect from a Belgian?), reading & writing and glorious mountain views.