So, your SO is deployed or preparing for deployment? Are you wondering what to send them in their care package or where to begin to understand how to send one? Well, luckily for you, I’ve sent quite a few in my day and I have been in the same boat as you, not knowing how to send one, fill out forms, or what I could or should send.
- Customs Forms
- Packing Tape (Don’t buy it at the post office, you can get more for less at the grocery store.)
First, you’ll need to acquire the boxes and customs forms, you can get for free at the post office. I like to order mine from their website in advance and they deliver them to my house, much easier. See here if you need help filling out a customs form. It’s pretty simple and this article will help you more in depth.
What to send
I have a giant list of idea’s on what to send your SO in their care package right over HERE. But a quick tidbit would be to send food, you can never go wrong with food. Just be sure that it will not spoil. I like to send travel size snacks that are pre-packaged. Also, hygiene items like wet ones hand wipes and of course the normal stuff like tooth paste, tide pods, deodorant, etc. Be sure to check out my post that I linked to for a longer list of ideas!
When you are preparing your items to pack into your care package, make sure that you put items in zip lock baggies. Why? Because soap will make your food taste like, well…soap. As well as liquids have the tendency to combust in transit. One time, I mailed one of those liquid drink mixers, cherry flavor, and it exploded leaving the entire box red! It stained the contents of the box, luckily it was just food items, but it had soiled some of the packaged things and my husband said it was gross. I felt so bad. Because of that reason, I now zip lock EVERYTHING!
QUICK IDEA: I love to send my husband pre-made gift boxes from Hickory Farms. They ship free to FPO/APO addresses, which is great! They are vacuum sealed and are safe for travel without having to be refrigerated. It’s definitely a nice treat to get some yummy snacks, it’s my husbands favorite gift while deployed. It’s a must!
When to send it
Deciding when you actually mail your package can be tough. Mail can take anywhere between a week to two months to get to its destination. Especially around big holidays, I like to make sure I mail my care packages at least a month in advance.