A military care package is always a great way to let your servicemember spouse know you’re thinking of them and support the effort they’re giving their country. While it can be difficult to know what to send in a military care package or even how to address military care packages, try not to stress out over it. Your servicemember will appreciate the thoughtful gesture.
If you’re looking for some military care package ideas to keep your service member feeling loved and encouraged, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve compiled all the best general military care package ideas and tips.
Military Care Package Tips
If you’re unsure of what to send, that’s okay. Take a breath and remember that a thoughtful gift goes a long way. No one said that long-distance love was easy, but one way to make it easier on your servicemember is to show them some love and send a simple care package.
Care packages are exactly what they sound like: little boxes of comfort that show your servicemember you care, you miss them, and they’re loved.
Here are a few tips to make military care packages easier:
1. Make it Personal
Think about what your servicemember specifically would like. Whether they’re a sports fan, an avid reader, or a huge Star Wars fan, try making your package as tailored as possible. Everyone wants to feel like their partner truly knows and understands them, including military members!
2. Make it Useful
Whether it’s for entertainment or self-care, your servicemember will appreciate receiving items that serve a purpose. Keep in mind the conditions of where they’re staying and aim to provide convenience and comfort. Sending things like clean socks and sanitizer may not feel romantic, but your spouse will appreciate the fact that you’re trying to care for them from many miles away.
3. Know the Timeline
Packages can take a long time to ship, especially if your servicemember is overseas. If you’re trying to send a care package in time for a birthday, holiday, or anniversary, make sure you give yourself more than enough time. It’s okay if the package doesn’t arrive right on time, but it’s important to show your spouse that you put in the effort to make them feel important and special.
4. Pick a Theme
Even if there isn’t a relevant upcoming holiday or event, you can still give your care package a theme to make it more fun. If your servicemember likes football, go with football-inspired goodie bags. While a theme isn’t a necessity, it can make your package easier to put together and more fun to open, especially as time goes on.
5. Get Some Shipping Supplies
Take advantage of USPS’s free Military Care Kits. These come with six boxes, packing tape, labels, and forms. The size of the box you’re shipping will help you determine how much you can include.
The Best Things to Send in a Military Care Package
If you’re wondering what to send in a military care package, we’ve gathered some military care package ideas to make your search easier. Regardless of which theme or holiday you choose (should you wish to choose one — you can always send a military care package without a reason or theme), there are a few staple categories that will never let you down. Here are some things every service member will love:
Personal Items and Reminders of Home
Whether it’s a family photo or a drawing from the kids, reminders of home can be a bright light during deployment. Other personal items might include family pictures, postcards from trips taken, or even nostalgic clothing items like hats and t-shirts.
Here’s a tip: Knock out items one and two and send homemade baked goods. There’s nothing like a chocolate chip cookie to give you all the homey feels. Just make sure you properly store your goodies in airtight containers and let them cool completely before shipping.
Sometimes, it’s the things we normally take for granted that can be the most useful. Items such as body wash, shampoo, hand sanitizer, razors, sunscreen, floss, and toothpaste make perfect and practical additions to military care packages.
Depending on what your servicemember is interested in, the options in the entertainment category are endless. Books, magazines, and crossword puzzles give military members a relaxing respite from the duties of deployment.
Some MilSpouses also opt to include mini-games or activities such as yo-yos, hacky sacks, and puzzles. More technologically advanced forms of entertainment include handheld game systems, CD players, portable DVD players, and of course, any necessary batteries or charging cords.
Before sending anything too elaborate, however, be sure it’s something they’re allowed to have and something they don’t mind keeping up with.
Gift cards make great additions to care packages because they let servicemembers spend them as they see fit and take up very little space.
You can choose a specific service such as iTunes or go more general and opt for a VISA or MasterCard gift card. Maybe ask your servicemember if there are any chain restaurants they frequent in the area they’re stationed in and order one of those online for them.
Something Thoughtful and Specific
While this tip might sound vague, it’s an invitation to make your military care package as personal as possible. What are some things that would make your servicemember the happiest? Would it be a letter, photos, or perhaps a way of spending time together even though you’re apart, like referencing an inside joke? What’s a way you can include a surprise in the box?
If you’re concerned about overspending, keep in mind there are many ways you can send a quality care package without breaking the bank.
What Not to Send in a Military Care Package
Now that you know some of the best things to send in Military care packages, there are a few “no-nos.” These include:
- Alcohol or food containing alcohol.
- “Risque” content or photographs.
- Anything in an aerosol can, as it tends to explode (i.e., shaving cream).
- Chocolate, if shipping to a hot destination.
No matter what you decide to include in your military care package, at the end of the day, it’s the thought that counts. Thank you to all of the Military Spouses and their families for supporting our troops day in and day out!