When it comes to looking for travel nurse housing, budget is a huge factor for most nurses. Whether you are trying to save money for a nice vacation or pay off a large amount of debt, most travel nurses are keen to pocket as much of their housing stipend as they can.
One of the most popular ways to save money on housing is rent a room in someone’s home. Furnished Finder is a great resource because you can specify if you are looking for a single room or a private unit.
Rooms Vs. Private Space
Rooms are often about half the price of private space, and it is sometimes nice to have the homeowner on site because you know the place will be taken care of. However, it is always a gamble to understand the travel nurse lifestyle, be respectful of the night shift, or “get it” when you get done working three in a row and want to keep to yourself and binge some Netflix. If you travel with a pet, it may be difficult to find a landlord who is willing to welcome your furry friend into their personal home.
Alternates to room renting
A great alternative to renting a room in someone’s home is finding another travel nurse or two to share housing with while on assignment. This is a great way to make connections with people living a similar lifestyle to yours, and it saves both parties money. And if you travel with a pet, it is sometimes easier to take the pet into a new rental rather than into an already occupied home.
Plus, as a bonus, you may even be able to spring for the nicer, more spacious rental you wouldn’t be able to afford as a single traveler. Want to live in an adorable two bathroom condo walking distance from the beach? Most travel nurses couldn’t afford this San Diego Condo on their salary alone, but splitting it with a roommate makes the cost more than reasonable.
So how do you go about finding a roommate?
First, try asking your recruiter. If you are taking a job at a hospital with multiple openings, there is always a chance your recruiter has placed someone else there recently. Try asking them if they know of any other travelers from their company headed in that direction. The bonus here is if you are starting at the same facility, you are likely to have a similar start and end dates because most hospitals do batches of orientation.
Next, look for an area-specific group on Facebook.
Most big cities like Seattle, San Francisco, and Phoenix have specific groups for travelers living in or headed to that area. Try searching “ (X City) Travel Nurses” and looking under groups. Sometimes people will post when there is a nice space they have an eye on, or their roommate is leaving, and they want to extend. You could also go on these groups and post a little about yourself and see if you get any leads on a traveler who would want to share a space for a contract.
Keep in mind. It is still prudent to take the time to discuss important lifestyle preferences and habits. If you smoke, plan on having overnight guests, or have very particular cleanliness habits, it is best to be upfront about these things. That way, you can pass on roommates who won’t quite mesh with you and avoid problems later down the road.
While living with roommates at this stage in your career was maybe not something you had envisioned for yourself, when working as a travel nurse, this can be a great way to ease some of the loneliness that comes with the job. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and make a few connections–the worst-case scenario is only thirteen weeks!
Have you taken advantage of the benefits of living with roommates as a travel nurse? Are there benefits to housing with roommates that we left out? Comment them below.