It’s graduation season, and whether your grad is headed off to college or off into their new career, a few token gifts are always appreciated to get them started. And while some of these kick ass, and others may get frowns (like the vacuum) all will be used and much appreciated.

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When I was in college the one thing I used the most was my bike. My parents were kind enough to buy getting around the large campus was a breeze with my cruiser. This may not be appreciated in a colder climate, but in California, I loved it! Today’s grad will most definitely need some sort of computer. The new smart iPad is the perfect fit for functionality and ease of use. Not to mention light and easy to carry. All grads know about amazon and I swear you can buy anything on there, so give your grad a gift card to help them get the supplies they need – even if that ends up being something you wouldn’t thing is “necessary” for a broke student.

When I was in school I traveled around on the weekends. My friends and I would head up to the mountains, spend a day in San Francisco or head down to Santa Cruz. I loved my Pentax camera and think its the perfect gift for any grad to capture all those amazing moments. And those weekend trips were always stuffed into a duffel bag that took a beating – so, I’d recommend a travelpro suitcase. Man can they take a beating, and they are super easy to use.

I’d throw in a few books, a journal for writing and a lifeline like the roadmap to life. College can be both exciting and hard, so provide them with some humor to make it through, Roadmap to Life and F in exams are two of my favorites.

I can’t say I vacuumed much when I was in college, but maybe an easy to use vacuum will prompt your grad to try? One can only hope…

And finally, the one thing I wish my parents had done at both of my graduations was set up a retirement fund. I knew that retirement was important and even necessary, but tell a 22 year old to do it now, and they’ll think they have all the time in the world. I did!  Even if they don’t contribute to the fund until 30, they’ll be lightyears ahead of the game and boy will they thank you when they’re 50 and have a solid retirement for their golden years!

gifts for grads

Want more suggestions? Follow along with my snaps via snapchat (theamandagates) to see more of my top picks of gifts for grads in the month of May!

BikeiPad | Beats Headphone | Canon Rebel camera | Amazon Gift Card | Travelpro Luggage | leather journal | Vanguard | F in exams | Roadmap to life | Stick Vacuum