What Does the Lifestyle of a Minimalist Travel Nurse Look Like? - TNS 987839088534212 [9:30 AM] Katie Iglewski

If you’ve traveled to a nursing assignment hauling multiple bags filled to the brim with items you never used, the idea of minimalist travel nursing has no doubt crossed your mind –– even if you didn’t know it was a thing.

We’re here to tell you that not only is it a thing –– but many travel nurses live a minimalist lifestyle while on the road and you can, too.

Read on to learn about the benefits and pitfalls of minimalist travel nursing and the eight steps to lighten your load and become a minimalist travel nurse yourself.


Table of Contents


What Are the Benefits of Minimalist Travel Nursing?

Traveling to your next nursing assignment with less stuff can help you save big in a few ways.

Here are a few reasons you’ll be glad you pared down your property:

  • Save time – Less stuff means less time to pack so you can be off to catch that plane in record time. Not to mention you’ll have more time to enjoy your surroundings and experiences when you’re not weighed down by possessions. 
  • Save money – Have you seen luggage fees for airfare lately? Save big by packing everything in your carry-on.
  • Avoid the headache – The last thing you want to deal with is the airline losing your checked bags. Keep your belongings close by sticking with hand luggage.
  • Spare your back – Traveling light means your back will thank you when you don’t have to lug heavy bags across town.
  • Save the environment – Minimalism can help reduce your carbon footprint and make a positive impact on the environment.


minimalist travel nursing


8 Steps To Take To Become a Minimalist Travel Nurse

So what will you miss except a few too many choices of clothing and how much do you really need besides your scrubs?

If you’re ready to make a change and try minimalist travel nursing these eight steps will help ease the transition.


#1: Identify Your Essentials

One of the first things you will need to do to become a minimalist travel nurse is to identify your essentials.

Make a list of everything you think you might need for your assignment and life on the road. 

After you’ve made your list, go through and edit it. Then see if you can edit it down once more.

Choose clothes that fit your style. Then pick basic pieces that go together in many different combinations and build a capsule wardrobe.

Speaking of essentials, make sure to pack your …

  • Passport
  • Travel insurance policy information
  • Medications; and 
  • Any other necessary documents 

… before you leave home.


#2: Sell or Donate Your Belongings

Next, it’s time to get rid of the possessions you don’t need. 

Look through your closet and try things on. Set aside anything that:

  • Doesn’t fit
  • Is in poor condition; or 
  • You know you’ll never wear

If you struggle with saving items for a rainy day, it helps to employ the six-month clutter rule –– if you haven’t worn it in the last six months, you likely won’t wear it in the next six months. So you should feel more comfortable getting rid of it.

You can make a little extra cash by selling your belongings on popular second-hand sites like threadUp or Tradesy or selling them to your local consignment store. 

Alternatively, if you’re feeling generous you can always donate them to charity. 

A step toward decluttering your life will help make it easier to adjust to the minimalist lifestyle.


#3: Pack Only What You Know You Will Wear

This may seem like an obvious tip, but if you have a lot of clothes in your closet with the tags still attached to them, you may need to pay special attention to this advice. 

If you’re unsure about an item, leave it behind. 

Keep in mind the weather and season when you’re traveling. 

If you’re headed to Arizona in the summer, only pack warm-weather clothes. 

Or if your next assignment is in Alaska in the dead of winter, you can leave your shorts and flip-flops behind. 

If you’re off to a city where the weather varies or the seasons are changing, this may be more challenging. 

You can prepare for this by only packing one of each item. For example, pack one swimsuit instead of multiple swimsuits, one versatile coat, and so on. 

When you’re trying to travel light, it’s better to have too few options than too many.


#4: Invest in Versatile Items

One of the keys to packing light is to invest in versatile items that can be used for multiple purposes.

For example, you can use a sarong as a:

  • Scarf
  • Beach cover-up; or 
  • Even a makeshift carry-all 

Don’t forget about the power of layering. 

Choose multipurpose items that can be mixed and matched to add warmth and style.


#5: Be Organized

Be very organized so you can easily find everything you need when you need it.

Pack items in clear plastic bags and label them plainly.

You may even opt to use packing cubes or pack smaller bags for quick grab-and-go moments.

Go through your list of essentials and check off each item once it’s packed.

Know what access you will have to launder your clothes and plan a washing schedule ahead of time. 

Don’t procrastinate and leave packing to the last minute, you’re bound to forget something.

Once you arrive at your new digs, unpack and keep all of your items organized.

A clean and orderly space makes it easier to sleep after a busy day at work and pack quickly to catch your next flight.


start working as a minimalist travel nurse


#6: Get Creative With Packing

Being organized will help you pack in the most efficient way, but sometimes you need to employ a little creativity to make sure everything fits.

Choose a complementary color scheme for your wardrobe to maximize your outfit options. 

Perform a pre-pack where you lightly pack most of your items in your luggage to get an idea of how much space you have. 

If it’s already looking tight without including things like toiletries, it’s time to make an edit and give that sunhat a second thought.

Take a cue from the military packing style and roll your clothes.

Use socks and underclothes to fill your shoes or small pockets of space in your luggage.


#7: Be Prepared for Emergencies

Be aware of the …

  • Travel
  • Insurance; and
  • Emergency

… documents you will need and keep at your fingertips. Keep them in plastic sheet protectors or folders to protect them from spills and tears.

Although you’re a nurse and are well aware of how important this is, here’s a reminder to keep all medications and prescriptions in close range.

If you’re in an emergency or stressful situation, you’ll be happy not to have to dig through your luggage to find important items.


#8: Ask for Help

Whether it’s your first travel nursing assignment or your first experience as a minimalist travel nurse, we all need a little guidance on what to bring from time to time. 

If you are unsure about what you need, ask a colleague or supervisor for advice.

The knowledgeable agents at Trusted Nurse Staffing travel nurse recruitment agency always get the full details of each placement before sending out nurses.

If you still have any questions, including what you may or may not need to bring, you can give us a call and expect to speak to someone happy to help. We are here to guide our travel nurses before and throughout each contract.




3 Pitfalls To Avoid for Minimalist Travel Nursing

Being a minimalist travel nurse can simplify your life in many ways.

Still, it’s important to know …

  • How much you’re willing to spend 
  • What you’re willing to sacrifice; and 
  • How you plan to navigate those changes

… so you can manage your expectations.


#1: Don’t Underestimate the Cost of Living a Minimalist Lifestyle

While living a minimalist life can save you money in the long run, there are still some costs you will need to account for, especially as you’re just starting.

Consider it an investment to spend a little more money on a few quality items that will last instead of many inexpensive items that will need replacing sooner.

Additionally, you’ll still incur costs such as …

  • Food
  • Transportation; and
  • Entertainment

… unless you make a conscious effort to scale back in those areas, too.

Either way, it’s important to have a clear understanding of all the costs associated with living a minimalist lifestyle before committing to it.


#2: Be Prepared to Sacrifice Some Amenities

If you are committed to living a minimalist lifestyle across the board, be prepared to sacrifice that single bedroom or private bathroom.

These amenities can add up over time, eating up the savings you’re making in other areas.

Prepare yourself mentally for this new way of living and remind yourself why you’ve chosen to try out a minimalist lifestyle –– whether it’s to simplify your life or to become debt-free.

Knowing what to expect can make a big difference in how you experience giving up certain amenities and finding joy in living the minimalist life.


#3: Make Sure You Have Enough Storage Space

Converting from more-is-more to a minimalist lifestyle is about organizing and storing seasonal items that you may not be able to use immediately.

If you don’t optimize your space, your home can quickly become cluttered and messy. 

Plan ahead by …

  • Choosing a sorting system
  • Selecting what you will store your items in; and 
  • Measuring your storage space

… to be sure you have enough room for the necessities that won’t be used immediately. 

This will help you get a good idea of exactly how much your space will allow you to put away for later.


become a minimalist travel nurse


Trusted Nurse Staffing: Helping You Make the Most of Your Assignment as a Minimalist Travel Nurse

At Trusted Nurse Staffing we support our travel nurses whether their style is minimalist or maximalist. 

As a leading travel nurse staffing agency, we specialize in finding nurses the right assignment by:

  • Taking into account your work and lifestyle preferences
  • Assisting you in finding an assignment that meets your needs; and
  • Ensuring you have access to a recruiter 24 hours a day, seven days a week

You can feel confident that Trusted Nurse Staffing will match you with an assignment that meets the needs of a minimalist travel nurse and provide you with all the necessary information you need to feel prepared every step of the way.

We also try to ensure that everything goes smoothly during your assignment because we care about the success of your contract, not just placing you at a facility.

Let Trusted Nurse Staffing help you find the perfect travel assignment.