Turning 18 is a big step in a young person's life. It's hard to know what to get someone for their 18th birthday. And if you ask them, often they'll just ask for a typical gift item like a book, dvd, video game, etc.... The key to finding a truly memorable gift for them is to focus on one of two areas:

18th Birthday Gift Ideas - Make it Last Forever
Make it something timeless that they can use for a long time. Most gifts, even very nice ones, are dated. If you buy someone a laptop, they might love it for a couple years, but then it gets replaced. Focus on looking for something different that reflects a part of their personality. An engraved money clip or a wet shaving set for a guy is something they can use for a long time, and they'll think of you whenever they do.

For girls, maybe help her start building her jewelry collection. Diamond earrings or a nice necklace give a girl something beautiful she can wear that really makes her feel special. The perfect gift idea for an 18th birthday will balance sophistication with fun, to reflect that they're growing up but still a young adult.

Go For Something Unique
Looking for other 18th birthday gift ideas? How about an experience. Arrange a trip they've always wanted to take or sign them up for lessons so they can learn how to do something new. Focus on finding something they've always wanted to do or see. If they're interested in a certain college, you could arrange a weekend visit to the campus for them. The best way to check if something in this category is a good idea is simple: is this something they want to do or something I want them to do? Good gifts are memorable because they show how well you understand the recipient, not because you think they need to learn how to cook.

The world has changed very quickly. And what it means to turn 18 today has also changed. It means that this person has always lived in a world with a Starbucks on every corner and the internet on every computer. So there is a certain allure and elegance to something that is a throwback to a time before all that existed. That's why a wet shaving kit or money clip works well. It can't be outdated because it's already outdated, but it's a very distinct item that they will always remember.

Again, if you want to find a great gift, remember to always think about if through the eyes of the recipient. Don't be like everyone else and buy a dvd or a gift certificate. Take the time to show how much you care and how well you know someone by finding them the perfect gift for their 18th birthday.