The Ultimate Packing List for Travel Nurses

Once you’ve locked in your first travel nursing assignment and you’ve sorted out all of the details … it’s officially packing time! At first, this may seem like a daunting task that you’ll never be able to accomplish, but if you take it step by step you’ll have everything you need to hit the ground running. 

To get started, we’ve broken up the packing list into 5 categories: must-haves, clothing, toiletries, home goods, and extras. 

Must-Haves

These are the important things that you absolutely should not be without. While this may seem like common sense, it’s important to have these on your list so you don’t forget.

  • Driver’s license / Passport
  • Insurance cards 
  • Social security card 
  • Emergency contact list

Clothing

This is where it can get tricky with overpacking, so let’s start with the basics.

  • Scrubs (or other uniform required by your facility) 
  • Jeans 
  • Leggings 
  • Long Sleeve Shirts 
  • T-Shirts 
  • Sweater 
  • Sweatshirt  
  • Sneakers
  • A pair or two of fun shoes – sandals, heels, booties 
  • One dressy outfit 
  • Pajamas
  • Undergarments
  • Weather dependant: raincoat, winter coat, etc.

Depending on your personal routine or plans you have for your free time, you might want to add in work out clothes, hiking boots, swimwear, or any other activity-specific clothing. 

Toiletries

Cutting back on the toiletries that you pack is a great way to save space when you are packing. Shampoo, conditioner, lotion, toothpaste, etc. are all things that can easily be purchased when you arrive at your final destination. You will want to bring along your make-up bag and any specialty items that you may not be able to find easily elsewhere. 

Home Goods

Before you get started on this section of your packing list, now is a good time to check with your housing situation to find out what they will be providing. Below is a general guide of things that you’ll need to bring if they don’t already have them. 

  • Sheets, comforter/duvet, blankets
  • Towels
  • Minimal dishes and utensils
  • Pot and pan 
  • Dishtowels 
  • Tea kettle/ Coffee maker 
  • Laundry basket

Extras

While you might be able to survive without these things, they sure are great to have. Remember that you’ll be having a totally new experience and making some incredible memories! 

  • Laptop + charger
  • Headphones
  • Camera
  • A journal 
  • Any special items to make you feel at home 

Packing a personal relic or two will make your new place feel more like home. Whether that be a special blanket or your favorite coffee mug, don’t feel silly for bringing it along – it will bring great comfort when you’re adjusting to a new place. 

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