31 Best Graduation Gifts for Budding Travelers

31 Best Graduation Gifts for Budding Travelers

From tech upgrades to custom sneakers, here are the gifts your grad will actually use.

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Finding the right graduation gifts can be tough. Like any gift-giving holiday, you want to make sure that it is useful, fitting for the occasion, and that the giftee will actually like it. Some shoppers may be facing graduates they don't know very well, while others are searching for the right gift for a person they know inside and out—either way, we have you covered. From high school to grad school, we’ve listed 31 great gifts for the jet-setting grad. They include, but definitely are not limited to, out-of-state school year basics, wearable mementos that commemorate home, travel essentials, and beautiful decor to add to their new home. These graduation gift ideas will offer a taste of the world they are ready to explore and help prepare them for that next (or perhaps first) long-haul flight, whenever it may be. Below, 31 of the best graduation gifts for budding explorers to buy ahead of graduation season. 

High school graduation gifts

Clear Membership

If they're not already breezing through TSA, now's the time to help them out. Clear now has the option to send a 6-month, 12-month, or 12-month-for-two-people gift card amount. (They may still be able to take advantage of the student discount, though, in which case a Venmo transfer and a nice card telling filling them in on the membership is the way to go.)

Sony WH-1000XM4 Headphones

As far as splurge-worthy gifts go, a set of solid noise-canceling headphones will certainly be appreciated. This pair from Sony has all the bells and whistles—multi-device Bluetooth pairing, 30 hours of battery life, an auto-pause feature that kicks in whenever you take them off—and will get use immediately, whether they're drowning out noisy roommates or their airplane seatmate.

Always Prepared Roadside Emergency Kit

A gift-meets-teachable-moment: this roadside emergency kit (one of our road trip essentials), which comes with all sorts of gear to get them through their first flat tire or dead car battery. Think jumper cables, a reflective safety vest and warning triangle to keep drivers safer at night, a self-powered flashlight, a full first-aid kit, and a tire pressure gauge, among other tools.

Apple AirTag

For those who find that keeping track of things comes as a challenge, AirTags offer a helpful hand for them to know where their checked luggage, backpack, or keys are should they lose them around campus or at the airport.

iPad Air 12

iPads are a tech essential that will make working on the go a breeze. Apple offers a student discount ahead of every school year, so be on the lookout for these in the fall. 

Anker PowerCore 20,000mAh Portable Charger

A graduation gift idea for the graduate and their parents, this Anker power bank will ensure their phone is always juiced up on the go. It is compact enough to slip into a pocket, handbag, or backpack, and can charge three devices simultaneously.

Coach Gotham backpack

Backpacks are always needed whether they’re used for travel or educational purposes. The Gotham Backpack gives your high school graduate a more mature look with its pebbled leather material. It features a 15-inch laptop sleeve, plus an interior phone pocket and two exterior zip pockets for easy organization. It’s finished with a breathable mesh back and adjustable shoulder straps.

Custom Chuck Taylor All Star Lift Platforms

For the graduate you know best, design what you think captures their style. Chuck Taylor All Stars have also been a classic sneaker, but the platform sole gives the shoe a more modern look. Customization ranges from color to personal messages that can be added. We’re sure your grad will be thinking of you with every step they take. 

50 Challenges game

A fun game that helps players branch out of their comfort zone, 50 Challenges can be played on spring break or in their new college town. The challenges aren’t always about oneself; they also include connecting with locals through music and volunteering. 

Dagne Dover Large Hunter toiletry bag

Having a toiletry bag that can fit your skincare and grooming essentials is a key factor in maintaining an organized suitcase or dorm vanity area. The Dagne Dover toiletry bag has a large main compartment for products and includes two smaller pouches, which can be removed to take back and forth to the bathroom (instead of the whole bag) or to pull out quickly for a security check at the airport.

Universal Yums

For the foodie in your life, a Universal Yums subscription is a must for study sessions. Subscriptions range from five to 18 snacks in each box with accompanying games and trivia centered around the snacks’ origin. 

Memory Film keychain

A small but striking memento, you’ll be able to pick from one to 10 photos and have them placed on a small roll of film. It’s a cute keepsake for those who are looking to give grads a more physical way of remembering home. 

College graduation gifts

Personalized Passport Holder

For those who are looking to travel internationally, a personalized passport holder is a nice upgrade to the must-have travel essential. Embossed against genuine leather, they’ll always know which one is theirs. 

Away The Bigger Carry-On

If the graduate you're gifting is in need of a new suitcase, Away is a fine place to start. Not so pricey that you'll be dreading the lost-my-luggage call, but sturdy enough to stand up to rough-and-tumble weekend getaways, Away bags hit a sweet spot.

Zojirushi stainless steel mug

With long, busy days ahead, and possibly even longer commutes, your graduate won’t have to worry about reheating their drinks to enjoy them.

3D College Campus

For those who might be moving further for opportunities and a fresh start, give them the gift of a replica of the golden years. Each 3D print includes streets, waterways, and buildings added by hand. While ordering, you’ll specify what campus you want to capture—while the default is set around the center of campus, and covers a one- to three-square-mile area, you can choose a specific address or landmark if you prefer.

Shoulder heating pad

Stress can wreak havoc on the body. This portable shoulder heating pad is perfect for on-the-go decompression. You’re able to plug it in wherever there’s an electrical outlet, and it’s easily foldable, so you can slide it right into a carry-on.

Bagallini Soho backpack

The Soho backpack is an exceptional option for a work bag. With a large middle compartment outfitted with a laptop sleeve, card holders, and a phone pocket, the commute to work won’t jostle their day.

Travel Journal

For the grad who's always snapping photos, gift them a place to hold all those memories once the dorm room bulletin board comes down. This photo album with journal entry space is ideal for those who love writing and can’t be found too far from their cameras. If you know the model they have, throw in an extra pack of film or two to round out the present. 

Scratch Off World Map

This scratch-off map doubles as decor and is a nifty way to keep track of all the travel they’ve been doing on spring breaks and study abroad programs.

Vintage Map Bracelet

This custom jewelry piece features five cities cut from vintage maps. You’re able to choose the cities that are presented, so think hard about the places that resonate the most with your graduate.

Masters graduation gifts

Monos Metro Duffel

For weekend trips where packing light is key, the Monos Metro duffel is the perfect match. Made from only vegan materials, it is easy to clean, durable, and made out of 16 repurposed plastic water bottles. Check out a review of the duffel here.

Everlane Cozy-Stretch pullover and sweatpant

Upgrade your grad’s airport look with a slightly more chic option from Everlane. The fabric is made of wool, recycled nylon, yak hair, and elastane—the soft and stretchy material will be the highlight of their next flight. 

Parachute waffle robe

This lightweight bathrobe is made from Turkish cotton, features a waffle design with two pockets, and comes in a handful of solid colors. This is the ideal gift for the graduate who might not have the time or resources for travel just yet but loves a staycation. 

Peak Design Packable tote

Unstructured and ultralight, the Packable Tote compresses to the size of a deck of cards and includes a zippered top closure to keep the good stuff in (like souvenirs) and the bad stuff out (dirt and sand). 

Pluto Pod

This is way more than just a luxury neck pillow. The Pluto Pod was made solely with travel in mind and features a hood filled with performance foam, a flip-down eye mask, and dark black fabric to block out light. Check out a full review of it here.

City Map Rocks Glass

This four-piece cup set etched with a map of your graduate’s favorite city makes for a great personalized gift for a new bachelor pad or studio apartment.

Lunya Cashmere Travel Kit

Trying to find comfort while en route can be difficult. The Lunya Cashmere Travel Kit, made from 100 percent cashmere, brings ease so your graduate can catch some zzz’s.

Mark and Graham Commute clutch

Mark & Graham is known for its attention to organization and the Commute Clutch is no exception. It’s slim enough to slide into a briefcase or carry on its own. 

Weatherman The Travel Umbrella

This travel umbrella is compact enough to be thrown in a tote bag or carry-on and will be a lifesaver on days where the weather turns out unpredictable. The sturdy, lightweight umbrella shields winds up to 45 MPH and withstands the heaviest rainfall.

Personalized Brass Compass

A nostalgic piece of adventure gear that is making a comeback, compasses are a thoughtful gift for those leaving grad school, especially since this one can be engraved with a touching handwritten note by you. We’re sure the giftee will be surprised to have such a unique piece to add to their gear collection.