I've been taking an unofficial survey over the last few years and I've come to the conclusion that dads are notoriously difficult to buy gifts for. (Sorry, dads, but it's true.) Every year, as Father's Day and their dads' birthdays roll around, I listen as my friends lament the gift-buying process. Their fathers insist that they don't want anything, or else it seems like they already have everything they need. If I had a nickel for every one of my friends who defaulted to a new tie for Dad, my own father would have a boat of his own by now. In the interest of public service, I've compiled a list of cheap Father's Day 2018 gifts you can get for under $30.
Chances are that your dad will be perfectly thrilled no matter what you pick up for him this June 17, but hopefully these ideas will help you diversify your typical Dad-focused purchases. Regardless of what you buy, though, consider the value of quality time as well. It's free — unless you're treating lunch, which you really should — and is probably a much hotter commodity to any father figure that anything they can unwrap on the big day.
Wireless Phone Charger
Belkin Boost Up Qi Wireless Charger
Dad will never be left charge-less again thanks to this wireless charger, which is compatible with several models of Apple and Samsung phones. All he has to do is set his phone on the non-slip surface and watch his battery refill... and he'll be all set to call his favorite child: you.
Promise Me, Dad
"Promise Me, Dad"
The title of this book is obviously fitting for the occasion, and regardless of your dad's political opinions, I think he'll find something to enjoy in this bestseller from Vice President Joe Biden. Perfect for the father with summer travel on the schedule! Who doesn't need a book to add to their suitcase?
Personalized Canvas Toiletry Bag
Personalized Clever Canvas Men's Travel Toiletry Bag
A toiletry bag is a a practical gift that Dad will be able to use for years, and this personalized (for free!) version still falls below the $30 threshold. Show off your pride in the family name by having it embroidered on the canvas case, or keep it simple with your dad's initials.
Tile Mate Anything Finder
Is your dad a tad forgetful? This Tile Mate Bluetooth tracker is now 25 percent smaller than it used to be, so it can be carried quietly on a keychain or tucked into a wallet so as not to draw additional attention. Dad can pair it with his phone so that it starts ringing whenever it's close by, savings tons of time that would normally be spent searching for lost things.
Portable Table Tennis Set
Umbra Pongo Portable Table Tennis Set
How fun is this totally portable table tennis set? It includes an adjustable net, weighted posts, two paddles, and two balls, all of which can fit neatly into a drawstring bag. Sounds like literal hours of family fun to me.
Nautica Men's Stono 4 Sandal
Slides seem to be the go-to footwear style of the moment, and there's no reason Dad should be left out of the trend. These simple sandals are comfortable and neutral to match all of his casual summer outfits.
Turbo Body Bar Scrubbing Soap
Help Dad have a spa-like experience in the shower every day with this scrubbing bar, made with moisturizing murumuru, shea butters, lava rock, blue lotus, and ginkgo biloba. All those natural ingredients will exfoliate dead skin cells and help combat fatigue.
Mini Quad With Camera
SYMA Gyro HD Camera RC Quadcopter With 2.0MP Camera
There aren't enough toys out there that are considered appropriate gifts for adults — specifically parents — but I think this one qualifies. This beginner drone comes with a built-in HD camera and is easy to use for dads of all tech capabilities,
Custom Golf Ball
TaylorMade Noodle Long And Soft Personalized Golf Balls
Help Dad switch up his golf game with a set of totally customized balls. Print a sentimental "hello!" message or an inside joke to make him LOL on the course.
Happy Camper Personalized Scented Soy Candle
Rustic Creek Sugar Co. offers 66 unique scents for their soy candles. My personal favorites for Father's Day? Fall Leaves, Fresh Cut Grass, and Mulled Cider. Dad will wonder what he ever did without a candle in his office or den!
Lather & Wood's Luxurious Sophisticated Men's Moisturizer
If your dad has come to this point in his life without being big on skin care, this straight-to-the-point facial moisturizer could be just the thing to introduce him to the wonders of a little pampering. The product is fragrance-free and all-natural, and will generally make Pops feel like a star.
Engraved Ten-In-One Game Set
WE Games Custom Engraved Monogram 10-in-1 Combination Game Set
Old school gamers — the kind that prefer playing cards to video game controllers — will love this set, which includes everything you need to mix and match to play ten different games. If your dad takes his dominoes and cribbage especially seriously, you can have the lid of the wooden box monogrammed with his initials.
Shimano Sojourn Casting Medium Power Rod
I don't know much about the ins and outs of fishing rods, but I do know that this one has a lovely price point... and that there are few things more stereotypically fatherly than a fishing trip. Help facilitate such a nostalgic experience by picking up this gift.
Personalized Duffel Bag
Personalized Sports Duffel Bag
Keep the personalized swag coming with this customizable duffel bag for the sporty or on-the-go father figures in your life. Embroidery is free, but it's a nice — and affordable — bag if you decide to keep it simple instead.
Swiss Army Knife
Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD Pocket Knife
Is there a more classic (or predictably masculine) gift out there for a man than a Swiss Army knife? Get one for your dad at a low, low price this Father's Day.
Personalized Cotton Twill Natural Color Grillmaster BBQ Apron
For the dad who has everything... including a goofy sense of humor and some serious skills on the grill.
Trailside Supply Co. Men's Half-Zip Long Sleeve Shirt
You can't go wrong with a basic long-sleeved shirt, especially one that's made with light, sweat-wicking material that can easily transition between conditions. This half-zip is available in black, dark blue, and olive green.
Flask Gift Set
Customizable Flask Gift Set
Ideal for the man who appreciates the occasional drink on the go, this set includes a basic flask, four shot glasses, and a funnel. Custom printing is free if that's your thing!