Headed across the country! Tips for packing/the move?!

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    So I'm SUPER excited, landed my first travel assignment in San Fran area (Oakland Kaiser, will be living in San Fran). HOWEVER, I hate road trips. I want my car out there with me so I can explore N. Cali, and I am bringing my large, old dog so flying isn't an option. I am driving from South Florida to SF, which is 45+ hours. YAWN! My grandma and my dog are making the trip with me, so should be a wildly awesome time. I've never made this long of a road trip before. The dog is good in the car, and grandma should be as well. Any cross-country driving tips/first time travel assignment tips/tips for arrival in a new and completely different city?! Any site to check out along the way?? (Definitely Grand Canyon!) What did YOU bring on your first assignment? Any tips would be helpful, thanks!!!
    Ritab30 likes this.

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  2. 12 Comments...

  3. 0
    Quote from palmbeachRN
    So I'm SUPER excited, landed my first travel assignment in San Fran area (Oakland Kaiser, will be living in San Fran). HOWEVER, I hate road trips. I want my car out there with me so I can explore N. Cali, and I am bringing my large, old dog so flying isn't an option. I am driving from South Florida to SF, which is 45+ hours. YAWN! My grandma and my dog are making the trip with me, so should be a wildly awesome time. I've never made this long of a road trip before. The dog is good in the car, and grandma should be as well. Any cross-country driving tips/first time travel assignment tips/tips for arrival in a new and completely different city?! Any site to check out along the way?? (Definitely Grand Canyon!) What did YOU bring on your first assignment? Any tips would be helpful, thanks!!!
    Good luck!! I'm so jealous. I will be starting my travel career next June and traveling with my hubby and Lab. Have you checked out the Pantravelers website? They might have some useful packing info for you. I remember reading one awhile ago that said don't forget to take a vacuum cleaner and find out if you need your own plates, glasses, etc.…. Hope you keep us informed on how it's going. Can you tell me what agency you used? I'm new to all of this and anxious and nervous about it. Stressing unnecessarily I'm sure about per-employment testing and the PBSD if I ever have to take it. Good luck and safe travels.
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    Hi! I just drove 33 hours to northern California. I recommend using 4 to 6 of those big plastic bins (from target?) to pack most of your things in. You will want to keep things out of sight went you stop at hotels, etc. on your travels. My company provided a vacuum with my furniture package thankfully. To cumbersome to pack in my already full car. Just remember you need WAY less than you think you need.
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    By the way, CONGRATULATIONS!!
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    First of all, take only half of what you think you need! Everyone overpacks at first. Most of the household items you may want after arrival can be obtained cheaply at dollar stores or secondhand (Goodwill, etc.). Ask your company what exactly is included in the particular housing you are going to - some are turnkey down to the oven mitts and some are some are just the bare furniture. Even if not included you can ask the agency to rent you such things as TV or vacuum for a small amount. Over time you will figure out what is necessary for you and what you just like to have for your own comfort. (Like my big wrap around bath sheets I insist on)
    When packing the car be sure to leave enough room to drive/ride comfortably - make sure you can somewhat recline the passenger seat, stretch out legs (no boxes under the feet) and room for dog to lie down. Be sure to check the visibility out your rearview or make sure you can see adequately from the side mirrors. I just found out the hard way that my new vehicle's side mirrors have a large enough blind spot to hide a Cadillac SUV when backing up! (Ouch!)
    When planning your drive allow yourself at least 1 more travel day than your calculations of mileage indicate. This reduces stress and allows for such things as bad weather, road construction and even for spontaneous stops to check out something fun.
    GleeGum, kellygurl64, and RNWhit07 like this.
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    In San Francisco check or golden gate park and golden gate bridge, Alcatraz,Lombard street, muir woods, napa valley, Hearst castle is six hors south of sf, take a drive doenthe coast, use the BART
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    I drove from Ft Laud to LA 4 months ago. I had an extravagant trip planned, then realized the immensity(is that a word?) of a cross country drive. I did I-10 to I-8. I think you can do I-10 all the way. My stops were Pensacola, Houston, Tucson and San Diego. I drove about 12 hrs/day. It is beautiful, but don't stop to sightsee- it's a long trip as it is. Get there, then sightsee when you are settled. I am proud of how well I did on bringing the minimums-not easy when you have had a house full of stuff for 30 years. Love the Dollar store! It's my best place to shop now! Remember, less is more. You realize how free you are when you start traveling with the minimums! And Cali is so casual..other than work shoes, all you need is flip flops and sneakers. Toasters are $5 at Walmart. My agency gave me a vacuum. Gas is expensive, the more you load the car, the more you will spend. PM me if you have any other questions. You are going to LOVE it here!!!! And I am so happy that your Grandma is coming with. The drive will be unforgettable quality time. Good Luck!
    RNWhit07 likes this.
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    I agree with the above. Also, 450 miles a day is a good target/8 hours so it's not too much at once. we ate our meals in the car because we didn't want to sit when we weren't driving. also give yourself at least one or two extra days for the drive. we drove 4x from east to west with a toddler. so beautiful. what a country. buy bigger stuff when you get there if needed. so little is needed and it's easier. especially in cali, i agree.

    if you want to see national parks, get a national park pass.

    have a blast!!
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    Thanks for the advice! Will definitely check out pantravelers. [COLOR=#003366]PMKNSE[/COLOR] - don't worry about pre-employment testing.. it wasn't a big deal at all, don't let it stop you. I am not sure what the other test you're refering to is, never heard of it! Sage, that's a great idea! And it will be more organized. Baglady - We are giving ourselves about 9 days to get there, I really don't think it will take that long, but we have plenty of time! And I took the stipend and got a furnished place on my own, so I guess I'll have to see when I get there! Landlord says she's had many travel RNs there before, so hopefully it's equipped! Thanks for the siteseeing tips :-)

    Kelly - awesome I'm coming from West Palm area, so should be similar... don't really want to stop too many places, just maybe Houston, grand canyon, carlsbad caverns. Can't wait! Good to hear that other people have recently done it!
    Thanks Gleegum for the food tips! Im pretty impatient in the car.. I don't like to make many stops, even for food haha. It will be interesting to see how much I can simplify my stuff... I'm only bring dog, bike, and clothes! Thanks all!
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    We left Tampa, drove home to Ohio to visit family, and then drove to L.A. The Grand Canyon is a definite MUST. We stayed at a hotel 5 miles from the park for 2 nights. Planned it so we got there late the first night and slept. Spend the next day at the canyon, and left early the next morning. We also had pets.....2 small dogs. Best part is the hotel was about 50% less than usual because it was late winter and considered their slow season. You might catch the beginning of their slow season and get a deal.

    We had a Ford Escape with a mt. bike and 2 kayaks on the roof rack, a rack we bought from amazon that fit into our trailer hitch, 4 plastic totes in that rack and another mt. bike strapped on top of that. I wouldn't advise this setup.....lol. We have since sold the kayaks and now have a soft top roof carrier that we have all of our clothes in. We use space bags to put our clothes in and suck the air out. Just remember that if you aren't comfortable leaving things packed outside of your car, you will have to take them in every night at the hotels. Not fun. We are considering buying a small trailer and just keeping everything locked up.

    Good luck and hope you enjoy San Fran area. We took a 3 day trip there from L.A. and it is much nicer than SoCal. So much greener and just beautiful. If you go to the redwoods, find one of the groves about 45 minutes north of the city. Muir woods is a tourist trap. There are so many people you can't hardly find a parking spot. We stayed in wine country and drove out to Armstrong Redwoods preserve and there were only 2 other cars.


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