how to pack for a travel nursing contract

Travel Nursing: How to Pack 

When you’ve finally agreed to and signed your contract, you’re ready to physically move. There is a misconception about how hard it is to pack for your travel nursing assignment. Packing for your assignment is not a small task, since you’ll be moving the majority of your things with you.  

What You Need to Bring 

Travel Nurse Packing List

The first thing you need to do after signing your travel nursing contract is to create a list of things you need to pack. Here’s what to consider:

  • Housewares
  • Clothing and shoes
  • Uniforms, work bag, work shoes
  • Paperwork & portfolio
  • Electronics
  • Personal Care & luxury items
  • First Aid & Medical items
  • Entertainment
  • Hobbies/Activities

Portfolio

For your travel nursing assignment, you’re going to need to create a portfolio of all your identification. If you don’t do this, it may be difficult to access them from a distance. These items include:

  • Your birth certificate
  • Social Security Card
  • Insurance cards (auto, life, home, etc.)
  • Passport (if applicable)
  • Work Visa (if applicable)
  • Health Information/prescriptions

Clothes

When you’re packing for your travel nursing assignment, you will need the majority of your clothes, if not all. Imagine packing for a week-long vacation. Packing up for your travel nursing assignment is 4 times that amount. Here’s what to keep in mind before you pack:  

  • What climate are you going into? Make sure you look into the weather forecast for the location of your travel nursing assignment. You need to bring clothes that suit the weather. Chicago’s weather can fluctuate from 68 – 92 degrees during the warm months, and winters can fluctuate from 10 – -40 degrees. You need to know what climate you’re going to be in to have a good travel nursing experience.
  • How many clothes are you going to take? You don’t realize how much clothing you have until you have to pack it all up. Take luggage with you on the plane or fill up your car with clothes. The best way to pack up your clothes is to use large bins that will fit in your car. 

Houseware and Electronics

You can choose to live in a fully furnished place so you won’t need to transport the majority of your kitchen. If your abode isn’t furnished, take only the housewares you need, along with your favorite and most-used accessories. For example, few places have a crockpot.

Electronics are our most-used accessories. If you have a desktop computer, you’ll need to figure out how will it fit in your car. Laptops are always good because they enable you to work while you travel. You’ll also need your cellphone, chargers, Alexa, PS4, Xbox, HDMI cable(s), hairdryer, hair iron, and their cords.

Hobbies & Activities

Packing all your hobbies and activities for travel nursing will require some of your biggest cuts. Travel nursing is great, and you’ll find yourself doing a lot of new things. You may have to sacrifice your golfing equipment for the tennis rackets, and you might not be able to take your kayak or bike. The good thing is that you might be trying out new activities, especially if you’re moving to a different part of the US. The amount of stuff you take will depend on the size of your car and how much you can fit in it

Personal and Luxury Items

Remember, you’re also packing for you! Make sure you take things you really enjoy, such as your favorite purses, dresses, blanket, pillow, etc… But keep in mind that there’s a limit on how much you can transport. 

Once you’ve packed it all up, there’s one more step before you can take on your travel nursing assignment. Go through your list one more time and make sure you took everything you’ll need. Remember to evaluate how well you packed when you reached your destination. Create a note of things you forgot and a list of things you rarely used. This way, you’ll be better prepared for your next contract. 

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