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Packing for Your Next Travel Nurse Assignment: 5 Things to Leave at Home

Packing can be one of the more stressful chores you'll have to tackle when preparing to leave for a travel nurse assignment. Decisions about what to take and what to leave can be challenging and may be complicated by considerations about your destination's climate, the season you're traveling and the type of temporary housing you've secured. Streamline your packing strategy by leaving these five things at home when you're packing for your next travel nurse assignment

1. Expensive Jewelry And Other Items Of Monetary Value

It can be tempting to pack valuables, such as your good jewelry when you're traveling, but it may be wise to resist the urge. Extended time on the road can mean that your valuables are left unattended in vulnerable locations, such as rest stops and hotels, where they can be easy targets for experienced thieves. According to Business Insider, expensive jewelry can also attract unwanted attention, making you a target as well.

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Instead, take along costume jewelry, which can be just as fashionable and won't be as big a loss if it's misplaced or stolen. If you really must bring along your good jewelry, limit it to a few basic pieces such as earrings and rings that you can wear all the time.

If you're concerned about leaving valuable items unattended in your house or apartment while you're away on assignment, it may be worthwhile to rent a safe deposit box in your bank for the duration of your trip.

2. Irreplaceable Items

When you're going to be away from home for an extended period of time, it's natural to want to keep items of sentimental value close, but you might want to think twice before packing anything that's irreplaceable. Whether it's your childhood teddy bear or the one-of-a-kind photo of your grandparents' wedding, if the item can't be replaced, you're better off leaving it safely at home.

If you want to make your temporary housing feel more like home, bring framed reproductions of your favorite photos to scatter around the house or apartment. You can also scan precious possessions such as love letters or drawings from your kids into your computer. By digitizing these items, you'll be able to enjoy them on assignment without risking damage to the originals.

3. Duplicate Items

If you're moving into agency- or company-provided housing while on assignment, your accommodations will probably come with a variety of essentials, including furniture, cookware and utensils, so there's no need to bring your own. Some company housing may even include luxuries such as coffee makers.

Consult with your recruiter to find out what's included with your housing so you don't waste space in your car by packing duplicates.

4. Unnecessary Gadgets

While it's important to stay connected while on assignment, you can save valuable space by minimizing the number of electronics you pack. Apps on smartphones and tablets now serve a multitude of functions, letting you read e-books, listen to your favorite radio stations, set alarms and navigate unfamiliar areas. That means your radio, car GPS, alarm clock and e-reader can remain at home while you travel.

Unless you're an avid photographer, you can also skip your bulky digital camera when packing. If you have a newer smartphone, the pictures it takes should suffice for the duration of your assignment.

5. Your Luggage

While packing your belongings in suitcases may seem like a no-brainer, you can actually save space by putting clothing, bedding, towels and other soft items in compression bags. These bags, which may require a vacuum to fully compress, reduce the space required for your belongings, giving you room to pack all your favorite outfits.

Travel and Leisure suggests investing in compression packing cubes that are designed specifically for travel because they tend to hold up better than the less-expensive versions created for under-the-bed storage.

Save Space For The Important Things

Ultimately, by packing less you'll leave yourself room to take the things you truly want to have with you, whether that means your pup's favorite toys or a sparkly outfit for going out on the town with new friends. It also ensures you'll have space to pack any mementos or souvenirs you buy while on assignment for the return trip.

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