Traveling as a couple
The top ten necessities when traveling as a couple:
I am a nurse and my husband is a Physical Therapist. We got married last October, and decided to try out this travel health professional thing before we had a house and too many possessions. We did have a wedding shower, but were privileged to find a place to store our stuff while we live like gypsies.
We set off in a Toyota Camry and could ONLY pack the essentials. Tony and I are committed to a few things that include staying healthy, sticking to a budget and saving, enjoying every location to the fullest, and experiencing new things.
Through the travels and temporary homes, I have compiled a list of the top ten things we have considered necessities while travelling as a couple, while still trying to stay committed to what is important to us. Some items on the list are tangible, some are not. These have helped make travelling healthier, more fun, and much easier. I’m sure this list is also useful if you are travelling alone! What are some of your necessities??
In no particular order:
- Groupon app!
Tony and I have decided to live by a pretty strict budget, BUT we are also committed to taking in the culture and activities in each place we are in. I cannot tell you how many times we have payed half price on date night because of groupon! Stand up Paddle boards for $3/hr. Dinner half price. And It’s so simple, groupon uses your current location to find any deals in the area. If you haven’t used groupon, download the app now and try something out!
This was the only cook-wear I was able to pack. I knew I wanted something and this was what I chose. Twelve hour shifts are a lot easier when you don’t have to make dinner when you get home. And crockpots make eating healthy so much easier.
This was something we debated on our first rotation. We did not pull out the Tupperware until we had been unpacked for over a month, but I am SO GLAD WE DID. Portions are so important. And life is so much easier when I can reach into the fridge and grab a pre-made meal. And packing lunches? A breeze when everything is measured and ready to go. The only way to do that is to have adequate containers to divide up food.
- Clothing rack
This one was Tony’s idea. He took a shower rack and placed it across the back seat and we hang all of our clothes that require hanging on it while we travel. Packing up all those button-down shirts and dresses? Done in about 5 minutes. Furthermore, a dresser is a luxury when renting a home, and we usually have one small one or none. Therefore, most of our clothes are hung. So unpacking is done just as fast as packing!
- A fun calendar
This might not be a necessity to many, but for me it is. I can’t bring decorations when we are living out of a car, but I do like to have SOMETHING fun to hang on the wall of an empty rental. This kills two birds with one stone. We are able to write out our schedules and plan out the fun things we are going to do in the three months we are in a location. It’s light-weight, easy to pack, pretty to hang on the wall, and gives me something to look forward to every time I look at it.
Obviously, we cannot travel with a lot of food. The last week of a travel assignment we get very creative with meals because we don’t want to eat out every meal, and we don’t want to buy new groceries that have to get thrown out. However, you don’t want to have to buy new spices at every location. We get our few staple spices (salt, pepper, garlic, cayenne) at Sam’s club, and store them in a plastic container. This helps with dedication to healthy living and saves some of the cost of having to buy all new groceries at every location.
Shakes have been important for a few reasons, specifically getting all the nutrition we need for the day while being on the road between assignments, at the airport, or at the beginning or end of a contract when our food supply is extremely limited. We could go out to eat for every meal, or eat at the cafeteria at work, but that is both expensive and ultimately unhealthy even if you are eating “healthy options”. The shakes we use have over 30 servings of fruits and vegetables in one shake AND they are all organic. There usually isn’t a whole foods at the rest stop, so this is perfect. While a shake can’t be a meal replacement for every meal, it is definitely a help.
- An overnight bag
Between contracts, it is common to have to live out of a hotel or a friends house for a few nights. One thing I DO NOT want to do is lug our big suitcases in and out of hotels for one night. I have loved having an overnight/small duffel bag to use between contracts or on short weekend getaways.
- A side-hustle
Tony and I both have side hustles we can work on when we days off. When you do travel nursing/PT and you are alone, it is easy to plan things to do on your days off. But when you are travelling with someone, you don’t always want to do those fun things alone, I prefer to wait until we both have a day off. Because of that I would spend a lot of time twiddling my thumbs or watching Netflix. I am personally not good at twiddling my thumbs and neither is Tony, so we try to use our days off to network our side businesses. This is great for personal development and creates extra income we can use for exploring!
- A hobby
On our last assignment it was hiking, on this assignment it is Crossfit. I love that we are not only making sure we have a hobby in every location, but we are trying something new! I would not have hiked mountains in Michigan, and I can’t tell you it is something I will make a lifestyle out of, but I love all the places we have seen, and I loved every hike we went on. There is so much we would not have seen or experienced if we chose to stay in our comfort zone.
So those are our ten! What about you? What are some things you consider necessities while travelling? And where are all the travelling couples? What makes travelling more enjoyable to you?