Gifts Teens and Young Adults Really Want!

As the holiday season starts to quickly approach, maybe you are starting to break out in a cold sweat because you aren't quite sure what to get the teens and young adults in your life. They are notoriously hard to shop for with their ever-evolving tastes and preferences. Trends change at a lightning-face pace and something on their wish list last year that was a hot item you couldn't get your hands on, has likely fallen out of fashion! I know I've been shopping with my teens before and something I thought they'd like they turn their nose up at. I honestly feel so out of touch. Teens are humbling like that. But fear not, I'm going to dive into some fantastic gift ideas to help ensure that you choose presents that will bring joy and delight this holiday season. I've got you covered with a wide range of gifts that will help you be a hero with those teens and young adults in your life!


Gifts Teens and Young Adults Really Want!

holiday gifts teens and young adults really want

Experiences Over Things

In the hunt for the perfect gift for teens and young adults, it's essential to consider the value of experiences over material possessions. The younger generation often values moments and memories over accumulating more stuff.  Teens and young adults are moving often, and likely aren't settled, experiences don't collect dust on a shelf or need to be hauled and packed as they move to the next location. 

Experiences also offer the chance for personal growth, adventures and a break from the routine, making them incredibly meaningful and often more appreciated than physical gifts. So when in doubt, consider gifting an unforgettable experience.

Experiences to Gift:

  • Concert Tickets
  • Cooking Classes
  • Weekend Getaway
  • Hobby Classes {like pottery, woodworking, and flower arranging}
  • A Spa Day or Massage Session
  • A Discovery Flight or Ride in a Flightseeing Plane
  • Museum Membership
  • Buy a Voucher for Indoor Rock Climbing or Skydiving
  • Better yet, pay for them to go skydiving!
  • Get a Pass to an Amusement Park
  • Give a Gift Card to a Local Sports Rental Shop for Kayaks and Paddleboards
  • Lift Tickets for skiing

Need some tips? How to Celebrate the Holiday Season on a Budget

Electronics Teens and Young Adults Really Want

Technology is rapidly changing, but gadgets will never go out of style. Here are some electronics and tech items, your teens and young adults really want.

Apple Air Tags
Their brains aren't all the way formed. They just aren't. So they lose stuff. Air Tags help them keep track of things better. 

Fuji Film Instax Mini
There's a new trend that kids want to take pictures like they did "back in the day".  This helps turn any smartphone into a printer, so you can print polaroids in an instant.

Apple AirPods Max Headphones
These are going to be the gift of the season I think. But they come with a hefty price tag. If you want something similar {they are still noise-canceling and over the ear}, these are a fraction of the price with great reviews. 

Smartphone Projector
Teens and young adults don't have TV's. They watch their entertainment on their cell phone or their laptop, This projector has great reviews and projects their smartphone creating the perfect home entertainment for their dorm room or apartment.

Record Player
Record players are having a moment again! Many of the kids favorite artists release records and with thrifting on the rise, kids love the treasure hunt to find good vintage music. 

Custom Neon Sign
My kids were sad I didn't buy this sign at a garage sale this past summer. They thought it was a funny joke for their shared bathrooms. Neon signs and anything custom is hot right now!

Personalizing their space is always a big part of their life right now. The guys tend to like these LED lights, and the girls like these

Don't miss this post: 5 Tips for Navigating the Holiday Season with Your Teen

gift ideas for teens and college kids and young adults this holiday season

Beauty Gifts

Beauty gifts are hot! You probably don't know where to even start. If you are like me, you likely haven't changed up your routine since you read about the perfect mascara in the Teen Magazine you borrowed from the library when you were in the 6th grade in the early 90's. I am immediately overwhelmed just thinking about walking into a Sephora or Ulta. Here are a few beauty products I know are hot right now though.

Heatless Curls Set
Lululemon Belt Bag
Shark AirWrap {Dyson had a moment, but this one is a better version from reviews I've read}
Snail Serum
Castor Oil
Laneige Lip Sleep Mask
Hydropeptide Lip Gloss {my daughter is obsessed with this stuff and she tries a LOT of lip glosses!}
Stanley Mug

You know those beauty stores we are afraid to go into? They usually have friendly staff who can help point you in the right direction. They also often have holiday gift sets with a lot of the popular favorites your teens and young adults would love to receive.

There are also a lot of fun beauty subscription boxes that make great gifts too. I like Fab Fit Fun because you get to choose your full-sized items and it ends up coming in at a pretty good discount. My code for 20% might still work, so try RACHELT20. 

Family Gifting

We love playing games as a family, so every holiday, I gift a new game. I've got a list of 20 of the best board games for teens. Check out this post.

give them gifts they really want, gifts for teens and college kids

When in Doubt Give Them Money!

I know, I know, gift-giving is all about finding that perfect gift, but there is a STRONG universal appeal of giving money or gift cards to teens and young adults during the holiday season. Especially, those generally strapped for cash. Money gifts {or gift cards}, provide a sense of freedom and flexibility, and gives the gift recipient the opportunity to buy something they genuinely desire. 

Money or gift cards are especially appreciated by young adults who might have specific financial goals in mind or who are saving for significant purchases like their first car, travel, heck, even textbooks! 

I know giving money may not seem like nay fun, but for teens who are just beginning to manage their finances and learn how to spend and save responsibly, giving them money allows them the opportunity to try out budgeting and responsible spending. It's a gift that empowers them to make their own choices, which can be an important next step in independence. 

If you are worried about not having the immediate gratification of a wrapped present, don't! There are plenty of creative ways you can gift money, and if you really wanted to include something, add in a nice piece of chocolate or fancy snack so they have something tangible to enjoy. 

A Tip!

Shopping on Amazon is easy. Trust me, I know. But often, teens and young adults feel some type of way about shopping on Amazon. BUT, if you want an easy tip, when you go to your main account, there is a tab at the top that says Best Sellers. It's a good place to start looking for ideas!

I'll keep adding gift ideas and deals when I see them on my social media accounts. Keep an eye out, and don't forget to ask a teen! They don't often mince words, so they will let you know if something could be cool or not!

disclaimer: this post may have affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing through them, I may receive a small commission. These small purchases help me to continue to keep writing content and creating at Rachel Teodoro. Thank you!

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