20 College Care Package Ideas for the Student in Your Life

A care package is a great way to show a loved one you're thinking of them. We've compiled 20 gifts to include in a care package for college students.
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One way to help support the students in your life is by sending a care package. Though you can purchase premade care packages, putting one together yourself is often more affordable. It also allows you to tailor the contents to your recipient's tastes.

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Care packages can include general items you know the student will love, or it can be a themed package. For example, you could send a care package for an upcoming holiday or one filled with tasty late-night snacks for finals week.

Other care package ideas include an assortment of local novelty items and snacks for a homesick student, a self-care kit full of spa treatments and cozy items, and a movie-night care package complete with popcorn and candy.

Still trying to figure out what to put in your college care package? Check out our ideas below.

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1. College Swag

Our Recommendation: Campus Colors Long Sleeves NCAA Adult Arch & Logo Gameday Unisex Hooded Sweatshirt

Who doesn't love to show a little college pride? Including a piece of college gear in a care package is a great way to help outfit students for classes, sporting events, and study sessions. You can even buy one for yourself to have something to wear for campus visits.

2. Homesick Candle

Our Recommendation: Homesick Scented Candle

Send your student a little piece of home with a candle that's scented to evoke memories and sweet nostalgia. Each candle's scent is inspired by a different state. The Florida candle smells like citrus, mangroves, amber, and smooth vanilla, while New York's candle has notes of bergamot, lemon, concrete, jasmine, and water lilies.

3. Card Game

Our Recommendation: Exploding Kittens

A small and simple card game that students can take with them to hangouts and play in dorms is a great addition to any college care package. The mega-popular "Exploding Kittens" allows for 2-5 players and hours of fun. It's a combination of Russian roulette, Uno, and pure silliness.

4. Movie Series

Our Recommendation: Jurassic World" 5-Movie Collection

Set your student up for the ultimate movie night with the full set of a movie series. This "Jurassic World" Blu-ray collection includes the iconic original movies as well as the recent hits. Though streaming services have brought thousands of films to our fingertips, box office classics like this come and go from those services at random.

5. Wearable Blanket

Our Recommendation: The Comfy Original Oversized Microfiber & Sherpa Wearable Blanket

Hear us out: This product doubles as both a sweatshirt and a blanket. It's unlikely you can get any cozier than this. A Comfy will allow your student to bundle up while leaving their arms mobile enough to whip up some mac and cheese or take notes while studying. And it's "Shark Tank" approved!

6. Slippers

Our Recommendation: BRONAX Cloud Slippers

Cloud slides went viral on TikTok for their ultra-cush design. These slippers are great for wearing around the dorm, in the showers, to the beach, and for those impromptu dining hall runs. Customers call the slippers supportive, comfortable, and worth the price tag.

7. Blanket

Our Recommendation: Exclusivo Mezcla Waffle Textured Soft Fleece Blanket, Large Throw Blanket

There's no such thing as too many blankets. It's a timeless gift that pretty much any student will appreciate. If your student is in Arizona, you can even find them a cooling blanket! Our pick is the Exclusivo Mezcla Waffle Blanket, which is perfect for year-round coziness.

8. Laundry Detergent Pods

Our Recommendation: Tide PODS Liquid Laundry Detergent Pacs, Spring Meadow

If the student you're building a care package for isn't coming home every weekend to do laundry, some detergent pods could be a thoughtful gift. We recommend Tide PODS for clean storage and easy laundry days.

9. Picture Frame

Our Recommendation: Trwcrt Floating Picture Frame

A photo can help make your student's place feel more like home. Including a framed photo in your care package is sure to tug at the heartstrings. We like this floating picture frame that can be hung on a wall or displayed standing up.

10. Reusable Water Bottle

Our Recommendation: Hydro Flask Standard Mouth Bottle With Flex Cap

It can be easy to neglect hydration when balancing the busy life of a student. Including a reusable water bottle in your care package is a thoughtful way to ensure students are taking care of themselves. We chose a Hydro Flask insulated bottle for its winning reputation for both quality and keeping water cool.

11. Electric Kettle

Our Recommendation: COMFEE' Stainless Steel Cordless Electric Kettle

An electric kettle has many uses for students. It can be used for tea, coffee, instant ramen, oatmeal, and even hard-boiled eggs. All this handy gadget needs is some water and an outlet, making it perfect for (and typically permitted in) dorms.

12. Coffee Maker

Our Recommendation: Bodum 11571-109 Pour Over Coffee Maker with Permanent Filter

Caffeine is the ultimate gift for students. If the student you're creating a care package for doesn't have a coffee maker yet, we suggest gifting them a pour over. We like this Bodum pour over option for its simplicity and minimalist design. It won't take up too much space and isn't too complicated to use.

13. Mug

Our Recommendation: Bosmarlin Large Stoneware Coffee Mug, Big Tea Cup

Mugs are a great gift for students. They can be used for drinking coffee, tea, broth, and other hot beverages. We like the neutral and stylish look of this Bosmarlin Stoneware mug. It's also an oversized mug — perfect for holding other hot items like oatmeal and soup.

14. Flavored Syrup

Our Recommendation: Monin Gourmet Flavorings Premium Coffee Collection

Sometimes all a student needs to blast through a study session is a tasty treat. A set of fancy coffee syrups can help students save money by skipping a latte from the campus cafe and whipping one up at home. The Monin set we recommend comes with mini bottles of caramel, amaretto, French hazelnut, Irish cream, and vanilla flavors.

15. Microwave Popcorn Maker

Our Recommendation: Ecolution Patented Microwave Micro-Pop Popcorn Popper

Popcorn is a classic snack and movie-night essential. A microwave popcorn maker is a great gift to include in a college care package. The Ecolution Popcorn Popper is dishwasher-safe and easy to use. It doesn't require any oil or butter to pop, making it a healthier alternative. If you'd like to add butter, the silicone lid both measures the right amount of kernels and melts the butter over the popcorn for you.

16. Cup Noodles

Our Recommendation: Nissin, Cup Noodles Soup, Chicken Flavor

Are you really a student if you don't consume inordinate amounts of instant ramen noodles? These snacks are easy, cheap, and delicious. You can never go wrong by throwing a few packs of Nissin Cup Noodles into a college care package.

17. Fruit Snacks

Our Recommendation: Mott's Fruit Flavored Snacks, Assorted Fruit

A box of classroom-classic fruit snacks can be a fun addition to any care package. Students can take them to class for a sweet snack between lectures and store them for a while in their pantry. We like Mott's Fruit Flavored Snacks — they're made with real fruit and vegetable juice and packed with vitamin C.

18. Vitamin C

Our Recommendation: Emergen-C 1,000 mg Vitamin C Powder

It can be easy for sleep-deprived students to catch colds and deprioritize nutrition. We recommend throwing in some immune support with Emergen-C 1,000 mg Vitamin C. Students can add a packet of this fruity fizzy drink to a water bottle to get their daily dose of vitamin C, antioxidants, and electrolytes.

19. Highlighters

Our Recommendation: Sharpie Liquid Pocket Highlighters, Chisel Tip

Highlighters are always useful for students as they're studying, taking notes, and reading textbooks. A nice, fresh set of highlighters is a simple way to fill a care package. We like the Sharpie Pocket Highlighters for their slim style and variety of colors.

20. Stationery Set

Our Recommendation: Vintage Airmail Stationery Paper Set, 100-Piece Set

Include a letter-paper-and-envelope set to inspire some old-school correspondence. Mailing letters can be a fun way to pass the time and communicate more meaningfully. You can even address the first envelope and include some stamps. We chose this Vintage Airmail Set to emulate the timeless activity.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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