There are a lot of posts out there all about what to put in a care package. Heck, I’ve posted quite a few of them! But if you’re making a care package for someone, I firmly believe that you should let them dictate what goes in it. So I asked my husband for his favorite care package contents in the hopes that his picks help you figure out what to send your loved one!
What to put in a care package
Magazines: I really like getting magazines about stuff I’m interested in to read during down time. The latest issues of the mens’ health magazines are one of my favorites.
Note: definitely send along magazines that your loved one is interested in – they’re flat and take up very little space in your box, but are fun items for him/her to receive. You could also send any magazines or special interest catalogs they get in the mail at home; that way you don’t have to go out and buy anything!
Food items that I don’t have access to: a lot of things are unavailable overseas or are too expensive to purchase there. Getting snacks like nuts and seeds, peanut butter or beef jerky is a great way to supplement the food that is available. Vitamins are also nice to have, especially if your food options are limited. I also like getting Core Power or Muscle Milk drinks as something different.
Instead of sending homemade baked goods, send those powdered cake or cookie mixes for mugs. Homemade stuff is almost always stale or dry by the time it arrives. I will eat plenty of your homemade cookies when I get home!
Note: always be careful if you’re shipping liquids; I suggest putting them in Ziploc baggies to help contain any mess if they leak. My husband really likes Epic jerky and it comes in a few different fairly healthy varieties.
Pictures and stories from home: when I’m deployed, I still want to feel involved in what’s going on at home; pictures and stories are a great way to stay connected. I hang up the pictures in my room and re-read the notes pretty often. Another good thing that’s kind of related is information about what we’re planning to do when I get home. If we’re going on vacation, sending a book about the destination gets me excited and is a nice distraction.
Note: I shared some creative ways to send photos in this post, but I really like the stories idea. Even just writing a few sentences a night to send once a month would be a great way for your loved one to feel like they’re connected to home. I also have tips for putting together a travel-themed care package here.
Specialized toiletries: we do have toiletries available to us overseas, but there’s something about using your brands that makes you feel more at home. I especially like getting the shampoo that I use at home. Baby wipes are also a good addition in case we don’t have access to a full shower.
Note: toiletries can be tricky to send in a care package. Like other liquids, pressure changes and the rough journey can cause them to leak or explode so I recommend putting them in a plastic bag as an added barrier. You could also send the travel-sized versions of toiletries. They are smaller so if they do leak, it won’t be as big of a mess. But they are also manufactured to withstand pressure changes a bit better; after all, they do go in your luggage in a plane!
Hopefully my husband’s feedback helped you determine what to put in a care package for your loved one! Always customize any suggestions to your loved one’s specific tastes and interests so that they get the most enjoyment out of your care package!
Want even more care package ideas? I’m giving away 165+ ideas (plus what to put in them) here.