Prepare Your Vehicle for your Travel Nurse Roadtrip - The Gypsy Nurse

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By The Gypsy Nurse Staff

August 8, 2018



Step #16: Prepare Your Vehicle for Your Travel Nurse Roadtrip

Driving to your next contract? These tips will make your travel nurse roadtrip planning go smooth and easy.

travel nurse roadtrip

I’ll admit upfront that I’m not a mechanic!  I’m a nurse.  Take these recommendations knowing that first.  I’ve taken many road-trips across country both for personal reasons as well as to/from my contracts.  I’ve ran across almost every imaginable problem that you could encounter from break-downs and flat tires to a swarm of insects that literally blinded me.  Because of this, I’ve learned a thing of two about what I need to have with me on the road.

Travel Nurse Roadtrip Planning

Pre-trip Inspection

travel nurse roadtrip planning

Make an appointment with your local auto-mechanic or garage and have your vehicle checked over and complete any routine maintenance.  Let them know that you are heading out for a long distance trip and want to make certain that any potential maintenance issues are addressed.  If your close to an oil change, get it done.  Have all of your belts, fluids, etc checked out.  Being stranded in the middle of nowhere in Texas isn’t a fun place to be when one of your belts breaks.  I know this, it happened to me.   Finding a place that you can trust to perform routine maintenance can be difficult as well as time-consuming once you reach your contract location.  It’s much easier to have this done at home before you leave.

Roadside Emergency Kit

travel nurse roadtrip planning

If you don’t already have one of these, you should consider putting one together before you leave.  You can purchase these pre-made or you can put together your own.  If you already have one, check through it and make sure that everything you need is still in it and in working order.

travel nurse checklist
Basic items for your Emergency Kit should include:

  • Water (I usually throw a gallon jug in my trunk)
  • Food (This is especially important for inclement weather.  A few granola bars are a handy item.)
  • Flashlight (with working batteries)
  • Reflective poncho (this works to keep you both safe and dry)
  • First Aid Kit
  • Blanket, coat, hat, gloves
  • Tool Kit
  • Road Flares
  • Spare Tire and working jack
  • Jumper cables
  • Coolant/Antifreeze
  • Motor Oil
  • Towels/Window cleaner
  • AAA Card with VIN number
  • Ice Scraper (cold weather)

Travel nurse roadtrip planning should also include an Emergency Kit. This should remain in your vehicle at all times. Consider the following items to have handy while on your way to your new contract. I like to pack a cooler and blanket so that I can find a relaxing picnic spot along the way. Nothings better than getting off the road for a few minutes to simply enjoy the view.

travel nurse checklist
Other Items to have Handy

  • Cell Phone
  • Registration/License/Insurance
  • Credit cards
  • Eye Glasses/Sun Glasses
  • Moist Towelettes
  • Meds including Maalox, Imodium AD (Travelers sickness)
  • Pen/Small tablet
  • Maps/Itinerary
  • AAA Insurance and Travel Guide to visiting states
  • Comfortable/Loose Travel clothes
  • Separate clothes/items you will need at hotel stops
  • Address book with numbers of Recruiter/On call Recruiter/ Reliable friends
  • Contact numbers for Apartment Agent and agreed times to meet
  • Camera to document your Trip
  • Snacks for the Trip (Yummy!)


If you are traveling with a cat or dog check out these tips for driving long distances here. Make sure to pack your vehicle so that all of your pets items are accessible for those short stops to enjoy the view.

Is there something that I didn’t address that you always make certain to have with you for a road trip?  What are your thoughts on the list/suggestions above?

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