Susan Heinrich sits on a terrace on the Greek island of Hydronetta, with stunning view of the Hydra coast beyond

Gifts for Moms who Travel


Gift ideas for Mother’s Day or any day, for the special “travel moms” in your life

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If the mom in your life is anything like me, she will be thrilled with a travel gift for her next adventure. This list of travel gifts for Mom is a round-up of my personal favorites; the travel essentials that I take on my own trips. There are also a few things on my own wishlist for Mother’s Day (ie. hints for my boys:).

Travel Gifts for Mom's Next Adventure

Susan Heinrich stands with her camera with the sunset beyond while on safari in Botswana's Makgadikgadi Pans National Park. She wears part of her safari wardrobe: rust shorts and a beige linen utility jacket.

I’ve tried to include ideas for every budget, gifts from as little as $15, because you know that Mom will appreciate any gift for her travels – it’s the thought that counts. Even better, many of these gifts, such as the Kindle E-reader, and tote, bag, and the national parks mugs, are travel gifts that Mom will enjoy at home and away. 

Travel Gifts for Mom

SAMARA Travel Jewelry Box

Travel Jewelry Box for Mom

A travel jewelry box will keep Mom’s precious baubles organized and safe from scratches, while she explores the world. I love both these options (in fact, I have gifted one to my mom and one to my sister) and they are at two different price points. 

The Samara Jewelry Box  has multiple compartments and an elastic pocket creating a place for everything, and the zip closure keeps your pieces safely contained. Every Samara purchase supports their ‘Soular Backpack’ project, which provides light to children in East Africa. The Samara Jewelry Box comes in tan or black and is made of premium vegan leather. $85

For the mom who prefers to simplify by traveling with a few favorite pieces, this Leather Jewelry Travel Case by Quince makes a fantastic gift. Note the small dimensions (4 x 4 x 1.4 inches). Available in black or nude. $40.

Susan Heinrich wears a favorite travel hat while sitting in a safari jeep on an Africa safari in Botswana. She is also wearing sunglasses and a beige linen romper. She has her hand raised to holding the back of her hat.
Susan on safari in Botswana Africa wearing a travel hat from Tommy Bahama.

Sun Hats for Travel

I would say that every mom needs a hat for travel. Shielding my skin from the sun is a priority for me (I’ve had basal cell carcinoma/skin cancer on my forehead), but is something we should all do to prevent skin damage. Hats are also a fun way to add flair to a simple outfit, and they are a handy camouflage on the days when you are too busy having fun to bother styling it.

My go-to for affordable travel hats is Tommy Bahama. With so many retail locations it’s possible to see them in person before you decide on your travel gift for mom. And they allow you to purchase online, and return in store.

I recently purchased the Laguna Drover Hat for my trip to Africa (photo above) and it was perfect. I was somewhat shaded by the covered jeeps we sat in and because I was using a large camera, a smaller brim was more practical. Technically it is a men’s hat but the smaller of the two sizes (M/L) fit me perfectly. If you prefer a navy or white hat, I also loved the Lagi South Shores Safari Hat. I went with the neutral-colored Laguna Drover to go with my “Safari Wardrobe” (Blog post coming on What to Wear on Safari). 

A packable hat also makes a great travel gift for mom. At Tommy Bahama I really like the  Classic Packable Hat with Fringe, and the Vented Packable Luxe Hat.

Susan Heinrich wears the Isla Straw Fedora by Gigi Pip
I chose the Isla Straw Fedora because the shape gives me great sun protection
A straw fedora by Gigi Pip sits on an outdoor table next to a vase of wildflowers
Isla Straw Fedora by Gigi Pip

My go to when I will spend a lot of time in the sun is a wide-brim hat. For a sailing trip in Greece, I knew I’d be in the sun a lot, so chose the Isla Straw Fedora. The angled sides gave me extra sun protection. 

GiGi Pip straw hats are a bit of an investment, but they are made to keep up with our travel adventures — definitely a step-up from an inexpensive hat that may lose its shape after one trip. For a splurge, I also love the travel essentials from Cuyana. Their Wide-Brim Panama Hat is on my own wishlist.

Pro tip: for hats that aren’t considered “packable” I set it upside down in my luggage and then stuff soft items inside the crown and all around it. That way it takes up hardly any extra space. 

Gigi Pip PROMO CODES:  Try FIRST15 or WELCOME10, if it’s your first purchase.T

Compression Socks for Travel

Compression socks for travel by the company Wellow. Pictures are five pairs in different colors: green, grey, pink, blue, yellow

A couple of years ago when my doctor found out that I take long international flights, she strongly recommended that I buy a pair of compression socks. They stimulate circulation which keeps me comfortable, and can help prevent DVT (deep vein thrombosis). It occurs when a blood clot (thrombus) forms in a deep vein, usually in the legs. 

According to the Cleveland Clinic, each year in the U.S., about 1 to 3 in every 1,000 adults develop a DVT, and 300,000 people die each year as a result of DVT/Pulmonary Embolism. It’s the third most common vascular disease, behind heart attacks and strokes. (This is not meant in any way as medical advice. A doctor can provide you with more information about preventing DVT on long flights and staying healthy on your travels.)

Convinced this was the perfect gift to myself, I purchased and tried three different brands of compression socks. Wellow were by far my favorite. They are the softest (made primarily from bamboo), the most comfortable, and the easiest to get on and off, thanks to 4-way stretch. 

In fact, I wore them on my recent flights to and from Africa — 16 hours each way — and was entirely comfy. I completely forgot about them once I had them on. 

A pair of feet are pictured atop a piece of luggage wearing purple socks with the words Wellow, the brand of the socks.
Susan with her Wellow compression socks on, ready for a 16-hour flight to Africa

They come in one compression level, 18-25 mmHg, which basically feels like a hug. I have shapely calves, so if they work for me, I think most moms would love these as well. Find out more about sizing here: Wellow – what’s my size.  Wellow socks are available in many fun colors and are machine washable. $29

Subscription to AFAR Magazine

A selection of AFAR travel magazines are fanned out on a table

Reading AFAR Travel Magazine is one of my favorite ways to dream about travel. Afar focuses on ways that our travel can have a positive impact on the world and highlights some lesser-known destinations and wonderful photography. I love giving magazine subscriptions as gifts because they are enjoyed throughout the year. A single issue of AFAR is $6.99, and a one-year subscription (6 issues) is $14. Better still, get your travel mom a 2-year subscription for $24.

Luggage for Travel Moms

Susan Heinrich walks away from the CitizenM Bowery hotel with her Monos carry-on luggage

Carry-On Bag by Monos

After lots of research, I bought myself a lightweight Carry-On bag by a luggage company called Monos. It is well designed, beautifully made and comes in an array of gorgeous colors. It also comes in two sizes: the larger Carry-On Plus has a greater capacity, ideal if you are trying to travel carry-on only. The dimensions still qualify it as carry-on with North American airlines. Note that size limits are smaller in Europe and other places, so you may be required to check it.  Monos luggage is guaranteed for life and you have 100 days to try it and return it if you don’t like it. (Note, that means try it at home. Unfortunately, once you’ve traveled with it, you can’t return it unless it qualifies for a return under the warranty.) 

I’ve written a detailed review of my Monos luggage; you can read that here: Monos Luggage Review.

The Monos Carry-On Bag, ready to depart, at the LAX airport
My new carry-on bag by Monos, ready to depart, at the LAX airport

Claremont Camera Bag by Lo & Sons

Lo & Sons Claremont Camera Bag

I love the Claremont Camera Bag by Lo & Sons. It’s  attractive, great quality and the crossbody style is ideal for carrying and for when you are actually taking photos. It padded interior safely stores a DSLR camera and it big enough to hold a small wallet and my phone (or an extra lens). It comes in three colours: tan (shown), black and a very pretty grey. Currently 40% off for Mother’s Day. 

Midlife Globetrotter photographing the Grand Canyon with a Lo & Sons Camera Bag
Midlife Globetrotter photographing the Grand Canyon with a Lo & Sons Camera Bag

Personal Item: Travel Tote Bag for Mom

Susan Heinrich carries a tan tote bag by Cuyana, with two additional photos of the outside and inside of the bag

I recently splurged on a tote bag by Cuyana, and it has already been on its first trip to California, Canada and Africa. I purchased the Classic Structured Leather Tote in color Cappuccino (pictured above) which has an open top. You may want to consider the Classic Easy Zipper Tote if this is exclusively for use as a travel tote. A trés chic travel gift for Mom that she can use as home as well as on her travels.

Runners for Mom's Travel & Home

A pair of Allbirds, sustainably made wool runners, ideal for travel

I recently got my first pair of Allbirds runners and I love them even more than I expected. They are sustainably crafted with natural and renewable materials, like merino wool and eucalyptus trees.  The wool makes them water-resistant and washable and they are soft and comfy. The insole is also wool so it is moisture wicking, and odor reducing – you can wear them with or without socks. 

They come in lots of color options and most importantly, since these are ideal as a travel gift for mom, they are super lightweight for her to pack and wear. I’ve take them to France, Spain, Greece, Canada and more. They make a great travel gift that mom can enjoy at home and on her adventures. To quote Allbirds: “Light on our feet, light on the planet”. $95

The Kindle Oasis E-reader sits on a pile of books

Travel Gifts for Moms who Love to Read

I’ve always taken physical books along on my travels but I am committed to traveling lighter, so recently got my first Kindle E-reader. I purchased the Kindle Oasis and immediately used it in the bath at home because it’s waterproof! $250

Of course, it’s also ideal for travel. In Hawaii I relaxed in the pool and didn’t worry about small children splashing. And it’s so thin and lightweight, I didn’t even notice I was carrying it around. I also appreciate that the light can be adjusted to a warmer tone for reading before bed. Moms need our beauty sleep, especially when we travel.

The Kindle Paperwhite is now also waterproof and at a slightly lower pricepoint. $130

Susan Heinrich reads her Kindle E-reader in a pool in Maui
Enjoying my waterproof Kindle E-reader in Maui
Susan Heinrich reads a kindle e-reader in the pool at the Westin Nanea Ocean Villas
Two woman practice yoga

Active Travel Moms: Yoga Mat / Exercise Bands

Some moms like to keep up their fitness routine on their travels and these travel gifts make it easy to do so.

I use resistance bands when I travel and love that the exercises can be done in a small space, such as a hotel room. This set of three Pro-Tec Athletics Resistance Bands are ideal for packing. They are small and light and come with a carry-bag and instructions. $15

This Travel Yoga Mat from REI is slimmer than a traditional mat so fits more easily in luggage. It’s made from renewable rubber and free of PVC. $75

A mug with Rocky Mountain National Park emblem sits on a vintage map

National Park Mug by McGovern Outdoor

If your special Mom loves exploring America’s beautiful protected places, the perfect travel gift might be a mug that reminds her of her favorite national park – and reminds her that she should put her feet up more often, with a cup of tea.

McGovern Outdoor is a woman-owned business based in Denver, Colorado. Their products honor America’s most special places and 10% of profits go toward national park conservation.

I’ve added the “Inside Out Map Mug” of Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park (pictured above), to my own wishlist. $16.20

Underwater view a surfboard in the ocean off Kaanapali Beach Maui

Waterproof Camera by GoPro

If your special travel mom enjoys photography, active travel or beach holidays, a waterproof/adventure camera is a wonderful gift. I recently got my first one, the GoPro Hero 9 Black, and while it was pricey, the quality of the photos and video is amazing. I also found it easy to use. (The photo above of my hubby on  the surfboard was one of the first I took, as I was learning how to use  it.) 

The GoPro Hero9 Black with the ocean and palm trees beyond it
Susan Heinrich snorkels near Kaanapali Beach Maui
My first underwater selfie
A pair of earrings with a picture of the woman who made them, by Threads Worldwide

Jewelry from Threads Worldwide

Denver-based Threads Worldwide sells affordable jewelry made by women artisans from around the world. Each piece comes with a little card telling you where the item was made and by who: The silver hoops pictured above were made in India by Sofiya (also pictured). With every purchase, you are empowering a women to support herself and her family. For example, Sofiya’s work with Threads Worldwide has enabled her to add direct water access to her home. 

I try to travel with minimal jewelry, but love having one or two special items to bring along for the evening. And jewelry is a perfect travel gift for mom; she will wear and enjoy it at home and away.

Susan Heinrich wearing earrings by Threads Worldwide
Susan wearing Threads Worldwide earrings, made by a Guatemalan woman named Santos

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I hope one of these travel-inspired gifts will be just the thing for the extra-special Mom in your life. Speaking from experience, what Mom will enjoy most is time spent with her favorite people. 

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms. 🌸

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About - Midlife Globetrotter

Hey there,

I’m glad you’re here. Can we talk about midlife? I reached my late 40’s, realized my kids were growing up, and adventure began calling in a new way: big travel adventures as well as everyday ones. I want Midlife Globetrotter to be a place where we explore how to add a sense of fun, freedom and meaning to these precious years. Let’s celebrate how far we’ve come, and all that’s ahead.




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