Turning 18 is an important milestone, to say the least. My son is turning 18 soon and I've literally spent the last 11 months since his last birthday thinking, researching and trying to be in tune with his ever-changing likes and dislikes.
It's no small feat looking for an appropriate gift that won't disappoint, one that won't be met with a raised eyebrow or an eye-roll or a solemn 'thank you'. Something proportionate with this milestone birthday.
I know the safest way to gift him is to just simply ask him what he would like but there isn't much of a build-up of anticipation, is there? And if your boy is anything like mine, he might ask for something he knows you can't afford, as a joke, and will leave you feeling guilty. Actually, he asked for a car which he'll certainly not be getting and he knows it - though if I could, I would.
When he was younger he used to keep a wishlist, which not only made my life easier but everyone else's lives who wanted to get something for him. It was so straightforward and he was happy. But as he grew older, I guess he grew a bit sheepish in keeping such lists.
I do want him to be surprised with the gift least expected so I've had all my antennas on high alert through conversations and latest interests.
With the number of interests and maturity levels to consider, it's almost a mission impossible scenario to deal with but here are some of my best picks. Hopefully, you won't draw a blank and instead find some inspiration from them.
The Gift of Experience
The gift of an experience should never be underestimated. Gifting your son with a memory would last longer than any material item that you could give him. It could be very well the best experience they would ever have. I would consider including their closest friends in on this as well. Your son will certainly appreciate it more than you know. Considering that their 18th birthday, is probably the last birthday, they'll have with their friends from high school which they've been with for the longest time before they venture off on their separate ways, it could be their last hurrah together.
The gift of experience could cover many aspects, some of which I've listed below;
Tickets To A Concert
I don't think you could go wrong with this one. Get tickets to his favourite band or artist!
When my son was younger, I gifted him a day at a waterpark with a few of his closest friends and the memory of that day is still vivid in his mind. Themeparks and waterparks are one-stop centres with loads of activities for your boy and his friends. It'll be a whole day of non-stop fun!
A Sporting Event
For one of my son's birthdays, I took him to a neighbouring country for a few days, to see a few visiting football teams play friendly matches. Not only did he enjoy it but I did too, even though I don't care much for the game!
This would be an ultimate gift especially if their friends were part of it. It could be a short trip or a long one, a close-to-home one or in a different state or country depending on your budget. It might be unnerving for any parent, for me at least, but it would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience as an 18-year-old.
Escape Room Adventure
Especially for escape room enthusiasts, these experiences involve problem-solving, teamwork, and adventure, where players search for clues, crack codes, and solve puzzles to complete their missions!
I don't know of any teen who isn't into some kind of tech, especially in this day and age. They go together like peanut butter and jelly. Whether they're into gaming, music, fitness, sports, content creating or photography, there's a tech gift suitable for everyone.
Lifestyle Tech Stuff
You can't go wrong with Apple products especially if your teen is into music. The Apple Airpods Max and the Airpods Pro would be a good bet. Bluetooth speakers like the Emerson Radio ER100401 and iHome TIMEBOOST with alarm clocks (which would be so helpful!) would be a great choice as well. Not forgetting the Echo Dot which plays music, controls smart devices and sets reminders and schedules hands-free, great for keeping them organised.
For your fitness and health tracker, the Apple Watch Series 7 would be a great gift. Works just like their smartphones. They can answer YOUR call, see YOUR text messages, check notifications and messages, and track their fitness all on the go. Your teenager will also be able to personalise how they display the time and other widgets as well as being able to pick from countless apps including the forever important, social media.
For your teen who's always on adventures, the GoPro HERO10 allows them to capture everything be it on land or in the water! A great choice if they're into live-streaming as well.
For movie buffs, the ELEPHAS 2022 Upgraded WiFi Projector is capable of bringing the big screen right to your teen's room. This projector can be easily connected to a variety of media devices and is compatible with laptops, PCs, TV Box, TV Sticks, Chrome Books, Tablets, Blue-ray DVD players, USB Flash Drives, Media players, and most importantly, Smartphones. Bear in mind that you would need the Amazon Fire Stick or Roku Stick to play Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu, due to copyright issues.
With all the tech going on in your teen's room, what better way to keep the charging all in one place and organised than throwing in the MSTJRY USB Charging Station Dock and the Pezin & Hulin Bamboo Charging Station Holder which both features 5 multi-device charging docks or the GLANA Portable 3 in 1 Charging Station which allows them to charge all their apple devices neatly in one place.
Reducing paper and increasing productivity, the Rocketbook Fusion Smart Reusable Notebook allows your teen to enjoy 7 different page styles for planning, listing, goal setting, note-taking, sketching, and sharing big ideas. These can be saved to various platforms such as Google Drive, iCloud, Dropbox and other online folders and can be emailed as well. It also can be saved in PDF and JPEG formats. Simply let the ink dry, save your notes and wipe clean with a damp cloth to start over again. It comes in a variety of colours and in 2 different sizes.
If your son is an avid gamer, then gaming accessories would hit the spot. He might already own a lot of gaming stuff, but there's always room for more.
From controllers and headsets to chairs and virtual reality, there is a wide variety to choose from.
Top picks would include Elite Series 2 Xbox Controller, DualShock 4 Wireless Controller for PS4, PULSE 3D Wireless Headset, Accessories Bundle for Nintendo Switch, GSP 602 Gaming Headset, X Rocker 2.1 Sound V Rocker Foldable Video Gaming Floor Chair, Oculus Quest 2.
You should know that your teen is probably already shaving by now especially those who prefer the clean-shaven look. The Philips Norelco OneBlade Hybrid Electric Shaver is an excellent choice for its simplicity. It's highly maneuverable and comes in different styles. Excellent if you're on a budget too!
If you're thinking of going all out, I suggest the MANSCAPED™ The Tool Box 4.0 which might not include a facial hair shaver but does include a body hair trimmer, nose hair trimmer, nail care set and a razor all in a classy toiletry bag. Quite honestly, I've been eyeing this for myself!
Skincare/Personal Care Baskets
Skincare is different doe everyone and highly depends on their skin type and concerns. I'm very supportive of my son's skin concerns and what he needs to ensure these concerns are kept at bay. He has tried and tested a few products and I think he may have discovered what works for his skincare. A skincare basket with a variety of products would be perfect for that young man in your life. Seeing that you are most likely buying most of his personal care products, you'd know exactly what he needs. This hamper can include everything from facial cleansers, scrubs, moisturiser, acne treatment, sunscreen, body wash, body loofah, deodorant, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, perfume or cologne - basically everything.
Some of my top picks include the Paulas Choice--SKIN PERFECTING 2% BHA Liquid Salicylic Acid Exfoliant which is amazing for clogged pores and as an acne treatment, CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser, Native Deodorant, MainBasics Charcoal-Infused Bath Shower Loofah, EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen and Weleda Skin Food to name a few.
To top it all off, they'd need a good-looking toiletry bag to put all their skincare in.
This might just be my personal favourite to shop for!
I was my son's personal 'masseuse' for many, many, many years! Many! Teens sit for long hours, play a variety of sports and are constantly on the go which can build tension in those growing muscles of theirs. What better way but to give them a gift that could ease these aches, knots and tension whenever and wherever it's in need. The Theragun Mini is an excellent choice as an entry-level massage gun! The small size makes it so easy to use and hits hard spots.
If you'd like to splurge then go for the TheraGun Elite! The best thing of all, you can borrow it from them!
Fashion items can be a bit tricky as personal style is, well, personal and as much as we would like to think that we know our boys' styles, sometimes we just don't quite get it right and they surprise you with their choices. If you choose to get any fashion items then the best would be to talk to them, find out what the in thing is or maybe what they've been saving for. It also pays to 'eavesdrop' on their conversations with their friends - it's rude but sometimes absolutely necessary!
Having a teenage son, I have learnt that looking good starts with cool shoes. Having them would definitely make an outfit, and boost self-esteem and confidence.
Top picks that are popular and that your teen will surely love include the Nike Dunks, Nike Airforce 1's, Air Jordan's, Vans Old Skool, Yeezy Boost 350 V2, Adidas Stan Smith, Adidas Ultraboost and the iconic Converse Chuck Taylors.
Not only are these shoes popular but some of them have been around for years and have stood the test of time. They will surely be around for years to come.
Between lugging books, their laptops, ipads, gaming consoles, snacks, and drinks and throwing in some clothes for an overnight stay, bags are important and necessary. I know my son has had that one backpack that has been with him through middle school, high school, train rides, car rides, airports, road trips, camping trips, and even countless school overseas trips. A backpack is basically an extension of them so getting them something of good material, comfort and quality, and not forgetting style would serve them for many years.
Depending on what your teen normally carries in his backpack, The Herschel Supply Co. Little America Backpack, the Fjallraven, Kanken Laptop 13" Backpack, Matein Travel Laptop Backpack and the UGRACE Vintage Laptop Backpack are stylish bags they would be proud to carry with them.
A watch is a small accessory but is capable of levelling up any outfit. For fans of traditional watches, instead of a smartwatch, the Golden Hour Watch is a minimal but stylish watch that comes in so many different varieties. The Fossil Men's Nate Stainless Steel Quartz Chronograph Watch on the other hand is great for teens who prefer a bold, oversized look for their watches.
If you have an athlete or a teen who loves working out. There is quite a number of gifts that are out there for you to choose from. Two of them would be;
Favourite Team Paraphernalia
From jerseys, personally signed items, caps, balls and season tickets - everything can be put together as a gift basket.
The TRX GO Suspension Trainer and the Go Bundle would be perfect for your teen's daily workout and not only that, they can take it on their travels or to college and never have to miss a workout! A dumbbell set would also be great - it's all in one and adjustable to their needs AND they are space-saving!
If all else fails, a gift card to their favourite store or money would be a great gift. The Amazon Gift Card would be a perfect gift card that would allow them to have a field day on Amazon. You could pick any amount depending on your budget and let them have a free pick of anything they want.
I hope you've found that perfect gift here, or at least some inspiration on what to get for that 18-year-old birthday boy!
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