All-Time Best 18th Birthday Gift Ideas

This classic list of 18th birthday gift ideas has stood the test of time. Sometimes it’s hard to find the perfect birthday present for the still-teenage-adult. Check out these lists of gifts that never go out of style!  (Use these links to jump to a list: Classic 18th Birthday Ideas or For the College-Bound).

18 Birthday Image

Classic 18th Birthday Ideas

Give Them Experiences

This is one of the bestselling 18th birthday ideas around. Whether they take to the sky, the river, or the race track – “experience gifts” are the best… and being 18, they are finally old enough to be allowed to do some of these things! 🙂

Think hot air balloons, parasailing, indoor skydiving, helicopter rides, bungee jumping, repelling, river rafting, driving a stock race car… and the thrills go on!


Are they traveling? Are they moving? Suitcases are fantastic gifts for 18-year-olds! Get quality luggage, by the way. There’s nothing worse than flying home from Paris only to lose precious souvenirs due to cheap luggage. High-quality luggage will last them a lifetime!

Digital Camera

Every 18 year old loves to capture memories with their best friends! The digital camera is the best way to turn memories into keepsakes or make digital diaries of their latest adventure.

iTunes Gift Card

Whether gearing up for college or just life out of high school, every 18 year old needs some music. Gift cards may seem impersonal, but the music lover wants nothing more than to pick their own songs!

Beard Ruler Growth Chart

He’s a REAL man now. 😉 So get him the ruler that measures the length of that mountain man beard!

Precious Metals or Gems

Earrings, necklaces, bracelets – now that she is older, she is mature enough to enjoy quality jewelry that she will love her entire lifetime. “Real” jewelry makes her know she is important enough that you would spend a little more moolah on her.

Segway, Scooter or Car

A Segway for 18th Birthday Gift

Segways and scooters are fast and compact, and sometimes cheaper than a car. But if you go with a car, the old clunkers are great 1st time cars because it gives them something to practice on (help him learn to take care of it before he accidentally ruins a beautiful one). But every almost-18-year-old will tell you that the fastest, prettiest (and probably most expensive) car is by far the better choice. 😉

Charm Bracelet

Whether she travels the countryside or the world over, charm bracelets are the perfect way to keep tabs on where she’s been. As she gathers charms from every place she goes, this bracelet is sure to become a priceless keepsake!

Kindle Fire

A modern library in one compact space with internet access plus more extras – what more could you ask for? The kindle fire is a great “grown-up” gadget for any techy teen. 🙂

Concert Tickets

This is another number one 18th birthday gift idea. Send them to watch their favorite group perform live! Don’t send them alone either. Remember to buy 2 tickets so they can bring a friend. It’s always more fun that way.

If he didn’t get a car for his 16th birthday, his 18th birthday
is a really good time.

Drex C. from USA,17 years old

Money Book

Get a photo album and put bills in each photo slot. Makes for a great gift! Whether you use $1 bills or $20 bills, this is a unique twist on a traditional photo album/money card. It’s a gift that’s a winner every time!

Customized Guitar Picks (or Pick Punch)

Guitar players are always in need of another pick. Get them a few special ones, or just get them a pick punch so they will never be out of picks again.

Top of 18th Birthday Gift Ideas

18th Birthday Gift Ideas For College-Bound Teens

Tool Kit

Even the simplest toolkit is invaluable for the college-bound 18-year-old. When she pulls out a hammer instead of her shoe to hang up that frame, her shoes will thank you!


Need I say more? Whether studying English, Science, or basket weaving, a portable computer is the absolute #1 birthday gift that every college kid needs.

Bean Bags

Beanbags are lightweight and easy to move from room to room or from apartment to apartment as they move around. They are both practical and fun, making it perfect for the college co-ed!


Every college-goer needs a new one… and a GOOD one at that! Quality backpacks make college life easier as these young adults trek across campus. This is one of those practical 18th birthday gift ideas that will get a lot of mileage.

Kitchen Appliances

Waffle makers, coffee makers, quesadilla makers, mini grills – there are a million different kitchen appliances 18-year-olds will want, especially if they are striking out on their own. Upgrade their eating habits with a new kitchen appliance.

Top of 18th Birthday Gift Ideas

Related Reading:

Birthday Gifts for Teenagers

Teenage Birthday Gifts For Girls

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