Most experienced travel nurses would agree that when you are looking for housing it is easiest to find something that comes fully furnished. Whether you are renting a room in someone’s home or a more private space, ideally you won’t have to worry about bringing any linens, basic kitchen tools, or larger electronics like a TV. Most travelers typically prefer these fully furnished rentals because they don’t have to worry about overpacking their car or moving home items from place to place.
While some travel nurses will rent these types of spaces and can manage to pack everything into a suitcase or two, it can be nice to bring a few extra items to make your stay more comfortable. Here are five small items you can bring to make your thirteen weeks in a fully furnished rental just a little better.
1. Your Favorite Pillow
There is nothing like getting off from a stretch of three shifts, feeling dead tired, taking a nice hot shower, and curling up in your comfy bed. However, each person’s definition of “comfy” may be a little different. Landlords will typically provide a decent bed with all the necessary accompaniments, but obviously each individual will have different preferences for their sleeping arrangements. A pillow is great because it doesn’t take up much space, adds a homey touch, and helps make that much-deserved sleep after a long shift that much better.
2. A Good Kitchen Knife
If you enjoy cooking on your days off, most landlords provide basic pots and pans, utensils, and dishes in their furnished rentals. But no matter how nice the landlord and rental has been, I have yet to stay at a short-term rental with a decent (aka sharp) kitchen knife. Nicer knives are typically expensive, so this makes sense from a practicality standpoint. I simply bring my own medium-sized kitchen knife that I know will work for any of the basic cooking I need to do while on assignment.
3. Your Favorite Coffee Mug and Water Bottle
Keeping your coffee or tea hot for work is a must for most nurses, as is having a water bottle handy to attempt to stay hydrated during shifts. Personally, I love Yeti and Hydroflask products for both work and travel purposes. Since you won’t be stocking up on a bunch of different travel mugs or random water bottles, buy a good quality version of each and you’ll be set.
4. A Laptop Computer
Even if you use your phone for almost everything you do on the internet, as a travel nurse it is helpful to have at least a cheap laptop with you. First of all, some sites you may want to use don’t work well on mobile versions. Second, when you are doing onboarding or credentialing for future jobs you will likely need a laptop to manage paperwork, do online modules, or renew certifications. It is rare that your host will have a computer for you to use, so having one before you set out for your assignment will make your life that much easier in the long run.
5. A Pet Blanket or Bed
It can be hit or miss on whether or not landlords allow pets. If you choose to travel with a furry companion, keep in mind that your etiquette and consideration while living in a rental with your pet will likely directly affect whether or not pets are allowed in the future. Landlords may request that you avoid letting your animals on furniture if they are particularly worried about wear and tear. Regardless, it is courteous to bring some sort of cover for the furniture or bed for your pet. This will help contain any pet hair and saves you the trouble of having to lint roll like crazy before you leave to avoid extra cleaning fees.
Living in a furnished rental definitely cuts down on the amount of packing you will have to do prior to setting out for your travel assignment. This is great because it also cuts back on the number of trips you will have to make hauling things back and forth from your car. However, bringing a few extra items to make your space more comfortable or life a little easier is a great idea. Even if your job is “temporary,” three months is long enough to want to feel settled in and happy about your space.
We hope that you found these 5 things to pack for a fully furnished rental helpful. Do you have any other items to add to this list? Comment them below.
Alex McCoy – Alex is a pediatric travel nurse and the content manager of Furnished Finder, the leader in affordable travel nurse housing, and is part of a travel healthcare duo. Married to her physical therapist high school sweetheart, Alex has a passion for the traveling healthcare worker. Click here to read more articles from Alex McCoy.