Best Care Package Ideas for College Students

Unlike a single gift that may be given to a college student during their birthday, or the holidays, a care package is usually a mini assortment of thoughtful items that take care of life’s necessities; Be they recreational, hygienic, health and wellness-related or similar.

But in order to answer to the question, what sort of care package should I build? One must take into account a student’s personality and interests, the season, time of the year, etc.

To help make it a little bit easier for you to start building one or at least get the ball rolling as far as ideas, we’ve created this list of 10 care package ideas for college students that you can use as a base for your next gifting. 

These include both ideas for themes, as well as for specific gifts that you can include in your package. As long as you are aware of some of the core interest of your giftee, we are positive that you can and will build a care package that your college student will love.


Got any other ideas? Feel free to share in the comments below!


Coffee: Fuel On-The-Go

Care Package Ideas for College Students coffee



We all know that college students are used to pulling all-nighters. It sort of comes with the territory. 

Whether they’re reviewing material, or cramming to study things they haven’t gotten around to studying yet, there are always plenty of early mornings and late nights to keep them mentally and physically exhausted. 

Care Package Ideas for College Students coffee machine
Image Source: Consumer Reports 

This is why coffee and coffee-makers are an ideal choice for college students everywhere. Because instead of making a pit stop at the cafeteria, they can simply make the cafeteria at home or in their dorm-room and go to class. 



Care Package Ideas for College Students biohazard coffee


Looking for an extremely caffeinated coffee? Check out the World’s Strongest Coffee - Biohazard Coffee, available in ground and whole bean. This will definitely help them power through finals week. 

In addition to the Consumer Reports list of the Best Coffee Makers for College Students, Best Products also has this list of the Best Coffee Brands of 2019; both of which can you help you gauge which machines and beans will best help your student re-fuel as needed.



Gift Cards

Care Package Ideas for College Students gift cards

Image Source: Money Crashers

One gift that everyone loves is a gift card. 

The main reason is because it allows you to buy anything that you want. 

While you certainly don’t have to create a care package based on gift cards (though you definitely can!), adding one or two in for good measure can be a great way to make sure your items can be used right away.

Target and Starbucks are 2 of the safer bets when it comes to gift cards, because it’s guaranteed that everyone can find something they want to buy. 

If you need more ideas for gift cards, check out The Odyssey Online’s 9 Gift Cards Every College Student Will Want This Holiday or Money Crasher’s Seven Gift Cards To Buy For College Students and Teenagers; the latter which gives many options for basic needs, such as healthcare and groceries.

However, unless you know the college student’s style preferences, it’s best to go with retailers that carry a variety of items that they can choose from, rather than specific niche store chains.


Passion Planner 

Care Package Ideas for College Students passion planner

Image Source: Passion Planner

A Passion Planner is a unique sort of calendar that also doubles as a journal. It’s like a diary that organizes your short and long-term dreams; Which includes everything from blogging to owning a home a few years from now.

While the memories and the hard work your students put into college may seem like they’ll last forever, one of the bigger goals in life is to discover all of the things we want to accomplish and hopefully act on them. 

That is exactly what the Passion Planner is for. It’s a roadmap for both the current and future you!

Want to give your college student some ideas for how they can use their passion planner? Check out the company’s feed for creative ideas, such as Fitbit tracking to writing your first book.

You can also check out this short article on how to organize the back pages section of your planning for everything from books you want to read to yoga planning.



Seasonal Themed Care Packages

Care Package Ideas for College Students seasonal care package

Image Source: Countdowns and Cupcakes

Seasonal and holiday-themed care packages are a great way to amp up the fun factor on any gifting.

By looking at the world around you, how nature changes for each time of the year, or even just taking a look at your calendar and seeing what holidays are up-and-coming, you can get plenty of ideas for your college care packages that you won’t have to spend most of your time and energy thinking about what you will include.

For example, during the summer, you might create a beach or similar-themed care package; Packing items such as a beach towel, sunglasses, a swimsuit or trunks, tote, sunscreen, sun hat, sandals, and any other necessities your college student will love to have during their break.

You might also decorate the inside of the care package box with bright and cherry summer scene.

If you need more ideas for themed care packages, look no further than Fresh U’s 10 Themed Care/Going Away Packages for Your Friends.


Get-Well or Wellness Themed

Care Package Ideas for College Students sick care package

Image Source: Rockin Mama

Because most of us get sick at some point during the year, a get-well or wellness themed care package can help your college student preemptively strike against colds that affect the immune system.

These care packages generally come in 2 varieties: 1) Get Well - A care package to give when someone is already sick and 2) Wellness - A care package to help take care of your immune system; as a sort of preventative measure.

For example, in a Get Well package, you might pack cough drops, Theraflu or NyQuil, homeopathic/organic alternative medicines, tea (especially if it contains lemon or ginger), etc.

In the Wellness package, on the other hand, you might include Emergen-C Vitamin C packs, tea (particularly one of these herbal teas that’s low on processed ingredients), or other similar gifts.



Care Package Ideas for College Students music care package

For the music lover in your life, care packages can be a great way to give them more of what they love. 

Gift cards for Itunes or Spotify, CD Player or cassettes (Of artists they love, or similar), headphones, posters, tickets to concerts and other similar gifts may help them feel more connected with the music and artists they love.



School Supplies

Care Package Ideas for College Students school supplies


Every college kid knows what it’s like to run out of school supplies either at the start or in the middle of a new semester. 

Of course, this means they’ll have to dish out a couple of bucks for a new one. 

This is what makes school supplies-based care packages so great. Because, by filling up a parcel with a handful of binders, pens or pencils, notebooks, Sharpies or other highlighters, Post-it notes or other stationary items, you can help students cut the cost of affording necessary supplies and also give them supplies they didn’t know they need!

Head over to ThoughtCo for more ideas on school ideas for your college student.


Homesick/Miss You Care Package

Care Package Ideas for College Students home sick care package

Of course, there is nothing better than receiving a postcard from home; especially one that is full of love and encouragement.

This is why care packages that either say “We know you miss us :) ” or “We miss you!”, are a great way to reiterate the fact that you both love and miss them, but are also infinitely proud of everything they’ve accomplished.

Great additions to this type of care package include:

  • Written updates from home
  • Latest photos taken with family and friends
  • Signed card by those closest to the student

  • The Candy Lei has 20 more ideas for homesick care packages, while the Chicago Tribune compiled a list of thoughtful gifts with a more personal touch from home.


    Home Decorating

    Care Package Ideas for College Students decorated dorm room


    It’s no secret that dorm living can get expensive.

    No doubt, when they’re just moving in, most college students work with the necessities. That means that things like style can be pushed to the wayside, for practicality’s sake. 

    This list of the 13 best online home furnishing companies is a great collection of places your college students will love to buy their new home decor. Most of these brands also include special offers of some sort, or the ability to purchase gift cards, and other incentives that make it easier for you to help your special college student out. 

    Unpakt has a great list of  6 Companies That Cute and Affordable College Dorm Room Decor.



    Finals is another great moment to build a care package around. 

    For most students, they happen twice a year; which means you have 2 opportunities to give them that extra push of encouragement needed to get through it all.

    Finals means later nights studying; which means your students could use energy and protein bars, and any other snacks that will help them stay away, alert and focused.

    Lillies and Loafers has a neat little breakdown of every item that you might include in a finals care package; while Savvy Saving Couple offers another curated list of crowd favorites.


    Depending on how much you know about your recipient, there is a lot of inspiration you can draw from to get ideas for your care packages. 

    In fact, one of the easiest ways to start generating ideas is to determine how you can incorporate the current season into the design scheme; or use upcoming holidays, as inspiration.

    You can also utilize particular facets of your college students personality (colors they like, things they’re into etc) to get a sense of what sort of gifts you should add.

    Once you start from one or more of these areas it will be easy to build your care package from scratch.


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