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15 Cool Gift Ideas for Millennials

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Layne is a millenial. She likes researching topics related to millennialism for entertainment and information purposes.

Millennials may be difficult to figure out but gift-giving to one doesn't have to be.

Millennials may be difficult to figure out but gift-giving to one doesn't have to be.

The Best Gifts for Millennials

Millennials were born between 1981 and1996, but what are they about, who are they, and what do they like? These are tricky questions. A publication in Time called them "The Me Me Me Generation," and described them rather harshly:

"They're narcissistic. They're lazy. They're coddled. They're even a bit delusional. Those aren't just unfounded negative stereotypes . . . they're backed up by a decade of sociological research."

Ouch! But not so fast, we do have some redeeming characteristics.

What Are Millennials All About?

Millennials are known for being open-minded, confident, self-expressive, positive, environmentally oriented, minimalistic, and ALL about the experience. For us, it's all about the adventure. With social media making influencers overnight, there's been a me-first, get-seen movement behind this generation. On top of that, we are all about packing our bags, traveling, and working on the go. We value quality and minimalism.

Why We Choose Experiences Over Things

Less leisure time is a result of the post-agricultural revolution. That's why millennials go for experiences and instant happiness over objects. Homeownership for this generation is at an ultimate low and college debt is at an ultimate high, so why acquire things? That's why we wish to "acquire" moments and experiences. Hence, the inspiration behind this gift list!

Whether Christmas, Hanukkah, a birthday, or an anniversary, you're sure to find something on this list for the millennial you have in mind.

We like our vacations to be out of the ordinary.

We like our vacations to be out of the ordinary.

1. Airbnb Gift Card

Airbnb is fast replacing the traditional hotel stay for this generation. We are all about novel experiences. Airbnb offers the fun of staying in a yurt, a boutique camper, or even on a boat. With this generation's nomadic lifestyle or the fact that nearly 1/3rd of individuals are still living at home with their parents, Airbnb is sure to impress. Give them the gift of privacy and peace of mind!

I absolutely love my Chemex. It's almost as beautiful as it is functional.

I absolutely love my Chemex. It's almost as beautiful as it is functional.

2. Chemex Pour-Over Coffee Maker

We may not be into belongings so much, but coffee is our thing, and the Chemex Pour-Over Coffee Maker is not only minimalistic and classic (it was featured in Rosemary's Baby—instant cool points), it's pretty darn hardy. I've owned my 3-cup Chemex for over 4 years, and yes, I've even taken it camping. It makes great-tasting coffee, is easily washable, and doubles as decor and maybe a decanter for your special person. It's super minimalistic, stylish, and a go-to classic. Highly recommended.

3. Gift Card

Yes, millennials may be postponing major life events like marriage, home-ownership, and children, but if your special someone is single and you think they'd enjoy it—for example, your wing-woman—this gift is perfect. My sister gave me a gift card . . . and I've been with my partner for six years. Sure, Tinder and Bumble are free, but is a touch more serious.

4. Novelty Coffee: The Peaberry

What the heck is a peaberry? A peaberry or caracol ("snail" in Spanish) is a natural mutation of the coffee bean cherry. Most coffee beans grow in pairs, but the peaberry develops alone and, therefore, is hand-sorted, processed, and sold separately. They are noted for being more flavorful and sweeter than regular coffee beans and certainly cost just a little bit more.

You can find Stumptown's peaberry coffee on Amazon as well as supplies from other roasters. As a backup, google the most obscure coffee roaster in your area. When you arrive, say you want "single-origin." You'll be super cool.

Peaberry coffee is delicious and obscure.

Peaberry coffee is delicious and obscure.

5. 23andMe Ancestry DNA Kit

This one is a bit pricey, but it's super cool. It's currently at $99 on Amazon. I purchased the ancestral regions only DNA kit and skipped out on the health kit (which totals around $199). It's way more affordable and fun—it takes about three weeks to get results. This is a super awesome gift for anyone who is curious about their ancestry. Whereas the health kit reveals some pretty heavy information (what genetic diseases or conditions you're prone to), the ancestry kit is all kinds of fun! I was happy to confirm my mom's heritage with my test results—you get a map and everything. This is a perfect gift that that special someone is sure to love.

6. Concert Tickets (or StubHub Gift Card)

We are very sensory-driven, so concert tickets or concert ticket credits are a great gift. StubHub gift cards are available at local chains like Safeway, Kroger, Acme Markets, and Albertsons or online at Amazon. If you are unsure of what kind of music your millennial is into, definitely go for the gift card—music is a big identifier for this generation.

7. Monopoly Board Game for Millennials

Make sure your millennial has a good sense of humor for this one (remember, we're supposed to be open-minded?). This is a hybrid of the traditional board game. Instead of avenues and the boardwalk, there is "parents' basement" and "weeklong music festival"—the chips are even replaced with social media "thumbs up." Also featured—avocados and coffee on dollar bills and bike shares. Pretty awesome.

Do they use a selfie stick? They'll also appreciate a clip-on lens for touring.

Do they use a selfie stick? They'll also appreciate a clip-on lens for touring.

8. Clip-On Lens for iPhone, Android, Smartphones

We love our selfies! Aukey, Xenvo, and Panoclip make awesome clip-on lenses. You can purchase any of these styles on Amazon for just around 30 dollars. Don't make a rookie move and be sure to purchase based on the type of phone model your special person has. Just casually ask, "Hey, what kind of phone do you have? I'm thinking about upgrading."

9. Instapot

Yes, we like to keep things easy. Nothing is better for the millennial than time-efficiency when it comes to the essentials—eat, drink, exercise, commute . . . the Instapot is an instant game-changer. I have one, and we use it for all kinds of things. It serves as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, etc. For only 60 bucks, this is a useful, awesome gift that is sure to be appreciated. I've made some delicious meals while being able to multitask and let the cooker do its jobs.

10. Goodr Sunglasses

These glasses were originally designed for runners (and still are) but they are only $25, and I swear that they compete with some of the upper-level brands. If you have an active friend—a cyclist, a runner, an extreme sports enthusiast—Goodr has you covered. The styles are hilariously titled too: "Major Tom's Space Oddity" or "Sunbathing With Wizards." Pretty hip, I'd say.

Meet Fido

Meet Fido

11. Venus Flytrap

This one's a bit of a wild card. The millennial lifestyle makes it hard to care for a pet—unless your van-lifeing it somewhere in Baja. For a while, air plants and cacti were all the rage, but why not go for a venus flytrap? These super trendy, carnivorous plants are a novelty and standalone as art with their unusual appearance. Heck, you might also want to gift a naming book.

12. Subscription Food Boxes

Yes, subscription boxes are all the rage. Millennials like good food. Why not give them a food box subscription? Some top favorites include BlueApron, the food restriction and health-conscious Sun Basket, HelloFresh (tailored to the household number), and many more. They'll be down to get going on some gourmet grub and appreciate the food allowance.

Gourmet food box subscriptions are an excellent and fun gift to give.

Gourmet food box subscriptions are an excellent and fun gift to give.

13. Amazon Echo Dot

This device uses Alexa to play Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and SiriusXM. Hands-free and with over 50,000 skills—including timers, answering questions, setting alarms, etc., make your special person's life easier with a little tech. This is a great gift for the price and the function!

14. Portable Everything Charger

Yes, we are on the go, and we always bring our electronics. But battery juice drainage is a real bummer. I purchased a high-capacity eeco USB-C portable charger for $40. It's been great for camping and running around, and it's also done well in cold weather. There are, of course, other models to scope out. Start looking on Amazon. Some are visually alluring, and others just serve the purpose. This is sure to win over any techie.

15. Wine Club, Craft Beer or Spirits Membership

We may be living with our parents, but when we show up to a party, we like to arrive in style—with a bottle of the "wine of the month." Give the gift of a wine club membership (since we are all 21 and older). From the vineyards of California to Chilean wines . . . treat your special someone to some wine tasting.

© 2018 Laynie H