Preparing to Travel


In a few weeks, I will be taking a month-long road trip.  The trip will be both business and pleasure.  I am somewhat OCD when it comes to packing, especially for a trip this long.  The number one rule in preparing is to be organized.  One of the first things I ask myself is what luggage do I need for this trip.  Am I driving or flying? What is the weather like where I am going?  What do I need for work?

Once I know how long and where I start to pull everything together and organize for packing. As a travel nurse, you are always adjusting to a new work environment, patients and co-workers.  Staying organized will help to lessen the stress of the constant changes.  I have listed a few things to help with keeping you organized.


First, answer these questions. How will I get there? How long will I be there? Where am I going?  The answers will tell you what type and size of luggage to take. I like a duffle since it will hold so much and stores easier than luggage pieces.  Once you have chosen clothes and accessories to take separate them into work and play piles.  I limit pairs of shoes to two or three pairs including the pair I am wearing for travel.

Packing Cubes

I love the duffle for luggage but I hate trying to find my undies if they are in the bottom.  I use these great cubes to keep everything accessible and easier to pack.  This set includes a laundry bag to keep the dirty separate from the clean.  Keep those scrubs neatly packed and ready to wear.  Remove the cubes and place in the drawer once you arrive at your destination.  By staying organized packing for your next assignment will be a snap.

Cosmetics and Toiletries

Sometimes it is easier to buy toiletries once you get to a location.  Travel by air has so many restrictions I usually buy toiletries I need when I get to my destination.  However, who wants to buy all new makeup.  I try to organize what I need in a hanging bag that can be taken to the bathroom for easy access.

Lightweight Shoes

A good pair of easy to pack lightweight walking shoes are a must. When you are out exploring in town you want comfortable shoes so you pay attention to the sites and not your feet. Keep your work shoes for the workplace.


In today’s world, none of us want to give up the electronics we use daily.  Traveling with a cell phone, tablet, laptop computer or any other device requires all the cables that go with them.  Trying to pack them and keep them organized is frustrating without a good organizer.  I keep a good one because my electronics are costly and need to be protected.    Keeping everything in one place eliminates the possibility of forgetting one and having to buy more.

For those times when you are out and about exploring you might want to have a portable phone charger.  Just slip this charger into your daypack and be ready for the day.

Daypack Go Bag

On those days when you have time to explore the area, you need a daypack.  Take just what you need for the day and leave the rest at home. Perfect for a carry on when flying.  Small enough to pack in you duffle when traveling over the road.


No matter where you travel it is always good to have a packable rain jacket.  Some parts of the country have rain almost daily and other places it is pop up showers.  Always be prepared for rainy weather.

Insulated Water Bottle

I am not a fan of buying water in plastic bottles.  With this great insulated bottle, you can have your drink hot or cold and it will last for hours.  You are not adding more plastic trash to the environment and saving money at the same time.  Always be prepared with a water bottle.


Journaling is not only a good way to destress but a good way to reflect on all of the wonderful places you have been.  I keep a gratitude journal that reminds me of how fortunate I am to be able to see this country and all it has to offer.  At the end of a long shift reflect on the day whether it was good or bad.


How do you prepare for your next assignment?  If you have tips that make your travels easier and more organized let us know.

Safe and happy travels!!!!!!


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Cheryl Roby, RN

Cheryl J. Roby is a Registered Nurse and retired US Army Reserve Nurse Major. She has more than 30 years of nursing experience and 26 years of military experience in the Army Nurse Corp. During her nursing career, she has traveled as part of her military experience visiting many of the 50 states and to South Korea. She was trained as an Army Medic during the Vietnam era and later as an OR tec. She went on to become a Licensed Practical Nurse and then completed her nursing training as a Registered Nurse. She was then commissioned as an officer in the Army Reserves. She appreciated the challenge of working in various specialties and expanding her clinical and professional skill sets. Her time in the Army Reserves and California National Guard gave her the opportunity to travel to most of the 50 states and work in other medical facilities. During her career, she had the opportunity to work in several specialties to include, OR, Occupational Health, Hospice, Sexual Assault Team, Forensic/ Correctional Nurse, Nurse Case Manager for developmental disabilities, Parish Nursing as well as a Nurse Entrepreneur.

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