Care Package Ideas for College Students

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Originally published June 1, 2020 and updated May 2022.

I learned a lot about care package ideas for college students since I went to college 4,900 miles from home and both of my daughters went 450 miles from home. Sending college care packages have always been a concrete way to let your favorite students know you’re thinking of them.

brown box with red heart and twine tied around the box on blue wood background with text overlay

Over the years, I’ve become known for sending care packages to college students, whether my own children or my friends’ children. I know how much I looked forward to receiving a care package when I was in college, so I enjoy sharing that happiness.

What are good things to put in a care package?

  • Items that will make their life easier
  • Items that will keep them from having to go shopping
  • Items that are a treat
    • Food
    • Personal Care
    • Restaurant and coffee shop gift cards
  • Items that you know they especially like
  • Items that are unique to their hometown
    • Food
    • Clothing
    • Music
  • Items that mesh with their specific interests
    • Sports
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Books
  • Handwritten notes from each family member

Creative Care Package Notes – Make the next care package you send even more special with a creative themed care package note. With 48 different notes, there’s something for every situation and every person on your care package list.

48 different brightly colored printable notes for care packages

What do you send a homesick college student?

  • Photos of family and friends
  • Notes and cards from family and friends
  • Food or clothing items that are unique to your hometown
  • Tickets for activities at home during the holidays
  • Healthy snacks and drinks
  • Gift cards for local restaurants and coffee shops
  • Gift items for a movie watching party with roommates
  • Toys to encourage playfulness, physical or mental activity, and bonding with friends
close up of brown present with red heart and twine on blue wood table

Care Packages for College Students


  • Freshman Fun Box – Each box contains 5-7 unique student-centered products including personal care items, items to helping with school, and everyday living goodies.
  • College Delivery Club – Each box is curated to contain items you would pack: food, snacks, study supplies, laundry essentials, personal care products, and, of course, something just for fun!
  • Your College K.I.T. – Each box contains exactly what a college student needs – snacks, toiletries, cleaning, beauty and school supplies and more. You can choose from two sizes of boxes, one contains 7-10 items and the other contains 10-15 items.
  • Basic Crate – The care package that insures your student never runs out of the daily essentials. Items include 3 bars of soap, a bottle of shampoo, a bottle of conditioner, lotion, toothpaste, mouthwash, floss Picks, deodorant, flushable Wipes, and 3 individually wrapped rolls of toilet paper. You specify if the box is for a woman or man.
  • Send Happy Things Box – Each box contains 3 to 6 usable items to make you laugh and make you think. Items include something to wear and something to inspire.

Snack Care Package

  • Studifuel – Designed specifically with students in mind, each box contains 10-12 healthy, vegan, naturally sourced snacks. Options include vegetable crisps, fruit and oat bars, organic chocolates, vitamins, herbal teas and more.
  • Little Red Kitchen Bake Shop – A gift box featuring handmade, small-batch cookies. Each box contains a dozen cookies or one 8″ cookie pie made with mainly organic ingredients.
  • Sugar Smart Box – Each box contains at least of the best low-carb, Keto & diabetic friendly snacks that taste great and are low in sugar and carbs!
brown cardboard box of heart cookies, with 2 cookies on the table
  • SnackSack – A box containing carefully curated snacks from 11-15 amazing brands. Your choice of a box from these categories: Classic, Vegan, Gluten-Free, and Workplace.
  • The Keto Box – Each box has 10 or more keto-friendly treats. Treats  may include on-the-go snacks, baking ingredients, condiments and sauces, and drinks. Also, exclusive monthly coupons for featured snacks are included to help with future affordable, low-carb snack options.
  • Exotic Noods – Make the tradition college noodles exceptional with a box of  3-8 different flavors or styles of noodles from around the world.
  • Elevate Snack Box – 12 different snacks in each box. Featuring snacks so delicious that you’ll forget they’re healthy. The perfect mis of crunchy veggie snacks, chocolate treats, nuts, real fruit, cookies and breakfast treats.

  • Zestbox – Box containing at least 10 organic or non-GMO superfoods, motivational surprises and simple recipes. Food items may be selected from protein shakes, bars or snacks, quick cooking whole grains, quick cooking breakfast items and more.
  • Num-Nums MunchBox – Each box focuses on curated hard-to-find and allergy conscious snacks. You choose the size box you’d like: 5 snacks, 10-12 snacks or 20-24 snack items.
  • Snack Bomb Store – Each box contains three bags of Snack Bombs. Snack Bombs treats are a powerhouse of plant-based superfoods to fuel the body and mind. The snacks are gluten free, high in protein and iron, sulphite & preservative free, made from Non-GMO ingredients and contain at least 50% organic ingredients.
  • Classic Candy Box –  Each box contains 1 lb – 1.5 lb (at least 25 pieces) of hard-to-find classic candy. Items include chocolates, hard candies, chewy candies and anything in between.

I’ve also shared 30 college care package ideas that you can make yourself.

collage of 4 college care package in bright colors

Coffee and Tea

  • Single Cup Club – 15 artisan hand picked K-cups® of coffee included in each box, with a mix of light ,medium, dark, & flavored roasts. Works with any Keurig.
  • Simple Loose Leaf Tea –  Each box contains four carefully selected unique teas that explore the different varieties of loose leaf tea.
  • Coffee Hot Chocolate – Your choice of a box featuring two different craft coffees or a premium bag of hot chocolate and marshmallows. All products are made in limited quantities by local artisans.
  • Teasy Tea and Wellness Essentials – Each box is designed for people who love trying different tea from across America and are into skincare, wellness and self-care products. 10% of profits are donated to OperationHoneyBee to help save the bees.

Be sure to pin so you can find this care packages for college students resource year after year to surprise your favorite college student.

See all my tips, ideas, printables and care packages in the table below. You can scroll though the table and look for ideas or search for specific ideas with the magnifying glass in the upper right-hand corner (on desktop). Click on the topic and then click through the specific article.

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