Looking for some awesome college care package ideas for your college student this year? If so, you’ve come to the right post!
During my junior year of college, I nearly cried when my cousin told me that she was going to send me a college care package.
It meant the world to me because that year I was living abroad in England as an exchange student, and was DESPERATELY (!!!) missing some products I could only get in America like…
- Honey Bunches of Oats Cereal
- Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate
- and Vegetarian Bush Beans.
As such, I know EXACTLY what college care package ideas will make your college student extremely excited and ETERNALLY grateful to you!!
Let’s jump into the 21 absolute best college care package ideas to buy this year:
Disclosure: *This post contains affiliate links which means that I may receive a small commission at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through my link.
The BEST OF THE BEST College Care Package Ideas
There are two things college students care about most when they are away at college:
Food and Laundry.
For this reason, the first several products on this list are college care package ideas under these two categories:
Cereal is an awesome college care package idea because they are becoming insanely expensive to buy. Yet most college students live on cereal to survive the school year because it’s quick, tasty, and super filling. As such, you will make your college student EXTREMELY happy if you send them some cereal.
I LOVE these to-go cups because it makes it super easy for students to discard the remains of their meal super quickly and allow them to jump onto their next task.
If you’re not sure which cereal your college student will like, then for sure go for these cups so your student will have a variety of cereals to choose from.
If you do know what your college students wants, then you can get them to-go cups of the same thing, like this one:
2. Baked Goods From Home
Whether your college student tells you this or not, they miss a good home-cooked meal!!! The meals or treats they’ve baked or received from the cafeteria are just not the same!!!
As such, one of the best college care package ideas is surprising your college student by sending them one of your favorite baked goods or treats from home.
They will shout “hallelujah,” once they see it!!
3. Their Favorite Snacks
Sending your college student a box of their favorite snacks is another awesome college care package idea.
You can feel rest assured that your college student will actually use their snacks as they’ll eat them:
- during study sessions,
- in between, or during long class lectures,
- and as a snack right before bed.
If you’re not sure which snack might excite your college student the most, I highly recommend this variety snack pack that is specifically created for family and friends who want to send their college student something tasty in the mail.
Want to go a little healthier?? A great college care package idea alternative is dried fruit snacks.
4. Local Ingredients or Ethnic Seasonings
Does your college student cook and wish they had a seasoning or jar of something that is only sold back home? If so, surprise your college student by supplying them with some of that magical product or ingredient.
For example, I was so happy when my cousin sent me two giant cans of vegetarian bush beans.
Until I got those cans, the only cans of beans I had access to were England’s famous green-colored can of Heinz beans that desperately lacked flavor and seasoning, tasting mostly of pinto beans in a thick sticky soup of tomato sauce.
Bush beans on the other hand are known for their nice balance of sweet brown sugar with tangy and savory flavors. As such, I was so glad to get my hands on some bush beans!
5. Ramen Noodles aka Survival Food
The next best college care package idea to pack for your college student is what I call “survival food” that any college student is grateful to have when they stone-cold broke — ramen noodles.
Regardless of whether your college student ever goes broke, they will always find ramen noodles insanely life-saving when they are studying for final exams and can’t be bothered to fix anything to eat or take a trip to the cafeteria to sit down for a heavy meal.
6. Protein Powder Shakes
Worried that you college student may not be eating a balanced meal and may just be living off of ramen noodles and cold pizza? One of the best college care package ideas to get your college student then is the GNC lean shake protein powder.
True story: My then-boyfriend, now-husband actually bought me this protein powder because he was worried I wasn’t getting enough nutrients.
No, I wasn’t living off of ramen noodles and cold pizza.
I was actually learning how to be vegan lol.
I had lost a lot of weight and he wanted to make sure that I would be okay, so he bought me this shake. I was SO surprised at how amazingly delicious this protein powder was.
This protein powder mixed incredibly well with my drink of almond milk, frozen strawberries, and fresh bananas. It became my go-to meal for breakfast and even lunch during college.
As such, I highly recommend this product!
Okay…now we’re moving on from food…
and unto laundry!
7. Laundry Detergent
Honestly, anything you can do to help your college student keep their laundry expenses down is a HUGE help to them.
As I shared above, the most important thing to college students is food and the ability to do their laundry.
Consider buying your college student these pods so they’ll never have to worry about buying detergent again.
More College Care Package Ideas for His/Her Dorm Life
8. Toilet Paper
Another college care package idea you should absolutely consider for your college student this year is toilet paper!!!!
Honestly, buying a college student a box of toilet paper is right up there with food.
Toilet paper is expensive for most college students but so needed (!!!) so we’ll annoyingly buy individual rolls or a few at a time to get by.
Your college student will thank you greatly if you take this burden of buying toilet paper off of them even for a month.
9. Pads/Tampons/other Hygiene products
Another genius college care package idea is hygiene products such as pads and tampons.
Depending on what kind of hygiene products your college student girl is into, her hygiene products may be an expense that you can eliminate for her for a few months by stalking her up.
10. Body Wash
The next best college care package idea for your college student is body wash!! I know it sounds simple, but when college students are broke, they start buying white-labeled body wash at the Dollar Tree store.
As such, I PROMISE your guy college student will be ETERNALLY grateful for some real man body wash and your girl college student will be super happy to find some aromatic and skin-repairing body wash.
Lotion is another hot commodity any college guy or girl would love to find in their college care package.
Really good lotion that doesn’t dry out minutes after application is pretty pricey for broke college students but is absolutely necessary for good skin health.
As such, consider adding a bottle of lotion and a to-go bottle of lotion to their college care package.
12. Emergen-C Tablets
The next genius college care package idea is Emergen-C tablets.
As I share here, college students who live on campus are most vulnerable to getting the flu because they’re moving into the dorms shared by 100+ different students from different parts of the country and even the world and are sleeping in typically very cold rooms at night.
As such, it is very common for college students to catch colds and the flu during the semester living in the dorms.
One of the best ways to help your college students fight or completely avoid catching a cold or flu is by stalking them up on Emergen-C tablets.
These tablets will give your college student’s immune system the boost it needs to fight colds and infections.
13. Hair Ties
If you’re a woman, you KNOW how easy it is to lose your hair ties.
They’re like pens.
You can try your very best to keep them safe, easy to find location but eventually, they disappear.
For this reason, hair ties are an amazing college care package idea that you college student will actually use and be so happy to find!
14. Letters from Home
The next best college care package idea is letters from home.
Yes, they can receive a text or an email from you, but there truly isn’t anything quite like receiving a LETTER from home.
Seeing your handwriting and thinking about the time and thought you put into putting the letter together will leave an extremely strong impression on your college student.
They will appreciate the gesture more and likely save it as a keepsake that they return to when college gets tough.
As such, if you want to send your college student an unforgettable care package gift, I can’t recommend this idea enough.
Go for it!
RELATED POST: 319 Awesome Open When Letters Ideas [Printable Inside]
15. Pictures From Home
Equally amazing would be to send your college student pictures from home. Your college student will love this, especially if they’ve been struggling with homesickness. They can take those pictures and hang them up on their walls, to their desk, or to their door so they always have them to look at.
16. Eucalyptus Oil
As I’m sure you are aware, college can become extremely stressful. It’s a semester full of never-ending reading assignments, untimely pop quizzes, time-consuming projects, and brain-numbing exams. For this reason, eucalyptus oil is an amazing college care package idea to send to your college student.
It will go a long way to relieve some of the stress they feel and facilitate some much-needed rest.
We’re not 100% out of the woods yet with COVID-19 and because we’re not, your college students will likely love to have some different patterned masks to sport at school.
11. Board Game
As you are aware, college students aren’t ALWAYS studying.
At different times of the week, students will take study breaks to watch their favorite show on Netflix or relieve stress by playing a board game with friends.
However, unless your college student brought their own board game to college, they are constantly having to wait or forget playing a board game altogether because someone else in the dormitory has checked it out.
As such, surprise your college student by sending them a board game you know they’ll love.
That way they can whip it out with their friends whenever they want to take a quick study break.
RELATED POST: 7 Hilarious Board Games For College Students
12. An encouraging book
Another genius college care package idea you can gift your college student is an encouraging self-help book that screams “you can do it,” and “you got this!!”
There will be many moments when your college student will experience self-doubt or will experience a setback and so having something tangible that reminds them to have faith, they can do it, and keep pushing forward will encourage their spirit during those tough times.
13. Space Heater
If your college student is allowed to have a heater in their dorm or college apartment, by all means, send them one. Especially if they’re attending school in the north!!!
Many colleges have dorms that are 50+ years old with crappy heaters that do a horrible job to keep students warm. As such, giving your college student the ability to control how much heat he or she receives will make an awesome gift.
Furthermore, it’ll save your college student from freezing in a cold room if he or she shares the room with someone who likes the room cold.
14. Pens and/or Pencils
Just like hair ties, pens and pencils eventually disappear.
As such, another genius college care package idea is stocking your college student up on some more pens and pencils since they are likely running low.
I highly recommend these paper mate pens.
They are the absolute best for college students. With their super-smooth ballpoint, these pens are super easy to write with and create clear and bold characters without bleeding through the paper.
*This post was about college care package ideas*
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Learn more about Jessica, you’re go-to-girlfriend for college advice. Feel free to email her if you have a question or just want to say hello.