Do you know someone who left (or is leaving soon) for college?
Are you looking for ways to let them know you are thinking of them?
If you are thinking about putting a care package together and need ideas of what to put in it, then good news! You’re in the right place to get tons of great ideas.
One thing that helps remind someone of home is getting a care package. Mail intended just for them!
It makes them feel good, and a well thought out care package can help a college student with expensive necessities. You may not be able to pay their tuition, but a care package can go a long way in helping them feel at ease and stretch their budget.
You can be creative and send a care package in a cute basket that they can reuse in their new dorm/apartment.
If you don’t like paying for expensive shipping, a lot of items can be shipped directly. If they have stores like Walmart or Target in their college town, you can also order the item and have them pick it up in store!
17 Care Package Ideas for College Students
When you move on your own, there can be many things you simply forget when packing.
Or as college student, there can be items you may not be able to afford at the moment. If you are short on money, buying floss is bound to be low on your list of priorities.
It’s ALWAYS nice to get personal care essentials in a care package! For the sender it may not seem very exciting, but for a struggling college student personal care items can be very useful to receive.
Here are some care package ideas to include:
- Air Freshers
- Hair Ties
- Bobby Pins
- Flip Flops (for communal showers)
Its one of those unavoidable chores in life. Laundry detergent can be a big expense on a college budget.
Help your student out by providing them with enough laundry soap to last a semester!
I recommend sending laundry pods instead of liquid detergent as they are easier to ship, easy to use and easy to carry to the laundry mat. A large pack of Tide Pods would definitely last a long time.
A box of dryers sheets is lighter (less expensive to mail), but would still be VERY much appreciated.
If you have used the same brand of detergent in your home for a long time, consider sending that particular brand. It will remind your college student of home every time they smell their freshly laundered clothes. 😊
It’s no secret that dorm room walls are boring and bland. Those who are in their first apartment may be lacking in the decoration department, as well.
Help spruce up their room by visiting your local dollar store and picking up some fun seasonal items they can decorate with.
Take it a step further by sending something like a mini cinema lightbox. They are super popular and trendy with young adults who are decorating.
The best part is:
They don’t cost much and they are light, making including them in a care package easy. For more affordable decor item ideas, check out this post.
If your student is living outside of the dorms in their first apartment, chances are that their kitchen is stocked with the bare minimum (or less than that).
Cling wrap, aluminum foil, storage containers and sandwich bags are all things we take for granted.
When you don’t have them, you miss them! Send a little love their way by including them in your care package.
Even if the college student is in a dorm, they can still appreciate and use items like paper towels or cleaning wipes.
Some kitchen essential care package ideas – remember they probably don’t have a lot of storage space and being only person less they don’t need as much-:
- Small Food Storage Set
- Paper Towels
- Dish Soap
- Disinfecting Wipes
- Plastic Storage Bags
- Trash Bags
- Cling Wrap
- Aluminium Foil
- Parchment Paper
Socks wear out and it totally SUCKS to have to wear socks with holes until you can afford to buy new ones.
Guys seem to go through socks faster than ladies….
….and guys can be easy to please. Any plain, practical pack of socks is sure to elicit a grateful response. Or, you can pick out a pair that has a pattern that fits his personality.
If you want to give your care package a cozy theme, consider adding in a comfy pair of pajama pants as well!
College can be stressful and the last thing a student wants to happen is to run out of paper while finishing an assignment at the last minute.
If you send school supplies, I guarantee you that they will find a use for it! If not them, then at least a friend who is in need.
Care package ideas include:
If your student isn’t a coffee drinker, hot chocolate and hot tea are nice to have on cold days.
During warmer days, coffee and tea can easily be converted into iced drinks as well!
While we are talking about drinks, why not add in an insulated tumbler as well? It will keep the drinks at the intended temperature for a long time while they are running around campus.
These Ozark Trail Tumblers are highly rated and comparable to Yeti tumblers but cost a fraction of the price.
If they are big water drinkers you, consider sending a water bottle if they don’t have one. I personally use this one and really like it.
Everyone loves music, which is why including head phones in care package is sure to be a hit. They can be inexpensive, but a college student may put up with a janky pair of earbuds for a long time before shelling out the money for a better set.
These are a simple gift every student can use. Pick up an inexpensive, highly rated pair here
Pictures are next up on my list of care package ideas. College students may have phones full of pictures, but what about sending a picture of a loved pet they can hang on their wall?
Think about sending command strips if you send a picture frame, so it can be hung without damaging the walls.
Also consider, sending handmade art or printing out wall art like the one pictured above. You can grab that particular one for free here (it is available in 7 different variations in both portrait and landscape styles).
I know we don’t like to think of the safety risks of our friends or family at college, but there is still the possibility for something to go wrong. It’s nice for them to be prepared with a safety device for even your own peace of mind
You just can’t go wrong with food as another one of these care package ideas!
Do they have a favorite snack? Throw some in!
What about special homemade treats only you can make? Those would be perfect, especially for any home sick college attendee.
College students are on the go and busy, so they value convenient snacks. Think items like:
- Cereal & Granola Bars
- Instant Oatmeal
- Gummy Candy
- Protein Bars
- Gum & Mints
These are all things they want, but they probably don’t always have the extra money to buy. Something like this variety of snacks pack would be nice to have on hand to share with pals during a late night, group study session.
Dorm rooms are small and have less than ideal lighting (florescent lights). Another care package idea would be a small lamp or a set of string lights.
Fairy lights can definitely change the ambiance of a room from annoying and hospital-like to cozy and comforting.
Not textbooks for class, but something that can help ease the nerves about college and make the transition smoother.
You could send a book that has been on their reading wishlist for a long time. If they are a college freshman you may want to send a book that offers them guidance.
Here are a few books I recommend:
- College Hacks
- Stuff Every College Student Should Know (Stuff You Should Know)
- The Freshman Survival Guide: Soulful Advice for Studying, Socializing, and Everything In Between
Next up on my list of care package ideas is: first aid and medicine items. This would include:
- Cough drops
- Lip blam
- Excedrin, Tums, Rolaids, etc
- Anything else you may need when you feel sick.
No one likes to go to the store when they are sick, especially if you don’t have a lot of money. Having these things on hand will help a college student out BIG time.
Let’s back pedal to the subject of music real quick.
When you have the freedom to blast music, it makes studying or cleaning more enjoyable. A Bluetooth speaker would be a great surprise from home!
These Portable Speakers are affordable and small. It won’t be an item that increases clutter in small spaces.
All college students can use money or a gift card.
It doesn’t need to be a lot:
An extra 10 bucks can make a world of difference in a college budget. Going the gift card route, you could pick places to grab a burger or just do a store that carries everything like Walmart, Target, etc.
It’s money they don’t have to spend, so they will really appreciate it!
Here are a few gift card store ideas:
College is stressful and many people find coloring to be a good a stress reliever.
Those are my 17 care package ideas that any college student is bound to love. Care packages are always a pleasant surprise.
Send one to someone you know in college and let them know you miss them. I’m sure that they miss you, too!
Need more gift ideas? Check out 42 Gifts College Students Will Actually Use