The Best Ready-Made Care Packages for College Kids

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The transition from high school to college is a difficult, yet exciting time for young adults (and their parents). One way to support your college student is to stay connected without being overbearing. Most college kids enjoy hearing from family and friends back home, and they're often short on cash and a little bit hungry. That makes care packages a great way to say, "We're thinking about you."

Brighten your college student's day (and take time off your hands) by sending a ready-made care package that can be ordered online. Care packages should be convenient for you and fun (or delicious!) for your studious college kid. We carefully considered convenience, taste, value, and design when reviewing products.

Here are the best sites that make sending a care package to your college student easier.

In This Article

Smiles From Home

Smiles From Home

Courtesy of Smiles From Home

Smiles From Home ranks high on our list because this site sends large care packages or sweet and simple smiley face mugs with a few special treats to your college student for a fun pick-me-up. With a variety of gift cards, snacks, and other items, their packages will brighten any day.

Man Crates

Man Crates

Courtesy of Man Crates

A huge variety of gifts for the young man at college is available at Man Crates. The website has several categories of gift packages, each with distinct packaging. The wooden crate comes with a mini crowbar for (not so) easy opening, which only adds to the fun. Available gifts include the bacon crate, the "cowpocalypse" crate, and many more. While some are suitable only for ages 21 and older, there are lots to choose from for younger guys, too.

Tastefully Simple

Tastefully Simple

Courtesy of Tastefully Simple

Many dorm rooms and apartments have microwaves, and Tastefully Simple has the perfect surprise for your favorite student with a sweet tooth. The Churro Mini Donut Mix makes cinnamon-flavored treats in minutes using the included donut pan. Your child can also bake the mix in a mug to create a microwavable cake. Send a few extra to share with roommates, dormmates, and friends.

Gourmet Gift Baskets


Do you need a gift sent right away? Maybe your young adult is under the weather, has a rough weekend of studying ahead, or just broke up with their significant other. Gourmet Gift Baskets can help with same-day delivery of abundant and delicious gift packages that will cheer anyone up. While these are on the more expensive side, the quick response and delivery time can be worth it.

Our Campus Market

Our Campus Market

Courtesy of Our Campus Market

For all things collegiate, head to Our Campus Market. Send your student a package that's already curated or make your own custom care package.

Price at time of publication: $329 for Complete Campus Pak



Courtesy of TetherBox

​TetherBox goes straight to the source when it comes to picking out care packages for college students; they tap other college students. You decide whether to do a monthly, once-a-semester, or annual plan and on your schedule, a package handpicked by your college student's peers is shipped out. No more worrying about ordering something special for a regular bit of love. TetherBox does it for you.

When sending a package filled with things the student can eat, use, and enjoy immediately, also include gift cards so your student can stock up on needed items and small luxuries. Most students appreciate cards for:

  • Target, Walmart, or Amazon
  • Cosmetics or spa
  • Restaurants or fast food
  • Movie theaters
  • Starbucks or other coffee shops
  • Home decor or home improvement stores
  • Bed and bath stores

Finals week needs a different approach. Instead of sending cookies, which send blood sugar skyward, then crashing to earth, send a healthful assortment of snacks and other care items, such as:

  • Beef jerky or hard salami
  • Calming herbal teas such as chamomile, peppermint, or honey ginger
  • Dried fruits and nuts
  • Instant soups and oatmeal
  • Whole-grain crackers and nut butter
  • Lavender-scented lotion or pillow for stress relief

What to Look for in Ready-Made Care Packages for College Kids


A key factor in a ready-made care package for college students is convenience. Choose a product that saves you time and energy—and that will delight your college student. If it's easy, you've got a winner.


It's no secret that college students tend to be hungry. Plus, even the best cafeteria food gets tiresome, So, college students are going to be thrilled with any care package filled with tasty foods they love.


A care package filled with a variety of cool foods, products, and other items will make any college student happy. Pick items that align with their interests for added fun. You can include items they need or simply want. Regardless, they will likely be thrilled have some new stuff that reminds them they are loved.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the benefits of care packages?

    Care packages remind college students that their loved ones are thinking of them. It is an act of service and love to send a care package. It is also simply fun and motivating for college students (or anyone) to get a fun package of gifts in the mail.

  • What item should every care package include?

    You can include any items you want in a care package. You know your college student best, so aim to include whatever items you think they will enjoy most. For many college students, key products will be treat or food-related, but some students may prefer clothing, bath products, gift cards, or other items.

  • How often should I send a care package to college students?

    How often you send care packages is completely up to you. However, they will surely be appreciated whenever you send them. Once a quarter is a good rule. They are especially nice for kids to receive around finals or any time they might be feeling lonely or overwhelmed.