Graduation season is upon us, and there's a good chance someone you know is excited about wrapping up their degree this summer. It's an incredible milestone achieved by pulling all-nighters, clearing tight deadlines and spending hours at the library.
Whether your loved one is marking their graduation from high school or university, the next chapter of their lives can be daunting for them. And, what's better than a thoughtful gift to soothe the nerves?
A fresh graduate could be moving out to live on their own soon, or have extensive travel plans slotted before their upcoming internship. Some might be aiming for a second diploma!
That being said, any practical present to help them smoothly transition will be a guaranteed hit - especially if you can clear some of the pricier items off their wish list. Are they looking for a travel backpack? Would an Instant Pot or an air fryer help them meal prep faster? Let's not forget cool tech gadgets to give them leverage at a new workplace.
Here are some of the best graduation ideas that we think your fresh graduate will love. Create your own gift bundle from our list below or wrap up a single luxurious item to wish them all the best. Shop with Amazon Prime to save on delivery fees.
1. Best Wearable Tech: Apple Watch Series 8 (GPS + Cellular, 45mm)
- Stunning minimal design with rounded corners
- Cellular network connection for texts and calls without a phone
- Reads real-time ECG
- Safety features, like crash and fall detection
- Fitness tracking
- Needs an Apple ID
It's time to enter the corporate world. Life is going to get busier than ever, and a smart assistant on the wrist can help a fresh graduate stay on track in a fast-paced environment. Our pick is the latest Apple Watch Series 8 that has both GPS services and cellular connection, so the new employee is always reachable via text or call without their iPhone. This sleek timepiece will be their fitness companion, too, providing temperature readings, blood oxygen levels and real-time ECG (electrocardiogram) statistics, along with exercise tracking. If they're commuting long distances to the office, the crash and fall detection sensors in the watch will immediately alert their family and emergency services. They'll enjoy up to 18 hours of battery to see them through the day. For smaller wrists, you can choose the 41mm sports band. If they own an Android phone, check out more options for smartwatches here.
Bonus: Buy with 0% instalments and pay Dh148.60 for 12 months with select banks.
Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh103 and two years for Dh169.
2. Best Cookware: Lodge Pre-Seasoned Combo Cooker
It's time to start 'adulting'! Take the edge off their moving costs by gifting them cookware that'll prepare delicious food for decades to come. Cast-iron pots and pans could be difficult for a beginner, but a pre-seasoned set by Lodge can be used right away, in the oven or on the stovetop. There's a three-litre Dutch oven for curries, deep frying and stews, as well as a 10.25-inch skillet to cook proteins, like eggs and steak. They'll spend less time scrubbing food residue off the pans and save on gas bills, as cast iron needs little heat.
3. Best Travel Item: Lonely Planet's Where to Go When Europe Hardcover
Seasoned travellers will always carry a copy of the Lonely Planet guidebook to destinations they've never been to. Over at TikTok, it also comes up as the most recommended item for a solo traveller wanting to explore hidden gems and be informed of the weather, commute costs, seasonal events, and more. Our choice is its Europe edition, which tells the graduate all they need to know about the continent's best destinations for every month of the year. From food to cultural immersion, this expert-led book covers it all. Reviewers attest to the beautiful photos and informative tips that have helped them plan their itineraries. It's also frequently bought as a present for those who are just starting out on their travels. Discover other travel essentials you could add to the gift bundle.
4. Best Everyday Bag: Baggu Standard
Let them upgrade from their university tote to a more efficient, everyday bag. Baggu bags have struck a chord with the young crowd, given how many outfit-of-the-day TikTok videos they've featured in. This eco-friendly bag comes in two sizes and various colours, and can be carried by the short handles or worn like a crossbody. Its standard size fits a 15-inch MacBook, wallet, yoga essentials, art supplies, books and more. The cotton-canvas material will hold up well against a cold machine wash, too, say buyers. Reviewers love it for its simplicity and brand-less appearance that's as practical as it looks.
5. Best Appliance: Instant Pot Duo Crisp
- Performs the functions of 11 appliances in one
- Air fries, bakes, broils, sautees, grills, warms up and more
- Large eight-litre capacity
- Space- and cost-efficient
- Instructions might be vague, say reviews
If you're eyeing any kitchen appliance for your daughter or son who's enrolling in university this fall, let it be a multi cooker. The eight-litre Instant Pot Duo Crisp was our multi-cook expert's best pick, for packing 11 different gadgets into one unit on the countertop. It air fries, sautees, slow cooks, bakes, roasts, warms up leftovers, pressure cooks and more. All they have to do is select the right cooking programme and let the electric cooker work its magic by automatically setting the timer and temperature. There are also over 10 built-in safety features, from overheat protection to safe steam vents, to help a beginner along.
Bonus: Buy with 0% instalments and pay Dh91.58 for 12 months with select banks.
Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh63 and two years for Dh89.
6. Best Camera: Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II Digital Camera
- NFC and Wi-Fi library sharing
- 20.1MP sensor
- Equipped with 4.2x optical zoom lens
- Tiltable LCD monitor
- Takes sharp photos and has great autofocus, say reviews
Give them a pocketable camera to capture every precious moment, whether on travels or in a new city. The Canon PowerShot G7 Mark II should do the trick - it's an even better fit for the graduate if they vlog their daily life or have a budding interest in photography. We voted this model as our best all-rounder point-and-shoot camera for its high 20.1-megapixel sensor, 4.2x optical zoom lens, tiltable LCD monitor and Wi-Fi smartphone sharing. What's more, the camera records steady 1080p footage, thanks to its five-axis Advanced Dynamic image stabilisation (IS) that eliminates any camera shake. Many reviewers pick it up for filming on their holidays, since it's compact enough to fit into their jeans' pocket and simple enough to figure out without any photography expertise.
Bonus: Buy with 0% instalments and pay Dh241.58 for 12 months with select banks.
Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh171 and two years for Dh282.
7. Best Personalised Gift: Amazon.ae eGift Card
Sometimes, the perfect present is best left to the receiver. Load up a sizeable amount on the Amazon e-gift card, and let the graduate shop for anything from the millions of items available at Amazon.ae. You can customise the card with a graduation design template, and leave them with a heartfelt message. They'll receive it in their inbox on the day of the ceremony, right on time.
Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.