Taking on travel nursing jobs can provide you with unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Improve your knowledge and skillset by working in a number of different facilities across the country, honing in on new specialties and getting acquainted with different patient populations that have unique needs. Join new communities and expand your social horizons when you befriend your coworkers and neighbors, or pick up a fun new regional hobby.
And of course, a major draw for many people to become a travel nurse is the chance to do just that – travel. Your staffing agency can help place you in locations you've always dreamed of exploring, taking away a lot of the stress that often comes with trying to relocate on your own.
Though your assignments will ensure you have a job and housing all set up before you even arrive in your new town, you can't eliminate every aspect of planning a move – you have to get there, after all! When you travel every few months for work, you'll start to learn a few tricks for making your trips flow even better. Trying some of these five must-have travel gadgets is a great way to start relocating like a pro:
1. Noise-cancelling headphones Air travel is a fast, convenient way to get around the country, but in the wrong conditions, it can make for an uncomfortable journey. Getting stuck at a long layover or enduring hours in the air on a noisy plane aren't exactly ideal environments. While plugging in some headphones so you can watch a movie or listen to music or a podcast on your mobile device can help cover some of the cacophony, the sound of loudly conversing passengers or a crying infant can be hard to drown out entirely.
That's why you should invest in noise-cancelling headphones. Tech Radar reported that there are several different types of noise-cancelling headphones and ways they block out extra sounds, but quality products of any variety will cut out the background noise while improving the caliber of your audio. You may be surrounded by a few hundred other people on your plane, but when you can tune them out, you can feel like you're in a world all your own!
2. A tablet or e-reader Reading is great way to pass the time when you're traveling to a new location. Depending on what you're interested in, however, it can be challenging to pack enough publications in your carry-on. Large books add extra weight for you to have to tote around. But taking a shorter story could mean that you finish it too fast for a long plane or train ride, leaving you with time to kill for the duration of the trip.
A more efficient solution is to download e-books onto a tablet or e-reader before you go – you may even be able to rent digital copies from a library. The average 4G e-reader can hold more than 1,000 books, according to The Wire Cutter, and the batteries can last for weeks. So even if your transportation goes delayed, you know you'll have plenty of reading materials to keep yourself entertained.
3. Luggage tracking device Statistically, the more trips you take, the higher the chances your luggage gets misplaced at some point. You could land in Seattle, but your suitcase ends up en route to Chicago during a loading mix up.
You don't want to be stuck without some of your key possessions when you're trying to get settled into a new place and preparing to start a job assignment. You can help recover your belongings faster by investing in a luggage tracker. Flipboard stated that these gadgets can track in real time online or through a smartphone app so you can quickly discover where your luggage is and take immediate steps to have it returned to you.
4. A chargeable cooler Taking a road trip out to a new location is the preferred option for many travel nurses. You can see more sights and have better control over your trip. If you'll need a few days to get to your next assignment by car, however, you may be concerned about your nutrition. It's hard to eat well on the road, since most roadside-restaurants are fast food joints, and you can only stop at so many gas stations for snacks before you get sick of plastic-wrapped cupcakes.
Packing your meals in advance seems like a reasonable solution, but if your looking to safely store some fresh produce or dairy your standard cooler may not last as long as you need it to. An electric cooler can solve that problem for you! Plug it into your car outlet or cigarette lighter to keep your cold foods at refrigerator temperatures. Some, as Popular Mechanics pointed out, can also have a warming setting, allowing you to bring hot, home cooked meals on the road without worrying that they'll get cold before you have time to stop and eat.
5. Hands-free Bluetooth Driving yourself on a trip allows you a lot of freedom to choose your pace and make interesting stops along the way. But when you have to focus on the road for so long, it can be hard to check in with loved ones about the progress of your trip, look up alternate directions on your GPS or change the playlist you're listening to.
Consumer Reports stated that most new vehicles on the market today come with hands-free Bluetooth systems and voice-activated commands. These programs allow you to complete tasks along the way without needing to stop your car to free your hands. If your ride doesn't already come equipped with a blue tooth system, you may want to invest in one if you're a frequent traveler. The convenience will be worth it!
Travel nursing is an exciting and rewarding career path. Make the most out of your travels by using these helpful technologies to simplify your trips and keep you comfortable as you go.