Gift ideas for a daughter's 18th birthday

Updated February 21, 2017

A daughter's 18th birthday is a day that both she and her parents see as a momentous occasion. For parents the day may also be difficult to face as they see their baby girl has grown and about to leave the nest. A gift for this milestone birthday should be something that will have long-lasting use as well as cater to her personal tastes and style.

Family Heirloom

At 18, daughters are now old enough to be responsible for and appreciate a family heirloom. Many parents keep jewellery or other objects that have been passed down for generations, waiting for the right time to continue the tradition. A daughter's 18th birthday can be that right time to give a gift that her grandmother or great-grandmother also cherished.


By age 18, daughters are often making plans to go away to college or take a long summer trip. Good luggage that will last years is not usually something she can afford. Giving a set of quality luggage that she can use when travelling back and forth to college and other trips will make travelling easier and remind her of family.


Gift cards and cash are not usually in short supply at an 18-year-old's birthday. But these are the gifts that others give when they do not really know a person's likes and needs. Also these gifts do not last. Instead, a money gift from a parent should invest in their child's future. Opening an IRA in the daughter's name or buying stocks to a favourite store are a way to give a personal yet long lasting and useful gift of money.


Jewellery is a more traditional gift for a coming-of-age present. Giving a piece that is more than just costume jewellery will certainly be treasured for years to come. She may even pass it down to her own daughter. Jewellery for an 18th birthday should be personalised by using her birthstone or favourite coloured stone.


With a camera, a daughter can document her new journeys and travels for herself and her family. Pictures from a digital camera make it easy to send pictures home, keeping the parents filled in on her life away from home. Giving a camera as a give benefits the daughter and her parents.

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About the Author

Lynn Anders has more than 15 years of professional experience working as a zookeeper, wildlife/environmental/conservation educator and in nonprofit pet rescue. Writing since 2007, her work has appeared on various websites, covering pet-related, environmental, financial and parenting topics. Anders has a Bachelor of Arts in environmental studies and biology from California State University, Sacramento.