Loved ones can be scattered across the globe for a variety of reasons, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be there for them. Send them a thoughtful care package to bring happiness, love and memories all wrapped up in an adorable box. From college kids to military members, these care package ideas are sure to deliver something sweet to your long-distance loved one.

We’ve included some unique printables to accompany your care package so you can dress up your gift for any occasion. They include box flap decorations that you can cut to size, fun tags to decorate with and matching stationery to write a heartfelt note.

For college students

college student care package printablesdownload student care package printables

For college students miles away from home, the second best thing to a visit from family is a surprise delivery in the mail. Care packages are a great way to send your love and let your college student know you’re thinking of them. Whether they’re a little homesick or under pressure during finals, these college care package ideas will send a little piece of home to comfort and encourage them.

Feeling under the weather

Catching a cold in college is hard to shake off, especially without mom there to make you feel better. Send medicine and feel-good items to your college student and let them know it’s okay to take a break to get some rest.

Care package ideas:

  • Cold and flu medicine
  • Cough drops
  • Tea
  • Mug
  • Microwavable soup
  • Fuzzy socks
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Thermometer
  • Band-aids
  • Tissues
  • Hand sanitizer

Surviving finals week

Between spending hours in the library and attending study reviews after class, finals week causes a lot of stress for college kids. Sending a finals survival kit gives your college student a much-needed boost of energy and motivation to get through the week and finish strong.

Care package ideas:

  • Stress ball or fidget spinner
  • Coffee (or a gift card to a coffee shop)
  • Water bottle
  • Healthy snacks like granola bars, dried fruit, mixed nuts or trail mix
  • Study supplies like notecards, highlighters, colored pens and sticky notes
  • Candy and chocolate
  • Chewing gum
  • Stress relief candle
  • Headphones
  • Chapstick

Housekeeping supplies

Taking care of your own space with limited trips to the grocery store means frequently running out of common household items. Stock up your college student with some items they may forget to pick up and keep on hand.

Care package ideas:

  • Laundry detergent pods
  • Clothing hangers
  • Razors
  • Body wash
  • Toothbrushes
  • Q-tips
  • Sunscreen
  • Lotion
  • Scissors
  • Lint roller
  • Stain remover pen

For service members

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Send a care package full of supplies and personal items to your service member to remind them of their loved ones at home. Deployment can be a tough environment, but sending a mix of practical and thoughtful gifts can help your military member feel a little bit closer to home.

When shipping packages internationally, remember to keep in mind:

  1. Size and weight restrictions
  2. The time it takes for your package to ship (try to send non-perishable foods)
  3. Include a card listing the materials in case the package comes open
  4. Limit items since soldiers have limited personal space and storage
  5. Use resourceful packing materials your service member can reuse such as newspaper or plastic bags

Dear spouse

Sentimental items from home are a great way to send your love and allow your spouse to get a glimpse of life at home. Most of these items are small enough to be carried around and will mean the world to your military spouse!

Care package ideas:

  • Printed photos
  • Kids crafts from school
  • Calendar with family birthdays printed
  • Photo pendant
  • Flash drive of home videos
  • Stationery and stamps
  • Personal care items like baby wipes, deodorant and toothpaste
  • Interesting articles clipped or printed from the local newspaper or a magazine

Taste of home

Send some of your soldier’s favorite snacks to indulge in during their deployment. Some of the easiest snacks include non-perishable foods, hard packaged items (rather than in a plastic bag) and anything that can be added directly to water. Be sure to include some local tastes such as a local honey or barbeque sauce your troop can use to liven up their meals.

Care package ideas:

  • Hot cocoa
  • Chips and salty snacks
  • Candy (that won’t melt)
  • Fruit snacks
  • Cookies
  • Condiments like honey or hot sauce
  • Treats from a local restaurant like seasoning packets or dipping sauces

My hero

This superhero-themed care package is packed full of heroic treats and entertainment for your service member. Let them know how strong and appreciated they are with these fun items.

Care package ideas:

  • Superhero socks
  • Sports drinks (preferably powdered mixes)
  • Energy and granola bars
  • Jerky snacks
  • Board games
  • Playing cards
  • Movies or music loaded on a flash drive

For a long distance lover

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Long distance relationships make it tough to spend quality time with your significant other but that doesn’t mean you can’t bond in other ways. Let your boyfriend or girlfriend know you’re thinking of them by sending a care package their way. You may be celebrating a special anniversary or it could be just because. A care package will have to do until they can be in your arms again! And for when you’re able to physically be together, try some of these date ideas so you never run out of things to do.

Celebrating an anniversary

Whether you’re celebrating 1 month together or 10 years, send your partner a special gift in the mail and have a date night at home. These ultra-romantic gifts will make it seem like you’re not even apart. Take your date up a notch by sending your sweetie a flash drive or link to a secret playlist you created just for them.

Care package ideas:

  • Framed photo
  • Confetti
  • Chocolate
  • Travel sized cologne/perfume (via ground shipping only)
  • Rose petals
  • Candles
  • Lipstick or chapstick
  • Breathmints
  • Jewelry with initials or coordinates
  • Gift card for takeout so you can have a virtual date together

Travel themed

Miles apart means nothing to the heart. Celebrate your long-distance love with a travel-themed care package that proves “distance is just a test to see how far love can travel.”

Care package ideas:

  • Map marked with dream destinations or your next road trip
  • Luggage tag
  • Travel pillow
  • Passport holder
  • Sleep mask
  • Cozy socks
  • Travel sized toiletries
  • Pretzels
  • Peanuts
  • Magazines

Treat yourself

Treat your loved one to a spa night at home and pamper them with a special care package full of luxurious goodies. Tell your sweetie to put on some relaxing music, light some candles and cozy up for a chill night in.

Care package ideas:

  • Bath bomb
  • Face mask
  • Body lotion
  • Body scrub
  • Nail polish
  • Manicure set
  • Robe or pajamas
  • Fuzzy socks

For kids away at camp

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Going to an overnight camp for the first time can be nervewracking for all involved, but your little camper will return with new friends and fun memories while you get some time to yourself. Whether it’s a summer camp, church camp or sports camp, your kids will appreciate a care package full of goodies and activities to keep them going through the week. Plus, at their age, nothing is more exciting than receiving mail!

Happy camper

Make sure your camper is staying protected from the sun and outdoors with these fun camping-themed ideas. Even if they aren’t staying in tents or cabins, you can give them the feel of an authentic camping trip!

Care package ideas:

  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Water bottle
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Compass
  • Flashlight
  • Marshmallows
  • Graham crackers
  • Chocolate
  • Snacks like pretzels and popcorn

Busy bee

Even with all of the programs and activities planned, your little one may need some play ideas during their downtime to keep them from getting home-sick. Send a fun-packed care package with games and activities to keep them busy during free time.

Care package ideas:

  • Frisbee
  • Jump rope
  • Coloring books
  • Crayons
  • Stickers
  • Playing cards
  • Watercolor paints
  • Glowsticks
  • Inflatable beach ball
  • Outdoor scavenger hunt
  • Decorations for their cabin
  • Funny note from the family pet with a printed picture

Capture the memories

Although you can’t be there to capture all the fun they’re having at camp, this care package will help them document some of their favorite friends and memories.

Care package ideas:

  • Drawstring backpack that friends can sign
  • Colored permanent markers
  • Matching friendship bracelets
  • Journal with pen
  • Disposable camera (or two)
  • Silly photo props like fake mustaches and crazy sunglasses

Shipping tips for sending your care package

There are certain restricted items that can’t be shipped via ground or air transportation. Make sure your care package doesn’t contain the following so that it will successfully be delivered to your loved one.

Restricted shipping items:

  • Alcohol (beer, wine, liquor)
  • Cigarettes and smokeless tobacco
  • Lithium-ion batteries

Restricted items via air transportation:

  • Nail polish
  • Perfume
  • Matches

There’s always an occasion to send your love to someone. When you can’t be together, remind them how much they mean to you by sending a care package their way. Filled with goodies and personal items, you can send joy, comfort and memories to them no matter how far away they are. If you’re looking for more gifts to include in your care package, check out these last minute gift ideas.