5 Awesome Gift Ideas To Celebrate Your Child’s 18th Birthday


Your not-so-little kid’s 18th birthday is a huge milestone. It’s the year they are officially and legally welcomed into adulthood, which in itself is a life-changing year. At 18, they are allowed to cast their votes for elected officials, sue someone, or even get a tattoo (scary but true), and all adult things.  

Talking about transitions, it is not any different for parents. Seeing your child turn 18 can be a bittersweet feeling. You want to make sure that their 18th birthday gift is meaningful and practical. So we have compiled a list of impressive gift ideas for your child turning 18.


Why Should You Consider Practical Gifts for 18th Birthday?

Make no mistake; it’s a huge pressure to find the right balance between setting them free and ensuring their safety at the same time. You want to make sure that they develop a sense of responsibility as soon as they turn 18, exactly why you need to opt for presents that fall in line with their current life. 

Now don’t panic; there are plenty of options that will impress them, and still be useful. The first pointer is to give them something that goes with their personality. For example, if your 18-year-old kid is into techy things, it’s ideal to give them relevant gifts. Or if your 18-year-old daughter has expressed her desire to travel, there’s no point in wasting your money on expensive jewelry or bags, etc, unless they ask for it. Rather, consider gifts for travelers.

So here’s a gift guide to please your 18-year-old, because we all know that no two 18-year-olds desire the same things.

Gift Them Their First Car

This one is probably the winner of practical gifts. While not in everyone’s budget, it is a great gift to make it easier for them to get around independently. Giving them a car for their 18th birthday may look like a huge deal, but if you think of it, you may realize that you are encouraging them to be responsible. If they have already joined the workforce, or intend to soon, then this car will help them commute to their job (yay! no more driving them around!)

Tip: If you are concerned about the budget, you could always opt for a pre-owned vehicle. Don’t forget to remind them to drive safely and take good care of their first-ever car. 

Fund Their College Degree

Another great way to prepare your child for the real world, especially if they have discussed their desire to pursue a certain degree. While not ideal to an 18 year old, it is very practical.

Suppose your 18-year-old daughter wants to go to fashion school or med school (which is very expensive) or maybe they want to study somewhere abroad as an international student- you could support them by offering to pay for the tuition, books or room and board. 

If you do decide to bear the costs, you should also remind them that it comes with a lot of responsibility, especially fi they are going overseas.

Tip: Don’t hand them the money directly; make payments directly to the school. You should also encourage them to consider getting a part-time job to pay for their own living expenses. 

Sponsor Their Travel Plans

Has your new adult been wanting to travel to a certain destination for a while? Now is the time to show that you were listening to them all along!

Firstly, as parents, we have to judge the situation and make sure that it’s fair. If it makes sense for us to allow them to travel (given that we are not emptying our pockets) a great gift would be to consider buying them a ticket to travel to their desired destination. 

Tip: Don’t sponsor a luxurious vacation, as it can mislead them or even spoil them to some extent. Encourage them to go half and half, or give them a timeline to contribute (i.e. get a job and save some money!)

Upgrade Their Cell Phone

This is a rather common but useful gift. Their 18th birthday is definitely a major milestone, and if you think your child deserves it, take this opportunity to surprise them the newest cell phone. Plus, cellphones are extremely practical in today’s world for obvious reasons. Most things are now reliant on smartphones and honestly, we want them to have one.

If you know they have been eyeing a certain model, you should definitely look into purchasing it for them.

Tip: The best thing about buying cell phones or any gadgets is that you can buy them in installments if budget is an issue (most iPhones are over $1,000!)

18th Birthday Bash

The ultimate experience gift for any 18-year-old. Throw the best party of their entire life for their 18th birthday. What’s not to love, almost 18 years old love the idea of a good party with their friends. If you know they are in a romantic relationship, get their partners involved too. Your kid will definitely appreciate your gesture as a parent. Get their gang together, pick a theme, and give them a taste of adult parties (but don’t be fooled, they’ve probably already experienced a great party or two!)

You could throw it in your backyard (do not recommend!), or let them have the whole house for a weekend while you go away somewhere (another idea but I would never!). Whatever you decide, a party is always a good idea to celebrate special occasions! 

Tip: Take them and their close friends for a nice dinner date- it’s a “party” and a great and cozy idea to let them know you love them to the moon and back.


Mama, this is a huge milestone for you too. Parenting for 18 years surely is a big deal. While you prepare to celebrate your 18-year-old’s birthday with these unique gift ideas, remember to celebrate yourself as a parent as well.

Good luck!

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Eryn is a plant-based momma of four amazing kiddos ranging in age from 4 to 19! She is a marketing maven and mentor with 20 years of business development and marketing under her belt. She beyond obsessed with all things purpose, giving back, wellness, and marketing. Living in Orlando for over 15 years, this Flo-Grown, Miami native has fallen for The City Beautiful and all it has to offer! From the local arts, to the craft beer and foodie scene, to all of the non-profits and giving opportunities, Eryn is is love with all things Orlando! Her connection with local moms, businesses of Orlando and philanthropy goes deep. Eryn uses her 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦 to 𝘦𝘥𝘶𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘦, 𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘢𝘨𝘦, 𝘦𝘯𝘨𝘢𝘨𝘦, 𝘦𝘮𝘱𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘳 & 𝘦𝘭𝘦𝘷𝘢𝘵𝘦 other mompreneurs in life & business. Eryn is also an accredited Integrative Wellness Consultant, Purpose Coach and certified Social Entrepreneurship/Small Business Coach, and a clean beauty advocate with Beautycounter. She strives to help other women prosper and flourish in life and business and she thrives on creating authentic partnerships and building relationships. Her motto is be on purpose and she lives to better the lives of others.


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