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Travel Nurse Jobs: Packing Tips To Make Life on the Road Easier

Smiling couple leaning on boxes in new homePreparing for travel nurse jobs is exciting – particularly if it's your first time on a contract assignment. However, crossing everything off your to-do list can be stressful. This is especially true when packing for your travel nurse gig.

Leaving home for a couple of months means you'll definitely want to take some of your favorite comforts of home with you for the trip. However, travel nurse jobs are temporary. It's essential to stay focused during the packing process, so you don't end up hauling more than you have to with you to each new zip code.

Even seasoned road warriors quickly realize that packing for traveling nurse assignments looks different than other relocations. Go into the process armed with a few tips, tricks, and considerations to make sure you'll have everything you need for success at your new home sweet home.

Consult With Your Travel Nursing Agency

Always speak with your travel nursing-staffing firm before strategizing which of your belongings will get taken with you on assignment. Your recruiter will be able to provide insight on various amenities offered with your housing. Get the specifics about "fully-stocked." Ask about basic appliances, electronics, and any housewares that will be provided as part of your accommodations, so you know what to bring with you – and what you can leave home.

Location Matters

If you're traveling to another region of the country for your travel nurse assignment, you may have to consider factors such as weather changes and different local activities when gathering up your belongings. Carefully consider the season, temperatures, and how you'll spend your free time to ensure you have the right gear once you arrive.

Take Note of Your Habits and Routines

We all have household and personal items that we can't live without. However, sometimes it's difficult to make a comprehensive list of all our "must-have" items in one sitting. Once you know your assignment date, start paying attention to your consistent habits and lifestyle preferences. Are you a gourmet chef who loves certain pots and pans or do you prefer to toss things into a crockpot most mornings? Will you need your exercise equipment or is a pair of sneakers enough to get you through the next thirteen weeks? Start taking notes on which of your belongings are used the most, so you have a thorough final list ready before packing begins.

Set a Budget

Inevitably, there will be items that you'll want with you on your travel nurse jobs but simply cannot take with you when you leave. Set a budget on what you're willing to spend for some of these items to keep a steady eye on expenses. Additionally, you may also want to consider purchasing some things at a secondhand store to increase the overall discount on these housewares.

Arrange Your Own Care Package

Going away on a travel nurse contract often means that you'll have plenty of loved ones willing to send you a care package (or two) while you're away. Ask these well-wishers to send you some of the things you'll miss most from home, such as a special coffee blend or snacks that you can't find at your new location. You can also wait until you've settled in to send a list of things you'd like to have shipped to you to avoid having to purchase these items outright.

Tap Into Technology

Yes, there are apps to help you with packing for your travel nursing jobs. Packpoint is one of the more popular apps available, but you may also want to consider Packr or TripList to keep you focused on the essentials and ensure you don't miss anything critical.

Not sure if you're ready to pursue travel nursing jobs? Check out ARMStaffing's online guide to learn more about using travel-nursing opportunities to build your career. 

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I have been with the same travel recruiters since 2004. I absolutely love my company (Allied Resource Medical Staffing). The company goes above and beyond with personalized attention to each employee. I have never been without an assignment, and I am also proud to be part of an agency that is JACHO certified. The office staff and administrators continually strive to improve client satisfaction as well as to provide the employees with all of their needs, such as Health Insurance, Direct deposit, and manageable schedules that work with our home/family. - Dawn K., RN BSN, Flinton, PA