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UPDATED MAY, 1, 2020 — Know a mom who is always traveling? Why not satisfy her wanderlust with a travel-inspired gift. You don’t have to splurge for a trip to an exotic location to make the mom in your life smile. There are plenty of budget-friendly travel gifts for women that can make a trip more enjoyable or help create that feeling of traveling at home. We’ve compiled a list of our top travel gifts for moms who love to travel.
The best travel gifts for moms
While a mom will love any gift from her child or spouse, these thoughtful gifts for moms who love traveling are sure to be a hit on Mother's Day, her birthday, or any other holiday or special celebration.
Whether you choose an actual travel mug that she can take on a trip or you get her a travel-themed mug for the home, anything that can hold coffee or tea is always a good gift for moms. Coffee is a staple in my life... probably because I haven't slept a full night since my daughter was born. Most moms are sleep deprived, so it only makes sense that a coffee mug would make this list of gifts for traveling moms. AirporTag makes great travel-themed gifts that are unique and customizeable, but you can find a lot of great travel mugs for mom on Amazon, as well. Choose a mug with your mom's favorite travel quote, airport code, or even customize a mug to make it extra special.
Moms who travel with young children NEED a child carrier. Much more portable than a stroller, a child carrier is perfect for parents who love to discover the world with their young children. They're lightweight, adjustable, and position the weight of your child on the hips. A child carrier is much easier on your back than simply holding your child in your arms or letting them ride on your shoulders. We don't go on any trips without one of our child carriers. During the toddler years, we used the Deuter Kid Comfort child carrier. It was perfect for long walks and hikes and kept our daughter contained when exploring a new city.
If the mom you are buying for still has an infant, there are lots of great baby carriers for travel to choose from. We mostly used the Ergobaby 360. It went all over the world with us when our daughter was a baby. As a bonus, wearing your baby through airport security makes traveling with an infant much easier. You don't have to remove your baby from a soft-bodied carrier when going through airport security.
When I travel, I don't want to compromise style for comfort. So instead of wearing jeans which can be restrictive and hot, I opt for pants made from a lightweight nylon material instead. Eddie Bauer makes a great pair of travel pants that have buttons on the sides so you can roll them up into capri pants if it gets too warm. I also have a pair of convertible Patagonia pants that zip off into shorts. They are perfect for hiking, sitting through a long flight or road trip, or sightseeing all day. They also pack up smaller and take up less room in your luggage.
Moms are always worried about their children. Long after the diaper bag stage, moms still find themselves stashing snacks, toys, or other items for their kids in their purse. That's why it's important for moms to have a high-quality day pack when they travel to carry items for their kids and for themselves. When we are out sightseeing in a new place I try to bring along essentials, like water, snacks, and a tablet or toy to fight my child's boredom in my day pack. I prefer a bag that can be worn as a backpack so my hands are free to take pictures or hold onto my daughter when we are on a busy street.
You may not have the funds to gift a full trip, but that doesn't mean you can't give the gift of a great travel experience. You can purchase a gift card or gift certificate to a website like Get Your Guide that will allow the travel-loving mom in your life to book an excursion or tour on her next trip.
Moms are always taking pictures of their kids, but they rarely get to be in the picture. A selfie stick isn't just for solo travelers. It makes a great travel gift for moms because it allows them to be in the picture, too. And who doesn't want awesome family photos from your travels!
A luxurious eye mask can not only make those long overnight plane rides more bearable, but it can help set the stage for a good night's sleep at home, too. My favorite eye mask not only blocks out light and is silky soft, but it is also lavender scented, which helps with relaxation and stress relief.
Speaking of setting the stage for a good night's sleep, 5-star hotel quality bedding will make any woman feel like she's sleeping in a luxury resort. It might be a bit of a splurge to buy the sheets, pillows, duvet, and duvet cover but it's a splurge the traveling mom in your life will certainly appreciate.
When you travel, it's almost impossible to keep your clothes from getting wrinkled in your luggage. That's why a small, compact steamer is a must! It's easy and quick to steam your clothing and doesn't require setting up an ironing board in the cramped hotel room. It's a practical travel gift and one that will ultimately make everyone look better in vacation photos.
Moms are often responsible for packing for multiple people when going on a trip, and that's where packing cubes can be a huge time saver. Packing cubes keep everything perfectly organized in your suitcase or backpack. You can organize the cubes by person or by clothing type. However you decide to use them, packing cubes are great for keeping items separated and easily contained. Packing cubes not only make for great travel gifts for moms, they are ideal for any traveler.
The older I get the more I value comfort when traveling. There were times in my life when an uncomfortable hostel bed was totally fine with me. A low-cost carrier with tiny seats with a worn down cushion? No problem, as long as the price was right! But sometime after motherhood, life became infinitely more uncomfortable. Moms are constantly wrangling a squirmy baby on airplanes or sharing a hotel bed with a small child who sleeps sideways. So, in the quest to find just a little bit more comfort when traveling I have given in and invested in a travel pillow for airplanes. It was a worthy investment! Hence why it makes my list of the best travel gifts for moms.
Most people walk significantly more when they travel than when they are home. My feet are my preferred mode of transportation when we are exploring a new city. You get to see much more of a place when you're walking. Naturally, a quality pair of travel shoes will make all that walking easier on your feet and your entire body. A good travel shoe should have a sturdy sole, be versatile to go with different outfits, and ideally, travel shoes should be water repellent. Keen Footwear is my favorite brand of travel shoes, not just for women, but for the whole family.
It only takes one pickpocket to ruin an entire trip. Every savvy traveler knows the importance of a cross body bag. A cross body bag puts your most valuable items (like cash, credit cards, and passports) in a hard to steal location. A thief can't snatch your bag and run if it is worn across your body. Choose one that securely closes with a flap or zipper to make it even harder for a pickpocket to access.
Turn the love for travel into a fashion statement with a simple, understated necklace, ring, or bracelet. A compass, an airplane, or even the coordinates of one of your favorite places to visit together all make unique and fashionable jewelry. And jewelry is one of those gifts that all women love and cherish.
A soft, comfortable t-shirt that fits well can make even sitting in a cramped seat in coach a little more bearable. Every woman needs a go-to travel shirt. You can find a wide variety of travel-themed t-shirts on AirporTag or Amazon that would make for a great gift for traveling moms. For extra softness and comfort select a shirt that is a cotton/polyester blend rather than 100% cotton.
Call me vain, but no one wants to look like crap in a picture when standing in front of an iconic landmark or scenic backdrop. I am not one to wear a ton of makeup, dress up, style my hair (or wash it for that matter) when I travel. But a selfie light can do wonders to make you look a little more "Instagrammable" when you've been sightseeing all day. The small circular light reflects in your eyes giving them a really cool illumination. Instant sparkle and bye bye under eye circles!
Coloring is a great way to unwind and let your mind wander when you cannot. Plus, it's another great way to pass the time on a long flight. I have several travel-themed adult coloring books that always give me the itch to explore somewhere new. Don't forget the gel pens! I prefer them over markers or pencils.
Longing for the beach? Bring the familiar scents of your favorite places into your home with a Yankee Candle. They have an entire World Journeys Collection, and dozens more travel-inspired scents in the typical rotation. Choose from fragrances like Kyoto Autumn, or French Countryside. Burning one of these candles is sure to create those vacation vibes at home.
After each major trip, we compile our memories into a photo book and routinely look back at those books to reminisce about the great times we've had. Surprise the travel-loving mom in your life with a personalized photo book of a special trip together. I usually create mine on Amazon. If you have Amazon Prime, you'll have access to Amazon Prints where you can design a personalized photo book using a variety of themes and stickers.
Not a Prime member? Consider signing up or even give the gift of Amazon Prime! There are a lot of great benefits that traveling moms will love, including video and music streaming, and free Kindle book and magazine downloads, and of course, free shipping on purchases.
If this one isn't a sign of the times, I don't know what is. With travel being so greatly impacted by the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, who knows what travel will look like in the future. But with face masks being a new norm, might as well wear your passion on your face. Nowadays you can find face masks with all kinds of cute prints on them including maps and travel prints. If you're a crafty person, you could make your own!