The teens that you know are easy, they’ve already given you a pretty extensive Christmas list. It’s those teens that you don’t know well – like nieces and nephews, and cousin – that might throw you for a loop when it comes to selecting a gift. So you’ve probably asked yourself two questions: What are teens into these days? And what can I get that won’t break my bank? Here are a few gifts that are easy on the pocket and attractive to most teens.
Selfie Stick – $10-$15
Not sure what that is? You’re probably just old like me. But I’m sure you’ve heard the term “selfie,” and maybe even taken a few to post on Facebook. A selfie stick just eases that process. It’s literally a stick that holds your phone, and extends to allow you to take a selfie beyond arms length. It is especially useful for taking group selfies. There are three types of selfie sticks — “Basic” which is just an extender, “Bluetooth” (like the one pictured above) which has a shutter button near the bottom of the stick to make snapping that selfie easier, and “Remote” which comes with a small Bluetooth-enabled remote to again make it easier to snap those selfies. I would recommend just the Bluetooth version. Teens are likely to loose the remote. You can get a selfie stick on eBay for under $15.
Recharging Morphie iPhone Case – $80
Anything that equates to more talk time is a winner. This extra neat iPhone case is also a battery booster, providing phones with an extra 36 hours of talk and text time. It’s a bit on the expensive side, but if your teen is an iPhone user they’ll appreciate the extra shelf-life this case gives to their communication time.
Phone Cases & Skins – $3-$20
Speaking of cases, they are the most popular phone accessory. You can even get custom cover with your teens name, best friends, boyfriend/girlfriend, or favorite artist or team on it. You can also purchase custom skins for tablets and laptops from sites like SkinIt and VistaPrint.
Portable Bluetooth Speakers – $15-$350
These small speakers can be carried almost anywhere, and turn a small get together with friends into a full-fledged party. What teen wouldn’t love that?! You can find portable bluetooth speakers for as low as $15 for a cheap one, or $150 for the famed “Pill” by Beats by Dre. Since these speakers come in a variety of price points and quality, do some research to find the best speaker for your budget. Based on CNET’s recommendation, the Cambridge SoundWorks Oontz is one of the top 10 this year and can be found on Amazon for under $40.
SmartWatch – $10-$400
A SmartWatch tells you what’s up. It pairs wirelessly with your smartphone, and informs you of appointments, incoming texts, emails, etc. You can choose to ignore them, or grab your phone to respond to the incoming message. Some of these watches are voice-activated, some allow you to also track your fitness levels, and others allow the tech to be expanded with apps. They are all very different with only one common thread — it syncs to a Bluetooth-enabled phone. Beware that some of these smart watches work only on iOS and some only on Android. I’m not sure if smartwatches are useful enough to make buying an expensive one worth it, but a cheaper one may satisfy the thrill of having one without hurting your pocketbook.
FitBit – $70-$150
If your teen is into fitness (or should be), a FitBit or similar fitness bracelet is a good choice. These bracelets track your daily steps, and encourage you to keep moving through a reward system and by urging you to keep up with your friends. There are other fitness bracelets on the market such as Jawbone, but FitBit seems to be the most popular one. If your teen has a FitBit, the bracelet has probably gotten dirty (and they are impossible to clean), so just buy a pack of replacement bracelets for $10-$20.
Designer Headphones & Earbuds – $12-$300
Beats by Dre are the most popular designer headphones, they are also some of the most expensive. If you’re budget is a bit slimmer, there are a lot of other great options to choose from like SkullCandy ($12-$40) and Scosche ($32) headphones. If your teen is truly a musician, investing in some good headphones would be a great gift. But if they just love listening to Iggy Azalea, go for a cheaper pair – they’ll never know the difference in quality! Do some research to find the most suitable pair.
SmartPhone Projector – $35-$200
These projectors connect to your smartphone and allow you to project images and videos from your phone to a wall. This is a neat idea, but I doubt someone would really use this more than a handful of times, so go for a cheaper version.
Cash-In Cards – Priceless
This is truly a gift of convenience – for your teen anyway. Give them 5-10 cards that they can cash in for a free room cleaning, lift to the mall, or curfew extension. It will onlymovies will only require $20-$30. But if you buy a store card to say Hollister, you’ll want to put at least $40 on the card. Gift cards shouldn’t exceed $50. This gift is a bit impersonal and not as fun as picking out something, but if you’re truly stuck it’s a safe bet.cost you humility. These are great when you dont know the particular verison of the gadget they want, I know I would want to choose my own stubble trimmer, if I needed one of course.
Electronic Gift Cards – $10-$50
Electronic gift cards are always a safe bet, and just about every website, as well as brick-and-mortar, offers them. ITunes and Amazon are pretty popular destinations for teens. But you might also want to investigate your teens favorite shopping destinations- Is she an Hollister or Gap kind of girl? The tricky part about gift cards is knowing how much to spend; you don’t want to look cheap by putting too little on the card. If you’re not working with much, go for an iTunes gift card. Since songs are only a dollar each, spending $15-$30 on a card will result in 15-30 songs which is significant.