- Invest in a vacuum sealer. You can send baked treats like cookies or protect the glass in picture frames from breaking.
- Take into account the resources your spouse has. If there isn’t time for your spouse to brew coffee, or they are without a microwave for tea or hot cocoa, consider sending alternate resources like an electric kettle.
- Remember that all packages are inspected, don’t send anything dangerous, sharp, flammable OR anything your spouse wouldn’t be ok with his commander seeing (that means some soldiers would prefer it to stay PG, check with your spouse first before sending any items that may be too “personal”)
- Send several smaller packages rather than one huge package. The smaller the package, the faster it arrives. USPS recommends under 6 pounds.
- Send in advance. If you are trying to get it by a certain date, send it plenty of time in advance, seriously, up to 30 days in advance.
- Send glass jars without ample protection. Your packages made have a lot of love and care put into them, but it doesn’t mean the couriers will treat it with such.
- Send too many well-supplied items. Service members often get a large supply of toothpaste and toothbrushes, but not enough socks. Talk to your spouse about specific needs of the group and try to stick to those. For the rest of the package, send some fun.
- Send anything that melts. Many soldiers love chocolate and may even request it but after travelling through the 120 degree weather in Iraq or Afghanistan it will be gross, I promise! Think about each item and how heat and travel time will affect them.
- Send hygiene products and food products next to each other. Use zip lock bags, in fact, double bag. You do not want your soldier’s favorite food to taste like Old Spice deodorant.