Leaving Home for Work: The Travel Nurse Journey - The Gypsy Nurse


By The Gypsy Nurse Staff

August 8, 2018



Step #14 Getting Ready for The Journey

Getting Ready for The Journey

“CONGRATS”  If you’re at this point, you have completed all the previous steps and are ready to think leaving home for work.  I’m excited, are you? Hopefully you have done some research on the city where you are going and have a few things in mind already that you want to do/see during your off time.  This is important because you may have some bad days and having something local to look forward to will keep you motivated.

The following 10  steps will put you help you in Getting Ready for The Journey.

Know what you’re doing with your primary residence.

Are you renting out your home, leaving it empty or having a friend stay there?  Perhaps you rent and will be ending your lease.  Knowing what you are doing with your primary residence is a very important step in the planning.  Just remember, there are tax implications if you are Travel Nursing and do NOT have a primary residence.


Before leaving home for work, find out what your bank allows and doesn’t when it comes to traveling is an important and often overlooked step.  Does your bank operate in the area that you are going to be traveling?  Do you get charged fees for transactions from another bank?  These fees can add up quickly.  Make sure to notify your bank that you will be traveling so they don’t put a hold on your account.  Many banks will block any ‘questionable’ transactions as a safety measure for you.  It’s worthwhile to make a quick phone call to the bank and let them know that you are going out-of-state.  I would also recommend that you have a back-up credit card or savings account in case of emergency with enough available balance to cover anything unexpected.  You should always carry important banking phone numbers with you.  It’s a good idea to make a paper or digital copy of the front/back of all of your credit cards and save in a secure location in case of theft/loss.

Mobile phone

Know your mobile phone providers limitations.  Do you get charged additional for ‘out of network’ coverage?  Do you have roaming fees that you need to be concerned about?  It’s also a good idea to analyze your current plan and make certain that you have the amount of time/minutes available that you will need.  You may find that your mobile phone usage increases when you are away from family and friends.  You don’t want to be surprised with additional fees.

Personal Portfolio

We already discussed building and keeping a Travel Nurse Portfolio.  You should make certain that you have backup copies (paper or electronic) of all of these documents. If you are leaving home for work, you don’t want to be without these important documents. In addition, you may consider putting together your Personal Portfolio:

travel nurse checklistPersonal Portfolio Checklist

  • Birth Certificate
  • Social Security Card
  • Insurance Cards (auto, life, home, etc)
  • Passport (if applicable)
  • Work Visa (if applicable)
  • Health Information/prescriptions


When your leaving home for work for an extended period of time, the last thing you want is your mail stacking up in the mailbox.  Once you have your new temporary address, don’t forget to make arrangements for a mail forwarding service of some type or a friend/family member to pick your mail up for you and forward it.  The USPS will forward your mail for free.  In addition, there are multiple mail forwarding services available for a small monthly fee.  Research and find a method that works for you.

Automobile (prepare or store)

If you’re driving to your assignment, you will need to make certain that your vehicle is safe and prepared for a long road-trip.  Consult with a local mechanic and have your vehicle checked, change the oil, fill the fluids, assess the belts, etc.  If you are storing your vehicle you will need to prepare it for storage.  Consult with your local mechanic and find out what is necessary for your particular make/model vehicle.  There are many storage facilities that will store a vehicle for a monthly fee.

Health insurance

Contact your insurance company and find out if there is anyone in-network in the area that you will be traveling.  Ask if there is anything specific that you will need to do if you need to seek emergency medical attention if out of network.  You should contact the benefits number on the card or the website for information.


Make certain that you have enough refills for any required medications.  Explain to your physician that you will be traveling out-of-state (give the dates) and find out if you need to obtain an additional refill prior to traveling.


Traveling with your pet can be a rewarding experience.  As a pet owner, making certain that your pet is prepared for travel is an important step.   If you will be leaving your pet behind with a family member or friend or even a long-term boarding facility (which I do not recommend), you need to make sure that appropriate care instructions are left behind as well as emergency instructions and contact information.

Be aware that Hawaii has specific pet importation laws that require months of pre-planning.  If you are traveling out of the country, research the countries specific importation requirements.

Secure Valuables

It’s important to note that regardless if you are packing up your home and putting everything into storage or leaving an empty house behind, security of your valuables needs addressed. Make sure that these things are secured or stored safely. Safety deposit boxes are a good resource for paperwork, wills, jewelry and smaller items. For larger items, you may consider leaving them with a trusted friend or family member or paying for an insured storage facility.

Another consideration is Travel Insurance.  When taking a long or expensive vacation, we are likely to consider taking out travel insurance.  Most travel nurses do not consider this option when traveling for a contract.  Travel Insurance can not only cover your personal belongings but provide additional medical coverage for you if more than 100 miles (general rule, check with individual provider) away from home.

Do you have anything to add to this list?  Any suggestions to make preparation smoother?

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