12 College Care Package Ideas Your Student Will Love

It can be hard being away from home – here are 12 college care package ideas that will make your student feel a little less homesick. We’ve included different college care package ideas and themes for every situation.
College Care Package

College Care Package Ideas

When I was in college, I loved getting mail. Sadly, people don’t really send letters anymore, so I didn’t get that much. However, whenever something did arrive., I was thrilled! One time I signed up for a bunch of freebies just so I had something waiting for me in the mail sometimes (you can read about freebies that are legitimate over here!)

My mom would occasionally send me care packages, and these were always so fun to get. It made me miss home and my family a little bit less, and it was fun just to get a few small items in the mail. My mom would usually send something seasonal (like a dish cloth, or a decoration) and some food. It wasn’t much, but they always brightened my day.

I was on Pinterest the other day, and I started searching for the keyword “care packages”, and there were TONS of queries for college care packages. So, I thought I’d share a few different themes for care packages, as well as some ideas from other bloggers. Since my brother just left, Jack and I can’t wait to send him a few packages here and there, so hopefully this list will help us as well!

College Care Package


This may not be the most fun package to get, but I know the items in it are always greatly appreciated. I know that I would always rather spend my money on food (or fun) than on items like shampoo, disposable razors, etc., but they are necessary!

I wouldn’t recommend sending shampoos and body wash, since they often will leak when sent through the mail. The last thing a college student wants is a to open a box of wet and gooey contents!


Holiday themed care packages are always fun! You can include decorations, candy, movies…anything related to the holidays! Here are a couple different holiday-related care package ideas:


Christmas Tree in a Box

12 Days of Christmas

Birthday Surprise


Valentine’s Day

Finals Care Packages for College Students

I think one of the best times to get a care package is during the most stressful part of the semester – finals! I know that at BYU, they had care pre-made care packages that parents could order to be delivered to their student during finals week, so you could check and see if your child’s school offers this. Here are a few things you could add:

  • Healthy snacks
  • A new set of pencils or pens
  • Quick breakfasts (instant oatmeal, power bars, etc.)
  • Vitamins or probiotics
  • Highlighters
  • Sticky notes
  • Classical music CD or iTunes gift card to buy some

Here are ten care package ideas for finals for more inspiration. My sister came up with this cute finals survival kit and printable!


Perhaps your child is going back for their sophomore, junior, or senior year – sending them a package to get them ready for the new year is always appreciated I’m sure.

  • School supplies
  • A fun academic/life planner (I personally love Erin Condren)
  • Basic food supplies
  • A subscription to HP Instant Ink (I would have LOVED This!) You can get the first month free.
  • A Visa gift card
  • New headphones
  • Acronis Backup software – they will thank you on the day their computer crashes (great deals right now)
  • Water bottle
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Dishwasher Soap (non-liquid kind)
  • Subscription to Six Sisters’ Meal Planning Bundle (all they have to do is buy the ingredients. SO easy!) Six Sisters’ Meal Planning Bundle (all they have to do is buy the ingredients. SO easy!)

This post has a few fun “college survival” kit ideas that I think would be excellent for back-to-campus as well.

Open When . . .

Last Christmas when I wrote a post about gift ideas for missionaries, I asked for some advice from friends and family. Someone mentioned that her mom sent her a bunch of letters to open at different times – like when she was feeling sad, excited, discouraged, etc. I loved this idea, and I think it would be perfect for college as well – for those times when your student just needs some advice or encouragement! This blog has a few ideas for these types of letters.

I LOVE this set from The Dating Divas. All you have to do is print off the letters, add your personal note, and your student will love getting notes during different times. It’s only $8.97! No creativity required.

You could also send them little gifts to open at different times – this girl has a few ideas for that!

Cleaning Package

Another product I don’t think lots of college students like to spend money on – cleaning products! They can be expensive. So a box of basic cleaning supplies would probably be appreciated!

  • Windex
  • Clorox cleaning wipes
  • Swiffer mop
  • Toilet bowl cleaning solution
  • Dust cloths
  • Scrub brush
  • Magic erasers

Care Package Ideas for College Students

Starving Student

Most college students are always more than open to the idea of getting food! I know my food budget wasn’t exactly plentiful when I was in college, so sending a package full of food is a great idea. I wouldn’t recommend sending anything too perishable (and obviously nothing that needs to be frozen or refrigerated.)

I’m sure a gift card to a local grocery store or restaurant would be appreciated as well. I loved this idea of sending dry, pre-measured meals in mason jars! What a great idea for a busy college student.

A few other ideas that I think would be fun:

  • HelloFresh Subscription/Gift Card: This is a meal subscription service that I personally use and LOVE. The meals come out to be about $9 a meal (and serve 2-4 people…plenty for leftovers!) It comes with EVERYTHING you need for the meal – including the recipe – so your student won’t have any excuse not to make the meal. You literally don’t even have to measure everything as it all comes pre-measured and ready to go. Right now, you can get $50 off your first order of two boxes. You can even get gift cards!
  • Six Sisters’ Meal Plan: If your student is a little more self-sufficient, this is a great option. It’s only $5 a month, and every wek you get a new meal plan with all the recipes for six meals, two desserts, and side dishes – along with ready-to-go shopping lists. I wish I would have had this when I was in college!

Relaxation and Pampering

College is stressful! Sometimes college students need to just take some time to rejuvenate and get their brain a little bit less fried. Here are a few ideas:

Mid-Semester Slump

There are obviously going to be ups and downs throughout the semester – if you notice your college student sounding a little less peppy, that would be a great time to send them a “pick-me-up” package. Here’s a “Rise and Shine” care package idea that I loved. A box of sunshine is always popular as well – just fill a box with all the yellow products you can find!

Sending some yummy snacks or even pictures from home would be nice!

Get Well Soon/Health Package

No one likes getting sick, and it’s even worse when you have a demanding school (and possibly work) schedule. I got sick all the time during college, but I couldn’t just skip class – unless, you know, I wanted to fail (many of my classes had a maximum amount of days you could miss class without it hurting your grade.) Most of the time, I just had to suffer through. This would be a great package to send if a) your kid is sick or b) in anticipation of them getting sick!

  • Kleenex
  • Anything with Vitamin C
  • Airborne
  • Cough Drops
  • Herbal Tea

Here are a few other fun ideas.

Have Some Fun

College can be fun, too! Encourage your student to put the books down for a little bit and just enjoy themselves:

Leave it To Someone Else

If you don’t have the time to put together a care package, you could easily leave it to someone else! Gourmet Gift Baskets has packages specifically for college students (and as of right now, you can get 10% off!)

You could also subscribe your student to a monthly subscription box. I’ve been meaning to write about these for awhile, but here are a few of my favorites:

  • Treatsie (right now you can buy one and get one free!)
  • Candy Club – Get $10 off your first box!
  • Orange Glad – lots of tasty baked goods!
  • Potter Packs – my friend sends these out each month, and they are amazing! They are filled with a variety of fun products – usually something tasty, something to wear, decoration, a craft, and a few other things. It’s one of the best values I’ve found in a subscription box.

College Care Packages


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