13 Care Package Ideas

Small cardboard care package filled with self care items next to eucalyptus

The Spruce / Anastasiia Tretiak

It’s never a bad time to send a care package. There are so many unique and fun care package ideas that can lift the recipient’s spirits no matter what. Honestly, it doesn’t even matter so much what’s inside the package—getting mail is always exciting. But if you’re sending a care package, you may as well make it as wonderful as possible.

But exactly what you place inside your beautiful package will depend largely on the recipient. For example, a care package for a college student will look very different from one for a new parent. Consider this collection of ideas for what to put in a care package:

  • Supplies for a cozy night in
  • Treats, waste bags, and toys for new pet parents
  • Playing cards, board games, and more for game night
  • Toiletries for a self-care package
  • Snacks and goodies for college kids
  • Beans and a mug for coffee lovers
  • Cookie kit for just about everyone
  • "Get well soon" package with medicine, tissues, and soup
  • Flowers and a note for special occasions

Read on for more themes and ideas for what to put in a care package.

  • 01 of 13

    A Night In

    Kids watching a movie outside on a projector.

    vgajic / Getty Images

    A gift pack full of supplies for a cozy night in is the perfect gift for almost anyone. New parents, kids, couples, new homeowners—the list goes on. Fill your “A Night In” care package with things that will make their night in that much more special. Some ideas include a movie, popcorn, a cozy blanket, and a lovely scented candle. If your recipient is of age, you can also include a bottle of wine or a few of their favorite craft beers.

  • 02 of 13

    Pet Parent

    Man petting large brown dog.

    Tara Moore / Getty Images

    Pet parents, especially brand new pet parents, need all the help they can get. While it’s not as harrowing as transitioning into parenting a newborn human, parenting a pet can be a full-time job. Help them make the transition easily by sending a care package full of everything they need to care for their pet. Pack in treats, waste bags, toys, and maybe even a leash. That way, they don’t have to head out to the store themselves! Plus, you’ll definitely become a favorite pet aunt or uncle.

  • 03 of 13

    Game Night

    Family of three playing a board game together.

    Westend61 / Getty Images

    Gift a game night in a box. Send a package full of all the supplies needed for the perfect game night. Include playing cards, a unique board game, a puzzle, and a few snacks to get them through the night.

  • 04 of 13

    Self-Care Package

    A bottle of essential oil in front of a small candle.

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    Face masks, bath bombs, a nice book, and lip balm are all things that will take self-care to the next level. Those items allow recipients to take a deep breath, step away from the stress, and focus on taking care of themselves. These are great gifts to give to someone in your life who’s having a tough time in life, working too hard, going through a breakup, or perhaps even all three.

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  • 05 of 13

    Away at College

    Girl sitting on bed with bowl of popcorn.

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    Moving away to attend college is an exciting experience, but honestly, it’s also pretty scary. One of the best things you can do to show your favorite college student you’re thinking of them is send them a care package filled with all their favorite goodies. Include healthy snacks to help them focus while they study along with some must-have toiletries. Even more special—give them some memories from home like special photos and remind them that you’ll see them soon.

  • 06 of 13

    Coffee Lovers

    A person pouring coffee into a mug from a percolator.

    Catherine Falls Commercial / Getty Images

    Fill a “Coffee Lover” care package with top-notch coffee beans, a cute mug, chocolate-covered espresso beans, and a pour-over coffee maker. Whether they love coffee to the extreme or are a casual coffee drinker, your recipient will absolutely love tearing this package open.

  • 07 of 13

    Cookie Kit

    An overhead view of kids making cookies.

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    Who doesn’t love cookies? We’re not sure. That’s why cookies are a wonderful centerpiece to build a care package around. You can fill this care package with cookie cutters, cookie mix, sprinkles, frosting, and other decorative pieces.

  • 08 of 13

    Sick Day

    Glasses with lemon in them on a gold serving tray.

    Iyulka / Getty Images

    Knowing your loved one is sick and helpless is a terrible feeling, especially if you live far away. But you can rest easier by sending them a care package chock-full of products to help them feel better. And I’m sure they will appreciate it beyond words. To your “Sick Day” care package, make sure to add things like medicine, tissues, and maybe even a soup mix or a few tea bags. We're sure they would also appreciate a good movie to watch while they’re in bed, too.

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  • 09 of 13

    Buy Flowers

    Woman wrapping flower bouquets in brown paper.

    vgajic / Getty Images

    Keep it simple and buy flowers for someone you care about through a flower shop local to them. Have the beautiful blooms delivered to their doorstep with a note expressing your love. Flowers are the perfect gift for most anyone and they absolutely don’t have to be reserved for special occasions.

  • 10 of 13

    Kitchen Essentials

    A woman grating cheese and cooking.

    Westend61 / Getty Images

    This care package is perfect for people who have just moved away from home for the first time and are living on their own. They likely don’t have as many kitchen tools as they did when they lived at home with their parents, so send them a few things that will help them cook healthy meals. Some ideas? Think: wooden spoons, mixing bowls, spatulas, pots, and pans.

  • 11 of 13

    Order Takeout

    A couple eating pizza in the kitchen.

    Arno Images / Getty Images

    For a tired worker, new parent, student, anything, a hot meal, specifically one that requires no cooking on their end, is a much-desired treat. Order out for them to serve as a care package in the form of a tasty meal. There are plenty of meal delivery services to help you figure it all out. Your recipient will appreciate the gesture to no end.

  • 12 of 13

    Birthday in a Box

    People wearing party hats at a birthday party.

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    Celebrating a birthday while far apart can be just as fun as while you are together. Simply curate a beautiful care package and celebrate with a virtual party. Add things like party hats, cupcakes, and confetti to your package, then set a time and date for your birthday party. Invite as many people as you want and enjoy the day together, as if you are celebrating in the same room.

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  • 13 of 13

    Beer or Wine Kit

    Beer bottles with gold caps.

    John Peabody / Getty Images

    Before you put together a care package that includes beer, wine, or liquor, make sure to check your state’s rules on shipping such goods. In many cases, you’ll need to go through a licensed brewery, winery, or distillery to mail such a package. Check out the recipient’s favorite spots and see if they are offering any fun bundles or packages to be shipped. If anything, they will likely be able to ship a case of the desired product to whoever wants it. You could even buy a case for yourself and organize a virtual tasting event with friends.