Becoming a travel nurse is one of the most exciting career choices anyone could make. Who wouldn’t want to travel to their favorite cities, see new things, meet new people, see long distance relatives, all while making great money? If you’d ask me, I’d say, that’s what it’s all about! The excitement of having the ability to embark on an adventure after every assignment is exhilarating! Then reality sets in. Wait a minute? How am I going to pack my bags? What am I going to bring and not bring? Allow me to offer you 7 key tips that has helped other nurses in their traveling experience. Let’s jump right into it.
Tip 1: Down-size
One thing about moving consistently, what travelers must realize, is that you do not need over half the stuff you actually have consumed. Remember, most assignments are only 13 weeks in duration. Down-sizing is the most effective way to travel. Whether you are planning to do this for a short period of time or a long period of time, getting rid of the “junk” will make your life far easier.
Tip 2: Try not to accumulate
Almost, going hand in hand with down-sizing is to try not to accumulate new items as you travel. Every city explored gives you the urge to spend because it’s new and exciting. Now, it’s ok to splurge a little but be aware of your space. For every new item you accumulate you should think of ones you can get rid of in its place. Accumulating too much on each assignment will make the transition for packing lingering, tiring and tedious while you spend more time organizing and throwing away items than packing. Thirteen weeks is a short-time but also a long time to accumulate more than what you wanted to.
Tip 3: One suite case fits all
How much is too much when it comes to packing clothing? Well, some may not agree but through the experience of many travelers, one suite case fits all you need. Winter jackets and shoes of course don’t account for that space, but shirts, pants and undergarments do. If you can manage to limit one suite case per person you will leave room for bigger items and packing won’t become less a hassle. The reason this works for the traveling healthcare worker is because our uniforms are the only things we actually wear to work. So everything else for everyday living usually can conservatively fit in one suite case.
Tip 4: Roof travel bag
Usually most cars, SUVS and trucks with or without racks can carry some sort of overhead compartment aka travel bag. These bags can fit a large amount of stuff in them. They are very spacious and can allow you to stack multiple items in them. Saving you tons of space inside your vehicle. The one caveat to look out for is weight. Heavy objects can throw your vehicle balance off which can be unsafe if you load the bag incorrectly or unevenly. So for those of you who want to bring a lot of clothes and don’t agree with Step 3, travel bags are a great alternative especially due to the size and weight of clothing.
Tip 5: Use Company housing
Company housing is beneficial, especially for newer travelers. The housing stipend may be tempting, but it’s nothing like leaving the responsibility in your agency’s hands. There’s nothing like arriving to a fully furnished apartment and only needing to set up the necessities of what you brought. Some even come with pots, pans, vacuums, microwaves, etc. Company provided housing is a big part of the travel nursing experience.
Tip 6: Start early
We can get busy and intentionally wait to the last minute to pack. Then you’re rushing trying to get things in order. When you reach the last month before your assignment and start looking for your next contract is a good time to start pulling out the essentials and begin packing the excess. Pack the things you won’t need to use or simply start storing items in boxes just to make the process easier in the end. Packing early will help take the stress off when it’s time to get moving to your next location.
Tip 7: U-Haul
I would say this step is optional but can be a huge benefit to those who chose to utilize it. U-Hauls are inexpensive, come in a variety sizes based on your vehicle weight and are easy to tow on many cars, SUVS and trucks. This tip is especially helpful for traveling families. The only downside is you might have to put up the initial costs to have a hitch installed. Most U-Haul facilities will install it for you and accurately.
I hope these tips help you along your travel journey. Visit harmonytrvl.com for updates on other helpful blog/tips. We want to hear from you. Comment, let us know if these tips were helpful. Thank you for reading.