As a traveler, I always have anxiety about what to pack for my next assignment. What will I need? What stores are near me/what will my housing have available for me? This anxiety is peak for your first assignment, because you have no idea what to expect or how to prepare! Here I have listed the top 10 things plus bonus items at the bottom. I have utilized everything listed during my travel assignments, so I am not just recommending it for the hell of it.
- I have stayed in housing that did not have a kitchen. Crockpots are awesome for preparing full meals and meal prepping. Especially if you end up without a kitchen or just very limited with kitchen appliances. If you end up without a kitchen, you may not have a proper sink/dishwasher to clean your crockpot, so I highly recommend crockpot liners as well to make life easier. I am so happy I have had my crockpot with me during my travels
- AAA membership
- Listen, you do not want to end up stranded in the middle of nowhere, Mo with a flat tire, all your belongings in your trunk, and freezing weather making your hands numb and unable to even loosen the bolts on your tire to change it. (Little too specific?) As a traveler, you are bound to be driving long distances and in areas you are less than familiar with. AAA can help you with battery diagnostics, flat tire, keys locked in your car, towing, and so much more. Having the stress of breaking down in the middle of nowhere SUCKS, but realizing you have AAA to rely on to come help: amazing.
- Jumper cables/Quart of oil
- While we are on the subject of cars, I recommend always keeping a quart of oil stored in your trunk, and jumper cables. You always want to check fluid levels before a long trip. I tend to check mine the night before or morning of the trip. If my oil is low, the last thing I want to do is go somewhere to get it topped off or get off schedule having to go buy some, and it is so easy to top off your own oil. As for jumper cables, people seem to not have those on hand anymore. So, if your battery is dead and you DON’T feel like waiting on AAA, get a jump. Having jumper cables already on hand solves the more difficult half of the equation, then you just have to find a person willing to jump you off with their car AND not kidnap you.
- Aux cord/car charger
- If you have road tripped, you KNOW you can’t rely on the radio. Aux cord gives you access to listen to music, podcasts, audio books, etc. Car charger or at least a portable charger for your phone is SO important during a trip. We rely on our phones so much for communication, navigation, and entertainment while traveling.
- Gym membership/ light, easy to pack equipment
- Obviously we want to stay active, and this can be difficult while traveling. I have a black card membership to Planet fitness which I LOVE because I have access to almost any gym in the country. If you like going to the gym, definitely find a chain that you like and see if they have a membership like this. SOMETIMES, you can end up further from the gym then preferable for a daily workout. For a month I was about 30 min from the nearest planet Fitness. So, I also have 1 light set of dumbbells (5lbs because that is literally all I had before travel), booty bands and a knock off TRX (I linked one found on amazon). I was very thankful to have these to use for home workouts when I wasn’t up to driving far to the gym after work.
- I don’t remember the new slang for self promotion.. Something about a “plug” but here it is: I also help create videos for a fitness membership! https://www.reestoremovement.com/ Classes are taught by my friend who is a DPT and RYT 500 yoga instructor and myself. It comprises TheraFlow, HIIT, and Mobility videos. These can be accessed from your phone or laptop. For those who prefer going to a class rather than making up your own at home workout, or just wanting to mix things up, this is an awesome resource. Of course I’m biased, but I do like the content of the videos.
- Pepper spray/ Taser
- Ok so I haven’t used THIS yet for protection (and HOPEFULLY) won’t have to. But as a solo traveler, it is very important you have some form of protection on you. Mine is pepper spray and a taser.
- Travel mugs
- Personally, I like to drink my coffee/tea in the morning on my way to work. I have not stayed in an airbnb that had travel mugs (obviously that is not the only housing option and I have used other resources but that’s my prime example). This is one of those items that you can easily forget and get frustrated the morning you are leaving for your first day and don’t trust yourself to drive and drink from a regular coffee mug. This One, keep my coffee hot for long!
- First aid kit
- Definitely want a first aid kit accessible in your car. I recommend also keeping medicine such as ibuprofen along with bandaids, alcohol wipes, etc.
- Wine bottle opener
- Again, don’t want to end up at your place after a long day of work with a bottle of wine and NO OPENER. Wine Bottle openers also have bottle cap openers for the fancy beers that don’t use twist off. I also have not mastered popping a bottle top off hitting it on the counter
- Whether physical, or electronic, you will definitely want a planner to help you stay organized during your travels. I mark my start and end dates of each assignment so I can prepare for packing, moving, searching for a new assignment or extending. I used my planner to make lists of tasks to get done that month and/or items to make sure I don’t leave at where I’m staying.
*An awesome app you should check out that I just found: PackPoint Travel Packing list. You can mark whether you are traveling for business or pleasure and check off an itinerary of interests and planned activities for where you are going and it will assist in generating a packing list!
I hope you found this insightful, helpful, and at least entertaining. Lastly, I will add a few more packing suggestions that could help in your future travel assignment endeavors! Stay safe out there y’all!
-Clothes (I know this sounds simple, but you can end up in town where there isn’t even a Walmart. So you don’t want to always wait until getting to your next town before buying a pair of scrubs or slacks you may need for the new dress code). And Hangers for said clothes!
-Medicine: this is mentioned with a first aid kit but you also want to keep cold and allergy medicine on hand so you don’t have to worry about waking up with terrible congestion or a cough and not have medicine right on hand.
-Spices: Not every housing resource will have a variety of spices on hand or spices that you usually use and you don’t want to have to buy spices for every assignment! I travel with a weber grill chicken seasoning and cinnamon as I use those both a lot for cooking.
-Reusable bags- and/or book bag for convenience so you don’t only have your suitcase/luggage.
-SOMETHING to commemorate your travels! Whether this be a travel journal, photo album, polaroid camera, or even an instagram account dedicated just to all the cool places you have traveled. It will be great memorabilia to look back on for nostalgia during these adventures!
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