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College Care Package and Gift Ideas

written by: •edited by: Wendy Finn•updated: 12/6/2011

Homesick young adult college students look forward to receiving a care package or gift from home. Creating "just right" gift baskets and care packages for college students is easy and fun when you use these ideas.

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    Receiving a care package is like getting a long distance embrace from home. While any type of homemade care package will thrill homesick college students, the personal touch of a specialized care or gift package is always treasured. All ideas offered here are quick, inexpensive, easy-to-assemble, and make great gifts.

    Gift basket 

    Chocolate Lovers: For this care package, focus on everything chocolate: hot chocolate mixes, chocolate scented candles and stickers, or even chocolate bath products like chocolate bath gel. While students always need college necessities, chocolate chip cookies – preferably homemade – are the most requested food item for college student care packages and gifts.

    Late Night or Movie Night Munchies: Put lots of microwave popcorn in these well-liked care packages, then finish them with travel size boxes of candies, individual packages of chips, nuts, and trail mixes. Slip in a gift card or two for a movie rental store and your gift basket for a homesick student is ready to mail.

    Special Celebrations: Holidays like birthdays, Valentine’s Day, and Easter are just the thing to suggest themes for care packages. Local discount or dollar stores have lots of travel sized items like shampoos, hair sprays, or soaps at reasonable prices to fill creative holiday gift baskets.

    Themed Baskets and Packages: Other theme ideas for creating college-bound packages are: college finals survival kits, health and safety packages, school supplies care packages, or sweet treat and candy packages. Keep college student care packages simple, customize them by matching items to personalities, and remember to include items they would not buy for themselves.

    gift Baskets 

    Most Requested Food Items

    • Chocolate chip cookies
    • Instant coffee, tea, and cocoa mixes
    • Microwaveable foods for easy meals
    • Individual packages of condiments
    • Powdered drink mixes
    • Popcorn
    • Chewing gum
    • Healthy snack foods for college students
    • Sweet and salty treats like dried fruits or nuts
    • Ramen noodles

    Most Popular Fun Items

    • Batteries
    • Stress balls
    • Stamps
    • Phone Cards
    • Foam balls
    • Flashlights
    • Gift cards
    • Stickers
    • Small toys
    • Disposable cameras

    Items to Personalize Gift Baskets for College Students

    • Hometown information – news about friends or organizations, sports teams, or local events
    • Newspapers, favorite magazines, church bulletins, or newsletters
    • Letters or art from siblings and relatives
    • Pictures of pets, special places, or events

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    Image Credits and References

    Dscn9855 -, credit: sideshow mom

    KK Santas -, credit: kakisky

    Author's own experience owning a gift basket business