We love sharing stories from our team. In this article, we are covering housing advice for travel nurses straight from our housing coordinator. These include finding affordable housing, the benefit of month-to-month leases, traveling alone versus with family, and the importance of communication. As a traveler, it’s likely you’re already an out-of-the-box thinker and this will benefit you as you explore your new home.
Housing Advice for Travel Nurses
There are several considerations regarding where to live when you’re choosing a place for your next contract. If your travel nurse agency has a housing department, take advantage of the service as it can save you time and money when finding the right home.
We also recommend Furnished Finder which offers monthly rentals to travel professionals. In fact, we encourage our travelers to opt for a furnished living situation. That way you don’t have to worry about who is going to pivot the couch upstairs a la the Friends episode. Instead, you can unpack your suitcase, grab groceries, and settle in for your first night.
Our housing coordinator tells us that traveling alone makes it easier and often cheaper to find housing. Some assignments offer shared housing which is a shared living space with your own bedroom, shared bathroom, and living areas. If you do decide to travel with your family, you will need more space. With children, you also need to consider school as well as extracurricular activities.
If you have pets, it may be challenging to find pet-friendly options since some hotels and rentals do not allow them. It may be easier to have someone watch your pet while you are traveling than take them with you. Many of us are animal lovers so we know this can be a heartbreaking decision; take time to research housing options and see what you can find. As always, let your housing coordinator know upfront so they know what to look for.
Think about what type of housing you’re willing to live in. On-site housing is usually shared. While affordable, it isn’t for everyone. If sharing common areas isn’t for you, then let your housing coordinator know and they can look for alternate options. Extended stay hotels, Airbnbs, and other monthly housing rentals are all good options depending on what you are looking for.
In our article, Housing Tips for Traveling Medical Professionals, we offer tips for finding your first housing so that it fits your needs and those of your family and pets.
Research where you will be living before heading out on the road. We can’t tell you how often providers have been surprised by an area when they arrive. Before leaving, we recommend going to Google to research what shops, restaurants, and other activities are available. Joining travel nurse Facebook groups to network, seek advice, and ask about options in the area. Remote areas typically have fewer grocery, shopping, and restaurant options, but have affordable housing. In big cities, you will have everything at your fingertips, but housing will likely be more expensive.
We also recommend driving yourself, if possible, as renting a car can get quite expensive especially if you decide to extend your contract. Our housing department can get you better rates, but having our own vehicle is the better option if your assignment is within reasonable driving distance.
Lastly, research a month-to-month lease, as these tend to be the best for short-term contracts. Don’t sign anything unless you are comfortable and don’t send money before seeing where you will be living. We don’t want you in an unsafe place or to get scammed so it’s important to do your research.
No matter where you end up, make your temporary housing feel like home with photos and other reminders of loved ones and special places. We hope the housing advice for travel nurses helps you find your new home away from home and we will be with you every step of the way. Happy Traveling!