5 Unrealistic Things Every College Kid Wants and What to Give Instead

We all have our unrealistic holiday wishes, for fancy cars, exotic vacations, or just silly things we know we’ll never get. When I was a kid, I asked for a pony for Christmas every year. Of course I never got one (once I did get a hobby horse, though). If you’re wondering what to get your favorite college student this year, here are some ideas based on their wildest holiday wishes.

1. A Trip Around the World

Just about every college student harbors some kind of travel-related dream, which usually involves backpacking through Europe, befriending locals in hole-in-the-wall bars, swimming naked somewhere exotic, and eating something rather revolting. While it’s extremely unlikely you can give anyone a round-the-world plane ticket, there are some fun gifts you can give to nurture the dream. If you feel like splurging, a travel backpack is a great choice.

Deuter and Osprey are both good brands to buy, and you can get one at REI or BackCountry.com

If you want to give a smaller gift, a fun passport cover is a great idea. This world map passport cover will certainly help inspire the wanderlust. You can get it at Amazon.com.

2. Free Textbooks for Spring Term

If you’re not in college or university now, it’s hard to imagine the ridiculous level that prices have climbed to, not only for tuition, but for books as well. Students regularly drop up to $1000 just on books for one school term. Outrageous! You probably aren’t ready to sign up to buy your favorite college student their books whenever the booklist comes out, but you can help them out. The best thing to do is tip them off about sites like eCampus.com, where students can save big on their textbooks by renting and selling them back. It’s not exactly a gift, but it will feel like one to them!

3. All Day Happy Hour

Being a student really is hard work, and sometimes it can drive you a little crazy. With looming due dates, all-nighters in the library, projects and presentations, not to mention a part time job and a social life, sometimes all a student wants to do is to kick back and relax. But on a shoestring budget, going out can get pricey. You can help your favorite college student bring happy hour home by giving this shaker set. The glass is decorated with recipes for classic drinks, so they’ll be able to impress their friends with better drinks than the usual special, “Bottom Shelf Vodka & Cranberry.”

4. Not To Be Broke All The Time

Between paying for school & textbooks and the fact that students can only hold part-time jobs, the college years are a constant tale of checking your bank balance and discovering you have 50¢ to your name. This is an easy fix: give money! If it seems to you that just giving dollar bills or a check will take some of the holiday fun out of gift giving, then try giving a gift card. A Starbucks card, a gift card for the local grocery store, or a prepaid Visa gift card will all be welcomed with gratitude. You can get gift cards to all kinds of stores at discount prices at Raise.com.

5. Less Student Debt

LOL. Dream on.

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