Travel nursing has plenty of advantages, but this unique career also presents its own challenges. Here are some common traveling nurse housing problems and how you can avoid them on your next assignment:
Four Traveling Nurse Housing Problems and Solutions
1. Difficulty Finding Housing
You may feel like you’re searching in the dark to find the right travel nurse housing option for your next assignment. Don’t start your traveling nurse housing search alone.
Solution: Talk with Your Agency
Your agency is here to help you with traveling nurse housing problems. Many agencies provide you with housing locations. They coordinate your move in and move out days and often help cover costs of utilities and furnishings. When you live in agency travel nurse housing, you lower the stress of finding a living location and planning your move.
2. Housing Options Break the Budget
If you’re responsible for finding your own travel nurse housing, it can be difficult to find a budget-friendly option close to your assignment. There are huge expenses associated with moving, even if it is into a temporary location. Plus, you’re going in blind and you may not find housing in the safest or most convenient location.
Solution: Manage Costs
There are several routes you can take to help manage your moving costs while searching for traveling nurse housing options. For starters, see if your agency is providing you with a stipend to assist with housing costs. If you find housing in the stipend budget, you can avoid most out-of-pocket expenses. Finding housing under budget will provide you with the cash to spend on other moving costs. Avoid buying new home items with high prices. Bring things you already have. Since you won’t be at your assignment long-term, you shouldn’t worry about turning your apartment into a palace. Some rental homes, such as those found through sites like Airbnb and Furnished Finder, come furnished and move-in ready. You may also choose to find a roommate, like a fellow travel nurse, to share the costs with you.
3. You Already Own a Home
Owning your own home in your hometown can present challenges if you decide to travel nurse in new locations. You’ll have to find someone to look after your house while you’re away, and you’ll still be responsible for paying the bills, while also managing housing costs in your assignment locations.
Solution: Use Your Home to Earn Extra Cash
Instead of bothering extended family members to check on your house every few days while you’re away, consider renting your home out. When you rent out your home through Airbnb, or other home rental company, you’ll earn extra money and have someone to watch your house while away. Most rental companies also have insurance and contracts to pay for any damages that could occur while you’re away. Though you’ll have someone living in your home, you’ll still have to arrange lawn services, and it may be a good idea to have a family member check in every once in awhile depending on their length of stay.
4. Getting Settled into Your Community
Transitioning into a new community at your traveling nurse housing location can be challenging. You’ll have to navigate your way to the grocery store, shopping centers, restaurants, and gyms. It’s important to settle into your new community to make the most of your personal life while away.
Solution: Find New Friends or Bring Old Ones Along
Living in a new location can be lonely, so it’s important to find a support system as you get settled. Consider joining an organization that shares your interests. Find a dance studio, pilates class, church, or art gallery. You could also consider volunteering at nonprofit, like a pet shelter. If you’re especially homesick prone, you can consider traveling with a family, pet, or spouse. Traveling with loved ones can make your transition easier, and your family or pet will remind you of home. If you’re travel nursing with a spouse, you’ll have to discuss this change in advance to ensure it fits with their career goals and lifestyle preferences.