When deciding where to live on a travel assignment as a nurse, the number of options can be overwhelming. What will work best for you as a traveler depends on your preferences (hyperlink to the article on Top 5 Reasons when complete) and how you want your housing funded. If you want to put as little effort as possible into your search you can opt for your travel agency to find you housing, typically landing you in an apartment that is cost efficient for them. If you decide to accept a weekly stipend to find your own accommodation the possibilities are endless and will give you the potential to save more of that hard earned cash!
Apartment or House Rental
This is the most practical and common choice for a travel nurse and is typically achieved through your travel company, your favorite rental website (Craigslist, Airbnb, Zillow, etc) or even word of mouth. Another newer, convenient and exciting option is a company like Transplant Housing They’re specifically looking for rental property owners that are aware of your 13 week assignments and are appreciative of notoriously responsible tenants. The overall cost and difficulty with finding a rental will depend on your specific needs (another place to backlink to article to Top 5).
Sublet a Room
This is a great option for anyone that would like to potentially save more of their weekly stipend, especially if you don’t mind a roommate or would even prefer some company in your new location. Sometimes the cost won’t be better any less, but you may gain access to better parts of town or get added amenities like a pool or awesome BBQ patio that you wouldn’t be able to afford on your own. These options are most easily found online through websites like Transplant Housing Craigslist and Airbnb. The bonus of a website specifically for travelers is aware of your timeline and budget!
Live with Family or Friends
(BONUS: It might be free!). Choose an area where you are comfortable living with friends and family and you can really rake in the savings. They may ask for money or some help around the home to pay for your space, which could be a win-win for everyone. Make sure you can co-habit peacefully with whomever you choose, 13 weeks can end up feeling longer than you think. If they enjoyed hosting you, encourage them to consider the benefits of added income by hosting other responsible travel nurses like yourself through Transplant Housing
This always an option and tends to serve as more of a short term solution when your assignment is starting and you can’t find what you’re looking for. Although not the most cost efficient, sometimes it is a last resort to keep a roof over your head. Of course, some hotels are equipped with kitchens and will even give weekly or monthly discounts if you continue to have trouble finding a suitable place.
Bring your home with you
People tend to think of this option as the most cost efficient. It typically involves living in a van, trailer, RV, tiny home or even tent. However, the cost efficiency really depends on what part of the country you are in and how far your assignment is from your permanent residence. For example, an RV spot in Alaska that tailors to fanatic fishing tourists is significantly more than renting a 1-2 bedroom apartment. In addition, if your travel company has a cap on their reimbursement for travel expenses, lugging your heavy home on wheels across the country may be more of a hassle than it’s worth. Yet for the majority of the U.S., finding a decent RV park with hook ups, showers, and maybe even a pool is a great cost efficient way to live if you don’t mind small spaces. Plus, you don’t have to worry about packing and un-packing your “home” everywhere you go. Don’t forget the role weather may play in your comfort in a trailer if you’re going somewhere with extreme temperature fluctuations or during a certain season.
Whatever option you choose, realize that 13 weeks can quite often be extended (if you want) since there always seems to be a shortage of nurses. Make sure you find a balance in comfort, cost and efficiency that you will enjoy while on assignment.