100+ Wonderfully Thoughtful Ideas for a College Care Package
The Best DIY College Care Package Ideas
Trying to figure out what to put in a college care package?
You’ve come to the right place for tons of ideas your college student will love!
Care packages are a great way to show someone you miss them, and that you’re thinking about them. I like to think of them as a hug in parcel.
Surprise mail from home can help college kids feel a little less homesick. Feel good items, like homemade treats, are just what the doctor ordered.
Ideas for a college care package don’t need to be complicated or fancy. Making someone’s day (or week) is not only worth the effort, but also super easy.
Table of Contents
What should I include?
When it comes to students, keep in mind:
Kids who are away at college aren’t well established adults, yet. So sending a few everyday necessities can make a huge difference in their life.
A of pack a razors or a box dryer sheets are simply one less thing your child has to spend money on. For broke college student’s, that’s a quite a relief and much appreciated!
You may not be able to pay for tuition, but a care package can go a long way.
The best care packages have a little bit of this, and a little bit of that.
When picking out fun things for your recipient, don’t forget to include a few practical items. All those little things we take for granted can really improve a college students life!
To help you get started, here are over 100 care package ideas for college students.
100+ Ideas for a College Care Package
College can be pretty stressful, right?
A self care routine can ease some of that stress. That’s why these are awesome inclusions for care packages.
1. Scrunchies – yes, scunchies are back in style!
2. Mud Mask – this is the only mud mask anyone needs.
3. Sheet Masks
4. Epsom Salt
5. Bath Bomb – try these easy DIY instructions to make your own.
6. Sugar Scrub
7. Microfiber Hair Wrap
8. CBD Infused Lotion or Balm – nice to have for easing tension and stress.
9. Nail Polish
10. Neck Pillow – when there’s downtime in between classes, students often stay on campus. A neck pillow will make it easier for them to take a nap while they wait.
12. Hair, Skin & Nails Vitamins – this brand works just as well as every other brand, without the price markup.
Give your student the warm fuzzies inside and out with one of these pleasant ideas.
13. Heated Blanket
14. Snuggie – it’s not the most fashionable thing in the world, but it sure is cozy.
15. Lounge Wear – like sweats or pajama pants.
Snacks & Treats
There’s just nothing like moms cooking…
Especially when you’re far away from home and away at college! Snacks and goodies are just one of those care package ideas you can’t go wrong with.
Know your student’s favorite snack?
Throw some in!
Are there any special homemade treats only you can make?
Those would be perfect!
College students are on the go and busy, and often don’t have much to cook with. So, they value convenient snacks.
Here are some popular snack and food ideas:
17. Kind bars
18. Protein bars
19. RXBARS – an awesome snack, but not always something a student can afford to buy.
21. Cliff Bars
22. Boom Chicka Pop – this is my favorite bagged popcorn. It’s super yummy and healthier than most others.
23. Microwave Popcorn
24. Instant Oatmeal Cups – this kind is packed with protein.
25. Brookside Chocolates – it’s better to send chocolate (and other foods that can melt) when the weather is cooler.
26. Jerky or Jerky Bars
27. Squeezable Applesauce – not just for kids! These pouches are perfect for throwing in a backpack before a long day on campus.
28. Lenny & Larry’s Complete Cookies
29. Barkthins – delicious, but they can melt in transit if it’s too hot out.
30. Pumpkin seeds
31. Fruit snacks
32. Dried Chili Mangos – if you haven’t tried these before, you’re missing out! Look for them at Trader Joe’s.
33. Fruit Leather
34. Portable Soup – quick to warm up in a microwave and so nice to have in the winter months.
35. Nut Butter Packets – an easy way to enjoy peanut butter without a spoon.
36. Dang Coconut Chips – hands down, the the BEST coconut chips.
37. Cheddar Crisps – a perfect snack idea if your college kid is following a keto diet.
39. Pretzel Crisps
40. Harvest Snaps
42. Seaweed Snacks – healthy, nutritious, and great for on-the-go.
45. Candy – your student’s favorite kind can really brighten their day.
46. Gum or mints
Homemade Food Ideas
47. Cereal Bars – check out these awesome recipes!
48. No Bake Cookies
49. Homemade Bread – such as banana, zucchini, or Amish Friendship bread.
50. Trail Mix
51. Rice Krispie Treats
52. Banana Chips – all you need is an oven to make them!
For many, coffee is a must on class days. However, not everyone drinks coffee.
But everyone likes to sip on something other than water.
These drink ideas are easy to send in the mail:
53. Hot cocoa
55. Instant Coffee – like Starbucks VIA.
57. Crystal Light
58. Hawaiian Punch Packets
59. Mug – if you’re including some drinks, why not a special mug to go with it?
60. Insulated tumbler – help keep those drinks hot or cold all day long!
A little something fun is a welcome sight in a care package from home!
61. Adult Coloring Book – college students get a kick out of adult coloring books. They’re even good for relieving stress.
62. Bubble Wrap – for popping!
64. Stress Ball – I think this squishy cat is super cute.
65. Hammock – perfect for relaxing around campus or for impromptu adventures.
66. Portable Speaker
67. Wireless Earbuds
68. Shirt from their College or Favorite Team
69. Ugly Christmas sweater near the holidays – see what you can find at a thrift store!
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. That’s why decor and other things for their room are thoughtful care package ideas for college students.
70. Air Fresheners – such as Glade, scented beads, essential oil spray or a diffuser. Most dorms don’t allow candles.
71. Poo-pourri – a funny little gift for bathroom trips.
72. Childhood Pictures – plus, double-sided tape to hang them!
73. Pocket Printer – so a college student can print pictures from their phone.
74. String lights
75. Felt Letter Board – put a funny message on it before mailing your college care package!
76. Cinema Light Box
77. Macrame – this kind of wall decor is very trendy right now.
78. Fake plants – the Dollar Store actually has some pretty cute ones.
80. Air Plants – like succulents, these plants are hardy and easy to take care of.
82. Small Salt Lamp – it’s the perfect size for a small dorm room!
83. Blackout Curtains
84. Holiday Decorations
A book is something that can bring them enjoyment in their spare time.
You could send one that’s been on their reading wish list for a long time.
If this is their freshman year, you may want to send a book that offers them guidance. This can help ease nerves about college and make the transition smoother.
Here are a few good books I recommend:
85. College Hacks
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’re short on money, buying floss is bound to be low on your list of priorities.
Practical essentials like these are always appreciated in a care package!
90. Favorite Body Wash or Soap – my mom sent me Method body wash on my birthday and I loved the gift!
91. Makeup Wipes – communal bathrooms can be a pain, but makeup wipes make cleaning up easier.
*Consider sending a gift card for Brandless so your student can pick and choose what they need right now.
Even cleaning supplies can feel spendy when you’re on a college budget.
I think this is a good opportunity to send something that smells like home. Clothing freshly laundered in Gain brings up nostalgic memories for me.
92. Tide-to-go – this stuff is a life saver and a personal must-have at college.
93. Wet Ones
94. Disinfecting Wipes – students are more likely to clean when it’s quick and easy.
95. Laundry Pods
96. Laundry Scent Boosters – choose a scent that reminds them of home!
97. Dryer Sheets or Dryer balls
98. Wrinkle Release Spray – no iron needed when you have this spray handy.
99. Keychain Hand Sanitizer
Get Well Items
Maybe your child is feeling a little under the weather. Or maybe you just want to help them not get sick.
No one likes to go to the store when they’re sick, even more so if you don’t have a lot of money. Having these things on hand will help a college student out BIG time.
101. Yin Chiao – I swear by this stuff, it prevents sickness during cold & flu season.
102. Cough Drops
104. Emergen-C – a little vitamin C can go a long way for boosting an immune system.
105. Lip Balm
106. Medicine – such as Excedrin, Tums, Rolaids, etc.
107. Extra Warm Socks
108. Anything else special that comforts your child when they’re sick
Is your college student well stocked on school supplies?
Running out of paper while finishing an assignment is the last thing any student wants to happen.
If you send school supplies, I guarantee you that they’ll find a use for it! If not them, then at least a friend who is in need will.
109. Pens & Pencils
110. Planner – time management is something college students struggle with, but a planner is a big help.
112. Notebook Paper
114. Index flash cards
115. Sticky Notes – the flag variety are especially useful for studying.
Personal Safety Devices
I know we all don’t like to think of the safety risks of our friends or family at college…
But, there’s still the possibility for something to go wrong.
Help your college student be prepared for the worst by including a personal safety device in a care package.
Better safe, than sorry! Even if it is just for your own peace of mind.
117. Pepper Spray
118. Stun Gun
119. Self Defense Keychain – I keep this one on my own keys, I like it because it’s metal and sturdy.
Other Useful Things
Last are some college care packages ideas to use if you want to make your gift extra special.
120. Tile – a great little gadget for finding items that might get lost. Like keys, a wallet, a backpack, and more.
121. Charging Station Perch – it offers extra outlets, it’s surge protected, and it has a spot to hold phones while they charge.
122. Extra Long Charging Cable – outlets are never as close to the bed as students would hope.
123. Cash or Gift Cards – it might be a little “boring”, but 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.
Conclusions on College Care Packages Ideas
Those are just some care package ideas for college students. But I’m sure you know of even more.
Feel free to share in the comments some of your favorite items to send or receive!
More gift ideas for college students:
- 47 Ridiculously Cute Box of Sunshine Ideas
- Awesome Christmas Gifts for College Girls: 50 Popular Ideas
- 42 Super Useful Gifts for College Students
- 37 Stocking Stuffers for College Students (that aren’t just junk)