Chances are that you became a travel nurse, travel LPN, or travel CNA in large part because you love to travel! But along with that spirit of adventure, it’s important to cultivate some safe habits and mindsets. You can explore the area where you’re assigned safely. It just takes a little planning and focus. Read on to find out how to keep yourself safe while taking in all the adventures your current assignment has to offer.
Do your research
Before you travel to your next assignment, do some research into the following topics.
- How safe are the city and the region?
- How safe are the neighborhoods where you will be living and working?
- What is the weather like? If you’re heading to a snowy or rainy region, for example, you’ll want to make sure your vehicle is ready and you have adequate clothing to keep yourself dry and toasty warm.
- Who can you call in an emergency? This is especially important if you’re traveling internationally. If you work for a travel nursing agency, it’s also a good idea to have the contact information for your recruiter and the agency.
Plan, pack, and prepare
Be sure to thoroughly prepare for any activities you plan to do, including making or using lists of accessories and equipment you’ll need. You can find an excellent packing list for most types of outdoor adventures here.
Before heading out, ask for advice from people who have been to the location before and gather as much information as you can. You can also check the following websites for inside information, guides, and more!
- Trip Advisor
- Fodor’s Travel
- Let’s Go
- Lonely Planet
It’s a good idea to learn about the natural wildlife in the area you plan to visit. If there are predators in the area, such as bears or mountain lions, it’s best to steer clear of their habitat if possible or familiarize yourself with what to do if you do encounter an aggressive animal.
Finally, travel in groups whenever possible. Whether you’re heading out into the wilderness or for a night out on the town, having a friend (or ten!) along for the adventure will help you enjoy your new location and keep you safe. Ask your fellow travel nurses for their favorite places to eat and advice on the good and bad parts of town. Then ask if they’d like to join you!
Your travel nursing agency can also be a good source of information, as they know the area and are familiar with the local community.
Whether you’re heading out to see the sights for the day or going on an extended trip in an unfamiliar area, it’s always a good idea to let someone know where you’re going, for how long, and how they can reach you. This is especially important if you’re planning to go “off-grid” where cell service may be spotty or non-existent. By letting someone know at least the general area where you’ll be, you reduce the risk of becoming lost, injured, or worse.
If you decide to change your plans, remember to let someone know that as well. It’s better to over-communicate than take a chance that no one will know where you are in an emergency.
Additional safety tips
To stay safe, keep the following in mind as well.
Don’t share too much information with strangers.
This can include things like posting your travel plans on social media, which can turn into a step-by-step guide to your movements, which is dangerous if someone with ill-intentions has access to your plans. Whether they target you personally, or your empty home. It’s best not to share this information publicly. Rather, inform trusted family and friends as to where you’ll be going and when.
Use your best judgment if a stranger asks where you’re staying. It may be best not to divulge that information. If someone does ask and you’d prefer not to be rude, you can instead be purposefully vague about the area of town or region where you’re staying, rather than the name of your hotel or neighborhood.
It’s also a good idea not to tell others if it’s your first time visiting a country, city, or region because sharing this information could signal that you’re a good target for scams. Instead, you can pretend it isn’t your first trip.
Keep an eye on your luggage
Whether at the airport or in a park, it’s best to stay tethered to your bags. If you leave them unattended, they could be stolen. Try using a carabiner clip to attach your backpack, tote, or purse to your clothing, or wear a money belt, which fits under your clothing and can hold important documents and currency.
Pack a first aid kit
It’s always a good idea to have basic medical supplies with you to treat minor injuries and illnesses.
Pack an emergency car kit
It’s a good idea to have emergency supplies in your vehicle as well, especially if you plan on taking long road trips or traveling from one assignment to the next by driving.
Your adventures as a travel nurse, travel CNA, or travel LPN can be enjoyable and fulfilling! All it takes is some forethought and planning.