Packing can be a stressful yet unique task for a travel nurse because they only move for a limited time. Knowing what to pack or leave behind can be difficult, forcing some nurses to seek guidance from experts or their experienced colleagues. To pack light, a travel nurse should prioritize the most critical items and identify things they cannot live without for approximately three months.  

Tips to help travel nurses pack light 

Know the length of your travel nursing activity before packing 

Travel nursing assignments have different lengths ranging between 4 to 26 weeks. Once the assignment is over, the employer may either extend it or nurses transition to the next task before returning home. For some travel nurses, each assignment requires a unique packing technique. Determine the length of your assignment to ease the packing process.  

Think about the area you will be visiting 

Different areas have varying climates and can present varying activities forcing travel nurses to pack a vast range of belongings. For instance, avoid packing snow skis when visiting locations during summer. Consider potential activities and the weather when planning your packing list. 

Determine what the travel nursing agency offers 

Will you be staying in a company-provided house? Remember, different agencies have different housing regulations. For example, some will offer fully-furnished housing complete with a cleaning package and all household items you need to be comfortable with; however, some agencies only provide furnishings. Determine your housing package and do your due diligence to avoid getting blackmailed.  

Develop a list of things you use regularly 

Everybody’s daily habits and lifestyle are different. For instance, some nurses prefer using slow cookers for their ability to prepare ready-to-eat meals after a tiring shift. However, others don’t own a slow cooker. Assess your list and eliminate things you don’t regularly use to lessen your luggage.  

Consider thrift stores, second-hand goods, and discount variety chain stores 

Sometimes your packing list may grow beyond your plans. To lessen your items, consider buying some items from a discount variety and second-hand stores at your destination. After completing your assignment, you can determine whether to carry the items to your next task, donate, or even auction them.  

Download a packing App 

Travel nurses can leverage the available packing apps to ease the packing process and develop and minimize their lists. Consider saving the packing list or developing new ones depending on the assignment and location. Packing apps can even recommend things you can include or eliminate from your list. Using these apps is an excellent way of saving time.  

Use a packing list generator instead of apps 

If you can’t stand the thought of downloading another app, find specially designed packing list generating websites. You’ll only need to enter your destination, accommodation, duration of stay, and weather conditions. The website will then create a packing list based on the information you provide.  

Use compression bags to save on space 

An essential strategy travel nurses can use to pack light is using compression bags. These bags, also known as stuff sacks, allow users to stuff clothing and other items inside with ease. Further, they provide a compressing strategy that users can leverage to save more space. 

Pack-towels are ideal for space-saving 

Good quality bath towels are fluffy, thick, and made of cotton. While they may be your favorite at home, they can be bulky and end up taking lots of space. Suppose you do not pack them; you will struggle during the entire trip. Travel nurses should adopt pack towels as replacement alternatives. Often, pack towels are fast drying and highly absorbent.  

Let the travel nursing institution provide more 

Evaluate the nursing package the travel company is offering and request more where necessary. For instance, if they don’t offer cleaning supplies, request them to provide you with such.  


Travel nurses go for assignments regularly, and most of them struggle with packing right. Use these tips to learn and improve your packing style. Remember you can request the travel company for more where possible. Further, you can utilize a packing app that helps you differentiate between essential items and less important ones.  

Purchasing stuff from reportable second-hand stores can be crucial to lessening your package. Determine what works right for you and deploy it across your travel nursing adventures.  

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