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The best gifts for high school grads in 2024 are fun and practical for life’s next steps

High school graduates

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high school is an exciting first step on the path to becoming an adult. It’s a huge accomplishment that deserves to be celebrated in a big way. One option is gifting your favorite something thoughtful that they can use for their post-high school experience, no matter what path they’re pursuing. 

Finding the perfect gift for a high school grad can be hard, though. You want to make sure they’re equipped to face the real world, whether they’re attending college, joining the workforce or taking some time for themselves. That means choosing something that’s practical like a new or something fun, like a to help them wind down and relax. 

Need some help? We’ve got your back with a selection of some of the best gifts for grads, from our favorite to and other great options in between. No matter where life takes your grad, make sure they’re ready with one of our curated gifting picks below. 

Best gifts for high school grads in 2024

Best overall gift for high school grads: M2 MacBook Air

M2 MacBook Air

Best Buy

Give your grad a powerful and reliable laptop to take with them to college and beyond. The M2 MacBook Air is an excellent gift for any high school graduate, whether school is in the cards or they’re planning on looking to find a job as soon as possible. 

This powerful MacBook is lightweight, portable and powerful with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. Its M2 chip means your grad can get things done quickly and efficiently, and its 18-hour battery life means it’ll be a companion that’s around as long as it’s needed. 

Plus, it has a gorgeous 13.6-inch screen that’ll look good whether your grad is keeping in touch with friends on Facebook or catching up on their favorite shows and movies since school is out. 

Best headphone gift for high school grads: AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)


Your grad will want a new pair of headphones to listen to or interact with the world around them. Make sure they have an excellent pair by getting them some AirPods. With exceptional battery life and sleek style, they’re a must-have for anyone who appreciates great sound. 

These earbuds outperform the original AirPods in every way. An improved wireless chip and enhanced noise cancellation deliver immersive sound that your grad will love, whether they’re watching TikTok videos or chatting with friends while on the go. 

The earbuds’ included charging case features USB-C charging and wireless charging support. Touch controls built into the stems provide easy access as well, so they’re perfect for tweaking and controlling with only a few fluid motions. 

With marathon battery life and ultimate sound quality, these headphones are a fantastic pick for grads – though you might decide you want a pair, too. 

Best travel gift for high school grads: Samsonite Omni Expandable Luggage

Samsonite Omni Expandable Luggage


High school is a long and stressful time. Your grad might be thinking about doing a bit of traveling after snagging that diploma. Help them take everything they need with them to their favorite travel destination with a new piece of luggage. 

This Samsonite spinner bag can be used as a carry-on. It can also expand to fit additional belongings, so it can work as a great piece of checked luggage, too. Made with micro-diamond polycarbonate, it’s scratch-resistant and tough, with side-mounted locks to keep your grad’s things super safe. 

It comes in a variety of colors, and Samsonite offers a 10-year limited warranty in case there are defects or other issues that arise. If the grad you know and love wants to go jet setting for a while, they can do it with flying colors using this hardshell bag. 

Best fun gift for high school grads: Nintendo Switch Lite



Not every gift has to be about preparing grads for life after high school. You might want to indulge their sense of play with a fun new console to game with. 

The Nintendo Switch Lite is the most affordable option in the Switch family. It’s designed specifically for handheld play, without the TV docking ability of pricier models.

Rather than detachable Joy-Con controllers, the Switch Lite has built-in buttons on the system itself. The 5.5-inch touchscreen provides interactive gameplay on the go.

With no TV connectivity or tabletop mode, the Switch Lite is made for gaming anywhere, anytime. Just keep in mind it can’t play titles requiring separate Joy-Con controllers.

Your grad can play all their favorite Switch games on the go with this Lite handheld, so they’ll have plenty to do, whether they’re going to college or just seeing the world for the summer. 

Best practical gift for high school grads: Clever Fox Hourly Planner Pro

Clever Fox Hourly Planner Pro


Time-management skills are a must, and now that school is out, it’s important your grad learns to keep track of what they’re doing. Help them stay on top of their game with a classy, reliable planner.

This planner comes with everything your grad might need to schedule out blocks of time, with a 12-month calendar, goal-setting pages, monthly budgets, weekly pages and more. It has a variety of stickers to help denote doctor’s appointments, payday, work events and other special situations too.

The no-bleed paper and lay-flat binding make it easy for grads to go wild marking down everything they need to remember without messing up the planner. It’s a super-simple way to help them keep track of everything that’s coming up without having to be glued to their phone. Plus, it’s a good way to keep parents in the loop, too.   

Best everyday gift for high school grads: Osprey Proxima laptop commuter backpack

Osprey Proxima Laptop Commuter Backpack


Everyone needs a good backpack, and now that your grad is out of high school, it’s time to level up. This gorgeous pack can be used for a variety of cases, whether it’s holding college textbooks or your grad’s belongings for an overnight trip. Give them the gift of versatility with a backpack that’ll last for years.

This huge pack can fit a laptop, several books, and much more. It has dual panel compression straps to keep the pressure off your grad’s back as well as a front panel mesh panel that can fit smaller items. There are tons of small zippered pockets outside of the massive main compartment to hold incidentals. There are even two water bottle pockets – gotta stay hydrated, after all.

All that and more and a sleek, minimalistic logo make this backpack a logical step up from the world of kids’ packs. Welcome to the world of adult bags – your grad will love their stay.