Nontraditional Ways to Travel Nurse With a Family • The Gypsy Nurse

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By Alex McCoy

December 25, 2023

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Nontraditional Ways to Travel Nurse With a Family

One of the best things about travel nursing is the way you can tailor the experience to fit your lifestyle. Whether that be traveling with friends or significant others, traveling with pets, or even traveling with children, you can make it work. The idea of traveling with a family at first may seem intimidating, but there are several ways families are making the travel nurse lifestyle work for them! 

travel nurse with a family

One Spouse Stays “Home” on Assignment

A popular way for families to make travel work for them is to have one stay-at-“home” parent while on the road. This could mean the spouse that does not work in healthcare, or if both work in healthcare, they could take turns on who stays home and who works the contracts. 

This option is great because it allows your family to stay together in one place. However, it may be an adjustment for the stay-at-home parent if that role is new for them. 

Both Spouses Work Contracts on Opposite Shifts

If you want to get the most “bang for your buck,” this is the route to go. In this scenario, both spouses are healthcare workers and manage to coordinate contracts so that they work opposite shifts. This may also require some agreement with management regarding how shifts will be scheduled and coordinated in relation to your spouse, but it can be done!

The downside here is that the spouses may not actually get a lot of time together. Also, the spouse working the night shift may have unpredictable sleep schedules, which can be wearing over time. On the other hand, if you really want to save money or pay off debt, this is a great way to do that quickly!

travel nurse with a family

One Spouse Stays at the Tax Home

If you have older children who may be reluctant to move or have other responsibilities back at your tax home, this may be a great option to make extra money travel nursing while also giving your kids a steady home. 

In this scenario, a lot of travel nurses try to find jobs that will allow them to block schedule their shifts. This means they work a block of shifts in a row and then get a block of days off. This way, they can travel home on their days off for a longer period. 

Another great option here is to look into semi-local travel. This means taking assignments that are within a reasonable driving distance so you can travel home easily on days off without worrying about plane tickets. 

Someone Works From “Home” on Assignment

Thanks to all of the jobs that have moved to fully remote, there are now a lot of opportunities for a partner to work from home–from anywhere! 

This option may be a little tricky or require jobs with a little more flexibility if you have smaller children at home OR if you have to be hands-on with a homeschool program. However, just like having partners coordinate contracts, this option can be rewarding in that it allows both partners to work and earn income for the family. 

Another option is to see if your spouse’s company will do a hybrid option–where they are mostly remote but are required to be in the office once a month or less. You could even coordinate this with days off in your contract. You never know if you don’t ask! 

Regardless of what seems like the “best” option for your family, the beauty of all of this is that you have options. Some travel nurses travel with their families for years. Others do it for a short period of time to save money for something specific. And as always, if the first approach doesn’t work, you can always try a different one!

Interested in a travel nursing job? Our job board is a great place to search for assignments, and if housing is an issue, our housing page can help. It’s time to make a difference!

If you are a new travel nurse or looking into becoming a travel nurse:

Travel Nurse Guide: Step-by-Step (now offered in a PDF Downloadable version!)

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