Gift ideas for the special “travel moms” in your life
This post contains affiliate links that could provide me with a commission, at no cost to you. More information at: Privacy & Disclosures.
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 this year.
Travel Gifts for Mom's Next Adventure
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, tote, wool wrap and the national parks mugs, are travel gifts that Mom will enjoy at home as well.
Gifts Ideas for Mom
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 is pictured above.
For the mom who prefers to travel with just 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
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
Sweater Wrap for Travel
Probably my favorite item to travel with is a lightweight wrap in wool or cashmere — it’s a blanket on the plane and keeps me warm on a cool evening. In cold weather, many styles can be worn as a neck scarf. Thanks to its versatility, I think it’s the perfect gift for any mom who loves to travel. Its flowy style means it works with almost any outfit, so it’s great in a capsule wardrobe.
I am partial to beige, taupe or oatmeal for year-round travel. And I love black for fall and winter. (Note: I wash my cashmere and wool wraps in the washing machine, on a gentle setting in cold water, then lay it flat to dry. No need for a dry cleaner.)
Cashmere or wool? Cashmere is especially lightweight, so great for travel, easy to carry. Its lighter weight makes it ideal year-round. It’s typically more expensive than wool, but there are some relatively affordable options — more below. It’s also possible to buy a cashmere-wool blend wrap which is a nice option.
Cashmere can be pricey. I like this relatively affordable option from Quince, Mongolian Cashmere Wrap $99. It comes in eight colors; I love the oatmeal, heather grey, navy, and black for travel. This is a scarf-style wrap so doesn’t have arm holes. (FYI: I own the Quince Classic Cashmere Crewneck Sweater in grey $50 and love it. Cashmere sweaters are great for travel because they are lightweight yet warm.
For more of a poncho style, also great for its flexibility, consider the J.Crew Cashmere-Wool Blend Poncho. $139 (Note that J. Crew often has sales of 30% off or more).
And for an option with sleeves, and if you’d prefer something that’s not wool, I love Athleta’s Pranayama Restore Wrap. It comes in 11 colors and inclusive sizing. $89 I’ve been happy with all of the items I’ve purchased from Athleta over the years and they are moving toward more sustainable products. This wrap is 97% TENCEL™ Modal, a fiber that is produced from sustainable forests of European beech trees.
Compression Socks for Travel
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). There is a higher risk of this when you sit for ling periods.
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 four different brands of compression socks. Bombas and Wellow were by two favorites. They are the softest (made primarily from bamboo), the most comfortable, and the easiest to get on and off, thanks to 4-way stretch.
You might not think this is an exciting gift for Mom, but I can tell you that I adore them and think your travel mom will as well. I wore my Bombas socks on my recent 11-hour flight from Athens, Greece to Atlanta and was so comfy. I completely forgot about them once I had them on.
Subscription to AFAR Magazine
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.
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. My go-to for affordable travel hats is Tommy Bahama. One plus, they allow you to purchase online, and return in-store.
I took the Laguna Drover Hat on my safari 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. Although it’s listed as a men’s hat the smaller of the two sizes (M/L) fit me perfectly.
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 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 — instead of a cheap hat that may lose its shape after one trip. I also love the Wide-Brim Ecuador Hat; it’s on my own wishlist.
Pro tip: for hats that aren’t considered “packable” (they don’t fold) I set them 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.
Luggage for Travel Moms
Hard-Shelled Carry-On Bag by Monos & Away
After lots of research, I bought myself a lightweight Carry-On bag by a luggage company called Monos and bought my son a similar style roller bag from Away, so we could compare. They are similar and after traveling with them extensively I can recommend both brands.
Both are well-designed, beautifully made, and come in an array of gorgeous colors. And most importantly for me, quite lightweight (I want to be able to lift my own bag into the overhead bin).
Monos also has a Carry-On Pro with an exterior spot for a laptop, ideal if you are traveling without a large personal item. Note that size limits are smaller in Europe and other places, so you may be required to check either bag.
Monos luggage and Away give you 100 days to try it AT HOME and return it if you don’t like it. Unfortunately, once you’ve traveled with them, you can’t return them unless they qualify for a return under the warranty.
Claremont Camera Bag by Lo & Sons
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.
Personal Item: Travel Tote Bag for Mom
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 at home as well as on her travels.
Runners for Mom's Travel & Home
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. The Wool Runner Mizzles come in many colors and are water-repellant.
They are lightweight so ideal for travel. I’ve taken mine to France, Spain, Greece, Canada and beyond! 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”. $75 +
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 price point. $130
Active Travel Moms: Yoga Mat / Exercise Bands
Yoga Mat and Exercise Band
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
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
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.)
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.
Sign-Up for Travel Tips & Stories
If you enjoyed this Gift Guide, please subscribe. You'll receive the monthly Midlife Globetrotter newsletter with travel planning tips, itineraries, hotel reviews and more!Subscribe
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 Holidays to all the Moms. 🌸