Have you just landed your first travel assignment? If so, you’re probably stressing about what you need to take with you and what to leave at home. If that’s the case, here you’ll find some of the products travel nurses live by.
You’re not moving for good, but you’re not going on vacation either, so forgetting to pack certain things can end up being costly. The task of packing for travel assignments is unique, and it may take some practice before you get it right.
There are a few things to consider before beginning your packing journey. First things first - how long is your travel assignment? Are you staying in a hotel, short-term rental, or with family? It’s important to speak to your recruiter about any requirements above basic furnishing. Depending on the agency, your housing could include basic homeware as well as kitchen essentials. Be sure to find out if you'll need to bring other necessities, including sheets, blankets and towels. Knowing what amenities the facility has to offer will help you avoid over-packing.
Next, you need to consider the climate and weather of your expected destination. Do your research so that you can pack weather-appropriate items and be sure to include clothing for those unexpected out-of-season days.
Take a walk through your house. As you go from room to room, imagine what items you don’t want to live without, and make a list! Whether you’re heading out on your first travel assignment or your hundredth, making a list is always the best way. Apart from your personal items (scrubs, clothes, toiletries) and paperwork (nursing contract, license, identification), take note of these must-have products to add to your list.
An essential item for constant moving is the vacuum storage bag. These handy plastic bags help double your luggage space by sucking the air out of the bags with a little hand pump (or vacuum if you have one). They are also waterproof which helps protect your clothes and linens from any travel disasters.
Being on the go, traveling to assignments, and working long shifts doesn’t always give you access to consistent hydration, let alone cleaning your water bottle. Having a self-cleaning water bottle will ensure you are always hydrated and can keep it sanitary wherever you go. You can even choose a color that will match your scrubs!
Depending on the weather or time of year, you don’t want to forget the sunscreen! Whether you are traveling somewhere hot or cold, keeping SPF in your daily skin routine is essential all year round.
Feeling homesick is real. Bringing a few trinkets or sentiments from your hometown will help you relax post-shift and bring you back to your cozy home feeling. This could be a scented candle, stuffed toy or anything you hold close to your heart.
You need to prioritize your sleep. If you are traveling for your assignment, you won’t know if your temporary bedroom gets too much light, so investing in some blackout curtains to take with you from place to place will be worth it. They can also muffle some of the outside noise, making them even more important when traveling to a large city.
Working in a profession where you are on your feet for such long hours can easily result in chronic issues. Wearing compression socks helps to prevent varicose veins, improve venous blood flow, decrease the risk of blood clots, and decrease swelling of the ankles and feet.
Electronics are a part of daily life, and quite frankly hard to live without.
When deciding what to bring, consider your hobbies and activities to do for your days off. Self-care is important, so carving out time on your off days to do something you enjoy is really important.
As a travel nurse, some products are a must-pack for every assignment, and you will eventually learn which products aren’t. Start making your list and let us know how you get on.
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