21st birthday gift ideas October 2018: Presents for him and her

Yup, it’s here: the year of 21st birthdays. Which means, on top of having to buy a new outfit for every party, you have to find a thoughtful and memorable present for each, too.

You and everyone around you is turning 21. Makes you feel a little old that you're no longer in your twenty, eh? Look on the bight side: you have a friend who’s turning 21 and he or she is celebrating the milestone with YOU! That’s pretty big.

The way we see it, there are three things you need to do to thank them for their friendship and celebrate this milestone.

  • Clear your calendar and RSVP with a ‘Yes’ (via Facebook event, naturally),
  • Pick out an outfit and buy a present for them and;
  • Attend the party.

One and three are easy enough, but what about two? That’s where finder.com.au can help. We’ve got all the advice, gift ideas, and coupon codes to make sure all three steps are equally as easy to complete. Here are 21 of the best birthday gifts to give (and receive - hint hint!)

Top 21st birthday gifts

Women's Crystal Rhinestone Gold Plated Pendant Necklace Earrings
Women's Crystal Rhinestone Gold Plated Pendant Necklace Earrings


TOM FORD - Orchid Soleil Eau De Parfum
TOM FORD - Orchid Soleil Eau De Parfum

David Jones

Happy Birthday Diamante Tiara w/ Gift Box
Happy Birthday Diamante Tiara w/ Gift Box

Latest Buy

Prime Port - Gourmet Gift Hamper
Prime Port - Gourmet Gift Hamper

Macarthur Baskets

Lovable Charming Love Contour Balconnette
Lovable Charming Love Contour Balconnette

Bendon Lingerie

The Horse The Original Unisex Leather Watch - Rose Gold White
The Horse The Original Unisex Leather Watch - Rose Gold White


Marley Liberate XLBT Headphones - Saddle
Marley Liberate XLBT Headphones - Saddle


Stamped Stackable rings - Your names or words - Personalized
Stamped Stackable rings - Your names or words - Personalized


Hot Air Ballooning over the Yarra Valley with breakfast ($395)
Hot Air Ballooning over the Yarra Valley with breakfast ($395)


Looking for discounts? Check out our shopping deals

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Inexpensive and cheap 21st birthday gifts

GlitterEyes Treasure Quad Palette
GlitterEyes Treasure Quad Palette


Elegant Touch Sweet Heart False Nails
Elegant Touch Sweet Heart False Nails


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Once-in-a-lifetime Experiences

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How to choose the best 21st birthday gift

21 is a huge milestone and should not be treated like any other birthday. You may notice that friends who usually like to keep their birthdays quiet, will actually make an effort to celebrate this year. That’s how imported it is.

Now, if you’ve been invited to a 21st birthday party, it’s likely to be one big bash with family, friends, and even a specific venue booked for the evening. Don’t allow your gift to fall short. Even if you’re pressed for cash or time, you can still get a thoughtful token that your friend will cherish.

Questions to ask yourself:

To start on your birthday present buying adventures, you’ll need to ask yourself what you know about your friend. What are their interests? Think about what you two enjoy doing together, the memories you’ve shared, and the embarrassing moments, too. You know, the dirt. A 21st birthday party is nothing if it doesn’t celebrate the highs and lows, the talents and the (lovable) faults, of the one celebrating their birthday.

Don’t worry about price, worry about thoughtfulness:

The best gift is one that reflects your friendship and knowledge with the person who’s turning 21. Even a cheaper, gag gift can go a long way if it has some thought or sentimental value attached to it. Also, think about the kind of person he or she is. They might prefer something a little more decadent, or they might be the kind of person who doesn’t like physical gifts, but prefers experiences. This could mean the difference between buying them a glass votive, or buying them a SCUBA diving adventure. Two gifts you do not want to give to the wrong people. There’s nothing worse than getting a gift you’d never buy or use in your life by someone you consider to have a long standing friendship with. Who are you? And what did you do with my friend???

You don’t have to cheap out if you’re on a budget:

If you’re on a budget (what uni student isn’t?) the best way to get a gift that’s worthy of a 21st is by buying a group gift. Ask mutual friends who are attending the party if they’d like to chip in to buy something and see how many people you can get. In theory, the more people who opt in, the bigger and better the present you’ll be able to buy.If you’re not that close with the birthday boy or girl, this is a great way to skip the gifting decisions altogether as you can ask the person in the group who knows them best, to choose something they believe to be appropriate.

Whatever you do…

Remember, even if the invite says “no presents required”, you really should get him or her something. Even if it’s small. The best gifts are the thoughtful ones, so spare some time to consider your friend and your friendship before you start shopping.

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Where to buy 21st birthday gifts?

1. The Hut
The Hut has a little bit of everything, from novelty gifts and appliances, to clothes and accessories.

Go to The Hut website View coupon codes for The Hut

Clothes for him and clothes for her. It's a win-win situation whoever the birthday boy/girl is.

Buy them a brand they love to wear or go for a gift card - there's really no wrong decision here.

Go to THE ICONIC website View coupon codes for THE ICONIC

3. Dan Murphy's
What 21 year old isn’t happy with beer, beer, and more beer? Oh, and a vodka shot or two?

Go to Dan Murphy's website View coupon codes for Dan Murphy's

4. Hallmark

All birthday presents have to be accompanied with a birthday card. Theres no two ways about it.

Go to Hallmark website

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Stephanie Yip

Stephanie is the travel editor at finder.com.au. On top of being an avid traveller, she's an all-round bargain hunter. If there's a deal on hotels or a sale on flights, she'll know about it. And she'll let you know about it, too. Though probably not before she buys her own ticket.

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4 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    MarilouMay 29, 2016

    I am organizing 100 years birthday for my father in law end of Aug and looking around 50 guest. I would like to give away souvenir with his name or photo in print has to be small things.
    Any ideas and where to get?

    • finder Customer Care
      StephanieMay 30, 2016Staff

      Hi Marilou,

      Thanks for your question.

      You might like to read our article on where to buy personalised gifts for ideas and inspiration for your souvenir presents.

      Hope that helps,


  2. Default Gravatar
    YvonneJanuary 17, 2016

    Trying to find a designer handbag that does not cost an arm and a leg

    • finder Customer Care
      MiaJanuary 20, 2016Staff

      Hi Yvonne,

      Unfortunately, designer bags are always going to be a bit pricey. That’s what makes them so sought after! But you don’t have to spend thousands.

      Try looking at designers like Michael Kors, Marc by Marc Jacobs or Rebecca Minkoff. Those brands usually retail for under $500. You can even get pieces for around $100.

      If I were you, I’d go for Marc by Marc Jacobs. It was recently announced that the brand is discontinuing and merging into the original Marc Jacobs brand, and as a result most of the stock is being discounted.

      Here are a few (all under $500) that I’ve picked out for you.

      Calvin Klein Black
      Ginger & Smart Black
      Rebecca Minkoff Red
      Rebecca Minkoff Black
      Marc by Marc Jacobs mini bag black
      Marc by Marc Jacobs satchel black
      Marc by Marc Jacobs grey

      If none of these are appropriate there are also a number of non-designer brands that are still really sought after and very nice. Brands like Oroton, Country Road, Marcs, Mimco, Deadly Ponies and Status Anxiety all make really beautiful bags without the designer price tag.

      I hope that helps.

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