You owe your mother a lot. After all, you wouldn’t be here without her! So what do you get the woman who has loved you unconditionally since the moment she first saw you and has always put your needs before your own? Whether she loves exploring locally or traveling the world, these Mother’s Day gifts are perfect for moms who love to travel.
Probably much like yours, my mother is pretty amazing. She soldiered through 24 hours of labor with me to become a first-time mother. While busy figuring out how to mother a newborn without a training manual (because I am older than Google), she packed up our apartment and moved our little family across the country so my dad could start his 20-year career with the US Army. And shortly after toddler-proofing our fourth home in two years, my mom was treated to more than a year as a single parent while my dad spent time in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.
From giving me life to not killing me during my obnoxious teen years, I have a long list of reasons that make me forever grateful for my mother. And toward the top is a deep gratitude for instilling in me an insatiable curiosity about the world and an unquenchable wanderlust.
While some moms might prefer flowers and chocolates to packing cubes and power adapters, my mother is incredibly practical. She and my dad worked hard their whole lives. They consistently saved 20% of every paycheck. And, having retired earlier than the typical age of 65, the budgeting skills they perfected over decades allow them to fund plenty of adventures in their golden years. With my mom’s stamp of approval, this list of practical Mother’s Day gifts is perfect for like-minded women who love to travel.
1. Compression Packing Cubes
You may be familiar with packing cubes. Like drawers in a dresser, these plastic or fabric bags help separate underwear and pajamas from t-shirts and shirts in your suitcase. But compression packing cubes take the concept one step further with a second step that squeezes the excess air out of the cube, allowing you to fit more into your bag.
2. Travel Steamer
While rolling your clothes (instead of folding them) is supposed to minimize wrinkles, I haven’t mastered this art. (Or maybe my problem is that my clothes sit piled up in the laundry basket for too long when they come out of the dryer?) Either way, a travel steamer is a practical Mother’s Day gift for moms who love to travel. I have this one, and while it’s small enough to throw into a suitcase, it’s big enough to steam clothes like a full-sized model.
3. Crossbody Purse
Whether you choose something decadent from a designer, like Louis Vuitton or Gucci, or a cute, decidedly more affordable option, the wanderlusting woman in your life is sure to appreciate a crossbody bag. Not only does it keep her valuables close and harder to pickpocket, but it also helps keep her hands free to take photos while sightseeing.
4. Crossbody Phone Bag
If your mom is a minimalist, consider a crossbody phone bag that offers the benefits of a crossbody purse while taking up considerably less real estate. Roughly seven inches tall and four inches wide, this cute crossbody bag is just large enough to carry mom’s cell phone and passport yet has plenty of slots for cash, coins, and credit cards. And at just under $20, you can practically buy her one in every color (or at least tangerine, purple, lilac, and coneflower)!
5. Anti-Theft Travel Backpack
While not nearly as cute as a crossbody purse or small but mighty phone bag, an anti-theft travel backpack is the perfect practical Mother’s Day gift for a mom who travels with a laptop, tablet, iPad, or all of the above! What I love about this model, is that in addition to being water resistant and full of practical pockets, it has a USB charging port.
6. Power Bank
To use the USB charging port in the travel backpack mentioned above, you’ll need to purchase a power bank. Go old school with this plug-in power bank that has enough battery power to fully charge your iPhone or Samsung Galaxy more than four times or your Apple iPad Mini twice. Or consider buying mom this solar power bank that uses the sun’s rays to recharge.
7. Passport Holder with RFID Blocker
If your mom loves to travel internationally, consider buying her a passport holder for Mother’s Day. From a sleek black leather passport holder by Kate Spade that includes slots for her driver’s license and credit cards, to one with an inspirational message and matching luggage tags, a passport cover will help protect this essential document and make it easier to find in her handbag or backpack. One of the biggest benefits of using a passport holder when you travel is to digitally protect your passport. So before buying mom a passport holder for Mother’s Day, check to see that it includes an RFID blocker.
8. Power Adapter
If your mom has her sights set on seeing the world, she’ll need a power adapter to be sure she can charge her phone, camera, hair straightener, and other electronics overseas. There are power adapters and there is this bad boy. For about $30, you can set mom up with built-in surge protection and every outlet option under the sun!
9. Cable Organizer
It doesn’t take much for the charging cables for mom’s laptop, tablet or iPad, cell phone, and camera to get tangled together at the bottom of her carry-on. Help her keep everything neat and tidy with a cable organizer. This cable organizer is not just waterproof, but it includes plenty of pouches for additional items like USB drives, camera batteries, earbuds, and more. Plus it comes in several fun colors beyond basic black.
10. Dash Cam
11. Collapsible Cooler
Whether mom wants a way to keep drinks and snacks cold in the car or a portable option to pull out of a suitcase after a plane ride, a collapsible cooler is a very practical gift. This collapsible cooler expands to a foot in height but folds flat when not in use.
12. An Audible Subscription
From a delicious mental escape from everyday life to family time during a road trip, moms who love to travel will enjoy an Audible subscription for Mother’s Day. When a day job, carpool duty, or pandemic keep mom closer to home, help her travel to Paris, escape to the beach, or go on safari via an audiobook. If mom’s looking for a family-friendly series, my gang and I loved The 39 Clues series on our road trips over the years.
13. Noise Canceling Headphones
Most mothers I know are seasoned veterans who can expertly tune out all sounds that aren’t their children. But that doesn’t mean your mom won’t appreciate a pair of noise canceling headphones that will give her some additional peace and quiet while traveling. Go high-end with a pair of Sony wireless noise canceling headphones with Alexa voice control or a pair of Beats over-ear headphones. Or get a lot of bang for your gift-budget bucks with these noise canceling headphones, featuring a 30-hour playtime.
14. Toiletry Travel Dispenser
A mom who loves to travel will appreciate having her favorite creams, lotions, shampoo, conditioner, and other toiletries in these space-saving, TSA-approved, refillable travel toiletry dispensers. I keep all of my shower items in one — like shampoo, daily conditioner, body wash — and all of my other toiletries in the other — like body lotion, moisturizer, and sunscreen.
15. Sleep Mask
Whether she’s trying to get some shut eye on an airplane or just wants a really good night’s sleep in a hotel room that doesn’t have blackout curtains, a sleep mask is sure to do the trick. Looking a bit like a bug’s eyes, the curve of this sleep mask set won’t smudge mom’s mascara or mess with her eye make-up when she tries to catch a little nap while en route to her destination. Or get her this gel bead eye mask that helps reduce everything from puffy eyes to travel-induced migraines when it’s been chilled in the freezer or fridge for a few hours.
16. Coffee in a Tea Bag
If your travel-loving mom is a camper, then it’s easy to see why she’d love coffee in a tea bag. They’re small, lightweight, and easy to brew in the backcountry.
17. Wine Glass Tumbler with Lid
A mom who loves to travel probably already has the perfect travel coffee mug and a favorite refillable water bottle. But does she have a wine glass tumbler with a lid that allows her to enjoy her favorite adult beverage on the go? This insulated YETI wine tumbler will keep her white wine ice cold without spilling a drop and is dishwasher safe. This set of four rose gold stainless steel tumblers is the perfect set for a girls’ weekend trip or moms who have made it to a stage in life when they can enjoy a cocktail with their kids (like me)!
18. Priority Wine Pass
19. Protective Wine Sleeves
What Mother’s Day Gift are You Surprising Mom with This Year?
Do you have a mom with wanderlust? Are you a mom who loves to travel? What other practical gifts would you add to this list for travel lovers? Share your suggestions in the comments section below.
Ready to Go? Use These Helpful Links to Book Your Trip!
- Find low fares with airfarewatchdog and Skyscanner
- Book your plane ticket with Expedia or Kayak
- Or take the scenic route on an epic road trip in a rental car or an RV from Outdoorsy
- From hotels to private homes, find the perfect accommodation with Hotels.com or Vrbo
- Travel in style with a suitcase, carry-on, backpack, or handbag from eBags
- Save on tickets to attractions, sightseeing tours, and more with CityPASS, Tiqets, and Viator
- Don’t leave home without travel insurance from AXA
- Discover the sights, history, and culture of your destination with an interactive scavenger hunt
- Need something else to plan your perfect trip? Visit my travel resources page for more trusted partners. Happy wandering!