9 experiential gifts college grads will love — according to a recent college grad

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College graduation season is right around the corner.

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College graduation season is right around the corner.
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Raw Pixel / Shutterstock
  • College graduation season is just around the corner. If you know any almost-grads, now’s the time to start thinking about gifts.
  • There are plenty of practical gifts for grads, but if you’re looking for something special and unique, you can’t go wrong with gifting them an experience instead of a product.
  • Experiential gifts are on the rise, and for good reason – they’re fun, personal, and make for long-lasting memories. We rounded up nine experiential gifts for all kinds of college grads, from cooking classes to massages.

College graduation season is nearing and with it comes an array of emotions for young grads – along with a lot of questions about what us gift-givers should get them. Finding the right gift for a recent college graduate can be difficult. At a point in their life where so much is changing, it can be hard to gauge what presents they want or need for their future endeavors.

If you’re searching for the perfect gift for the college grad in your life, you can’t go wrong with giving them an experience. Experiential gifts are personal, fun, and a catalyst for unforgettable memories, which explains why more and more young people are choosing to spend their own money on experiences instead of things.

From a cooking class to help them expand their culinary skills beyond microwaving mac and cheese, to a gift card that’ll bring them one step closer to their travel dreams, we rounded up a list of thoughtful activities and experiences to gift your grad.

Keep reading for nine experiential gifts any recent grad will love:


For the fitness fanatic

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Class Pass

ClassPass Gift Card, available at ClassPass, from $50

Help them explore their passion for fitness with a gift card to ClassPass, a site that lets them discover and try boutique fitness classes in their area. Memberships are priced differently based on location, but the lowest starts at $29 a month, which will get them between three and classes. ClassPass has all of the classics, like yoga and pilates, along with trendy fitness classes and now even some spa and wellness treatments. It’s a fun way for them to try something new and stay active.

You can find our full review of ClassPass here.


For the globetrotter

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Airbnb

Airbnb Gift Card, available at Amazon, from $25

Whether it’s a long trip to a faraway country or a quick weekend getaway in a neighboring town, everyone could use a vacation. With all of the change the real world is bound to bring, an Airbnb gift card is the perfect way to gift them a well-deserved trip.


For the concert-goer

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StubHub

Concert Tickets, available at StubHub, from $100

If they have an affinity for live events, you can’t go wrong with a gift card to StubHub, a site that has tickets to just about every live event out there. Getting them a gift card allows them to choose what event they’d like to go to, but if you know what they like, you can just buy them a ticket to see their favorite sports team, band, or show. If you have the same taste, you could even snag yourself a ticket and share the experience with them.


For the active explorer

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Airbnb Instagram

Airbnb Experiences, available at Airbnb, from $5 a person

Book them a one-of-a-kind experience to take advantage of in their own community or on their next vacation. Airbnb Experiences has a huge range of unique, memorable activities all over the world, organized by locals. Some of the options in New York City, for example, are a Brooklyn pizza walk, a hat-making workshop, a taste of NYC helicopter tour, and an aerial-moves class taught by a circus star.


For the frequent flyer

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Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines Gift Card, available at Amazon, from $50

Delta Airlines Gift Card, available at Best Buy, $100

If they have the travel bug, they’ll need some way to get to their next destination. Plane tickets are an expensive but necessary part of most travel experiences, so a gift card to an airline that goes to some of their desired destinations will be much appreciated.


For the home cook

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Cozymeal Instagram

Cozymeal Gift Card, available at Cozymeal, from $50

Whether they’re a wiz in the kitchen or their culinary endeavors have never gone further than the microwave, a cooking class is a fun activity that’ll leave them with some useful skills to take into the real world. On Cozymeal they can browse cooking classes led by professional chefs in their area. The site offers classes ranging from fresh pasta-making to sushi rolling to a course in basic knife skills and plenty of others, so they’re sure to find something they’ll enjoy.

You can find our full review of Cozymeal here.


For the zen-seeker

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Groupon

Massages, available at Groupon, from $30

Bliss Gift Card, available at Bliss, from $150

They accomplished a lot during the past four years, and before they jump right into the real world, they could probably use some time to decompress. What better way to do so than with a relaxing massage? Search spots in their area on Groupon and buy them a massage on you, or give them a gift card to a spa chain like Bliss, which they can put towards a treatment of their choosing.


For the coffee connoisseur

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Driftaway Coffee Instagram

Driftaway Coffee Subscriptions, available at Driftaway Coffee, from $39

They may already be well versed in coffee given all the late-night studying they’ve been doing for finals, but that doesn’t mean they won’t love the opportunity to try new brews every morning. Driftaway will start them off with a tasting kit, ask for feedback to gauge their palate preferences, and then send them beans based on their tastes. It’s a fun, interactive way to spice up their usual cup of joe.


For the wine lover

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Zola

Winc Gift Card, available at Winc, from $60

Winc is a subscription service that’ll send them four new bottles of wine to try each month. Winc uses a simple palate profile to assess their tastes and preferences, which they use to pick out their wines each month. They can choose whether they’d like all red bottles, all white, or some blend of both, but whatever they choose, Winc sends options that specifically match their palate. Box prices vary based on bottles chosen, but bottles start at $13, so a $60 gift card should be enough to start them off with at least a month. Each month, they’ll get to have their own little wine tasting, and they’ll have you to thank for it.