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Gift ideas for an 18-year-old boy

Updated February 21, 2017

If you're looking for a gift idea for an 18-year-old boy, you can ask the young man for his gift preference. Alternately, you can surprise him with something special. While each recipient will have his own likes and desires, some general gift ideas have a good chance of hitting the mark with a boy as he nears the end of his teen years and embarks on adulthood.

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Electronics are what young men want, and there is something to fit every budget. On the appreciated list: MP3 players, digital cameras, flat-screen televisions, video-game systems or games. If those break your budget, try headphones or a DVD of his favourite movie.


Buy some music. Pay attention to the music that the birthday boy likes or look at his music collection to get an idea of his genre of music. Purchase music by the same musicians or similar music. You can use a website like Last.FM (last.fm) or Pandora (pandora.com) to enter a recognised artist or song and receive ideas for musicians and bands that play related music. If you don't know his taste, you can buy a gift card for prepaid music.


Teens always love clothing. If he has a fall birthday, a hooded sweatshirt or a coat could be used immediately in the season. For a summer birthday, try some board shorts. Stick with his style for casual wear. At 18, however, some boys would appreciate dressier items as they enter the work world, so button-down shirts or a tie could be the right gift. If you don't know his size, be sure to ask those close to him, such as his mother or girlfriend. When all else fails, a gift card to a clothing store that tailors to young men always is appreciated.

Social Life

Present your 18-year-old with some fun items to liven up his social life. Many boys of this age do not work full-time and will welcome a gift that relieves some of their financial constraints, especially as it pertains to their leisure time. Give the boy a prepaid gas card, movie tickets or a gift card to an eatery. If the boy likes sports, buy him a few tickets to a sporting event.

Post-High School

Procure items that the young man will need as he transitions from high school to his next stage of life. If he will head to college, buy him items for his college room such as bedding, closet organisers, fold-up furniture or luggage. An 18-year-old who plans to go into the military also will appreciate useful items such as a good flashlight or prepaid phone cards to call home.

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About the Author

Laurie Rappeport is a writer and blogger with more than 10 years of experience. Her areas of expertise are in education, child development, travel, pets, nutrition and health for Demand Studios and a major travel website. Rappeport holds a Master of Arts degree from Wayne State University.

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