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Travel Tips for Long Car Rides
You have landed your next (or first) travel nursing assignment! When it comes to travel arrangements, you may decide to fly or drive to your new city. While flying may get you there faster, it can be more expensive than driving and may not allow you to bring everything you want to take with you. While there are many pros to driving such as lower cost or new views, the long drive itself can be tiring. If you have a long drive for your next assignment, read on to learn about what to bring and what to do to make your car ride more fun.
It never hurts to be prepared. For those “just in case moments,” be sure to have an emergency car kit. These kits typically include jumper cables, a poncho, a small first-aid kit, flashlight, emergency triangle, gloves, and batteries. Along with an emergency car kit, you should also make sure to have a jack and ready-to-go spare tire just in case you get a flat tire.
Before you begin your drive, spend some time beforehand going over your route. Plan when to stop for gas or to grab a meal. For long drives, make sure to take some time during your stops to stretch out your legs and grab some fresh air. Maybe try stopping at a restaurant instead of eating in your car to take a breather and rejuvenate. It is amazing how 10-20 minutes out of your car can help you feel energized and focused!
Document Your Travels
Whether this is your first or fifth assignment, document your car ride. Most travel nurses nowadays have a blog of some kind to post photos and updates. Whether it be Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, or an actual blog using Wix or WordPress, use social media to keep your family and friends updated throughout your travels. While planning your drive, see if there are any interesting sites to visit along the way. Enjoy your drive and take photos or pick up souvenirs along the way!
Sing Your Heart Out
What is one of the best things about driving by yourself? Cranking up the music and singing your heart out! Of course, be aware of your surroundings and watch out for emergency vehicles while jamming out. Apps like Spotify are great for creating playlists. You can even download them to your phone to help save data and enjoy your music without any commercials.
Pack Healthy Snacks and Water
While most road trips consist of fast food and junk food, try packing healthy snacks like peanuts or dried fruit to keep you energized. It is also important to make sure to pack lots of water for emergencies. If water and snacks are not helping you stay awake, plan a stop to grab some caffeine or bring a thermos with you to have on hand.
Listen to Podcasts/Audiobooks
For longer drives, try listening to a podcast or audiobook to help speed up the drive. As mentioned earlier, Spotify is great for finding and downloading podcasts. There are several types of podcasts such as news, health, comedy, business, true crime, celebrity, etc. Find one or more that interest you and download them before you hit the road. Audible is a great app for finding audiobooks. Listen to a library of your favorite authors while heading to your new town.
Learn a New Language
This may be an activity not many consider, but along with music, audiobooks, and podcasts, you can also spend the time learning a new language. There are several digital downloads for learning a new language, so why not give it a try during your drive? Learning a new language can be useful and a great quality to have as a travel nurse. You will form more of a relationship with your patients if you are able to speak their language.
Make a Phone Call
Long car rides also give us time to phone a friend or family member and catch up. What better time to call someone than while on the road? You more than likely have hours of uninterrupted time while driving, so take some of that time to call someone you haven’t spoken to in a while. Tell them about your new assignment or any new sites you have seen along the way. Talking to close friends or family can be therapeutic if you are nervous about starting your new position but talking can also boost your mood which in turn will give you energy for your drive.
Enjoy Your “Me” Time
Lastly, take some time out of your drive for yourself. Long drives can bring those deep thoughts up to surface, so why not hash them out? Take time to think about your life, your future, your past, work, etc. Thinking through these thoughts can be therapeutic and may help you come up with a solution to certain problems. You may even spend the time thinking about new hobbies or what sites and restaurants you would like to visit once you have moved in.
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