Whether you’re considering a career in travel nursing or you’re getting ready to start your journey as a travel nurse, there are many things to consider when choosing this career. Moving is difficult for anyone, but it can be especially difficult for travel nurses who are consistently on the go, especially when you’re on shorter assignments. Managing travel expenses, housing arrangements, and preparation for your new career require quite a bit of planning. To make the process easier, consider these four tips:
Decide Whether You Should Rent or Buy a House
Deciding on housing arrangements as a traveling nurse requires a lot of research, as well as an overall understanding of your travel assignment. First, you must communicate with your recruiter regarding the length of the assignment. Knowing how long your travel assignment is can help you decide on whether you should rent or buy a home.
If your assignment is short, it’s better to consider renting a small place that won’t cost as much as the expenses associated with homeownership. However, if your assignment is longer than two years, in the same state and you plan to live there long term, it may be good to consider buying a smaller home. If so, it’s important to keep in mind your budget and the cost of living wherever it is you may be stationed. Organizing your finances ahead of time, such as the required credit score for a home loan, state taxes, and so on, can help in your decision-making process.
While renting has its advantages, buying a home can be beneficial when you need housing arrangements between your travel assignments. If neither renting or buying intrigues you, consider taking advantage of your agency and its benefits. Most staffing agencies provide travel nurses with a housing stipend or lodging options that can be cost-friendly. These stipends or lodging options may cover or include hotels, airbnbs, or facilities dedicated specifically to traveling employees.
Budget for All Expenses
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a registered nurse as of 2018 was $71,730 per year. However, this may differ for travel nurses because of the demand of the job. Travel nurses, in general, expect a higher salary than stationary nurses. Despite the increased salary, travel nurses should budget accordingly based on the average salary and additional expenses they will face while traveling to different states or countries.
It’s crucial to outline the various costs you will incur, including travel expenses, housing, transportation, utility bills, and groceries. You should create a money plan that can help you manage your daily expenses to avoid the stress of being in debt while working a demanding job. While preparing to move to your first travel assignment, make sure to review your contract with your agency and allocate all benefits they provided into your budget. This will help you prioritize what you have to pay out-of-pocket.
Consider having an emergency fund that includes at least three to six months’ worth of living expenses. This step is beneficial because you may have unexpected costs like medical bills, a car accident or a sudden move that isn’t supported by your travel agency. Lastly, it’s essential to choose the best travel nursing agency that suits your career and financial needs in this journey.
When preparing for a travel nursing assignment, packing can be one of the most difficult steps, but it doesn’t have to be. To have a smooth relocation, travel nurses should consider packing light and prioritize the essentials. Also, familiarize yourself with the weather trends in your new city so you don’t overpack by bringing clothes you won’t need. Using compression bags can help you fit more items that you will need, like electronics or other items to make you feel at home.
You will probably be flying to your assigned destination, so consider avoiding toiletries above 3.4 ounces if you will only be bringing a carry-on bag. Instead, wait until you arrive to buy the essential toiletries and home goods. For home furnishings, check out local thrift stores to save money while making your space feel homey. Since we live in a virtual world, consider digitizing important documents to minimize the paperwork you need to carry for your travel nursing assignment. You may need to pack your travel nurse license, but any other documents should be scanned and saved in a safe place.
Remember, this experience will be like no other.
So, enjoy your journey. It’s an amazing opportunity to travel around the country, so take advantage of it and explore the different cultures and traditions you’ll encounter. Take pride in the fact that you are doing something that many are not able to. Good luck!
We hope you found these tips for moving for travel nurses helpful. Have you moved as a travel nurse and have tips to share with fellow travel nurses? Comment them below.