Travel nursing assignments can bring great rewards, including better than usual pay, new experiences, and opportunities to visit and explore new places around the country. But in order to make the most of your travel assignment experience, you first need to land a safe, affordable and clean place to stay. Finding temporary lodgings for several weeks or months at a time can be challenging, but it is possible if you know where to look.
The last thing you want to do is wind up in a bug-infested apartment or a hotel room in an unsafe neighborhood for a travel stint. Nurses know better than anyone that your living conditions can affect your stress level, as well as your productivity at work. If you can find a clean and comfortable place to stay, it allows you to truly relax and recharge without worrying about crime or filth. Thus, finding great temporary housing for travel nurses allows you to do your best work and enjoy your experience in a new city.
Tips For Finding Short Term Housing For Travel Nurses
- Take control Finding housing can be as simple or as complicated as you make it. Here, we offer tips for finding short-term housing for travel nurses. Some travel assignments will offer you the support of a housing coordinator or agency that will do the work for you to secure housing for your stay. If you choose that option, you will have less choice about where you end up, but it might save you the hassle of looking and takes the stress off your shoulders altogether. If you opt out of this service, most of the time you’ll be offered a housing stipend, a monthly amount that you can spend on housing. Sometimes, the stipend is not enough to cover the housing you choose, so you’ll have to work within the stipend’s limitations. Housing stipends vary based on the location and the company. In some cases, however, you might save money and find housing more to your specifications by selecting your own housing with the stipend.
- Start Early When it comes to getting the best housing possible, don’t wait to start looking. As soon as you’ve accepted a new travel assignment, start looking for a place to stay. Securing your housing will minimize your stress as you prepare to move and start working at a new job. Depending on where you’re going, housing might be in high demand, or take longer to find.
- Work your network As a traveling professional, if you haven’t already, you will soon likely create relationships with numerous people across the country. These people might be good resources to help you find your next crash pad. Think about friends from the past, new friends you might have made, or coworkers from other travel assignments. In this digital age of social media you may be able to reach out to your connections discreetly to find out about temporary housing in the location where you’re going (though, of course, don’t give away too much personal information online).
You might also be able to share a room, an apartment or a rental with other travel nurses or colleagues.
- Mine online resources The Internet offers a wealth of resources at your fingertips when it comes to how to find housing for traveling nurses. Don’t forget to search online for apartments, condos or houses for rent in the area where you’re heading. Since you’ll likely only need a place for a few months, better options may be a vacation rental site such as VRBO, HomeAway, Airbnb. Also, look at similar sites, such as Travel Nurse Housing, that are geared specifically for travel nurses and other travel professionals, such as Furnished Finder. These sites feature properties whose owners are targeting professionals like you, so they may be an ideal fit.
- Don’t overlook hotels You may have it in mind that an apartment, condo or house will feel the most like a home, but in some cases, an extended stay hotel furnished for corporate travelers may be your best housing option. These hotels are often centrally located, reasonably priced, and have the added benefit of daily or weekly cleaning service. You’ll probably want to live close to your workplace, and if there are no other short-term rentals close by, an extended stay hotel can do the trick.
- Be wary of scams If you stumble across a housing offer that either seems too good to be true or is not forthcoming about the details, be wary. Be especially careful when answering ads on Craigslist and other similar sites. Absolutely do not send money or give personal information without confirming the deal is real. Trust your instincts and pass on something that does not feel right.
- Do your research Since information is bountiful about short term housing for traveling nurses online, you have the ability to do your research before you ever commit to a housing situation. You can get many answers to questions, including which parts of town might be ideal, housing rates, and whether or not you can bring pets with you. Take the time to research before jumping in.
- Consider all costs Especially if you are using a housing stipend to rent a temporary home, before you put any money down or commit to a property, make sure you know all the costs up front. Some places may require a security deposit or require you to pay utilities. Find out if your temporary home is furnished. You don’t want to have surprise expenses on move-in day.
- Contact a realtor If you’re nervous about doing the housing search yourself, remember to contact the experts: realtors. A local realtor will often have information or resources not available online about temporary lodging in the area.
Average Stipend For Travel Nurses
If you choose the housing allowance and find your own place to live, this option allows you the most control, but it may not cover all costs. Because travel assignments vary widely by location, there is no average housing stipend for travel nurses. It might also be possible to negotiate up for a higher stipend if the one you’re offered doesn’t cover the rent of places you deem acceptable. Stipends, which are often issued on a weekly or monthly basis, are likely to be factored into your paycheck, so be sure that you have timed your paychecks and your rent.
Some travel nurses try to get assignments in cities where they have family or friends so they can stay with them and can then make the most of the housing allowance. If you are taking an assignment in an area where rents are high, on the other hand, it may make more sense financially to take the free housing offered. A housing allowance may not cover the costs completely if you were to find your own place.
Regardless of which housing option you choose, consider some of the tips below to make your move go smoothly.
Whichever type of housing you decide upon, always be sure you ask a lot of questions to get clear on all details. Some things to ask about include security deposits, whether utilities and furnishings are included and whether or not you can have a pet. When you decide on a housing option, be sure to read through your contract or lease agreement carefully.
Always build in some time in advance of starting your jobs to move in so that you’re not rushed and stressed when you begin working. Ideally, move in a few days before you start your new job. This will give you time to get organized and settle in to your new place.
You may also want to pick a move out date that is several days after your assignment ends to allow you plenty of time to pack up.
Although your place may be furnished, consider taking some smaller personal items from home to give your place a familiar feel.
Travel Nurse Housing Arrangements & Their Pros And Cons
Many travelers prefer to live in a private apartment. These are often one-bedroom apartments, most often situated within an apartment complex.
- This option is good for someone who prefers their privacy and does not want to share an apartment with another traveler.
- This is also a good choice for someone who is not traveling with any family members.
- You may have to bring your own bedding, cookware and towels. Make sure you understand what is included (and what isn’t)
- Apartments may be more difficult to come by within an affordable price range
When looking for travel nurse housing, you may be given the option to share an apartment with another traveler.
- By sharing space, you get to know someone immediately, which can help to reduce feelings of loneliness. If you hit it off, you have someone to hang out with right from the start
- In shared situations, your housing is more likely to be furnished and in a neighborhood close to where you will be working
- If you and your roommate are not compatible, it could pose any number of problems
- If your roommate keeps a different schedule than you do, it might affect your ability to sleep or relax
An option that some travel nurses may not have considered is temporary living in an RV. If you already own an RV, this may be a good choice, assuming that your new location isn’t too far, which can take time and gas money to get there.
- Your company may cover the cost of staying in an RV park, or allow you to use a housing stipend to do so
- Many RV parks have amenities, such as a pool, workout area and clubhouse
- Finding an RV park can be challenging depending on where your assignment is
- Mechanical issues. If your RV breaks down, or suffers mechanical issues, this could impair your ability to work and throw your living situation into chaos
- Run-ins with inclement weather can be stressful but there are alternative solutions such as staying at a nearby hotel if need be.
Travel Nurse Housing Websites
Here are links to some of the best websites for travel nurse housing websites that travel nurses can use to find living arrangements.
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