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What to pack when driving to your R&R contract
When you choose to drive to contracts, you have so much opportunity for flexibility and travel. You’re able to bring more items with you as well, so you can make your space a little more like home. Sometimes bringing small little touches to spruce up your room or environment can make you feel like you are not so far away. Little tips like bringing fairy lights, a nice smelling candle and some pictures from home can make you feel like you always have your family and friends with you wherever you go.
Items you may want to pack:
Pillow, sheets and blankets: having your own bedding makes you feel so much comfier in a new environment
Coat hangers: the number of times I have moved into a new room and there are NO coat hangers. Having a pack that you take from contract to contract is very handy
Tubs: can put clothes into your boot. Always roll clothes so you can store more. The Bunnings boxes are waterproof, sturdy, and stackable so they don’t fly around in your boot!!
Containers: Once again, it’s so expensive to buy new containers for your lunch. Bring a set so you can easily make food to bring to work.
Pantry supplies: Have a tub dedicated for your kitchen supplies. Things such as oil, salt, pepper, spices, sauces, peanut butter, Vegemite… etc
Toiletries: Shampoo, conditioner, shaver, hair dryers, straighteners, soap, laundry detergent et. Costly to buy all the time, so you can pack and take from contract to contract
Electric blanket: this is for those very cold climate contracts. So handy to have on your bed. You can buy portable electric blankets from spotlight, Harvey Norman, and Myer, that you plug in so you can rug up on the couch or take on a camping trip! Amazing invention really!
Towels: having your own towels is so much nicer. They will have towels on contract, but if you have room in the car, bring your own.
Other options for bigger cars:
Mattress topper: I brought this to all my first contracts because no matter where you go, you have a comfy bed!
Air fryer: Is anyone else addicted to these? Some contract accommodations will have one in the kitchen, but when you have your own, they are ultra-handy! You can cook so many options in these and it is great when cooking for one
Slow cooker: Go to work, put your meal on, come home and its ready! All shift workers LOVE convenience.
Doona: I always love having my own doona, and means you can take it when you go on trips as well!
For the road trip to your contract or on weekends:
Small esky: this is great for when travelling from contract to contract. Have all your snacks in there for the trip (fresh and healthy snacks). This is way better than eating pies, sausage rolls, and iced coffees from the petrol station. To avoid eating this food, you can store fresh produce such as yoghurt, sandwiches/rolls, fruit, and drinks. The best esky brands are YETI or Esky, they keep ice frozen and cold for DAYS. Buy some ice, stock it up and you’re good to go.
Water: buy the BIG water tanks and have them in your boot. Refill during the trip. You can buy 10L jugs and pop them in your boot. Then, when you pull over for a bathroom stop, you can refill your water bottle with a super easy tap system!
Pillow: having back support while driving is important. You can avoid buying a pillow if you’re strict with stopping every 1-2 hours and having a proper stretch and rest. But you get a stiff back, so take regular breaks and stretch or pack some deep heat for those long trips haha!
Sleeping bag: if your mates are going for a little trip away you can BYO sleeping bag (even better if you have room and funds, bring a swag)
Download podcasts for the road trip
For The Health of It Podcast – by Healthcare Australia
Audible book recommendations:
This is going to hurt – by Adam Kay
Twas the night shift before Christmas – by Adam Kay
Going Under – by Sonia Henry
The Gap – Benjamin Gilmour
When breath becomes air – Paul Kalanithi
Flatshare – Beth O’Leary – such a hilarious book for a long trip, light-hearted and fun
TIPS WHEN ROADTRIPPING
Stop every 1-2 hours for a pee and/or a stretch – keep an eye out for rest stops and make the most of them, as you don’t know when the next one is. AND pack toilet paper in your car because there may be none OR it may be terribly rough.
Employees should commence travel with a full tank of fuel, and refuel en route to, or at, their destination. Only en-route travel recipes and/or those at their destination will be reimbursed.
Accommodation is not guaranteed en route, this may be provided where applicable. Our daily travel time is based on an 8hr drive, so chat with your consultant about the plan.
Take a photo of your odometer before and after you arrive at your contract (evidence for tax)
You can claim vehicle wear and tear during tax time for these trips. So, log all evidence of the trip (such as odometer and receipts for repairs/services etc)
PRE-PREPARE your maps and directions, as the internet can cut in and out and you definitely don’t want to get lost!
Download audibles or podcasts to your device rather than relying on the internet as in many areas even radio cuts out so it’ll be a long boring trip if you don’t plan ahead 😛
HAPPY ROAD TRIPPING!
Xana & Jess, Brand Ambassadors
HCA connects healthcare professionals, organisations, and people to provide end-to-end healthcare solutions as needed. We fill the healthcare skills gap to ensure people in Australia always have the support they require. That’s why HCA is Australia’s #1 healthcare solutions provider.