The best practical gifts for moms who love to travel

I’ve curated a list of the best practical gifts for moms (and non-moms) who love to travel – these are perfect gift ideas for Mother’s Day especially. They also make great gifts for any special day for any woman who is all about the experience – anniversaries, birthdays, Valentine’s Day, Christmas or just because.

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Best Mother’s Day gifts: Treat your mom to a weekend getaway

Waterfall with fall colors and evergreen trees
Caribou Highlands Lodge in Lutsen, Minnesota is a perfect Mother’s Day present. See my full review of our hosted stay.

The best Mother’s Day gift that your mom will appreciate is a weekend getaway in the mountains or the beach or wherever she loves to reset, relax and recharge. Yes, most of us moms love to plan and organize and tend to be control freaks, but it’s a lot of work and can be exhausting. If my family surprised me with a Mother’s Day gift getaway where I didn’t have to do anything except show up, I’m in!

One of my favorite places for a weekend getaway is Caribou Highlands Lodge in Lutsen, Minnesota. It’s the best resort on the North Shore and centrally located to all North Shore state parks, close to Lake Superior and right on Lutsen Mountain property. And they have a special woman’s wellness weekend in June. A gifted weekend at Caribou Highlands Lodge is the best Mother’s Day gift for moms looking for a staycation or travel getaway on the North Shore in Minnesota.

Or if your mom loves chasing fall foliage, autumn is a great time to stay at Caribou Highlands Lodge. To make the Mother’s Day getaway gift even more special, purchase gift cards for Mogul’s Grille & Tap Room and Lutsen Mountains. Caribou Highlands, Odyssey Resorts, Mogul’s Grille & Tap Room and Lutsen Mountains hosted our stay, meal and Summit Express Gondola ride this past winter; however, opinions are always my own. And I highly recommend all of these places for a Mother’s Day gift package!

View from the top of a mountain overlooking fall foliage and a lake on a gondola ride
View from the Summit Express Gondola at Lutsen Mountains – see my full review of our hosted experience.
Fireplace and sofa
Or if your mom is a skier, make the Mother’s Day gift getaway for next winter as Caribou Highlands Lodge is only a quarter-mile from Lutsen Mountains Resort – the largest ski resort in the Midwest with four mountains and 95 ski runs.

Mother’s Day Gift Tip: Order gifts online from Rakuten

If you’re planning to purchase a Mother’s Day gift online, then I recommend joining the Rakuten reward program. You earn money back from more than 2,500 popular brands and stores. I joined a few months ago and receive a regular payout for items I would have bought directly from the stores. If you use my Rakuten referral code, I may receive a small referral bonus at no extra cost to you.

Join Rakuten rewards program for free and get $20 when you spend $20 on your favorite brands at 2,500+ stores (I’ll also receive $20 back). I only recommend products and services I use myself.

Gift cards are not lame for Mother’s Day 

Not sure who came up with the silly narrative that gift cards are lame Mother’s Day gifts. I’m all about the experience and greatly appreciate when someone wants to contribute to my travel (or book) fund. Here are some great gift card ideas for Mother’s Day.

Gift your mom an Airbnb getaway gift card make great Mother’s Day gifts for moms who love to travel

Travel moms love airline gift cards for Mother’s Day

Another great Mother’s Day gift: Travel-themed gift bag or gift basket

Here’s a sample themed Mother’s Day gift bag for the mom who loves beach vacations (like me).

  • Use a colorful beach bag in lieu of a gift bag.
  • Beach towel or beach blanket (quick-drying ones are great).
  • Beach towel clips (so annoying when that wind picks up and flops the towel over me while I’m trying to sleep or read).
  • Book – see my one-word book reviews, Stephen King books ranked or Fredrik Backman books ranked
  • Kindle – non-glare and water-resistant
  • Readers sunglasses – yes, it’s a thing.
  • Sunscreen with zinc (my dermatologist says so; she also says I should cover up more with Coolibar).
  • Lip balms.

Capture your favorite vacation moments together – perfect Mother’s Day gift

Family of three, man, teenager and woman, at Lower Antelope Canyon
One of our favorite family vacations was hiking in Arizona. See one of my most popular posts about Lower Antelope Canyon. This picture made our Christmas card and Christmas ornament.

I’m not a scrapbooker, but I love to look over my photos. Here are some ideas to make a special Mother’s Day gift from your cherished memories from a favorite vacation.

  • Create a photo book. I’m not a scrapbooker, but I do like to look over my photos. Don’t let your photos collect dust on your hard drive or phone – transfer them over to a photo book.
  • Create or purchase a Christmas ornament. A friend of mine has a travel-themed Christmas tree that features photos of past travels or ornaments from those places.
  • Create a video of one specific vacation or a collage of vacations from the past year or several years.

Scratch-off travel maps or travel posters make the best Mother’s Day gifts

If your travel mom loves scratch-off maps, then she will love this Citylogue scratch off poster. I collaborated with Been There Done That and they gifted me this poster that’s part bucket list, part travel journal. Featuring 100 of the world’s most beautiful cities, the poster comes with a scratch-off pick, stickers and an area to give your own rating. To make this Mother’s Day gift even more special, you can order it framed.

Friends Virtual On Location Tours

Central Perk coffee mug and coffee in a package

All moms need a new coffee mug for Mother’s Day. And this one comes with a 40-minute virtual Friends filming location tour from On Location Tours.

I loved this 40-minute virtual tour of Friends filming locations from On Location Tours that was gifted to me in exchange for an honest review. And I honestly loved this virtual tour of the Friends show, and think it makes the best Mother’s Day Gift. The Friends virtual tour features 18 New York City locations from the hit TV show. And it is so fun to see where everything was filmed (or wasn’t filmed) and loved all the fun facts and trivia questions. With the purchase of a ticket, the recipient receives a special Friends box shipped to their home address (currently only available to U.S. domestic addresses*).

The Friends Virtual Tour Box contains several surprise items that are essential to the tour, including a really cool Central Perk mug and latte mix (pictured).

*You can order the Friends Virtual Tour Package for international addresses, which will include the tour and trivia night (without the boxed items). Two price packages: The Tour + Trivia Package (no goodie box) for $29, and the Tour + Trivia + Goodie Box (which only ships to U.S. addresses) for $68.

What’s your favorite travel-themed gift?

Pin it for later: Best travel gifts for Mother’s Day


Twin Cities-based blogger sharing memorable emptynester, solo, family and girlfriend-getaway adventures, as well as my day hiking adventures (including all 66 Minnesota state parks), latest book reviews, and updates on my quest for the best adult mac and cheese. Also two WIPs: historical fiction and psychological thriller


  1. This is such a great guide! I always enjoy experiencing something with my mom for Mother’s Day. I usually buy her Broadway tickets in NYC. 🙂

  2. So many great ideas just in time for Mother’s Day . I love the gift card idea because you can never go wrong . Also love the photo book idea. You can cherish that forever .

    1. Thank you so much! The photo book is a great gift for Mother’s Day as it captures special moments with your family.

    1. Thank you! I’m more about the experience and practical gifts. And these are some of my favorite Mother’s Day gift ideas – especially the getaways!

      1. This is a great list! I’d like most of these for myself, and I’m not even a mum! But thank you, now I have some ideas of what to get my mum for mother’s day!

    1. Thank you so much! I love that bag also. It makes for a great Mother’s Day present especially if filled with other beach-themed travel gifts.

  3. I think I will send this to my daughters. It’s such good ideas. Hopefully they’ll get the hint.

  4. I’m not a mom, but love all of these travel Mother’s Day gifts! I don’t know where all the negativity surrounding gift cards comes from because they’re awesome ✌️

    1. Right?! I don’t need that gift card negativity in my life! Ha! This list of Mother’s Day gift ideas are great ideas to even gift yourself.

  5. Great ideas here! I’d love for my daughter’s to gift me with a trip for Mother’s Day. Your beach bag idea is awesome. I’d add a waterproof phone holder for the beach. My daughter, who’s a diver, got one for me, and I use it a lot.

    1. Thank so much! I have one of those waterproof phone holders…they are awesome and you can still take photos with the phone inside. I’ll have to add that to the beach bag gift idea! All perfect gifts for Mother’s Day!

  6. I would love to get travel gift cards for Mother’s Day! Or better yet, have them plan a weekend away for me!

  7. Great ideas here, Karen. Must send link to my 3 as a hint. The non-glare kindle – can it be read in the sunshine do you know? If so, it is a winner for me!

    1. Awesome! And thanks! The Kindle Paperwhite is non-glare so you can read it in the sun. Additionally, it’s waterproof. This would make a great Mother’s Day gift.

  8. Such great mother’s day gift options! The airline gift card is always a great gift for mothers that live in other states. My brother usually gives that to my parents as gift so they can come visit him.

  9. Nice selection! The weekend getaway is my favorite one, but it’s always so difficult to plan as a surprise! Once though we gifted my grandmother a trip to Sevilla, for grandmother’s day, she really loved it, and she keeps mentioning it to me now, even if it was a few years ago!

    1. Thank you! And what a wonderful gift for your grandmother! A getaway is the perfect gift for Grandmother’s and Mother’s Day!

  10. You have some great mothers day ideas here but I’d love the weekend getaway. If only I could stay at the Caribou Highlands Lodge, that would be amazing.

    1. Thank you so much! Weekend getaways make the best Mother’s Day gifts…and especially love Caribou Highlands Lodge!

  11. Awesome travel mom gift ideas for traveling. I am a traveling mom and have a traveling mom. Great list.

  12. Such a great collection of ideas. I love to give gifts connected with adventure or experience as they are more memorable.

    1. Thank you! I’m all about the experience so love giving and receiving travel-related gifts for Mother’s Day or any holiday.

  13. I love the idea of travel gifts for people, Moms included, other than Christmas. My mom loves travel and would definitely appreciate some of these, and even though I am not a Mom, I want some of these too!

    1. Awesome! These are a few of my favorite travel gifts that are great for Mother’s Day or just because even if you’re not a mom.

  14. I would love to get any of these for Mother’s Day! And I agree, gift cards aren’t tacky. I’d love some for flights, hotels, or dining. I’ve also been wanting one of those scratch-off maps. I think this is a great list!

    1. Thank you so much! I love all of these travel-themed gifts for Mother’s Day. And love my scratch-off travel poster.

  15. If someone gave me a weekend away, that would be the best gift. We really do not need anything. And gathering up memories and moments of our shared travel experiences would be very special. Good gifts for moms all year round.

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