Thoughtful Graduation Gifts to Give Any Graduate

Are you a sentimental person? Are you looking for the perfect gift for all those special people? Oh good! Me too! If you know or have a grad preparing for graduation this year, it might be time to start thinking about a killer gift idea for them to kick off graduation with!  Graduation is one of the happiest moments in your kid’s life. So why not find the perfect gift to remember this moment forever? Here are some thoughtful graduation gifts to give to any graduate.


Thoughtful Graduation Gifts to Give Any Graduate


If you have the budget to work with, why not get your graduate the perfect gift by treating them to a new portable electronic device? College students are always on the go, and they’ll need a laptop or tablet for taking notes, doing homework, and hanging out too! This can be the perfect way to kickstart their college experience without the stress of wondering how they’ll pay for a new computer. 

My graduates have all gravitated to the MacBook and they've been great computers they have used through college and long after graduation. Want to reign in the spending? Gift AirPods Pro noise canceling headphones. My daughter got some as a graduation gift three years ago and she uses them multiple times a day. They are also really helpful for tuning out the noise when you have to study in a shared space like a dorm. 

A great gift that's under $20, is a portable charger. This one is great!

A Map of Their College Town or Hometown

You can make a customized map on a mug, poster, book cover, or any other option! These are perfect for remembering their faraway hometown or celebrating a new adventure somewhere else. You could also do a campus map or a special area nearby.

Etsy has a ton of map options for a graduate!

10 thoughtful graduation gifts


If scrapbooking isn’t really your thing, why not do a photobook instead? You can take all the photos from them growing up through the years or limit it to just one section, such as high school or college. Put their highlights and best moments into a photobook that they will cherish forever. You can use the photobook as a memory book too and have friends and family members leave sentiments inside. It will be a cherished keepsake for the graduate!

Minted has a lot of really high-quality photo gifts and gift ideas for graduates.

Personalized Journal

Give your new grad a place to jot down all their thoughts in one place. This is a great way for them to start taking notes in college, write down to-do lists in their new grown-up apartment, or jot down how they feel. 

Etsy has a lot of personalize journals for any budget.

Personalized Jewelry

So many different jewelry options would work for guys or girls! You can get an engraved watch, birthstone necklace, or even a matching set for you and them. These personalized gifts are something they’ll cherish long after graduation and get real use out of.

These personalized name necklaces are really popular with girls in our area.

Family Vacation

Your grad has worked hard on their studies for many years, so why not do something they won’t soon forget? Take a family vacation across the country, another country, or even on a cruise. If you’re tight on money, you could also make a local trip or visit somewhere special.

Don't miss this post: How to Plan Vacations with Young Adults

Graduation Frame

One of the downsides to graduating is that you get this diploma with nothing else to really do with it! Instead of letting it collect dust in storage, why not get a special diploma frame? You can customize it to their school colors and even get some with a place to hold the tassel.

This is a really nice frame that is under $40 and it holds the tassel too!

Milestone Gifts

If you are looking for a way to celebrate this big milestone in their life, why not find the perfect physical gift to remind them? Think about a tool they might need in their new job or their new career and consider purchasing that. Or maybe they are moving into a new place for the first time. Celebrate those milestones with a sentimental gift.

8 Reasons Why the Cricut Joy Makes the Perfect Graduation Gift!

New Luggage

It's likely, teens and young adults have been using hand-me-down luggage. I know mine all did! Good luggage is an investment and can be used for many years to come. Students can use it as they go back and forth from college or as they head out on adventures around the world!

This is one of the carry on bags that we have. It works great and has the expandable sides, and I often pack it expanded and it still fits in the overhead bins. 

If you've got an adventure traveler, this backpack is the one we have our eyes on for our upcoming trip to Africa.


Gift Card 

If they are headed off to college, a gift card to the university bookstore will give them the opportunity to pick out what they need. They can grab college sweatshirts, books, or supplies they need for classes. If they are headed off to the workforce or job training, a gift card for a restaurant or to a department store will allow them to fill the gaps in what they need.

If the graduate will be traveling a lot, either for college or for a new job or just for fun, consider gifting them with some money so they can set up TSA precheck. For our kids, traveling out of state to college, having TSA precheck and being able to skip the long lines, has made a world of difference!

Want to know more? Should I Get TSA Precheck or Global Entry?

Whether you’re looking for a gift for a high school or college graduation, you’ll find the perfect fit on this list!


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