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11 TPG-Approved Travel Gifts for Your High School Graduate

June 15, 2019
6 min read
Female tourist with bag waiting airport flight stats
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They threw their caps in the air and now summer is in full swing for high school graduates. Someday soon, they will likely be traveling — perhaps for vacation or off to a college dorm. Here's a compilation of TPG-approved travel gifts — both practical and trendy — that your teen will totally appreciate.

Beis Check-In Roller

This simplistic suitcase just debuted from actress Shay Mitchell's travel brand. It has a versatile design that goes with everything, and its thoughtful features set it apart from other luggage on the market. With a weight-limit indicator, an optional expander, compression flaps and a TSA-approved combination lock, this bag has everything you could possibly need when jetting off.

Buy: Beis Travel, $258


Apple AirPods

Rather than suggesting a pair of our beloved noise-cancellation headphones, we think a more appropriate gift for a recent graduate is a pair of AirPods. Apple's cult-favorite earphones are useful in flight and in everyday life. They embody convenience and comfort.

Buy: Apple, $159 — $199

TSA Precheck

This thoughtful gift allows you to speed through airport security — no worries about removing your shoes or belt. It's the best fast-pass a traveler could have, especially for a teen who struggles with staying on schedule. Plus, the membership lasts five years.

Buy: TSA, $85

Compression Packing Cubes

It may be years, but sooner or later high school graduates will move out of the house, stuffing all of their belongings into a suitcase. These highly rated packing cubes compress clothes and other items into an almost airtight space. TPG's all about maximizing, whether it's credit card points or luggage space.

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Buy: Amazon

The Points Guy Plane Hair Hat

Few things beat being a frequent flyer, but one thing that does is letting people know that you're a frequent flyer. This hat (fresh from the TPG shop) lets people know that you're no novice traveler, all while hiding that messy plane 'do. Gift it while it's hot.

Buy: The Points Guy Shop, $25


I AM GIA Pixie Coat


This coat blew up the Internet; every Gen Z-er has it or wants it in their closet. It makes for the perfect boarding outfit that screams: "Don't talk to me when my AirPods are in. Or do. Regardless, I'm very cool." All of this to say, while it's a definite statement piece, it's also a really safe gift choice.

Buy: I AM GIA, $76

Spotify Premium or Apple Music Subscription

Travels require ambience, and ambience requires a music subscription. Those are just the facts. Any recent graduate would appreciate ad-free music and the opportunity to listen offline in the sky. Plus, both of these options offer discounts for college students. Score.

Buy: Spotify, (for students) $0.99 for the first 3 months, then $4.99/month

Buy: Apple, (for students) $4.99/month

MUJI Neck Cushion

MUJI has crafted the perfect neck pillow. It's low profile, completely plush and best of all, it's Martha Stewart-approved as per Brian Kelly's recent Talking Points podcast episode.

Buy: MUJI, $25 $13

Make Them an Authorized User

Chances are, recent graduates will opt for a basic economy fare when they're given the choice, but the gift of an authorized user account on your premium card can completely revamp their airport experience.

For example, becoming an authorized user on a The Platinum Card® from American Express can mean exceptional lounge access. And most important, this card can help young people build their credit — a priceless gift.

Here's our breakdown of the best credit cards for authorized users.

(Photo by Westend61 / Getty Images)

Cathy's Concept Monogram Tech Travel Case

This tech travel case seems to be one of those "I didn't know I needed it, and now I can't live without it" types of gifts. This faux-leather case keeps cords from becoming tangled and it sections off electronics while keeping them in the same place. It's the perfect gift that transitions a young traveler seamlessly into adulthood.

Buy: Nordstrom, $60


Away Travel Backpack

Even though recent grads are out of the classroom, at least for the summer, a nice backpack will take them into their latest and greatest journey ... and then maybe right back into school next fall. The sleek exterior fits pretty much anyone's style, but the backpack also has a roomy interior with pockets and a strap on the back so you can slide in your luggage handle.

Buy: Away Travel, $195

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Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 10X points
10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

80,000 bonus points
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

$550

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more