The more jobs you work the easier it gets to determine the best travel nurse supplies to bring along to your destination. But even veterans sometimes wonder what to bring or question the contents of their luggage, and can benefit from some packing tips for travel nurses. There are the usual variables of travel, like what’s the weather going to be like? And, of course, there’s always the tension between packing too much or too little. You might fancy yourself an easy-breezy, travels light kind of person, but there’s nothing fun about arriving at your new home or unit lacking the supplies you really need. Of course you can always buy new stuff if you left something behind, but here are some packing tips for travel nurses, so you’ll arrive prepared:
- Housewares: If your company handles housing for you, you’ll want to check very carefully with your recruiter and housing department to find out exactly what will already be provided in your rental. If you’re handling your own housing remember to bring the stuff that seems like a given at your own home: pots, pans and other dishes, shower curtain, bedding, can opener and corkscrew/bottle opener, coffee maker or French press, vacuum, microwave, trash can, and little things like scissors, cutlery, a flashlight, a notepad, travel mug, etc.
- Clothing: Definitely check the average climate for your destination around the time you’ll be there. Use this as a guide to know what to bring the most of — for example sweaters and knee socks vs. shorts and tank tops — but do come prepared for any eventuality. For one thing, weather can be unpredictable, but you could also be invited to a mid-winter indoor pool party, or some other such unexpected event, and you want to be prepared. Bring the most of what you know you will need, but consider items like a swimsuit even if you’re headed to Wisconsin in winter or a jacket even if you’re headed to Arizona in July for those just-in-case moments.
- Technology: Don’t forget your laptop, e-reader, tablet, camera, Smartphone, etc. But most importantly, don’t forget the various chargers, extension cords, batteries and other support gear you need to make all of it work!
- Toiletries: These are among the easiest to replace if they are left behind or if you run out before your contract does. But you don’t want to be left without the only shampoo that makes your hair behave! Beyond the usual (hair products, dryer/curling iron, soap, toothpaste and brush, tweezers, sunscreen, makeup, deodorant, etc.), don’t forget the less replaceable items like prescriptions, contacts/glasses, first aid kit and any vitamins or over the counter meds you regularly use.
- Miscellaneous: Don’t forget all of your relevant identification and paperwork as well as anything that can make your time more enjoyable like your knitting bag, a deck of cards, some fun decorations for your place — think of things that you need, will help you pass the time, and will create a home away from home. And if you’re driving make sure you have a safely stocked ride with a spare tire, maps or GPS, jumper cables, ice scraper and extra oil, washer fluid and antifreeze.