Checklist: What to Pack for a Travel Assignment

Packing for Travel

Whether this is your first travel assignment or your tenth, packing can be one of the most difficult items on your to-do list before shipping out to your next destination. Here’s a checklist of things to bring with you for a successful three-month stay – wherever you’re going!

Travel assignment packing list:

  • Do you have pets coming with you? Make sure you have updated shot records in case you need to have them boarded while on assignment.
  • Cell phone chargers – you’d be surprised how easy these are to forget. Bring one for your car, and a few outlets so you can have one at home and one at the hospital.
  • Kitchenware: a few pots, pans, dishes and cups are a must if you plan to cook any meals while on assignment. Check to see if your housing arrangements provide anything for the kitchen, and supplement what you’ll need. If you don’t want to lug a bunch of pots and pans with you all over the country, some travelers make a trip to Walmart on each assignment and buy (cheaply) what they’ll need for the next 12 weeks, then give the items to charity upon leaving.
  • Toiletries are a must! Again – you might find it easier to make a trip to Walmart to find shampoo, soap and towels. Make a list of everything you’ll need, then decide what’s worth buying when you arrive, and what you’d like to bring with you.
  • A few small items from home to make your new surroundings feel more like “home.” Keep in mind that you’ll only be there for a few months, so don’t bring the whole house! And don’t bring anything you’d be heartbroken over forgetting.
  • Scrubs, scrubs, scrubs. Make sure you’ve got the right brand and/or colors for the job.
  • You’ll (hopefully) be doing more than just working while on assignment, so be sure to bring the right clothes for your free time. Think about the weather in your new locale – will you need a tank top or a parka? Pack accordingly.
  • Arrive with orientation in hand and a copy of your contract (this should all be in your travel folder).
  • Pack a list of emergency numbers – including the Cirrus on-call number.


Bonus tips (some to-do’s before you leave):

  • Have your car serviced – oil changed, tires rotated, and AAA card in hand.
  • Have your mail forwarded, or set up someone to pick it up daily.
  • Make sure your home is settled. Set the alarm, thermostat and make sure all doors and windows are locked.
  • Check with your cell phone provider to make sure you will have cell service in your new city – you don’t want to arrive only to realize you have no coverage!
  • Make a list of things you want to do at your new destination – plan things ahead if you can so you have something to look forward to!


More questions? Your nurse recruiter is always available to help – whether you’re not sure what to pack, or you need help finding your next assignment.