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We all know how packing works: we stuff our whole wardrobe that could fit a trunk, into a carry on, wear 20% of the wrinkly clothes and scrubs, then set the suitcase in the corner of the bedroom for weeks, waiting to be unpacked. If you identify with this common traveling issue we have got you covered. Here are ten great packing tips and tricks for locum tenens assignments that will leave your carry on light…

 

1. Layout your whole outfit for each day

If you are going on a three-day assignment, pack for three days. Layout what you will wear during the day, then an additional outfit or two for work dinners, etc. Laying out your clothes will spare a lot of space in your suitcase. This will also leave you less stressed, making sure you packed the shoes that go with your black skirt, or the tie that goes with your sports jacket.
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2. Purchase and pack carry on hygiene products

Purchasing travel-sized shampoo, conditioner, cleanser, etc. can save you room and you won’t worry about leaving your expensive hair products in your hotel room. Easily purchase one dollar products and simply throw them away after use. Store them all in one bag that will be easily accessible that you can even bring to the hospital for touch ups.
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3. Lay your clothing on top of each other and THEN fold

If you haven’t tried this trick, well we have news for you! This is a life-saver that will not only take up less space, but also decrease the wrinkles in your clothes! For example, lay all of your shirts on top of each other and THEN fold them.
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4. Place a dryer sheet or two at the bottom of your bag

This may sound odd, but through the vacations your suitcase has endured and shoes being a part of that, you’ll want your clothes to stay smelling fresh. Try this trick and your clothes will smell fresh out of the dryer!
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5. Place a shower cap around your shoes

Speaking of dirty shoes smelling up your suitcase, you also don’t want them ruining your blouse or button up! Place a shower cap around your shoes to make sure they don’t get a dirt stain on your scrubs or clothing.
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6. Put toiletries in a zip lock bag

Most airlines recommend doing this for their security reasons. Not only will it make the security line run more smoothly, it can also protect your other belongings. Liquids and plastic bottles can burst from pressure during flights, the last thing you need on your assignment is to be scrubbing off shampoo from your coat.
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7. Stuff as much as you can in your shoes and any extra bags

Take advantage of the space in your shoes and briefcase and stuff socks, undergarments and smaller objects.
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8. Use a glasses cases to store your phone charger, headphones and other small items

Digging around in your suitcase can be a pain, but having all of your chargers in one small case will make them a lot easier to find.
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9. Use tissue paper to decrease wrinkles

If you don’t want any important clothing to get wrinkled, fold them in tissue paper. The delicate paper will prevent wrinkles during shifts on flight.
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10. Mark your suitcase as fragile

This tip does wonders! By marking your bag as fragile, it will be placed on top of other luggage, this means that your bag will be one of the firsts to come out. It may be cheating the system, but it sure does save you time.
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(Photo Credits: StylishPetitie.com, Drugstore.com, Fodor’s Travel, Real Simple, Otthonsziget, Cosmopolitan.com, Buzzfeed.com, Carryology.com and GoodHouseKeeping.com)