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10 ‘splurge’ gifts for your favorite grad

Lee Bierer
Lee Bierer is an independent college adviser based in Charlotte.

Last week I shared a variety of non-traditional yet affordable graduation gift ideas. But if you’re feeling the urge to splurge, here are my top 10 suggestions:

Air Mattress: Sleeping bags are so yesterday and it’s uncomfortable sleeping on the floor when you visit or they come to see you. Pop-up air mattresses are a great dorm room addition. The upscale ones have USB ports to charge electronics and even let you choose your desired comfort level – medium or firm. Prices range from $45 to $190.

Wheeled briefcase: This super-light (5 pounds) carrier keeps everything organized for that quick weekend trip for students. Lifting it into the overhead compartment is easy and inside there are three separate compartments, elastic shoe pockets and an interior padded laptop compartment. This is a serious upgrade from the backpack. $229 www.lipault-us.com.

Personalized bobbleheads in graduation attire: This is probably my favorite gift idea for the right person. These customized bobblehead dolls are a great desk or car decoration. $119. www.whoopassenterprises.com/

FitBit: An easy way to eliminate the dreaded “freshman 15.” This wireless bracelet monitors activity and sleep. I bought mine months ago and love the positive reinforcement when I’ve achieved my 10,000 steps per day threshold. Add the app to your phone and/or computer and you can see your exact hour-by-hour activity. It tracks steps, distance, calories burned and active minutes. LED lights show you your progress against your goal. It also can monitor your sleep and wake you with a silent alarm. $99.95, www.fitbit.com.

Indie Movie of the Month: Make a dorm room the go-to movie theater. You can purchase a three-, six- or 12-month package that offers a wide range of independent and foreign films. Depending on electronic capabilities, you can either select DVDs or provide access to online streaming. $99.95-$174.95, www.filmmovement.com

Personalized LP Record: Made from a recycled vinyl LP, this is a truly personalized gift. You get to choose one of two retro stylings, the name of the LP along with up to five songs that are meaningful to the graduate. The LP is suspended between two pieces of glass in a floating frame. $150 www.uncommongoods.com

Go Pro: GoPro’s tagline is “Dream it. Do it. And capture it with your GoPro.” The HER03 GoPro camera is smaller, lighter, lets you control the camera remotely and offers built-in Wi-Fi, making it easy to document and share some of life’s most interesting experiences. $199.99, www.gopro.com

An adult watch: At this momentous occasion moving up to a “big-boy” or “big-girl” watch demonstrates a display of confidence. The Citizen AML watch is stylish, and because they are powered by light, you’ll never need batteries again. $295 www.citizenwatch.com/

Gaming chair: This wireless rocker chair has two speakers, ergonomic backrest and separate controls for volume and base to enhance the sound experience. $125. www.wayfair.com

Polaroid Camera with film: Do you remember the first time you saw an instant image, the awe as you waved your Polaroid snapshot in the wind and then blew on it to help it dry? There is a new generation of Polaroid Instant Cameras. The PIC-300L takes business-card-size instant color photos and comes with film. $79.99, www.amazon.com

Bierer is an independent college adviser based in Charlotte. Send questions to: lee@collegeadmissionsstrategies.com; www.collegeadmissionsstrategies.com
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