If you’re on a locum tenens assignment and your agreement is to live in the housing provided, it can be hard to make it your own. It’s likely that the space you’ll be living in is very minimal, and it can even feel cold and unwelcoming at times. Luckily, there are small items that you can pack to make you feel at home on the road. So, before you head out on your next assignment, be sure to pack these items to make a home away from home.
What Should You Pack to Feel at Home on the Road?
Pictures and Mementos
Pictures of family, friends, pets, or anything else that reminds you of home could add a nice touch to your provided housing. Lightweight, inexpensive frames can be found almost anywhere if you’d like to set up some pictures, or a small photo album would do the job. You can also feel at home on the road by bringing your favorite books or magazines and replacing the ones in the hotel or provided space. If you have any trinkets or other objects that are sentimental and won’t easily break, these can add a sense of home to anywhere you go.
Do you have a favorite scent or candle that you always seem to go back to? If so, bring it! Often times hotels or provided living spaces don’t smell bad, but they don’t smell like home either. If you are staying in a hotel and they don’t allow candles, a diffuser or even an air freshener can work just as well. If you don’t have a favorite scent, it’ll still help the smell of the cleaning products that circulate after each person’s stay and make it feel more comforting. There are even certain smells that are known to benefit your overall well-being. You can also bring or buy some dryer sheets and stick them in the pillowcases or with your clothing in your suitcase to smell fresh.
I assume you would be bringing your smartphone and laptop or tablet with you anyway, but these can be your lifeline to staying in touch with friends and family back home. Plus, you’ll be able to keep up with your favorite Netflix series and any other shows you might miss on cable. Most TV’s now have an HDMI port that will allow you to connect your device to the TV with a cord, so you can look into that as well. If you use an alarm clock other than your phone, also bring that. You won’t have to use the one provided and wake up to an unpleasant beeping noise every morning.
Depending on the type and amount of travel you have to do, bringing your own drinks and snacks can help you feel at home on the road. Hotels usually provide free coffee and sometimes, even breakfast. But, is it really comparable to what you have at home? Probably not. If you are a coffee drinker, invest in a travel kit and your own beans/grounds. Not only will the smell feel like home, but the taste will too. As for snacks, your hometown might be home to certain brands or stores that you won’t be able to find on your assignment. By stocking up on these items, you’ll be able to feel a sense of home while you’re away.
Bringing your own toiletries can be a game changer. While there are certainly some luxurious shampoos, conditioners, and lotions that hotels distribute, nothing beats your own. If you’re flying, invest in some travel sized bottles to store your favorite products. Or, you can even buy bigger bottles when you arrive depending on the duration of your stay. There are great toiletry bags that can hang on the back of the door and keep everything in one place.
There are some other random items that you can bring to help make you feel at home on the road. Your own pillow is a great addition, instead of facing the uncertainty of a rock hard or too-soft pillow that’s provided. If you have room, your own blanket can also be great and make you feel the most comfortable. A portable speaker and your favorite music can help you unwind better after work. Especially if you have a playlist full of songs that take you back home.