Going away to college is an exciting time for students and their parents. For many students, it means moving away from home for the first time. Parents feel proud, and students feel a new sense of independence. However, saying goodbye for the first time is tough for parents, and even if they don’t show it, it’s hard on students, too. Sending a care package is a great way for parents to stay connected to their student and to cheer students up when they’re feeling homesick.

Putting together a care package is as fun as receiving one. Here are a few ideas on what to put in your student’s college care package with over 50 suggestions.



Money can be tight for a college student. When they’re in a pinch, having the necessities sent from home can be a big help.

  • Toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Body wash
  • Shampoo
  • Soap
  • Cold medicine
  • Adhesive bandages
  • Cough drops
  • Razors
  • Shaving cream
  • First-aid kit

Snacks and Sweets:

If you know their favorite candy or snack, be sure to include it because they might not be able to find it near them on campus. If you’d like to make it even more thoughtful, include home-baked goods. Microwaveable foods that are easy to prepare in a dorm are also a good idea.

  • Candy
  • Granola bars
  • Trail mix
  • Chewing gum
  • Tea
  • Hot chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Instant meals (soup in a cup, ramen, instant mac and cheese)

School Supplies:

Make sure they’re prepared for all of their classes and have everything they need to be successful.

  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • Notebooks
  • Folders
  • Highlighters

Apartment Decor:

Apartment decorations can help make their dorm room more comfortable and reduce homesickness.

  • Wall posters
  • Desk lamps
  • Fake plants
  • Seasonal decorations

Personalized Mementos:

Personalized items add a special touch of home that will make your student feel special.

  • Handwritten note
  • T-shirt with their school mascot or Greek letters on it
  • Family photographs

Heart Gift Idea


Sending your student a gift card for groceries and other items will help them stay on top of their shopping.

  • Prepaid debit cards
  • Gift cards

Cleaning Supplies:

Living in a dorm can get messy and sometimes smelly. They might not be used to shopping for cleaning supplies, so sending those for small messes along with air fresheners can help keep their space clean.

  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Air fresheners
  • Laundry detergent pods
  • Paper towels


Encourage your student to take some downtime by sending entertainment-related goods like DVDs and headphones.

  • DVDs
  • Headphones
  • Books
  • Magazines

Miscellaneous Items:

These would be a great addition to any care package.

  • Power bank
  • Wall phone charger
  • Nail polish
  • Hair accessories
  • Bobby pins
  • Perfume
  • Cologne
  • Watch

There are tons of things you can add to your student’s care package. No one knows your student better than you do, so choose the items you think they’ll love best.