8 Awesome (and Affordable) Gift Ideas for Graduates

Gift Ideas


Trust us: These suggestions are way better than Christmas lights or mini-dry erase boards. 


The lead up to this year’s graduation season has been different than ever before. And while many of the traditions may be different—or even virtual—for the class of 2020, there is one thing that has not changed: this is the time to celebrate that next big step in your friends’ lives.


So what do you give them to recognize that big milestone? Hint: not a boring shower caddy.


The pressure to find the perfect present can feel daunting, especially when the person you’re gifting seems to have everything already. Luckily, whether the grad in your life is headed to college or moving into their first apartment, there are a few items that will make their new transition a little smoother—and will also make them smile.


From plants that don’t require watering to the perfect bag for weekend getaways, read on for a list of stylish—and perhaps unexpected—gift ideas that your graduating friends (or family members) will actually want to use. Shower caddies not included.


1. Portable Drink Tumbler

This will be especially important for those who don’t identify as “morning people.” Insulated tumblers are ideal for keeping drinks cold or warm (for coffee or tea) while you’re on the go. Extra points are awarded for tumblers that are leak-proof to prevent spills.


2. Succulents

These plants are adorable, brighten up any dorm room or apartment, and best of all, are very low-maintenance. Even your most “I’m So Busy” Friend can handle these babies, we promise. All they need is direct sunlight and a cute spot to sit in.


3. Nice Sheets

There’s nothing better than climbing into bed after a long day of school or work. So what better gift than cozy sheets? Your favorite grad worked hard for that diploma. Get them the soft sheets they deserve and they’ll think of you every time their head hits the pillow.


4. Bag for Trips

Whether your grad is off on spring break with friends or visiting their parents over a long weekend next year, having a durable, non-bulky bag (like the Weekender) for adventures is key. The Hatchet Backpack is a solid choice if they’re into outdoor activities—or the Good Vibes Gear Hauler 56 if they need to store some more serious gear. Personalize their bag with these fun patches to really perfect the gift. 


5. Polaroid Camera

Sure, they could use their smartphone—but we all know it’s way more fun to use an old-school Polaroid to snap photos. With this instant camera, recent grads can capture the new moments in their lives and even use them to decorate their new digs.


6. Uber Gift Card

For late nights coming home from the library or fun trips into the city, an Uber gift card could be the ultimate lifesaver.


7. Audible or Kindle Membership

For the bookworms in your life, an Audible or Kindle membership subscription is a can’t-go-wrong present. You pick the type of subscription, they get to choose their top titles to listen or read to. Win-win.


8. Newspaper Subscription

Help them keep tabs on the latest headlines and what’s going on in the world around them by giving them a digital newspaper subscription. Thanks to you––and, you know, their recent education––they'll be the smartest grad in the room.


Congrats to all the 2020 graduates! 


By Taylor Trudon