Essential Packing List for Traveling Healthcare Professionals

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What to Pack for Your Travel Health Assignment

Embarking on a travel assignment as a nurse or allied health professional is both an exciting and daunting experience. While the allure of exploring new cities and working at new facilities is appealing, the practicalities of packing for an extended stay can be overwhelming. To help you navigate this process, we’ve compiled an essential packing list that will ensure you’re well-prepared for your next travel assignment. 

1. Professional Essentials

Uniforms and Work Attire 

  • Scrubs: Pack at least 5-7 sets of scrubs to ensure you have enough to last between laundry days. Consider the climate of your destination when choosing fabrics. Shop Scrubs 
  • Comfortable Shoes: Invest in high-quality, comfortable shoes as you’ll be on your feet for long hours. Many travel nurses recommend having at least two pairs to rotate. Find Comfortable Shoes 
  • Badge Reels and Lanyards: These small items can be easily overlooked but are crucial for displaying your ID badge at all times. Get Badge Reels and Lanyards 

Medical Equipment 

  • Stethoscope: A good stethoscope is a must-have for any nurse or allied health professional. Shop Stethoscopes 
  • Medical Reference Books or Apps: While many resources are available online, having a quick-reference book or app can be extremely handy. Find Medical Reference Books 
  • Clipboard with Storage: This is useful for keeping your notes and important documents organized and easily accessible. Get a Clipboard with Storage 

2. Personal and Comfort Items


  • Casual Wear: Pack comfortable clothes for off-duty hours. Think jeans, t-shirts, and casual dresses.  
  • Weather-Appropriate Gear: Research the climate of your destination. Bring a mix of layers for varying temperatures, and don’t forget a good jacket, especially if you’re heading to a colder climate.  
  • Sleepwear and Loungewear: Comfortable pajamas and loungewear are essential for relaxation after a long shift.
  • Workout Gear: If you plan on maintaining a fitness routine, pack your workout clothes and shoes.  

Toiletries and Personal Care 

  • Toiletry Bag: Invest in a good toiletry bag that can hold all your essentials, such as shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothpaste, and a toothbrush. Shop Toiletry Bags 
  • Skincare Products: Don’t forget your daily skincare routine products. Find Skincare Products 
  • Medications: Bring enough prescription medication to last your entire assignment, plus a little extra in case of delays.  
  • First Aid Kit: A small first aid kit with basics like band-aids, pain relievers, and antiseptic cream is always handy. Get a First Aid Kit 

3. Electronics and Gadgets

  • Smartphone and Charger: Your smartphone is your lifeline for communication, navigation, and entertainment. Shop Chargers 
  • Laptop or Tablet: For staying connected, managing assignments, and entertainment during downtime. Find Laptops and Tablets 
  • Portable Charger: These are lifesavers for keeping your devices charged while on the go. Get a Portable Charger 
  • Headphones: Noise-canceling headphones are great for travel and for unwinding with your favorite music or shows. Shop Headphones 

4. Documentation and Important Papers

  • Professional Documents: Bring copies of your nursing license, certifications, and any other credentials you might need. Get Document Holders 
  • Employment Contract and Assignment Details: Always have a printed copy of your contract and assignment details.  
  • Personal Identification: This includes your driver’s license, passport, and health insurance card.  
  • Emergency Contacts and Medical Information: Keep a list of emergency contacts and any important medical information readily accessible.  

5. Home Comforts

Bedding and Linens 

  • Comfortable Bedding: Some housing options might provide basic bedding, but bringing your own comfortable sheets, blankets, and pillows can make a big difference. Shop Bedding 
  • Towels: Pack a few good-quality towels for personal use. Find Towels 

Kitchen Essentials 

  • Basic Cooking Supplies: A few essential items like a frying pan, pot, and spatula can be useful if you plan on cooking. Get Cooking Supplies 
  • Non-Perishable Food: Bring some of your favorite non-perishable snacks and food items to make your new place feel more like home.  

Decor and Personal Touches 

  • Photos and Decorations: Small items like family photos or decorative pieces can help make your temporary housing feel more like home.  
  • Aroma Diffuser or Candles: These can help create a relaxing atmosphere and make your space feel cozier. Get Aroma Diffusers and Candles 

6. Miscellaneous Essentials

  • Travel Bag or Suitcase: A durable and spacious suitcase is crucial for packing all your items efficiently. Shop Suitcases 
  • Backpack or Work Bag: A good backpack or work bag to carry your essentials to and from the hospital. Find Backpacks 
  • Reusable Water Bottle: Staying hydrated is important, so bring a reusable water bottle to keep with you during shifts. Get Reusable Water Bottles 

Packing for a travel assignment as a nurse or allied health professional doesn’t have to be stressful. By planning ahead and bringing these essential items, you’ll be well-prepared to focus on your work and enjoy the new experiences that come your way. Remember, each assignment may require some adjustments to this list based on specific needs and location, but this guide should provide a solid foundation for your packing process. Happy travels! 

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Since 2006, FlexCare Medical Staffing has become a nationwide leader in travel nursing, allied health, therapy, and LVN / LPN staffing services for top healthcare facilities. With office locations in Roseville, California and Charlotte, North Carolina, FlexCare is committed to creating a transparent environment that prioritizes clinician experience. As a result, industry authorities like BluePipes, Staffing Industry Analysts, and Travel Nursing Central continually recognize FlexCare as a top healthcare staffing company.