While traveling from city to city as a traveling nurse you have probably found it to be a hassle lugging all your things around and finding time to pack all your belongings. The key to packing efficiently is being able to minimize what you take and making optimal use of your space. To make life easier on you we have created a customary packing list for you to follow as you start to pack your belongings. This month’s packing list is focused on your wardrobe. Next month we will have tips on packing your toiletries, paperwork and important documents while on your travel nursing assignment.
Packing your clothing
Since every nurse wears a uniform, packing your clothes for work will be easy, and should not require a lot of time. Based on where you are traveling, your wardrobe will need to change to fit the weather. Below is a guideline to follow as you begin packing your clothes:
- Two to Four T-Shirts: Typically two to four t-shirts is all that is needed for a travel nurse with a busy workload. But, depending on the activities you are involved in and if you enjoy athletic activities after the work day, that amount could increase.
- Three to Four Jeans/Shorts: Whether you prefer jeans over shorts it’s a good idea to pack a couple of each depending on the average weather in your area. Blue jeans can be worn many times and are worn almost everywhere at anytime of the year. If you are involved in athletic activities two to three pairs of gym shorts is a good amount to pack and does not take up a lot of space.
- One swimsuit: Depending on the time of year and location can make packing a swimsuit an easy decision. Although it is a good idea to pack one swimsuit no matter where you are traveling to.
- Sweater: It’s a good idea to pack a cardigan/sweater for evening or going out at night. Keep in mind sweaters can take up a lot of room so be careful not to overpack if it is not needed.
- Dressy jacket: There are times when you go out with friends or family and a dressy jacket is necessary. One dressy jacket is all that needs to be packed and can be worn many times for many different occasions.
- Rain jacket/umbrella: Take a look at the average weather in the area you are traveling to for that time of year. If you see a lot of rain in the forecast you will definitely want to bring a rain jacket along with an umbrella. But just to be safe it is a good idea to always keep an umbrella handy in your car.
- Three + socks: Being a nurse may require you to bring more than three pairs of socks, a suggestion to keep in mind is that socks are a low priced item with a short life cycle. It may be easier for you to pack only three pairs at the time and purchase the rest when you arrive. This way you are not taking up unnecessary space and can have room for other more important belongings.
- Three + undergarments: Like with socks, undergarments are another item that can be easily purchased. Our suggestion is to only pack three pairs and to purchase the rest when you arrive.
- One pair of long underwear: Packing a pair of long underwear may depend on the weather where you’re traveling nurse assignment is. If you are located in sunny South Carolina in the summer you may want to rethink packing a pair. Packing long underwear is a smart idea if you get cold particularly easy or you like to do outdoor activities when you are in colder climates.
- Long T-shirt: A long t-shirt can be used for many occasions. You may want to pack a couple if you wear them under your uniform or if you are located in a colder climate.
- Necktie, scarf, hair band, and bandanna: Packing a couple accessories is a good way to expand your wardrobe and make it go a long way. These accessories also only take up a small space and can be useful on the weekends or a night out.
- Baseball cap, knitted cap: It’s a good idea to pack one cap with you on your travel nursing assignment. Also if you are going to be in a rather sunny area you may prefer more than one. Caps are also in expensive and can be purchased when you reach your destination.
- One pair of dressy shoes: One pair of nice shoes, maybe two, is all that is needed on a travel assignment. Unless you have a pre-arranged schedule of events and need more, one pair is plenty. Shoes are the number one things that people tend to over pack, which takes up a lot of unnecessary space.
- One pair of walking/running shoes: One pair of gym shoes is needed, especially for weekend errands and if you enjoy physical activities. If you enjoy playing a sport you may want to bring your shoes designed for it like basketball shoes or running shoes, otherwise one pair is plenty for getting in your daily dose of exercise in and running around.
- One pair of flip-flops/sandals: Depending on the time of year and where you are traveling, sandals may be needed. A key thing to remember is that sandals can be bought at almost any retail store and are very inexpensive. But, if you have a favorite pair you may want to bring them along just in case.
As a travel nurse your time is of the essence so being efficient with space and brining only the necessary items is the key to packing smart. Keeping our wardrobe suggestions in mind when you start to pack for your travel assignment will help you stay organized. It’s always important to remember if you haven’t worn something it in the last few months you probably don’t need it.
Watch for next week’s article for a continuation of packing efficiently with tips on packing toiletries, paperwork and important documents while on your travel nursing assignment.
Below is a list of extra resources to help you out along your way.