Packing Light: How Travel Nurses Lighten the Load


When preparing to venture onto a travel nurse assignment that lasts about thirteen weeks or so, packing can be the biggest pain in the keister. As much as we’d all like our packing process to happen seamlessly like in a movie, oftentimes the whole ordeal leaves us feeling more like an episode of Hoarded: Buried Alive. It’s not pretty. However, sometimes sprawling out across the living room floor deliberating on whether or not you need to bring that extra bikini or not is worth the effort. In the grand scheme of things, the lighter your load, the less flighty your travels will be.

how to pack light

Make a travel checklist

You’re way less likely to forget anything when you write it down and physically cross it off. Also, you’ll be able to really know how many pairs of scrubs, shirts, dresses, shoes, etc. that you’ll need. Then, you can more easily resist that urge to put more unnecessary stuff in that suitcase.

Make the most out of carry-ons

If you’re traveling by plane, then be sure to take full advantage of the personal bag allowances on airlines. I typically use a large tote as a purse when I’m using an airline. You can stuff all your toiletries, small electronics, personal items, and even clothing. It’s a great way to maximize your ability to bring items without checking additional bags or overdoing it with the luggage. You can even keep a smaller bag within the tote for females and then you can put your essentials like phone, wallet, and keys in that.

Avoid the “what-if” items

Sometimes our fears of being without our items make us want to bring all those knickknacks that in all honesty, we probably will never end up needing. Instead, take a risk by traveling without that winter parka when it’s summertime just in case it gets cold and definitely don’t bring that waffle iron on the off chance that you’ll get a hankering for homemade breakfast when you haven’t even eaten breakfast for 5 years anyway.

Wear your luggage

When you’re transporting your belongings to your new city, remember to wear larger things. Example: wear those clunky hiking boots and pack the flip flops in your bags. You can stuff things in your pocket, too. You can also layer up while in transit so that you can comfortably bring items like hoodies or sweaters without having to cram them into your bags.

Bring basic clothing

The more crazy patterned clothes you bring along, the less use you can make of them. Instead of bringing a boat load of multi-colored or highly trendy items that are hard to pair, bring neutral colored classic items. This way, you’ll be able to mix your wardrobe up and also get away with wearing the same things more often.

Don’t bring items you can pick up for cheap when you get there

When you go on a travel assignment, there’s no need to pack those cheap and easily replaceable things like shampoo, toothpaste, etc. Just purchase it when you get there. You can just get that stuff at a local dollar store and avoid lugging those heavy liquids around.

Author: Travel Nurse Source

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