Gifts for travel lovers. A number of items are pictured against a grey background: tote bag, packing cubes, luggage, air tags, jewelry case, compression socks and a Kindle e-reader.

Gifts for Moms who Travel

GIFT GUIDE

Gift ideas 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, and a few fun things on my own wishlist ( in case Nate and Charlie are reading 🙂

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.
Safari sunset in the Magkadikdai Pans National Park

I’ve tried to include ideas for every budget, gifts from as little as $20, because you know that Mom will appreciate any gift — 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. Happy Mother’s Day to all the travel moms! 

A Few Favorite Gifts Ideas for Mom

SAMARA Travel Jewelry Box

Travel Jewelry Box

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

The Samara Jewelry Box  (above) is made of premium vegan leather, has multiple compartments and an elastic pocket — a place for everything. Plus the zip closure keeps 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. $85

A square travel jewelry case make an ideal gift for a travel lover. Pictured open with necklaces, earrings and rings. Beige with gold hardware. Made by Quince.
A Quince travel jewelry case, a petite case for short trips or minimalists

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 very small dimensions (4 x 4 x 1.4 inches). Available in black or nude. $40

A splurge… the Monica Vinader Travel Jewelry Case comes in four pretty colors — Italian leather and a complimentary monogram make this a special gift. $98

A blue denim tote bag says "Maman Je T'Aime" in white letter and a decoration of red lips is also visible.

Luxe Cotton Travel Tote

Since I always travel with a water bottle I also bring a tote along on most trips. Valuables such as my phone and wallet are tucked safely in this crossbody bag.  And any combination of my water bottle, jacket, scarf, sunscreen, hat, are in my tote.  J’adore this denim one by Clare V., the Maman Je T’aime”. L.A.-based Clare V. has a French flare and is one of my favorite brands for a special gift. It would be perfect for Mother’s Day! $65

A blonde woman stands in a store with a navy tote bag over her shoulder withe the letters A.P.C. She also holds a small floral shopping bag
Shopping in Paris with my trusty tote

If you like the denim tote I have with me in the above photo, it’s by A.P.C., the Laure Tote.

A navy and royal blue fold-up duffel bag by Paravel is shown against a white background, along with the small pouch it folds in to.

Paravel Fold-Up Bag

A gift for the moms who love to shop on vacation. Paravel’s sturdy fold-up duffel packs into a small pouch. Slip it in your luggage and fill it with souvenirs acquired on your holiday. The nylon is made from 22 recycled plastic water bottles. 💚  It comes in six fun colors and can be mongrammed making it a special gift. 

 

Gifts Ideas for Mom, Under $50

Tech for the Connected Travel Mom

CalPak Tech Organizer keeps cables and cords corraled on your travels; this is on my wishlist! This highly reviewed organizer comes in 10 plus colors and patterns. $42  Dagne Dover Arlo Neoprene Tech Organizer Another option, also highly reviewed. I love this brand! $50

I now always travel with Apple AirTags $24 (AirTag 4-pack $80). Why risk lost luggage when you can track it with a $20 airtag? And I always take a portable charger to carry in my tote bag. With our phones used in many ways on travel days, our batteries tend to run down quickly. 

A pair of feet are pictured atop a piece of luggage wearing purple socks with the words Wellow, the brand of the socks.

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 long periods. 

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 (Wellow are 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 a recent 11-hour flight from Athens, Greece to Atlanta and was so comfy. I completely forgot I had them on. 

Travel Neck Pillow

This is one on my list as I need a new pillow for travel. The Trtle Neck Pillow gets rave reviews from Lonely Planet etc., but I don’t own it. $45

 

using packing cubes as portable drawers

Packing Cubes

Packing cubes are among my favorite travel essentials if I will be making mutiple stays on my vacation as I did on my trip to Africa when I changed safari lodges every couple of nights. Mine are by eBags (these are similar) and Quince has a nice set of six, available in five colors. For a special touch Paravel offers monogramming on their packing cubes. Like the duffel, these stylish cubes come in multiple colors and are made from recycled water bottles. 

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.

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.  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.

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

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 chose the Isla Straw Fedora. The angled sides gave me extra sun protection. 

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 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.

Gigi Pip PROMO CODES:  Try FIRST15 or WELCOME10, if it’s your first purchase.

Wool Runners for Travel & Home

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

 Allbirds wool runners are great for travel — the wool makes them water-resistant and washable and they are soft, comfy and lightweight. 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 sustainably crafted with natural and renewable materials, like merino wool and eucalyptus trees. 

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”. $125

Splurge Gifts for Mom

A Luxury Tote

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

Make Mom’s Day with the gift of a luxury tote that she can use at home and on her travel adventures. I am pictured above with the Cuyana Classic Structured Leather Tote which I use as a personal item when I travel and to carry my books to a weekly French class. Trés chic!

If you don’t want leather, Paravel’s lovely Cabana Tote features vegan leather detailing and is made of eco-Canvas. It comes in three sizes and four striking color options. I’ve got my eye on the medium  in the color Shandy! 

A blonde woman wearing black pants and a beige trench coat and sunglasses sits on a green bench with a statue partially visible above her. She is holding the extended handle of a black carry-on roller bag.

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

Kindle E-Reader

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

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

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, it 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. 

I am partial to beige, taupe or oatmeal for year-round travel. And I love black or chocolate brown for fall and winter. 

A camel colored cashmere poncho wrap over a t-shirt. Ideal travel essential or capsule wardrobe item.

 

Cashmere can be pricey and I like this relatively affordable option from Quince, Mongolian Cashmere Wrap $99. It comes in eight colors. This is a scarf-style wrap so doesn’t have arm holes.  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. 

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

Active Travel Moms: Yoga Mat / Exercise Bands

Two woman practice yoga

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

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

Jewelry from Threads Worldwide

A pair of earrings with a picture of the woman who made them, by 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.

Susan

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