For any locum tenens physician, traveling has the potential to be both stressful and time-consuming if you don’t pack efficiently. In order to get you fully prepared for your next locum tenens trip, here are some helpful tips to consider when packing to set the stage for a worry-free trip.
1. Pack lightly
On any trip, it is recommended to pack lightly to avoid checking a bag. For a locum tenens physician, this is highly encouraged if you are on a short job assignment so you can take off to your destination as soon as you land. It is helpful to plan out what to wear to the airport a few days prior to your trip so you can wear heavier items on the plane and pack your lighter clothes. If you are trying to conserve space in your suitcase, try rolling your clothes up rather than folding. This easy trick not only saves space, but also prevents wrinkles!
2. Keep your clothes neutral
By packing neutral colored clothing, you have the opportunity to pair different outfits together with a limited amount of clothes. For example, when bringing black, white or tan pants/skirts, you can match these with a variety of tops and avoid having to bring a large load of unnecessary clothing. Most physicians also typically like to wear neutral colors at the healthcare facility where they work which makes this tip especially effective for any traveling physician.
3. Get to the airport on time
It is essential for any traveling locum tenens physician to plan their travel time accordingly to allow ample amount of time to get to the airport and arrive at your gate on schedule. Make sure to consider the possibility of traffic and long security lines when planning out your departure time from your home. If, worst case scenario, you end up missing your flight, immediately run to a ticket counter and call your recruiting agent so you can have assistance in making other travel arrangements.
4. Remember the 3-1-1 rule
In order to make your time at the security checkpoint go as smoothly and quickly as possible, it is necessary to follow the 3-1-1 regulation. This rule, established by the TSA, states that in all carry-on items liquids, gels, aerosols, creams and pastes must be 3.4 ounces (100ml) or less per container, must be in 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag and only 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin. If you need any of these items larger than 3.4 ounces, consider checking a bag so you can pack whatever liquids/gels/aerosols/creams/pastes you need with no size restriction. Make sure your liquids zip-lock bag is easily accessible to avoid searching for a long period of time at the security gate.
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