With the many travel healthcare companies and  travel nurse recruiter agencies looking to hire a travel nurse. Becoming one is a fantastic way to combine your passion for healthcare and your ambition to see the world. Exploring new cities, adjusting to new workplaces, and advancing your career can be both exciting and demanding. Because of the challenges that traveling can present, it can be comforting to have a few keepsakes to take with you everywhere you go.

Our travelers told us about the things nurses need and the unique items they always take with them so every assignment can feel a little closer to home. The most common categories were:

  • Mementos from home
  • Selfcare materials
  • Kitchen gadgets
  • Hobby gear
  • Furry friends (pets)

Mementos from Home

Leaving home to travel and explore is an exhilarating and sometimes daunting, experience. Some travelers are unsure of how they will feel while they’re away from family and friends. Having a few comforting mementos with you on your assignments is a great way to alleviate any homesick feelings.

These are a few examples of sentimental items that our travelers carry with them:

  • Photos of loved ones
  • Scrapbooks or picture albums
  • Drawings or crafts made by your children
  • Sentimental objects from childhood or life milestones

For example, Ashley D. brings her “tshirt blanket that [her] mom had made,” and Christina D. brings her “dad’s heart surgery pillow.”

Self Care Materials

In the strenuous world of travel nursing or healthcare in general, it’s important to take care of yourself. Properly taking care of your mind and body allows you to be fully present at work and give the highest level of care to others. That’s why many of our travelers bring along objects that make their experiences a bit more comfortable. These include:

  • Heating pads
  • Portable back massagers
  • Essential oil diffusers
  • Portable fans

Heather N. told us how much she appreciates her “heated massage seat for the long drives to and from assignments.” Likewise, Jason P. loves how his essential oil diffuser “makes downtime more comfortable.”

Sleep is also a critical part of maintaining good mental and physical health. Some objects that help our travelers to get a good night’s rest are:

  • A favorite pillow and blanket
  • A white noise machine
  • An eye mask

Kitchen Gadgets

It can be difficult to determine ahead of time what kind of kitchen equipment you may have at your disposal on assignment. So, some people prefer to bring their favorite cookware along with them.

These appliances can save both time and money for a nurse on the go:

  • Air fryer
  • Coffee maker
  • Instant pot
  • Food scale
  • Meal prep equipment

Christina S. said her percolator coffee machine is “way better than chain bought,” and Kenzi R. emphasizes how she “can cook so much” in her air fryer.

Hobby Gear

Engaging with hobbies and relaxing activities is a great way to relieve stress. Plus, bringing a few extra materials along on your travels can allow for hours of enrichment and entertainment.

Going outside and being active in nature is a favorite pastime of many of our travelers. They told us that they bring along hiking, fishing, or biking gear. One of our nurses even brings their kayaks along for the ride.

Our travelers also made suggestions for those that prefer an indoor or more easily portable hobby. Some options include an e-reader or crafting supplies. 

As Emily A. says, you “never know when [you’re] going to need to craft or catch dinner.”

Furry Friends (Pets)

Last, but definitely not the least, many of our travelers told us that they bring their dog or cat along with them on assignment. Having a furry companion by your side throughout your travels can be a great way to tackle a new assignment with more confidence. 

Plus, pets provide love and attention when you need it most. Traveling can be a taxing experience; add in a new job with new coworkers, and the toll on mental health can be great. Pets have been linked with improved mental health across various factors:1

  • Reduced anxiety
  • Improved mood
  • Provided companionship
  • Offered a sense of purpose

Sarah H. told us about her dog, who has “been by [her] side since nursing school 12 years ago!” And, for Robin A., her cat is a “purr-fect travel companion!”

Interested in Travel Nursing with Host Healthcare?

If you’re interested in getting started in the exciting world of travel nursing, apply to be a traveler with Host Healthcare. You’ll be paired with an expert recruiter who will work with you to find the best opportunities for your individual hopes and ambitions.

Be sure to check out our other resources for both new and experienced travel nurses. 

Whether you’re a permanent nurse interested in exploring new environments, a recent graduate, or simply looking for your next adventure, travel nursing with Host Healthcare could be the first step in the best career decision you’ve ever made.



  1. Mental Health Foundation. Pets and mental healthhttps://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/p/pets-and-mental-health