Travel Nurse Packing Tips: 5 Packing Tips You Should Know

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By Fusion Medical Staffing

April 13, 2023



5 Travel Nurse Packing Tips You Should Know

Fusion Medical Staffing provided this article.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve worked hundreds of travel nursing jobs or it’s your very first assignment. Packing for months at a time can be tricky. From cleaning supplies to clothing to meaningful mementos, there’s a lot to remember! Next time you’re packing for a travel nursing assignment, use these tips to help make sure you pack everything on your travel nurse packing list.

Travel Nurse Packing Tips

5 Travel Nurse Packing Tips You Should Know

1. Consider the length of your travel nursing contract

One of the biggest factors that will impact what you pack for a travel nursing job is the length of your travel contract. Most of the time, travel nurse contracts last for 13 weeks. They can be shorter or longer depending on the medical facility’s needs. For example, if you choose to extend your contract, you could be away from home for six months or more.  

If you’re packing for a shorter nursing assignment, it’s recommended to pack as lightly as possible and only bring items that are absolutely essential. On the other hand, longer assignments may require you to pack more to make yourself comfortable during your travel contract. If you plan to take time off in between travel nursing assignments, you may wind up packing even more for vacation activities.

2. Think about the climate of your destination

travel nurse packing tips

Another packing tip for travel nurses is to think about the climate of your job destination. Different climates require different types of clothing and gear, so you have to know what type of weather you’ll be facing when you get where you’re going.

While lighter, breathable fabrics are beneficial in hotter climates, wearing multiple warm layers is great for colder weather. If you’re traveling to an area with a lot of rain, then you may want to pack a raincoat or umbrella to keep you dry – or choose a portable waterproof parka if you’re short on space. Knowing the climate of your destination ahead of time is key when it comes to packing for a travel nursing job.

3. Make a list of things you use regularly

It can be tricky to know what to pack as a travel nurse. Narrow it down by making a list of things you use on a regular basis. Think alarm clock, coffeemaker, hair straightener, headphones, and anything else you find yourself using a lot.

Making a list of everyday essentials can alleviate the stress and anxiety that comes with packing because it doubles as a travel nurse packing checklist! Whether it’s clothing, houseware, toiletries, or something in between, a packing list ensures you have everything you need for your travel nursing assignment so you can start enjoying your new location as soon as possible.

4. Maximize your packing space

Limited luggage space combined with the need to pack for an average of 13 weeks means maximizing your packing space is essential to make sure you have room for everything you need to bring.

travel nurse packing tips

In other words: pack smarter, not harder. Consider using these packing strategies to get the most out of your packing space.

  • Roll your clothes
  • Plan outfits that can be mixed and matched
  • Try vacuum/compression bags to save space
  • Consider using a toiletry bag
  • Bring multipurpose items (i.e., a scarf that’s also a blanket)

5. Double-check you have your important documents

So, not only do you need to make sure you have the right clothing and personal items packed, but you’ll also need to double-check you have your important documentation organized and packed. This includes items like your driver’s license, social security card, birth certificate, car insurance, nursing certifications, and state licenses. You may need these documents to fill out employment paperwork or verify your identity while traveling.

Pro tip: bring copies of important documentation and leave the originals safely stored at home or with a loved one. That way, you don’t have to worry about accidentally losing your paperwork and documents while working a travel nursing job. And if you do misplace your copy, it’s no big deal to get another!

Travel nursing is both personally and professionally rewarding, and it’s even better when you’re well-packed. By packing efficiently and careful planning ahead of time, your next journey will go off without a hitch. Just follow these travel nurse packing tips, and you’ll be ready to hit the ground running on your next travel nursing assignment, no matter your destination.   

Our job board is a great place to search for your next travel nurse assignment. We have you covered with our housing page if housing is an issue. You can search for what you are looking for.

If you are a new travel nurse or looking into becoming a travel nurse:

Travel Nurse Guide: Step-by-Step (now offered in a PDF Downloadable version!)

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