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3 Types of Terrible Father’s Day Gifts (and their awesome alternatives)

Dads tend to draw the short straw when it comes to Father’s Day gifts, with loads of terrible presents doled out every year - why not buck the trend and get him something he’d actually appreciate?

If you’re still hunting around trying to find a Father’s Day present for this coming Sunday, chances are you’ve either given up or are in a bit of a panic by now. Don’t feel bad though - dads are notoriously hard to buy for, and most stores don’t make it any easier. If your father isn’t really the “D.I.Y. handyman” type, your options start to narrow down real fast. But just because it’s tricky, that doesn’t mean making your dad’s day is impossible. It just takes a little more thought. Below are some of the worst kinds of presents that dads get for Father’s Day, and a handful of alternatives that might just put you in the good books and brighten your dad’s week.

joke gift

Joke gifts

Not to be a party pooper, but your dad is probably going to appreciate that whoopie cushion, fake turd or packet of adult diapers even less than you would. If he’s a real practical joker these presents might do the trick but otherwise the only one laughing is going to be you. Gifts that play on old age or senility (ever popular choices for offspring all over the world) may also be less well received than you’d hope. This isn’t to say that most fathers are humourless curmudgeons - it’s just nice to get presents you genuinely like rather than having to grin through another year of nonsense.


An alternative:

Presents don’t have to be classically gift-like to make for good Father’s Day treats. The key is giving something that you know he’d like, even if it doesn’t seem very fancy. If he’s a bit of a movie/TV buff, you could set him up with Netflix (and ideally do all the pesky set up for him). If he has a soft spot for particular snacks or confections, just drop in to the supermarket and pick up an assortment. You get the idea. 

Gimmicky gadgets

Gimmicky gadgets

Retail stores would love you to believe that your dad wants nothing more for Father's Day than the latest technological gizmo. Again, there are some dads out there who would be into this kind of thing, but for most this is just going to be a piece of useless techno-wizardry that ends up gathering dust in a drawer somewhere. This is partly because most of the latest gadgets are thinly veiled novelty items, but also because the last thing most fathers are going to want to do is take a break from relaxing with family to try and wrap their heads around a piece of tech they’re not already familiar with. 


An alternative:

Useful stuff. It doesn’t have to be sophisticated or expensive or particularly cool, as long as it’s something that will actually make your dad’s life better (even in small ways). The exact nature of the items will vary from family to family, but it could be something as simple as a decent can opener to replace the crappy one that’s been giving him problems, or as fancy as a new BBQ for the upcoming summer sizzles. 

Electronic gift card

Vouchers or cash

Admittedly there are a handful of practically minded fathers who would relish the opportunity to buy themselves whatever they’re looking for, but most of the time vouchers or money in an envelope is just an easy way out. Father’s Day isn’t really about handing over some token contribution so you can get your yearly obligation out of the way. Unless you know he’s the type to appreciate vouchers/cash, take a moment or two to consider what you could do that carries some significance. 


An alternative:

Turning up on Sunday with a physical gift isn’t always necessary. One of the things that parents tend to miss most is time with their kids, even if they don’t say so. Sometimes experiences can be worth a lot more than any sort of tangible item, so why not consider planning a trip with your dad, or treating him to a concert when his favourite band is touring, or arranging tickets to the big game. Booking a motorhome rental and planning out a road trip is a particularly promising option, as it combines quality time, adventure, fun and new experiences with minimum hassles. And if you’re not entirely sure where to go, these motorhome itineraries might spark an idea or two for your next vacation with Dad. Some of the best countries for a motorhome adventure include the USA, France, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.


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