You’ve taken a relatively short travel nurse assignment, and your staffing agency put you up in a hotel for the duration. Before you start groaning, look at the positive side. There are perks to living in a hotel, and you may find the time goes by more quickly than you imagine.
Here are five ways to make the most of hotel life as a travel nurse:
Keep things tidy
Your room might seem spacious when you first walk in, but it can quickly feel cramped and isolated once clothes, gear, toiletries and snacks cover every surface. Keep yourself from going crazy in a small space by taking a few minutes every day to pick up.
If you’ll be living in the hotel for several weeks, use the dresser drawers to store your clothes and take advantage of the drawers in the nightstand for hiding hair products and makeup, nursing gear and other things you’ll use constantly. You’ll find it’s much more pleasant to come home after a long shift if you aren’t digging through piles to find your favorite pajamas or rummaging around for the remote.
Eat a healthy breakfast
No need to stop for fast food or a cafeteria meal if your hotel provides a continental breakfast. While eating biscuits and gravy or waffles covered in syrup each day probably isn’t a great idea, you can save time and money by heading downstairs before work and eating some fruit, toast or eggs before your shift. If you work the night shift or have to be to work before breakfast is served, see if you can pick up some cereal or yogurt on your days off to keep for those times when you’re in a rush.
Add personal touches
Hotel rooms can seem cookie-cutter, thanks to unmemorable artwork, simple furnishings and neutral patterns and colors. Make yourself feel more at home in your space — without packing a lot of things you don’t need — by plugging in a digital picture frame at your desk, bringing a favorite paperback or two and spraying your favorite room spray. You might also make a playlist of your favorite tunes and bring portable speakers along so you can crank them when you’re getting ready for work.
Use the pool and gym when you can
When you’re at home, you probably don’t have access to an on-site gym and swimming pool or spa — so take advantage of it as much as you can while you’re on assignment. Sitting in a hot tub for 10 minutes or so can help relieve aching muscles, and swimming or even just floating in the water while you read a magazine can be relaxing. Running on a treadmill is also a great way to relieve stress and stay in shape.
Let someone else take care of the cleaning
Yes, you’ll have to keep your clothes and food put away to keep your sanity, but when else will you have someone clean your floors and bathrooms and take out the trash for free? While it’s not necessary to have a cleaning crew change your sheets and towels daily, it’s nice to have someone spruce up the room while you’re at work and ensure the place is clean. It can also help you fight off any illnesses, especially during flu season, when you’re living in a germ-free space.
Living in a hotel for a few weeks doesn’t have to be all bad. What tips do you have for making housing work on a travel nursing assignment?