As school lets out and summer begins, our weekends become filled with graduation parties and open houses. It’s an exciting time for every graduate as they say goodbye to one chapter and turn the page to another. As you go from party to party, you may be wondering what to get for the graduates in your life.

You can always give cash – no graduate will turn that down – but what do you give when you want to gift a more personal or meaningful present? Whether you’re looking for a simple add on to a cash gift or a heartfelt present that will propel the graduate into this next chapter, these graduation gifts will delight anyone.

Traditional Graduation Gifts

traditional gift ideas


Whether graduating from high school or college, every grad can anticipate having to be on time. If they’re running to classes, interviews or their next work meeting, they’ll need a watch to help them stay on time. Help them keep to their schedule with a timeless classic like the Runwell watch from Shinola.

Ballpoint Pen

A ballpoint pen is a time-honored traditional gift for those making the leap from childhood into adulthood. It’s classic and professional, and you just feel good holding a nice ballpoint pen. Parker has plenty of options for your grad!


There’s no gift more traditional for a young lady than pearls. A whole string may be a little expensive, but this chain with a single pearl from Dogeared is sure to make her feel special.


Moving away, or even just moving to the next chapter, can be difficult. It’s challenging to make new memories while still appreciating old ones. Sending the graduate off with photos helps ease the transition. Fill up a picture frame like this one from Target and send your grad off in pursuit of those new memories!

Wall Art

We all know that some days are tougher than others, and we all need a little encouragement. Give your graduate the encouragement they’ll need in a trendy piece of wall art they can hang in their dorm or apartment. Not sure where to find inspirational wall art? Try your local craft store to find something like this piece from Hobby Lobby.

Gifts for the Traveling Graduate

travel gift ideas

Travel Adaptor

Is your graduate planning on taking some time to go travel the world? They’ll need a travel adaptor to use their American plugs in other countries. Give them an adaptor like this one from Dynex.

Weekender Bag

Luggage is usually something most grads are lacking. If you want to send your grad off in style, get them a sleek weekender bag like this one from Everlane. It’s perfect for a quick trip or something a little longer.

Passport Holder

If your grad is traveling abroad, they’ll need their passport, and they probably have several different tickets to hold as well. Gift them a personalized passport holder. Etsy has hundreds of options that are stylish and convenient. You can even find them with inside pockets so your grad can keep all of their important documentation in one place!

Portable Battery Charger

When you’re constantly on the go, and often not near an outlet, that can mean danger for your phone’s battery life. Don’t let your grad be stuck traveling with no cell service. Give them a portable battery charger like this one by Power Rocks. They come in different colors and their small, sleek design is easy to store in a purse or backpack.

Go Pro

There’s no better gift for a traveling graduate, especially if they’re planning adventurous travels, than a Go Pro. Give them the gift that will help them snag one-of-a-kind video and still shots of their amazing travels that they’ll cherish for years to come!

For the Graduate Entering the Business World

business gift ideas


A briefcase is the perfect gift for any graduate entering the workforce. Salvatore Ferragamo has briefcases in every style. From girly to edgy, Ferragamo has the perfect addition to your grad’s closet. Find one that speaks to your grad’s style and send them into the workforce prepared.

Business Cards

Business cards are a necessity for any young professional. They’ll need them at networking events, in business meetings and for the business card drawing at their local coffee shop. Start your grad’s business career off on the right foot with personally designed business cards starting at $9.99 from Vistaprint!

Office Supplies

Think office supplies are boring? They don’t have to be! Your grad’s desk can be fun and unique just like they are. Get them an office supply starter kit from Poppin. They’re available in a multitude of colors and will definitely make their desk pop!

Power Suit

Whether the graduate is going to business meetings or interviews, they’ll need a suit that makes them feel confident and empowered. Give them a power suit tailored to their style that will have them walking tall! J. Crew has great suiting options, but if you don’t know their size you can always give them a gift card or take them shopping to pick one out.

Battery Phone Case

When you’re running to meetings and working late hours, your phone’s battery life takes a nosedive. If you’re not near a charger, this can mean missing important business calls and emails. Don’t let your grad be stuck in that predicament – get them a battery phone case like the ones from Mophie that will keep their phone charged longer.

Gifts for the Graduate Who’s Heading to College

college gift ideas

Home T-Shirt

Your graduate might be heading off to college in another state, but don’t let them forget where home is! The Home T offers t-shirts for every state that are the perfect way to represent their home while at college.

Smart Phone Lenses

We’re all taking pictures on our smartphones wherever we go, and grads are no different. With a gift like these smartphone lenses from Photojojo, they can take interesting pictures of their years in college for an extra cool trip down memory lane.


Getting around campus can be a burden, especially if there’s a rule prohibiting freshmen from having cars on campus. Get them a bike, and they’ll be able to zip to class in no time! You can find high quality bikes at half the price by ordering online through sites like Bike Direct.

Local Gift Cards

College students typically don’t have a ton of extra spending money, but they’ll definitely want to check out some of the local spots. Fill a wallet with gift cards from places near their campus and some of their favorite chains like Starbucks!

Noise-Isolating Earphones

College can be noisy. Sometimes they’ll just need to drown out the noise and get to work. Help them focus with some noise-isolating earphones like these ones from Beats by Dre.

Did you find what you’re getting for your graduate? Have other ideas for the perfect graduation present? Let us know in the comment section below!

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