68 Creative Care Package Ideas + Printables
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Putting together a care package for someone — whether it’s for a long-distance relationship, your child away at school or just because — is the perfect way to show how much you care about them. No matter the occasion or who it’s for, there are many things to include that they’ll love and will make their day. Plus, love comes in all shapes and sizes, so no need to break the bank on something expensive!
If you plan on surprising someone with a care package and don’t know where to start, we’ve compiled a list of creative and unique ideas for everyone in your life to help inspire you. Additionally, we’ve included fun printables such as gift tags and cards you can use to dress up your care package.
Care Package Tips
Avoid easy-to-make care package mistakes by planning ahead of time! Here are some general tips and tricks to take into consideration when you’re putting together your care package:
Shipping costs: Factor in shipping costs to make sure you don’t go over budget if you have one.
Plan the date: Plan your delivery times ahead so your care package arrives on time.
Make it a group effort: Ask your friends and family to chip in and add some items to the care package to make it more cost-friendly.
Pack properly: Make sure items such as baked goods or other snacks are properly sealed so they don’t spoil during transportation. Make sure fragile and breakable items are also secured.
Avoid restricted items: Be sure not to include restricted shipping items in your care packages such as alcohol, lithium-ion batteries or cigarettes. If you’re shipping your care package by air, you can’t pack items like nail polish, perfume or matches.
Get Well Soon Care Package Ideas
When someone close to you is sick or going through a hard time, put together a get-well-soon care package to help lift their spirits. Additionally, print out these get-well-soon gift tags and attach them to your package to cheer them up even more.
Essential oils: For those who aren’t feeling well, essential oils can help. Eucalyptus essential oils are great for reducing fevers and tea tree oil inhibits bacteria and fights infections.
Candle: Show someone you’re thinking of them and surprise them with a candle in their get-well care package. Candles are great for creating a cozy ambiance, which can help make someone feel better.
New blanket: Being surrounded by warm, fluffy things is an easy and quick way to feel a little better. Add some comfort to their day and include a new fleece blanket in their care package.
Adult coloring book: Help take their mind off of being sick with an adult coloring book — you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy the relaxation that comes with coloring.
Gift card: Include a gift card to their favorite restaurant to enjoy once they feel better or even for one that’s available on food delivery service apps. Check out discounts from popular restaurants like for additional savings.
Crossword puzzles: Crossword puzzles are an option to add to a get well care package as a fun alternative that they can do from their couch or bed. Plus, it’ll keep them busy for hours!
Snacks: If they’re too sick to prepare their own meals, they may appreciate some fun snacks in the care package. Fill it with their favorite treats and ready-to-eat meals.
Canned soup or noodles: Nothing says get well soon like a bowl of soup! You can even make your own recipe and seal it in an airtight container.
Succulents or small plants: Add some greenery and life to their room or bedside table with a succulent or other small plant. Just make sure to properly package it so the stems don’t get damaged while shipping.
Care Package Ideas for Birthdays
If the birthday boy or girl is abroad or long-distance, a care package is a great way to surprise them on their special day. Better yet, print out this birthday card and add your own message to make the delivery even more special.
10. Framed photo: Send a framed picture of you and the birthday guest that they can keep and cherish forever. To make it even more special, add a message to the back of the photo with the date.
11. Treats: Fill their care package with all their favorite treats, whether it be chips, popcorn, candy or other snacks that aren’t perishable.
12. Something personal: Add something that’s unique to them to the care package, like a piece of jewelry they’ve always wanted or tickets to their favorite sporting event.
13. Candles: There can’t be a birthday without candles — add some candles they can put on a cake or dessert to blow out. You can even get a numbered birthday candle representing their age.
14. Unbaked cake mix: One creative element you can add to a birthday care package is a cake mix of their favorite flavor. That way, you don’t have to deal with the hassle of shipping a premade cake and they’ll have a fun activity to do on their own.
15. Birthday banner: Throw a birthday banner into their care package so they can have a celebration wherever they are. You can even personalize the banner with their name and age to add a special touch.
16. Balloons: Of course, you don’t want to send balloons filled with air in your care package! However, help them celebrate their day with ones that they can blow up themselves.
17. Monthly subscription(s): Give them the gift that keeps on giving in their care package. Treat the birthday boy or girl to a monthly subscription box.
18. Confetti in a bag: Throw some confetti or glitter in a tightly sealed Ziploc bag so they can be greeted with some celebratory sparkle.
Camping Care Package Ideas
If your kiddos are heading out to camp for the summer, send them along with a care package with their favorite items from home. Plus, print out these camping-themed gift tags to add more personalization to your package.
Be sure to check with the camp’s guidelines before sending food items — some food may be restricted since it can attract wildlife such as bears and other critters.
19. Glow-in-the-dark sticks: Glow sticks will be the star of the show if you choose to include them in your care package. Your camper will enjoy having this fun item in their tents or beneath the stars with friends.
20. Disposable camera: Since many campsites restrict cell phones, include a disposable camera in their care package. That way, they can capture memories from their experience that they’ll cherish forever.
21. Pictures of pets: If they have a pet at home that they’ll miss, send them along with a picture! This will help them feel close to their furry friend while they’re away and can even be a talking point with new friends.
22. Small games or toys: A great way to make friends while away at camp is to have a little game night or share some toys. Whether it’s Go Fish, a deck of cards or bubbles, having these items in a care package is ideal for when they’re spending some time with fellow campers.
23. Flashlight: It can get dark when you’re out in the middle of the woods. Make sure your camper is prepared with a flashlight.
24. Supportive notes: If your camper is spending some nights away from home for the first time, they may appreciate and find comfort in some encouraging notes! Slip some warm messages into their care package.
25. Cash: Stuff a little extra cash in their care package — you never know if they’ll want some fun snacks or souvenirs.
26. Stuffed animals: Having a stuffed animal on hand can be comforting when you’re spending the night in a new environment. Plus, including their favorite stuffed animal is the perfect way to add a piece of home.
27. Fabric markers: For some extra fun, include some fabric markers in the care package so their cabinmates can sign their shirt, pillow, etc. You can pack a plain white shirt for this as well.
28. Shower supplies: If it’s an overnight camp, help your camper feel more comfortable with some shower items from home, like a soft towel and shower shoes.
Military Care Package Ideas
Send a little slice of home to your service member while they’re away on deployment with these military care package ideas. This will help you stay connected despite duty or distance. Plus, print out these military decorations to add inside your care package or tape to the outside!
29. Games: Help them pass the time and include some games in their care package, like Cards Against Humanity, puzzle books, or poker chips.
30. Photos: Photos are great to show your affection and support while they’re away. You can even get a personalized calendar with photos and include a sweet custom message on some of the pages.
31. Stationary: Things like letters and stamps are a must if you write letters to each other — this is a great thing to include in your care package.
32. Powdered drink mix: Anything that can be mixed with water is super convenient for service members. For the summer months, powdered lemonade or iced tea is ideal. For colder months, send things like hot cocoa mix, instant tea or coffee.
33. Goggle sunglasses: If your loved one is deployed in the desert, they may appreciate some goggle-style sunglasses or any glasses that are suitable for that environment.
34. Scrapbook: A scrapbook is a creative way to send mementos from home. Plus, they can fill it in with their own memories and experiences while they’re on deployment.
35. Reading materials: Consider including reading materials in your military care package like magazines, books or comics. You can even sign them up to receive free books by mail.
36. Personal care: These are essentials that all service members need — think about packing essentials such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, lip balm and lotion.
37. Hand warmers: Disposable hand warmers are ideal if they’re deployed in colder climates. You can also pack fingerless gloves and stocking caps to help them keep warm.
38. Artwork: If they have kids, send through some artwork from the kids, such as art projects or schoolwork. These can be comforting items that they can hang on the wall.
39. Snacks: Look for snacks that are in small, hard containers to ship, as they are easier to transport. Consider packing things like cheese crackers, cookies, chewing gum or trail mix.
40. Sunscreen: Help make sure their skin is protected! This is essential if your loved one is serving in a sunny, hot environment. Consider getting sport sunscreen with a high SPF.
41. Sauce packets: While there’s usually plenty of food on base, options can be bland and lacking flavor. To help mix things up, throw in some sauce packets, like hot sauce, ketchup or other condiments.
42. Bedding: Usually, bedding that’s provided is not good quality or is not provided at all. Help your service member feel more at home with a cozy pillow and sheet set.
43. First aid: Including first aid items, such as waterproof bandages and different healing ointments can be helpful. Be sure that these are sent in sealed tubes, not jars!
College Care Package Ideas
Going away to college is a huge milestone in life and can be an exciting experience, yet can also be stressful. To show your college student you’re thinking of them, make a care package with their favorite items from home and print out these gift tags to include as decoration.
44. Fill with their favorite snacks: Make sure to include the treat they love the most in their care package, like their favorite homemade cookies.
45. Candle or diffuser: A scent that reminds them of home makes a perfect addition to a care package.
46. Framed photos: Pack a framed photo of the family or of their pet if they have one.
47. Wall poster: Since dorm room walls are always blank, give your student a fun wall poster featuring something they love or a landmark from home.
48. Coffee: Make studying easier for your student and pack some coffee in your care package. Consider including Keurig cups, coffee grounds or even gift cards using Dutch Bros. Coffee coupons.
49. Insulated water bottle: If your student is pretty active during the day running to and from class, add an insulated water bottle in their care package to help keep them hydrated.
50. Workout gear: Surprise them with some comfy active clothes that are great for the classroom, gym or even just lounging around the dorm.
51. Wireless headphones: Add some wireless headphones in their care package so they can listen to their favorite music while working out. You can also check out Circuit City coupons for savings on other electronics.
52. Sports bag: If your student is part of a club or intramural sports team, include a drawstring sports bag so they can easily carry their items around.
53. Microwavable oatmeal: Oatmeal is a quick and healthy meal for college students, and it won’t spoil. Quaker instant oatmeal variety packs are filled with different flavors your student is sure to love.
54. Food storage containers: Help them save money on food by including food storage containers in their care package. That way, they can make their own food and take snacks with them on the go.
55. Kitchen appliances: Include a small kitchen appliance like a coffee maker or a mini rice cooker in their care package so they can cook in their dorm. Just be sure to follow dorm room appliance regulations.
56. College tee: Pack a T-shirt with their college logo so they can rep their team at the sports games.
57. Toiletries: Toiletries are essential — pack things like deodorant, toothpaste and shampoo in their care package.
58. Gift cards: Surprise them with a gift card to places such as grocery stores, office supplies stores or even just a Visa gift card. Check out OfficeMax coupons for additional savings.
Care Package Ideas for Long-Distance Relationships
If your loved one lives far away, sending them something meaningful can help bridge the distance. Figuring out what to include in a care package for them can be daunting, but with these unique and creative ideas, you can make them feel loved from far away.
Be sure to also include this printable card in your care package and fill it in with a sweet message.
59. Movie night: If you’re missing the movie nights you frequently spent together, make sure your care package includes movie-watching essentials, like popcorn boxes and theater-style candy. You can even get a little old-fashioned and include a DVD of your favorite movie.
60. Cooking and baking-themed items: If your significant other likes to cook or bake, curate a care package with kitchen essentials like a grill kit, recipes or baking tools.
61. Candles: Make it a date night from afar and include a candle in your care package. You can get one in a matching scent and light them during a virtual dinner date night at home.
62. Memory box: Fill your care package with photos that represent the memories you’ve created together, whether it be vacations or special milestones in your relationship.
63. Book of letters: An alternative to sharing photos in a care package is to add letters. You can request close family and friends to write messages to your significant other and even include “open when” ones so they read a new one for times when they’re feeling down.
64. Create a playlist: Put together a playlist of your favorite songs and songs that remind you both of times you’ve shared. To make this a tangible item to include in a care package, download your special playlist onto a CD or print out a QR code that will open the playlist in their music platform of choice.
65. Self-care items: Self-care is something that everyone appreciates — for her, you can include lotions, fun nail polish or spa items. For him, consider picking out some shaving products or nice shampoo and body wash.
66. Matching outfits: Create custom matching shirts, pajamas, socks or other clothing items and send one to your significant other in the care package. Consider sending one as a gag gift with a funny message for a more humorous touch.
67. Shopping spree: Treat them to a shopping spree with a gift card to their favorite store. Check out Groupon discounts for ideas on where to buy the perfect gift card.
68. A recipe card: Do you have a favorite recipe that you like to cook together? If he or she is missing that special meal you make, send a long recipe card that includes the ingredients and instructions so they can prepare it themselves.
Care packages are happiness in a box and are sure to bring a smile to the face of anyone who receives one. These ideas are great for anyone feeling lonely or just far away. Plus, any gift you choose to include in your care package will be something that the recipient will cherish forever. No matter what you’re looking for, download the Capital One Shopping browser extension so you can score the best deal.
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