Leaving for your first travel therapy assignment can be stressful and quite a challenge. It’s not like going on vacation for a short period of time or going off on a business trip for a week. When you move to a different city or state for an assignment, you really are, for all intents and purposes, moving away. This means that you can’t leave your permanent home in just any old state. Worrying about whether you left the gas on will drive you crazy if you’re hundreds of miles away with no way of checking.
Indeed, there are tons to organize in order to guarantee a smooth and relatively painless move.
But not to worry. If you’re a little bit organized, you should be able to get through the preparation stage of your move unscathed.
The first thing you need to do is to create a long list of items that you need to take care of before you can leave. Lists are good. They’re your friends. So don’t be shy about making lists. You can either make multiple lists or write a master one. If you do decide to create one list, divide it into three sections or columns. In the first column, write down PERSON, second column is CAR and the last column you should label as HOUSE.
Under PERSON, jot down everything that you think you’ll need for three months as a travel therapist. This list will include clothes, blankets, scrubs, medication, gadgets and computers, and their respective chargers. With clothes, be sure that you’re packing for your destination’s climate given the months you’ll be staying there. Are you heading for somewhere cold? What’s the humidity like there? Take these things into consideration and make sure you bring the appropriate wardrobe.
Also under the PERSON list are the documents you will need for work. Coordinate with your travel therapy staffing firm to confirm that you have everything. If your recruitment agency is arranging for your housing, make sure you have your new address and contact person. If you’re on a stipend and therefore taking care of your own accommodation, make sure to get in touch with your new landlord. The worst thing that could possibly happen to you is arriving at your destination tired from all that driving with nowhere to sleep.
Are you bringing a pet? Everything that your pet needs also go on the PERSON list. Include food, pet toys, blanket, water bowls, the works.
Next, under CAR list down your TO-DOs for your transportation. Does your car need its oil changed? How about the pressure in your tires? Better yet, even if you believe that your car is road-worthy, you probably should have it checked.
More experienced travel therapists generally have a printout of their route. If you need to book hotel rooms along the way, now would be a good time to figure out which hotels are ideal for your budget and make reservations. Lay out your pit-stops as best as you can so that you won’t waste time and resources. If your car has GPS, you might also want to make sure it’s working properly.
Finally, the last column on your master list is HOUSE. This is where you jot down all the things that have to be done to ensure that your home is taken care of even while you’re away on your travel therapy assignment. Enlist the help of a friend of family member to check your home on a regular basis. Set up a schedule for lawn maintenance. Set up safety precautions like timed lighting to ensure that your house doesn’t attract burglars.
All these activities may seem obvious and don’t require to be put on a list but stress tend to make even the best of us forgetful. It’s always a good idea to write everything down. That way, you don’t have to remember them at all. All you need to do is cross out each item on the list to ensure that you’ve covered everything.
Travel therapy is perhaps one of the greatest adventures you will do in your career. It’s fun, exciting and full of potential. To ensure that you fully take advantage of this opportunity, preparedness is key.