10 Not So Obvious Travel Essentials for Travel Nurses on assignment

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By Emily Bryant

April 10, 2021



10 Not So Obvious Travel Essentials

Being a travel nurse and moving frequently can prove to be a challenge when it comes to what items to bring.  Because most travel nurses only have their cars to pack when going between assignments, we have come up with a list of 10 not-so-obvious travel essentials.

Not so obvious travel essentials

Command Strips

I mean, I feel like I should be a sponsored partner by this point! Let’s be honest, we are all jumping around from apartment to basement to guest room to the hotel, and the style of the home rarely matches your own style. Landlords also always frown on playing on treating their walls like a dartboard by placing lots of little holes in it to hang your photos—cue Command Strips. Peel, stick, and peel off again when it is time to leave.


travel essentials for travel nurses

You can’t have Command Strips without anything to put on them, so print out your favorite few photos, bring a few frames, and make each place you live feel like yours. I have made a small budget to spend on making the place look like me everywhere I go depending on what it needs. When I first started, it was photos. I have brought the same three pieces of art with me and hung them in every apartment I have lived in, and it brings me so much joy!

Crock Pot

Everyone has their preferred cooking method, and mine happens to be the lazy, low, and slow type. This baby gets me by with plenty of options to cook for one or bring the staff Pot Lucks. I haven’t been to an assignment without one yet.


Let’s be real. Most places that come “fully furnished” are all supplied with Goodwill’s recent clearance items. Since I do a good degree of my own cooking, I have become a snob about the kind of knives I cut with, and the ones carrying tetanus aren’t cutting it (see what I did there). So, my Rachel Ray set of three knives get thrown in my kitchen box every time.


Everyone has the things that make them happy, and mine happens to smell. This little buddy is another way to make homes feel familiar and homey. Candles do the trick too.


travel essentials for travel nurses

Whatever that might be for you, bring your supplies with you. With all the free time you will have, it is a great opportunity to dive right into your old hobbies or pick up new ones. From Frisbees to art supplies to camping supplies, please don’t leave your home without it. You will be glad to have the material to share your new friends’ experiences to spend a slow afternoon doing them.


When you travel as often as we do, it is actually a surprisingly big pain to become a public library member. Many places ask for proof of residence before giving you a library card, so I have learned to work the system. I have started using my home library to reserve books and send them to my Kindle, and it has made life so dang convenient.


travel essentials for travel nurses

If you are a coffee drinker, you know. Some people bring a Keurig or their own pot, but the Aeropress is tiny, and you can pack it with you to go anywhere.  I have to say that God helps all of the hospitals if the nurses don’t have a way to start and maintain a steady stream of caffeine during the shifts.


We all have our things. Mine happens to be smoothies multiple times a week, and this little guy travels so well and brings so many options to your kitchen. Most furnished apartments come with the bare minimum kitchen supplies, so if you have any favorite appliances that are small enough to pack, bring them along.


You never know when you will just need to escape to the nearest park or take a hike to escape on your days off. Shoot, there are some days when you need to escape the people you are living with. Enter, Hammock. The coziest reading partner you will ever have.

Clearly, this list of travel essentials is catered to my specific likes and desires, but all you need to do is think about what things will fill a foreign place with joy and simplify your life as much as possible. It is amazing how little you need to feel still rich!

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