The Ultimate Guide to Crafting the Perfect College Care Package

Young woman sitting on a couch opening a box. Her face shows surprise and happiness.

The Ultimate Guide to Crafting the Perfect College Care Package

Published on November 7, 2023

Young woman sitting on a couch opening a box. Her face shows surprise and happiness.

Even if they’re not taking your calls at the moment, college students love receiving care packages from you. It’s a sweet way to let them know you’re thinking of them, and it reminds them that you support them in their new endeavor, and even though you’ve moved off stage, you’re still around if they need you. My son’s not quite ready for care packages yet, but you can bet I’ll be sending one next year when he’s away at college.

Here are some great ideas for what to include in a college care package:

Snacks and Treats

  • Non-perishable snacks like chips, granola bars, nuts, or trail mix.
  • Instant coffee, tea bags, or hot chocolate packets.
  • Homemade cookies, brownies, or other baked goods.

Personal Care Items:

  • Toiletries like shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and toothpaste.
  • Disposable razors, shaving cream, and other grooming essentials.
  • Hand sanitizer, tissues, and face masks.

School Supplies:

  • Notebooks, pens, highlighters, and sticky notes.
  • USB flash drives or external hard drives for storing files.
  • Index cards or study aids for exams.

Entertainment:

  • Books, magazines, or a Kindle/eBook gift card.
  • Puzzle books, playing cards, or small board games.
  • Earphones or headphones for studying and entertainment.

Comfort Items:

  • Cozy socks, a warm blanket, or a plush pillow.
  • A scented candle or essential oils for relaxation.
  • Personalized items like a photo album or framed photo of the family — or their favorite pet.

Dorm Room Decor:

  • Posters, wall art, or decorative string lights.
  • Small plants or succulents (anything that’s low-maintenance and drought-tolerant).
  • Command strips or hooks for hanging items without damaging walls.
  • Fragrance diffuser

Gift Cards:

  • Gift cards to their favorite local restaurants or Uber.
  • Online shopping gift cards (Amazon, Target, etc.).
  • A prepaid card for laundry or snacks on campus.

Household Essentials:

  • Microwave-safe bowls, plates, and utensils.
  • Reusable water bottle or travel mug.
  • Instant soup or microwaveable meals.
  • Laundry pods
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • First aid kit

Health and Wellness:

  • Vitamins or supplements to support their health.
  • First-aid kit with band-aids, pain relievers, and cold medicine.
  • A small fitness item like resistance bands or a yoga mat.

Personal Notes and Letters:

  • Include a heartfelt letter or note to let them know you’re thinking of them.
  • Encourage friends and family to send cards or messages as well.

Remember to consider your college student’s specific tastes and needs when creating a care package. Personalizing the package to their preferences and providing practical items they may not have thought to buy can make it even more meaningful. It’s the perfect way to say, “I’m thinking of you.”

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Use R2C Insights to help find merit aid and schools that fit the criteria most important to your student. You’ll not only save precious time, but your student will avoid the heartache of applying to schools they aren’t likely to get into or can’t afford to attend.  

Other Articles You Might Like:

10 Pieces of Advice for College Freshmen

Care Package Ideas Your College Student Will Love

The Homesick Hotline: How to Handle the Call from a Freshman Who Misses You

JOIN ONE OF OUR FACEBOOK GROUPS & CONNECT WITH OTHER PARENTS: 

PAYING FOR COLLEGE 101

HOW TO FIND MERIT SCHOLARSHIPS

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