10 Creative Care Package Ideas for Family and Friends

Show your long-distance loved ones how much you care with these super cute ideas.

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This post will show you the best creative care package ideas.

Care package header graphic with photo of a woman packing a care package in her kitchen

In the age of social distancing and travel restrictions, it’s more important than ever to show our loved ones how much we care about them — even if we can’t see them in person.

A care package is an amazing way to brighten anyone’s day. Who doesn’t love getting surprises in the mail? These are amazing for college students, long-distance friends, or loved ones abroad.

Below, I’ll share my top 10 favorite creative care package ideas for friends and family, with special package ideas for college students, boyfriends, and girlfriends as well.

{RELATED POST: The Best College Gift & Care Package Ideas for Finals Week}

10 Care Package Ideas

There are so many cute care package ideas out there but here are our top 10 favorites that we’d absolutely love to receive!

1. Care Package of Their Favorite Treats

Literally everyone loves snacks so a care package of their favorite treats is a total no-brainer!

These couldn’t be easier to put together, just round up some small sizes of all of their favorite snacks and put them together in a box with a card. Just be sure not to buy anything that could go bad before the package gets there.

Alternatively, if you really want to save time, you can buy these boxes pre-made online at places like Amazon and Etsy.

Also, if your recipient has a special diet, you can order vegan snack boxes or keto-friendly snack boxes, too, or put those together yourself.

2. Spa Care Package

We all need to practice self care more often, this year more than ever. So inspire your recipient to take some time for themselves with a self care spa package.

Here are some ideas for things to include in a spa care package:

  • Cozy socks
  • Sheet masks
  • Bath bombs
  • Lotion or body butter
  • Lip balm
  • Makeup Eraser cloth
  • Salt or sugar scrub
  • Nail polishes
  • Candles
  • Loofah
  • A book
  • A cozy robe

These care packages are also readily available to order online. The spa care package above comes with snacks, cozy socks, and beauty products, and you can have it shipped directly to their door.

3. Care Package of Favorite Things from Home

Care package of things from home

If you’re sending a care package to someone living away from home for an extended time, consider sending them a “homesick” care package, including all of their favorite things from home.

Some ideas for what to include in a “things from home” care package:

  • Homemade baked goods (just use rush shipping and package well to avoid spoiling)
  • A “Homesick” scented candle for your city
  • Local favorite foods (saltwater taffy, Carolina barbecue sauce, sour Hawaiian candy, etc.)
  • Framed photo of them with family
  • Something new from their favorite store back home
  • A mug or piece of jewelry with your home state on it (lots of state mug options here)

You know your giftee best, so the key is to think about what they love to do when they’re home and recreate as much of that experience as possible.

This gift does take a bit more effort to put together than the others on this list, but it’s so personalized and special. It’s absolutely guaranteed to put a smile on their face. 🙂

4. Favorite Destination Care Package

Another fun care package idea is to create a care package of items from their favorite travel destination.

For instance, if you’re shopping for someone who loves Paris, make them a gift box of their favorite French snacks and beauty products. Or maybe your giftee loves Mexico — some Pulparindo snacks and Mexican coffee will remind them of their favorite vacation spot.

One caveat: Depending on where you live, these can be expensive to put together. That being said, this is a really impressive and special care package idea that will remind them of travel even when they’re stuck at home. (Extra relevant this year.)

5. College Student Care Package

We’ve talked before about care packages for college students during finals week, but really you can send a college student a care package at any time. College students are usually stressed and don’t often get tons of time to shop for themselves — so a care package is always, always appreciated.

Parents or friends, here are some ideas for what to send in a college care package:

  • Treats/snacks (seriously, every student will appreciate some good junk food)
  • Microwavable meals (ramen, Easy Mac, etc.)
  • School supplies (here’s our full list of the best ones for college)
  • Anything from our college packing list that they don’t already have
  • Reusable water bottle (every student loves Hydroflasks)
  • Fun items like a selfie ring light, Cards Against Humanity, etc.
  • Ground coffee or K-Cups or energy drinks (I’m obsessed with the Alani Nu ones)
  • New workout clothes for the gym
  • Cute gear with their college logo (hoodie, baseball cap, etc.)
  • Sleep accessories (sleep mask, earplugs, AirPods if you’re feeling fancy)
  • Gift cards for groceries, restaurants, clothes, etc.
  • Tech accessories (cute phone case, long phone charging cord, Bedshelfie, etc.)
  • Laundry supplies (not the most fun but super helpful!)
  • Any of the items from our spa care package above for a little self-care
  • Any of the items from the “homesick” package above
  • Any of the items from the “holiday themed” packages below around major holidays
  • Words of encouragement — a funny card or just a note cheering them on means a lot!

Basically, the key is to treat your college student to things they might not buy for themselves and things that will make their day easier. College is tough, so anything that makes their life easier or more fun is great.

6. Sick Day Care Package

If a friend or family member has a cold or needs to quarantine, a sick day care package can be a wonderful way to lift their spirits. Also, they may not be able to get to the store themselves for essentials, so your care package can be really helpful.

You can order sick day care packages pre-made on Amazon and have them shipped right to your giftee’s door. Or, you can always make your own.

Here are some ideas for what to include in a sick day care package:

A sick day care package is such a thoughtful way to help someone you love through a tough time. They’re sure to be grateful for the love and support!

7. Baking Care Package

I love to bake so I would love to receive a baking care package with some new ingredients and supplies!

For the easiest route, you can ship them a pre-made baking kit from Amazon, like the one above which includes everything you need to make a campfire s’mores cake. (They also have other options like chocolate pop tarts, funfetti cookie surprise cake, and ice cream sundae cupcakes.) Or, you can make your own and ship it to them.

Some ideas for what to include in a baking care package:

There are so many ways you could go with this one, but the best part is, you really can’t go wrong. Take it from me, you can never have too many baking supplies — they’ll definitely get used! Seriously, I would be so psyched to receive a package like this.

8. Favorite Color Care Package

This is such a cute care package idea that I’ve been seeing everywhere. Basically, you theme the care package around their favorite color and include treats to fit the theme.

The most popular version of this is a yellow “box of sunshine” like this one from Etsy. I see versions of this all over the place online and it’s such a cute way to brighten someone’s day!

You can do this with any color and get really creative with it, including all of their favorite snacks and treats, or even things like lip balms, scented hand sanitizers, socks or accessories in that color, etc.

You could even make a care package themed around a college student’s school colors, that would be so cute!

9. Holiday-Themed Care Package

Major holidays are always a great excuse to send a care package and it’s so fun to make a package around a holiday theme.

Here are some ideas for what you could include in a holiday care package:

  • For Christmas: String lights, holiday scented candle, peppermint bark, cozy sweater, hot cocoa mix, gift card to their favorite store
  • For Valentine’s Day: Tons of Valentine’s candy, cute card, something fun like scratch tickets or a gift card, beauty products for women
  • For Halloween: Make a spooky basket with tons of themed candy, pumpkin spice coffee, Halloween socks, orange snacks like Cheetos, fall scented candles, etc.
  • For Easter: Go old school and send them an Easter basket with fake grass, chocolate bunnies, jelly beans, and white chocolate popcorn

10. Care Package for Boyfriend or Girlfriend

If you’re in a long-distance relationship, a care package for your boyfriend or girlfriend is such a sweet way to make their day a little brighter and let them know you’re thinking of them. You can totally personalize it to them and what they like most.

Again, you can buy these online to have shipped to their door. Here’s one for guys and here’s one for girls. However, these are even better if you make them yourself to really personalize them.

Some ideas for what to include in a care package for boyfriend or girlfriend:

  • For boyfriend: His favorite candy and snacks, mens grooming products in a scent you like, cologne, a cute card, a framed photo of the two of you, anything from our list of the best gifts for boyfriend.
  • For girlfriend: Her favorite candy and snacks, jewelry, Sephora gift card, cute undies in her size, a cute card, a framed photo of the two of you, anything from our list of the best gifts for girlfriend.

What to Know About Sending a Care Package

Woman holding a care package

There are a few tips to keep in mind when sending a care package to make sure everything gets there as you intended.

You can skip these worries if you order a care package online to be shipped to them directly, but if you want the personal touch, here are some tips for sending a homemade care package:


The key when packing your care package is to make sure you fill up all available space in the box so things don’t get jostled around. Packing peanuts, paper shreds, and tissue paper are your friends here!

Also, make sure to wrap any fragile or glass items with tissue paper, bubble wrap, or brown paper to make sure they don’t break in transit.

For homemade baked goods, wrap them in parchment paper so they won’t get stale and put them in a box or tin so they don’t get squished. You can also wrap the box or tin in colorful cellophane to make your box extra cute.

Don’t forget a card or note, it seems like a small step but your recipient will appreciate the handwritten words.


You probably don’t need to buy a box at all for your care package. You can either use any cardboard box you have lying around for shipping, or you can get free flat-rate boxes from USPS.

The flat-rate boxes from USPS are great because they’re based on size, not weight, so you just pay one flat price for as much stuff as you can fit in a box. You can get these at any local post office.

One caveat: I’ve found UPS to be a lot more reliable than USPS the past few years (the postal service is definitely overloaded these days), however you do have to pay more for UPS’s reliability. Reliability varies by area as well.

Also, if you are lazy like me, you can schedule a USPS, UPS, or FedEx pickup at your home. You just need to register on their website and book the pickup ahead of time (usually 24 hours beforehand). These pickups generally cost a few dollars, but to me it’s well worth the time saved.

Finally, if you’re shipping internationally, your options are FedEx, USPS, and DHL. Also, things like customs forms and item restrictions will apply. Here’s a great guide on how to send an international care package that has everything you need to know.

What’s your favorite care package that you’ve received or sent?

Any more ideas we should add to our list? Tell me what you think in the comments section down below.

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