Your Guide to the Perfect Graduation Gift

Graduation season is fast approaching and along with commencements and parties comes the pressure of gift giving. While checks and gift cards are the norm, purchasing a gift that offers value and speaks to the recipient’s hobbies is a more personal and appreciated approach. Whether you are buying for a high school graduate or a college student about to enter the real world, here are some gifts that are guaranteed to please just about anyone.

For the Music Enthusiasts
Buying a meaningful gift for someone who loves music is simpler than you think. There are so many Bluetooth and wireless speakers and headphones on the market that are good quality, yet not that expensive. Try the Bose Soundlink Portable Speaker. For $130, this speaker provides seamless Bluetooth connection to your device and great sound. Shopping for headphones? Check out Velodyne Bold. These headphones start at $79 and have noise cancelling properties and excellent audio quality.

For the Fitness Enthusiasts
If your graduate enjoys staying in shape, they will likely appreciate anything fitness related. AFitbit Flex band is a practical gift that fitness fans will find use for everyday. Retailing at $80, this water-resistant band tracks steps and calories by the hour, and even monitors sleeping patterns. A less expensive alternative to the Fitbit is the Misfit Flash, which costs $50 less and has many of the same features, such as step and calorie tracking.

For the Photography Enthusiasts
For all the Instagram and photography obsessed graduates, gift shopping is a breeze. The Polaroid Snap is a sleek, instant digital camera that blends the modern and old-fashioned technology of an original Polaroid camera. For a more vintage take on instant photography, the Fugifilm Instax Mini is perfect, with its quality lens and classic looking printouts. There are endless photographic and decorative uses for Polaroid pictures that your graduate is sure to make use of. Both retail for $99 online.

For the more adventurous and outdoorsy photographer or filmmaker, the GoPro HD video camera is a good gift. The standard models retail for around $300 or $400. For a less expensive model, look into the GoPro HERO HD Waterproof Action Camera.

For Reading Enthusiasts
What better gift to give someone who loves to read than a tablet to read endless amounts of books on? The Kindle is the go-to affordable tablet. For only $50, the Kindle Fire is a great graduation present. In addition to reading, there are also features such as apps and music that can be downloaded onto the tablet. A more standard version of the Kindle EBooks exclusively is the Kindle Paperwhite, which starts at $99. Unlike a regular tablet, it has no glare from the sun and has a battery that will last days, rather than hours.

No matter who you are shopping for — a music lover, avid reader, photographer or fitness enthusiast, there are endless possibilities when it comes to versatile tech gifts. Even if you are on a budget, you will be able to find personalized and thoughtful gifts for under $100 that are sure to be enjoyed by the soon-to-be graduate.


Heidi Raker, mother of three tech-obsessed teens, has written about lifestyle products and parenting for over 30 years. She has a no-cellphone-at-meals policy, which remains one of her biggest family challenges.