5 Items to Pack When Renting a Place through Furnished Finder.
I am pretty new to the world of travelling healthcare. I started my first travel OT contract just months ago in May 2018, but I spent about a year beforehand considering my options, thinking through various travel contract scenarios, and researching housing cost and availability in a few of my preferred locations. Even when I was starting out with my first real contract, it did not even occur to me to consider taking company housing. I was too excited to see what was out there for myself; looking at housing has always been kind of a hobby of mine. And with the freedom and cost effectiveness of finding and choosing your own housing, it was a no-brainer for me.
Without a doubt, through all my searching and curiosity, I have found Furnished Finder to be one of the most cost effective and convenient ways to find short-term housing.
I found out about Furnished Finder through a few of my Facebook groups and traveler blogs I read during my year of research and was immediately impressed by how perfectly their services matched the needs of travelers. A free resource to look up and find properties that not just merely allow a short-term lease for a travelling professional but were actively seeking it out was awesome to me.
Initially, one of my biggest concerns with finding my own housing was the possibility of being scammed. Not only does Furnished Finder provide a database where scams are not likely, but there is a feeling of security. You know what you are getting into when searching on Furnished Finder (vs. something with general posts like Craigslist). I was excited, not worried, to get in contact with a few possible property owners and my transition to my new housing was smooth.
After my first few months of travelling, I have considered some items that may be helpful for you as a travelling healthcare professional to feel comfortable in a furnished place away from home. I hope these ideas will help you determine some answers to the seemingly never-ending question of just what to pack.
Multi-purpose kitchen necessities. I find that having a few key kitchen items packed is convenient and practical, even when renting a place with a fully furnished kitchen. If a kitchen does not have a specific item you are used to cooking with, such as a full oven or microwave, it is awesome to have an alternative way to make some home-cooked meals.
Items like a multi-use pressure cooker/crock pot are easy to use and time-saving, and versatile. I’ve made everything from roasts, ribs, and soups to cheesecakes in my electric pressure cooker! If you are a coffee or loose-leaf tea drinker, I find using an Aeropress is a great way of making your favorite drink. Rather than finding a place that has a good coffee maker or buying/packing a bulky one yourself, a simple tool like an Aeropress is compact, portable, and holds up well during travel. Finding conveniently located, cost-effective housing can be enough work without also trying to find the perfect kitchen. And if you are sharing the kitchen with the property owner or other travellers, it’s really nice to have an alternative means of cooking when other appliances may be in use.
Spices and herbs. If you need them. A lot of places may provide simple ones like salt, pepper, garlic powder. I love packing a few others to round out my selection, especially when spices are usually small and easily packed. Pack them in your empty pressure cooker or crock pot (see above)! I love using my herbs and spices everywhere I go rather than buying the same things over and over.
Your favorite toiletries and clothing. This is kind of a no-brainer. You should probably pack some clothing. But I find that taking a somewhat minimalistic approach to my clothing selection is unbelievably helpful...I only pack what I really love and even then, only 1 of each kind of item. I also make it a point to donate a couple clothing items after each contract.
I find that packing a few of my favorite, possibly also multi-purpose, toiletries is so beneficial. It does take up a bit more space, but it’s nice to not have to re-buy everything (just like those spices!) and to have items immediately available to you rather than needing to buy toothpaste and soap before you can even get comfortable in your new furnished home.
A couple sentimental items or photos. The little touches you can add to your temporary home, which in essence is filed with someone else’s decor and style, make a huge difference. Something as small as 1-2 pictures of friends and family can make all the difference in helping you feel at ease and at home in your new place. Try packing a couple framed photos, a favorite candle, and/or something small like a refrigerator magnet to place around your new room to remind you of home.
Digital copies of everything. I love this. Not only does keeping digital copies of important documents give you piece of mind, it also saves you time spent searching for a specific physical copy. I prefer keeping both my physical copies in a binder with me during a contract and using a couple online services like google docs and dropboxto have digital copies of everything I need in one place. The best part of these services is that you can access from anywhere you have an internet connection…from a computer, phone, or tablet. Keep everything from copies of your licenses, certifications, medical clearances, continuing education documents, even tax home information, in separate folders on one of these services to avoid
Alternatively, keeping items on a jump drive or on your computer is also beneficial, but I have found that to be not quite as convenient when wanting to quickly reply to an email checked on my phone when one of these documents is requested.
I hope these topics and ideas have inspired you to consider additional items that will benefit you personally in your travels. Have a wonderful next move and good luck with your housing search. What an awesome opportunity we have as travelling healthcare professionals!