Hey Gypsies – we all know that several different factors can make a huge difference in a travel nursing assignment’s success. One of the major ones is how you approach housing and housing options. Travel Nurse Housing Costs can be a major financial factor. Most agencies will provide you with a few housing options, and you will need to figure out what’s best for your and your unique situation. Cost is always a factor in the travel nursing housing equation, so we’ve pulled together these 4 tips for reducing housing costs on your next travel nursing assignment.
Opt for a housing stipend
Unless you’re completely new to travel nursing, you may want to consider taking the housing stipend over agency-provided housing strongly. Agencies may choose pricier accommodations for nurses to uphold a quality reputation. But with the flexibility of a housing stipend, you can choose your price point and pocket the difference. This also allows you to set the duration of your stay. Many agencies will match your move-in and move-out dates to the dates of your assignment. With a stipend, you can move-in early or extend your stay if you want to stay longer.
Beyond savings, picking your own housing lets you select which part of town you want to experience and which housing amenities matter most to your lifestyle. You may be able to lower your travel nurse Housing Costs by cutting out conveniences you don’t care about.
Save yourself from the hassle of coordinating a U-Haul rental and moving your needed belongings to each new city. The average travel nurse assignment is 13 weeks, but it can be as short as 4 or 5 weeks. The easiest solution is to rent furnishings and housewares — or find housing with these included.
The price of renting might initially dissuade you, but the potential long-term savings pay off. This option allows you to avoid the risk of damaging any of your valuable furniture or personal possessions. You won’t have to spend time and effort on renting a van and scheduling movers. You also don’t have to worry about your existing items fitting into every space you rent. Every apartment or house you rent has its own available space and room dimensions. Leave that coordination to the professionals and cut your travel nurse housing costs.
Plan to cook your meals at home.
It seems like a small choice to make, but this can have a huge impact over the course of your assignment. Eating out is both expensive and unhealthy in comparison to preparing your meals at home. When dining out, the average meal costs $12.75 in the U.S. That’s more than $1,000 a month!
Plus, cooking food in your own kitchen can make you feel more at home while you’re living in a new place. When you’re choosing housing for your next assignment, make sure it comes with a full-sized kitchen, or at least a kitchenette, with the necessary kitchenware to be your own chef.
Especially with rapid response and crisis assignments, sometimes you need to find housing fast. But travel nurses always need to be aware of sketchy rental situations as, unfortunately, there are some housing scams out there. Stay diligent in vetting every agreement before you sign a lease.
Some common red flags to watch out for include:
- Any price that seems too good to be true.
- A property manager who communicates with you only via email.
- A landlord who doesn’t ask for any background info.
- A landlord or property manager who says they’re in another country and wants money wired to them.
The easiest way to avoid these scams is to rely on a trusted temporary housing provider or your agency to find and secure your housing. Work with housing experts who have access to an inventory of trusted, vetted properties. You won’t have to stress or do any of the work to find quality housing that you can trust.