by Sharlyn Petit
Whether it’s the holidays or that milestone 16th birthday, some corner of a teen driver’s mind is holding onto the idea of that giant-bow-on-the-roof present poised in the driveway. (Yes, they really sell those
giant bows to the public.)
Let’s help curb that new-car desire with a few practical (read: boringly safe and probably underappreciated) gifts for your teen driver. Smaller bows required.
Roadside emergency kit. My aunt gave me a kit of my own, and I took it with me to my adult years. When it was stolen out of my trunk after a break-in, I was fuming mad. This gift falls into the category of “they’ll appreciate it when they need it.” Ranging in complexity and contents, there’s a version out there for every price range. Most sets include: booster cables, flashlight, cable ties, first aid kit, electrical tape, rain poncho, and hazard triangles.
A good pair of boots. Along the lines of “roadside emergency” prep, a warm, sturdy pair of winter boots takes up little trunk space in the event the driver needs to abandon the car. Throw in a pair of wool socks for good measure, and make sure the boots are in the car if not in use on a Northwest adventure.
Something personal. Maybe your teen is the next new driver of the family car. Gather a collection of goodies to help make the ride feel less hand-me-down and more personalized. Car seat covers, a license plate frame, a keychain, travel mug, or floor mats are all easy to customize. Anyone else thinking the gift-basket route on this one? Check out the “no cell phone” pouch in this
Tech chargers. Not for teens to use smartphones while driving, of course, but so that devices have battery life in an emergency. Phone charger cables or external battery packs are an inexpensive way to erase the “my phone wasn’t charged” excuse (and to borrow when needed).
Gift card for the essentials. When all else fails, or if you run out of time, there’s always the gift card mall at your grocery store. HINT: All teens are secretly wishing you’d ditch the socks and underwear gifts anyway. The basic to and from will require fuel, so grab a gas station gift card. Every trip needs good tunes, so go for an iTunes gift card, or a gift card for a subscription service like Pandora or Spotify. Then there are the snacks. Look for gift cards for on-the-go food options to restaurants along your teen’s route.
Any of these options will help ease the heartache of not getting a new car. What teen driver gifts have been a hit in your household? We’re thinking
teen driving safety apps may be a good gift for the parent of a teen driver, right?