I love a creative care package more than just about anyone. Decorating a box, filling it with fun and unique contents and anxiously awaiting its arrival are some of the few bright spots during a deployment. But sometimes the most creative ideas come when you think outside the flat rate box. Rather than sending a physical box, try sending an electronic care package instead.
I know it sounds a little odd and it is, but hang with me. Electronic care packages are underrated and would actually be much appreciated. If your loved one’s access to mail is spotty or nonexistent, an electronic care package can be the perfect solution!
Electronic Care Package Pros
They can be cheaper.
One major cost-saving? There’s no shipping cost at all when it comes to electronic care packages! Combine that with not needing to decorate a box and you’re already coming out ahead of a traditional box. Plus if you plan things properly, you can actually save money on the contents as well. Instead of having to fill an entire box with snacks and magazines, you can just send one or two items.
Let’s be honest, as frequently as I share about making care packages easier, sometimes those stinkers fall to the bottom of the to-do list, especially during deployment. Shopping, decorating, taking a trip to the post office…there’s a lot of time associated with a care package. But an electronic care package? A few clicks of the mouse or a few taps on your phone screen and BOOM! Your care package is on its way.
You don’t have to worry about shipping delays.
You know what stinks? Having a beautifully decorated and thoughtfully filled box not arrive on time because of a shipping delay. Or, even worse, having a box get lost entirely! An electronic care package almost eliminates delivery issues entirely. Of course, your loved one does need an internet connection and reliable access to email so you’ll need to keep some delivery considerations in mind.
You don’t get to decorate a box.
Decorating a care package will always be my favorite part of the entire process! And while it does add extra work, if it’s your favorite part too, skipping it may take away from the fun. That’s why I’d recommend electronic care packages for last minute ways to brighten your loved one’s day, not your standard care packages.
There aren’t any physical contents.
Sometimes having something to touch, feel and even smell from home makes separation easier. An electronic care package doesn’t provide that same level of physical comfort.
Some items may get expensive.
Just because you can’t physically touch something, doesn’t mean it’s saving you money. Electronic care package contents can add up cost-wise, especially if you’re sending multiple gift cards! Keep an eye on what you’re spending so that the cost doesn’t get away from you.
Videos or pictures
Rather than paying to print out loads of photos, send your loved one a photo slideshow or even a little video instead! Sending a link to a photo sharing site would also work! Just remember that nothing on the internet is every truly private so seriously think about whether sending any adult photos is a good idea.
There is literally a gift card out there for every single person. Amazon, iTunes or Google Play are all great ways to send a little fun to your loved one: maybe they download some new music or a movie or even an e-book. While probably the most versatile item to send in an electronic care package, gift cards can also be the most expensive. Depending on where your loved one is, you could even send coffee or food gift cards electronically to treat them!
There are so many music-sharing services out there that would allow you to send your loved one a link to a personalized playlist. You could put together a workout mix, an inspirational one to brighten their day or even a calming one to help them sleep.
Electronic reading materials
Getting your loved one an electronic subscription to a favorite newspaper or magazine is a great way to make them feel more connected to home, without creating a lot of extra paper clutter. Sending access information in your electronic care package gives them something to look forward to even after the email has left their inbox. You could even purchase audio books for your loved one via services like Audible.
Of course the best thing to send in an electronic care package is an encouraging/romantic note! I love sending my husband daily recaps while he’s deployed, but sometimes I mix in a purely romantic note. A simple reminder that they’re loved and cared for by people at home can brighten your loved one’s day.
Want even more care package ideas? I’m giving away 165+ ideas (plus what to put in them) here.