Top 10 Care Package Items for College Students

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by: Erin Dower
Show your college student that you love and miss her by mailing a care package full of dorm room essentials and comforting treats. Whether it's her birthday, Valentine's Day, finals time, or just because, learn what to send to brighten her day.
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Gift Cards
Cash is in short supply for most college students, so they'll love gift cards for almost anything. A gift card to the grocery store, drugstore, or coffee shop near her school is a practical idea. An iTunes, Amazon, or other retail gift card is a special treat.
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Framed Photo
Send a family photo in a nice frame for him to decorate his desk or walls. If he misses your family pet, mail a picture of his furry friend. Target stores and many photo websites offer calendars that you can customize with your own pics – another great gift for your student.
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Travel Mug with Coffee, Tea, and Cocoa
Many kids develop a taste for coffee and tea during college. Send your college student a sampling of instant coffee, tea, and hot chocolate that she can make with a microwave or hotpot. If she's lucky enough to have a single-cup coffee maker, send her some K-Cups or coffee pods.
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Baked Goods and Snacks
He misses your home cooking, so send him a batch of his favorite cookies. Stick a slice of store-bought bread in the package to help keep homemade baked goods moist. Other snacks he loves, like snack mix, pretzels, dried fruit, or granola bars will also please your on-the-go student.
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Healthy Instant Meals
Many busy college students turn to cheap instant cup-o-noodle meals, which are laden with fat and salt. Instant oatmeal and low-sodium instant soup are healthier options to send in your care package. Just remind your child to eat real meals and fresh produce whenever possible!
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School Supplies
Your student has probably lost dozens of pens at this point. He could always use help restocking some basic school supplies, like staples, light bulbs for his desk lamp, and pricy ink cartridges. Find out what he needs.
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Toiletries
Something as simple as a new toothbrush, a box of feminine hygiene products, or a few bars of soap can bring great joy to a busy college student. Ask your child what toiletries she's running low on, and help her stock up, especially before finals crunch time.
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Socks, Underwear, and Quarters
What does every college student despise? Laundry. A stash of new socks and underwear will help prolong your child's need to do laundry, which he'll love. Throw in a couple of rolls of quarters for the dorm washing machine, and you'll be a superhero.
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Homey Dorm Room Décor
Every dorm room could use some sprucing up. Send your child something small to help add a personal touch, like new pillow cases, a nice faux plant, a wall clock, or scented air diffusers. Just be sure to avoid candles, which could spell dorm room disaster.
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A Card or Note from Mom
Whether it's Valentine's Day, midterms time, or anytime, your son or daughter would love a handwritten note from you. A real card or letter is more exciting than an email, so go mail some love and encouragement from back home.