Travel nurses head out on assignment frequently, sometimes on short notice.  The need to pack up your belongings shouldn’t be a grudge, and with a few tips from the pros it can easily become an efficient routine.

1. Skip the Basics

Toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner are often widely available, no matter where you’re placed on assignment.  Instead of packing these from home, save the space in your suitcase and buy them when you arrive on assignment.  Travel size bottles can tide you over until you have time to head to a store after your arrival.

Note: if you’re heading to a rural area, check online to make sure that these items are available where you’re headed, and what the general price is.  Certain items may be hard to find or cost more in rural areas.

2. Be Realistic

Consider how often you do laundry and how many pairs of scrubs you need for that amount of time.  When it comes to non-work outfits, stick to staples.  Just because you have 4 favourite dresses in your home closet doesn’t mean you need to bring them all!


3. Choose Wisely

Versatile clothing is always the best option when suitcase space is limited.  Choose core pieces such as dark jeans and black pants as well as shirts that can be worn casually or dressed up for an evening look.

That being said, packing a variety of functional items is always worthwhile; even if you’re not normally outdoorsy you may regret not bringing athletic wear if you decide to explore your new environment.

4. Wear the Worst Offenders

If, for example, you’re packing both a pair of flip flops and a pair of boots it would make more sense to wear the boots en route to your assignment.  Wearing larger items while travelling prevents you from having to cram them into your suitcase and leaves more room for your other belongings.



5. Tuck ’n Roll

Rather than cramming all of your clothing into your suitcase take a little bit of time to lay everything flat, which will save space.  Shirts in particular will take up the least amount of room when laid flat, whereas pants may be rolled into small cylinders and tucked along the outer edge of your suitcase.

Shoes and toiletries are best kept in a separate bag from your clothing if you’re bringing multiple suitcases, as it will minimize the risk of any product leaks or dirt smudges getting on your clothes.

6. Do Your Research

Check out Google Maps to see what stores are near your assigned location, and if there are any essential items that may be difficult to get in your destination be sure to prioritize bringing them.

For more information on travel nursing, contact one of our recruiters today!