Narrowing down your belongings to only those few precious things that “spark joy” is all the rage these days, but for travel nurses, it’s a way of life. When you’re traveling to a new city every few months, you know there’s no room in your life, or your car, for unnecessary baggage. But unless you’re a seasoned pro, how do you know what to bring? The truth is, even if you are a regular traveler, what is included in your housing arrangements can vary greatly by location. Naturally, that means the first step in figuring out what to bring on your next assignment will include a quick chat with your recruiter. Ask him or her to be as specific as possible about what will be provided. Will you need to bring your own dishes? Linens? Uniforms? Once you know what you don’t need to bring, you can focus on what you should bring. Then, make a list and stick to it. Here are a few of the things that will likely be on it and tips for organizing them:
Clothing and Jewelry:
- Packing cubes! Seriously, if you haven’t heard of these, you need to look into them, STAT.
- Layers, layers, layers! Layers of clothing that you can build up or down, especially of you can mix and match them will extend your wardrobe choices with less to pack.
- Fold and roll, people! This is one of Marie Kondo’s signature tips, but savvy travelers have always known that rolling your clothing can reduce the space they take by half.
- Keep your jewelry in a zip-lock bag. Not only will it be easier to travel with because of its smaller size, a sealed bag will protect your precious metals and gemstones from damaging humidity.
- Buy hangers at the dollar store when you get to your assignment. Hangers can take up a boatload of space in your car.
- See if you can find styling tools like curling irons and hair dryers in travel sizes.
- Can you consolidate your personal devices? A single tablet or phone can probably do the work of an e-reader, music player, personal computer and camera.
- Consider investing in a charging doc if you have multiple devices, and leave any unnecessary, lengthy cords at home.
- Unless there is a specific product you need to use on your way to your travel assignment, consider buying your toiletries when you arrive at your new location.
- Same goes for any cleaning and laundry supplies you might need for your temporary housing.
- Try to limit yourself to no more than a couple of outfits for working out.
- Many gyms have free weights, balance balls, yoga mats and other equipment available for guests to use.
- If you regularly use larger items like paddle boards or kayaks, consider renting them on assignment so you don’t have to lug them around.
Keep it simple; a few special photographs or small keepsakes.
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