Gift Guide

31 graduation gift ideas to fit every style, budget and graduate

Graduation season is officially here, and we bet you know at least one young person who's about to embark on a new chapter in their life — whether that’s college, the "real world” or maybe even a trip around the world. Selecting a gift for the graduate in your life doesn’t have to be tricky or expensive (and we know you can do better than just shaking their hand and sliding them a crisp $20 bill).

To help, TODAY Style rounded up 31 awesome gifts for any type of graduate. We found cameras and coffee makers, a portable vinyl player and the most essential cookbook for any kitchen ... even if it's their first time attempting to cook. From travel bags and personalized jewelry to membership cards and actual cards — there’s something for everyone!

High school graduation

Gift ideas for him

1. Crosley X UO Cruiser Briefcase Portable Vinyl Record Player, $99, Urban Outfitters

If you’re looking for a great gift for a music-loving grad, set him up with his first vinyl player — and one that he can easily pack away and take to college. Make the gift extra special by including a few of your favorite old school records like The Beach Boys' "Pet Sounds" or Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon."

2. "You Did It" card, $5, Hammerpress

Whether your card contains a check (how nice of you!) or just some choice words of congratulations, make sure it’s a good one. We love the selection of creative and artistic cards from Hammerpress, a design studio out of Kansas City, Missouri.

RELATED: 7 items that will instantly make you a smarter traveler

3. "The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into In College," $12, Amazon

Partly silly, partly serious, this comprehensive guide provides tons of tips and tricks to help a high school grad ease into their new life on campus.

4. Herschel Supply Co. Highland luggage, $130, Herschel Supply

Herschel Supply

This is the perfect starter travel bag for grads. Whether they have a trip with the guys planned for this summer or just need a bag to bring home all their laundry in on the weekends, this durable rolling suitcase from Herschel is roomy enough to handle it all.

5. Portable table tennis set, $40, Uncommon Goods

Who doesn’t love a spontaneous game of pingpong? Perfect for study breaks, spring break and more, this fun, portable table tennis set is a creative and affordable gift for any college-bound grad.

6. Timex Weekender oversized leather strap watch, $82, Bespoke Post

Help your favorite graduate get to class on time with a classic, affordable, wear-with-anything Timex watch. The leather strap and dark green face give it a timeless look that transcends trends. (In short: He’ll wear it for years to come.)

7. Custom framing from Framebridge, $59 and up, Framebridge

Don’t let your college-bound grad be the guy with posters stuck to his walls with wads of sticky tack. Select a favorite photograph or poster and have it professionally framed by the experts at Framebridge, who make every step easy — from shipping your art (free!) to selecting the right frame.

RELATED: 7 ways to entertain your kids (while sneaking in some learning)

Gift ideas for her

8. Urban Outfitters clear cassette player, $38, Urban Outfitters

There’s a chance your favorite grad will open up this gift ... and have absolutely no idea what it is! Introduce her to a serious portable music throwback — the cassette player — but outfit her with some current music to go along with it. Urban Outfitters sells cassettes from artists like Halsey, The Weeknd and The 1975.

9. "This is Water" by David Foster Wallace, $7, Amazon

David Foster Wallace only spoke to a college audience once, at Kenyon College in 2005. More than a decade later, his words still resonate and make for a thoughtful, insightful read for any grad on how to live a compassionate life.

10. LuMee LED light case for iPhone 6, $40, Lumee

Adored by Kim Kardashian, this light-up phone case was developed by a professional photographer to improve the quality of, well, selfies. Perfect for after-dark snapping, events and taking an extra-amazing Snapchat story, this is a fun gift your grad will want to unwrap and start using with friends while she’s still in her cap and gown.

11. Baron Von Fancy x Various Projects keytag, $20, Various Projects

What's the equivalent of a graduation stocking stuffer? Various Projects’ wildly popular key tags are a creative way to keep her keys close.

12. "Here Comes Success" card, $5, Of a Kind

Sometimes all you need to congratulate a graduate is a well-written card. Pass on pieces of wisdom, share a funny story and wish them well inside a unique and stylish card. (In other words, this is a moment to skip the generic card aisle at your local pharmacy.)

13. Magic Panda USB mini humidifier, $20, Urban Outfitters

Cute and convenient, this humidifier plugs into any USB port to up the air quality while they study or sleep. Just fill the panda with water and plug it in — it’s that simple.

14. CoolingTech lightweight sleep mask, $12, Amazon

If your grad is headed for a dorm room, sorority or any kind of shared living space, they will be infinitely grateful for a sleep mask that doesn’t mess around. This lightweight mask blocks out light without putting pressure on your eyelids — making it perfect for midday naps when you’ve still got mascara on.

15. BaubleBar etched acrylic monogram bracelet, $38, BaubleBar

Personalized jewelry always makes a sweet and sentimental graduation gift, and BaubleBar has a wide range of affordable and customizable pieces. We love the statement-making look of this monogrammed bracelet that comes in a range of colors and sizes.

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Graduation gifts: 9 gadgets to give the grads in your life

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Graduation gifts: 9 gadgets to give the grads in your life

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College graduation

Gifts for him

16. Bonobos Riviera short sleeve shirt, $88, Bonobos

Not every moment after graduation is spent in the office. Remind him of how much fun and freedom awaits after that diploma with a shirt designed for fun. These short-sleeve button-up shirts are whimsical and cool with enough sophistication to classify as "adult."

17. Mealpal 1-month membership, about $120, Mealpal

If you know a graduate moving to New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Philly or a few other select big cities, you can treat them to lunch ... for an entire month. MealPal allows you easily to order in advance and pick up lunch 20 weekdays every 30 days from hundreds of different restaurants for what amounts to just $6 a day.

18. "How To Cook Everything: The Basics" by Mark Bittman, $21, Amazon

The perfect starter cookbook for any young person’s kitchen, this volume includes more than 1,000 photos and can help any beginner master the fundamental techniques for cooking, well, everything!

19. "Bounce" by Matthew Syed, $7, Amazon

Dialed in and drifting grads alike will appreciate journalist Matthew Syed’s pragmatic approach to discussing why so many greats — athletes and artists alike — became so successful. (Think of this book like Malcolm Gladwell for new graduates!)

20. "Summer as a Verb" card, $5, Windmill Paper

Fun and cheeky, we love the bold styling of this card. Perfect for concealing a gift card, check or just a note of congratulations, this Windmill Paper Boutique card is guaranteed to make your favorite grad smile.

21. Everlane Modern Zip backpack, $68, Everlane

If the grad on your list is an avid traveler, frequent cyclist or facing a serious commute for their new job, you can’t beat the design and quality of Everlane’s water-resistant twill backpack. The sleek look, durable fabric and smartly placed pockets make this bag the perfect companion for work or play.

22. Six-Cup Chemex Pour-Over coffee maker, $42, Williams-Sonoma

Time to start making coffee like a grown-up. The insanely popular Chemex pour-over coffee maker is elegant and easy to use, too. All you need are grounds of your favorite brew, Chemex’s filters ($10 for a box of 100) and hot water.

23. Trunk Club gift card, $50 and up, Trunk Club

If your favorite graduate could use a little help in the style department (or is just due for a wardrobe upgrade), introduce them to the personal styling services of Trunk Club. This genius service sends you a box of items tailored to your specific tastes every month, and you only pay for what you keep. No shopping and no pressure — what could be better than that?

RELATED: Hoda Kotb's Tulane commencement speech offers 10 life lessons for grads

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College graduates getting creative with their graduation caps

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College graduates getting creative with their graduation caps

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Gifts for her

24. UncommonGoods Fix It Kit, $30, Uncommon Goods

What’s an independent, living-on-her-own-for-the-first-time woman supposed to do when the zipper on her winter coat breaks? Fix it! This portable collection is full of all the handy tools she might need for life's little emergencies (like screwdrivers, pliers, a wrench and measuring tape). The kit comes in pink for an especially feminine grad and black, too.

25. "The Hustle Economy" by Jason Oberholtzer and Jessica Hagy, $11, Amazon

There are no rules for how to create a successful career these days, except that, no matter what, you have to hustle. This book helps creative types and budding young entrepreneurs explore how they can practically manage multiple goals and grow into their dream careers.

26. Aaptiv membership, $10/month, Aaptiv

This app is free to download, but unlimited access to its guided audio “boutique” fitness classes — including yoga, marathon training, weight-lifting and spinning — cost $10/month. Compared to in-person group classes that can cost upwards of $30 each, this is a tech-savvy and affordable way to help a graduate you love maintain their fitness goals.

27. Oats Overnight Adulting starter pack, $91, Oats Overnight

This is all you need to have a tasty and nutritious breakfast ready each morning. All your grad needs to do is combine a cup of milk with one packet of oats and leave the mixture in the fridge overnight. Each portion contains as much protein as five eggs and tons of superfoods specially blended to deliver energy all day long.

28. "The World is Your Oyster" card, $4, Rifle Paper Co

Rifle Paper Co

This adorable and artistic oyster and pearl card is the perfect way to share a word of congratulations and some sage wisdom.

29. Cuyana monogrammed leather passport case, $75, Cuyana

Encourage the graduate on your list to pursue her dreams and travel the world. Cuyana’s exquisite leather passport case can be monogrammed for a more personal touch, making it the kind of gift she’ll treasure (and travel with!) year after year.

30. Goby electric toothbrush, $65, Goby

Dental hygiene may not be the chicest gift category, but even the most stylish college graduate can appreciate the sleek design and easy utility of Goby’s electric toothbrush. It charges with a USB cord on a hygienic stand that matches whichever brush color you choose. One charge can last up to three weeks, which also makes it perfect for traveling.

The brush is automatically timed to vibrate for two minutes at 30 second intervals — encouraging full attention to all four quadrants of the mouth.

31. io Mizudashi cold brew coffee maker, $15, Amazon

Any working professional will tell you that a strong cup of cold brew coffee is the best way to start a hot summer day at work. Treat your favorite grad to this in-the-fridge cold brew coffee maker that will save them from all those expensive coffee runs.

This article was originally published on May 17, 2016 on