4 Details You Should Consider About Your Travel Nurse Housing
For many of the travel nurses we’ve worked with, the housing package is the make-it-or-break-it part of a job offer. Because of this, we do everything we can to fit our travel nurse housing packages to the location and budget you want. We view our jobs as facilitating your success, and meeting your budget is a huge part of that.
Throughout our years of helping travel nurses, we’ve noticed a few things not every travel nurse considers before coming to us with a housing request. Below are a few pieces of advice that helped the travel nurses we’ve worked with in the past.
Easy Ways to Save
Temporary housing may not be cheap, but we don’t like making our customers feel nickle-and-dimed. In fact, we think a lot of people would be surprised at how low we keep our margins. When we made the decision to expand our share of the travel nurse housing segment, we spent a lot of time talking to some past clients about what influences their decision. Unsurprisingly, the biggest concern for most of the people we talked to was price.
We can’t control market rental rates, but we have come up with these recommendations to help travel nurses decrease their housing prices.
1) Instead of paying to rent housewares, buy a bulk housewares set from a store like Wal-Mart. While these may not be the best quality, it’s hard to beat the price. A few nurses we work with choose to buy a new set every time they get a new assignment, finding that repurchasing is ultimately cheaper than renting and more convenient than moving a set around long-term.
2) Live near public transportation. Taking the bus may not be ideal in many US cities, but it becomes a better option when considering the cost of gas. The amount of gas it takes you to travel to and from work is, in a certain sense, part of your rent. Taking twenty minutes to learn the bus schedule could save you upwards of $200 a month, depending on what gas mileage your vehicle gets.
3) Instead of eating at the hospital commissary or running across the street for lunch, cook your lunch on the weekend. Not only does this make it easier to maintain a diet, it also saves a surprising amount of money. The few dollars you save daily do add up over time. Plus, cooking gives you a new hobby! When I started cooking my own lunches, it wasn’t something I looked forward to – now, I have a lot of fun trying out new recipes.
These are just a few things we’ve heard from nurses who want to balance building their savings with temporary housing prices. If you have more you want to add to this list, email me at email@example.com
Location, location, location
The old real estate adage “location, location, location” holds true. Even if your contract only lasts a few weeks, you still need to be sure you’re in a part of town you like. Somebody who enjoys going out will be miserable living in the suburbs, even if it is only for a month.
We recommend searching for city guides where you’re traveling. You may need to read a few to get a full idea on what neighborhood you want to live in, but its best to have as much information as possible on a location before you move somewhere. Even for people who like surprises, they’re never fun when it comes to your living space.
Of course, finding the right location gets tricky when you’re trying to work with your stipend. It doesn’t matter how perfect an apartment is if it’s $1000/mo over your budget. Even if your stipend doesn’t allow for the perfect location, keep that area in mind when you’re looking at other options. Many travel nurses we’ve worked with usually prefer less trendy neighborhoods located equidistant to the hospital and a hip part of town. This keeps them relatively close to work and things to do without paying a premium for living in a high-demand area.
It’s easy to detach yourself from the stress of a heavily trafficked commute when it’s just a number, but way harder when you’re actually dragging yourself out of bed at 6:00am to get showered, dressed, and fed just to sit in a car. This stress is worse for travel nurses, who move very often – trying to learn how to get to work in morning rush hour traffic isn’t fun.
It’s also important to remember what appears to be a short commute might be significantly longer with traffic. Last week it took me an hour to drive somewhere new through rush hour, only to discover that it took 15 minutes to get home when I left because there wasn’t any traffic. To solve this problem, the app Waze offers a “Planned Drive” mode. This allows users to input a route and a time to see estimated traffic. We originally found out about Waze through one of our travel nurse clients – she found a lot of value in the app because she, like most travel nurses, does not work consistent hours. The length of commute varied greatly based on the time of day, so having an idea of traffic ahead of time helped her plan her day.
Focus on Wellness
This one isn’t directly related to your housing, but it plays a huge role in how sustainable travel nursing is as a career option for you. Medical professions in general are very stressful, and travel nursing is no different. On top of day-to-day hospital life, travel nurses constantly travel to new cities and readjust to new surroundings. While there’s nothing wrong with indulging once in a while (we recommend anybody coming to the Texas-area try our homegrown favorite Whataburger), we don’t think we need to explain to nurses how important maintaining your health is.
We’ve previously written a blog on how our business clients can stay healthy. We think a lot of the same advice applies to travel nurses.
The next time you’re looking for a travel nurse housing solutions that really takes the time to find a solution that meets your specific needs, contact us at +1-888-899-7829. For more information on our services for travel nurses and other medical professionals, take a look at our Healthcare Professionals page.