Father's Day Gift Ideas For Traveling Dads

by  Paul Eisenberg | Jun 12, 2012
Father and son in the airport
Father and son in the airport / noblige/iStock

What's a good Father's Day present for a dad who travels? At last night's Traveling Mom Twitter party, a GPS device emerged as an easy answer – and perhaps a self serving one, since many present at the hour-long Tweetfest have endured creatively navigated car rides with their fathers and husbands.

And then there are those who just think the gadget makes a nice gift, like mother of four Christie Lombardo, who bought her dad a GPS system for Father’s Day last year “since he loves to travel, but he still uses his maps as backup.” Mom Tammy Sigond seconded the GPS idea and also suggested a AAA membership, which you can easily give as a first-time gift or renewal to the dads in your life.

Blogger and mom Mary Heston concurred that swell Father’s Day presents might include “AAA membership, GPS (handheld that coordinates with online maps)” as well as “corn nuts, beef jerky, and ChapStick.” And business owner and mom Karin Sheets says she bought her husband a “computer reader for car repairs last year,” which he thought was cool.

For a twist on the “help dad find his way” gift idea, consider giving dad a driver for Father’s Day, suggested Kerrie Gallagher, who developed the iPad car games app Road Trip: Family Fun.

As you might expect, the Twitter party-goers had Father’s Day gift ideas that went beyond the automotive. Read on for more.

Travel Is A Gift, Too

Giving dad that special trip he always wanted is a perennial Father’s Day idea. And while some participants envisioned this as a family trip, others like Deb, a blogger and mother of three, saw the gift as more of an individual pursuit, noting “my hubby's getting a guy trip to Ohio for the Pro Football Hall of Fame and a Detroit Tigers game on the way.”

A Different Kind of Bag

Veteran camper and dad Eric Jay Toll, whose travel writing includes posts for Traveling Dad (where I also serve as a contributor) says if you want to give dad a sleeping bag, get one “with the lowest temp rating (zero or 15). That temp is 'surviving' temp, not comfort temp.” And if you do go with this gift idea, also pass along this tip from Eric: “Stuff tomorrow's clothes in the bottom of the sleeping bag. Keeps feet warm and clothes warm for a chilly morning.”

Packing Essentials

Longtime travel writer Christine Tibbetts suggested that “no-wrinkle travel shirts from pricey travel catalogs” could make a good Father's Day gift, while blogger and mom Jessie Lucas noted that she “got hubs a bathroom bag one year with razors, shampoos, soaps, etc all in it. Awesome gift for the traveling man.” Perhaps just as essential for some dads might be a “travel martini set or knife with a really good corkscrew,” suggested blogger and mom Judy Antell.

My own children suggested a few packables that would make nice Father’s Day gifts, including a headlamp, a liquor flask shaped like a banana, and “good shoes,” my eldest daughter urged, like above-average hiking boots or flip-flops. They also recommended a nightlight for dad to shine in his hotel room so he'll think often of his children. I’m particularly proud of them for coming up with that last idea, but I’m holding out hope come Sunday for that banana flask.

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