Travel nursing is a thriving career that comes with a plethora of awesome advantages—including a sweet paycheck and various travel and housing perks.
The benefits are pretty great, too.
However, like any job, it does come with its own set of challenges, chief among which is finding the right housing.
If you're just starting out, you might opt for agency-provided housing for simplicity and ease. However, you will most likely find that those are often overpriced and underwhelming. It's no wonder more experienced travel nurses choose to look for their own places.
A caveat: Looking for your own place, especially the first time around, takes a lot of work and can often be stressful. Some say it feels like groping in the dark—so many options and so little time...
New to the job?
Don't worry. We put together this list of five things to keep in mind when looking for travel nurse housing.
Photo borrowed from Freepik
1. The Search
For the freshly minted, agency-provided travel nurse housing might seem the safest way to go. However, more seasoned traveling nurses know that they can save a lot of money by searching for a place themselves.
That said, it isn't always easy to find the right place at the right price point, especially when you're looking on the Internet.
Online listing sites that guarantee security, variety, and convenience all at once are hard to find, whereas sites that steal money and information can be found all over.
Where to look...
We suggest engaging a reputable listing, rental, or booking site with a solid track record, ideally one that provides a viable middle ground between a quick weekend stint and a long-term lease. Think: corporate housing (i.e. furnished rentals).
The housing stipend for a multi-month arrangement might seem like a lot of money to the inexperienced, but many forget to consider the small fortune one can spend on furnishing what is often a temporary home.
The dilemma of comfort versus practicality for, say, a 13-week stint can be difficult to settle. While 13 weeks is too short a time to invest on actual fixtures for a proper home, it's also too long a time to live uncomfortably.
While the usual options of short-term leases do exist, these are often charged at a premium rate, sometimes double—even triple—market rates.
Thankfully, the growth of corporate housing options in recent years has been promising.
This development has allowed traveling nurses and many other professionals to save money, time, and effort, all while making quality housing more accessible. The furnishings, décor, and amenities that go with a corporate housing listing are typically much better than those in, say short-term rentals or hostels. Perhaps, more people are beginning to discover that there is, indeed, a happy medium between a temporary place and a full-blown home.
Cramped living spaces are a major contributor to urban unhappiness that eat away at health and wellness—and they don't bode well for creativity and productivity.
If you want a place that keeps you sharp and healthy, shoot for a furnished rental unit or corporate housing with generous square footage. You'll be surprised to find that there are currently a lot of spacious, single-occupancy options available at reasonable prices.
Photo borrowed from Pinterest
The more seasoned travel nurses tend to value familiarity, which is why they often go for corporate housing solutions.
Unlike short-term rentals that feature the bare necessities and little else, corporate housing solutions are designed to feel more home than away—there's usually more furniture, a smattering of personal space, and other trappings of home life. Though corporate housing solutions aren't exactly "home", they come pretty close.
Studies suggest that comfort springs from familiar spaces, so finding an environment you can get familiar with will definitely help you achieve a better work life balance on location.
Photo borrowed from La maison arabe
5. Proximity to Passion
All work and no play doesn’t just make Jack a dull boy, it also hinders his propensity towards innovation and hampers his potential for discovery, adaptability, and flexibility.
When choosing a place, remember to look out for one that’s not just close to work, but also within range of your passions and interests.
Finding your own housing gives you the freedom to opt for a place near a jazz club, a library, a museum, or even a theater. Staying close to the things you love helps create an ideal work-life balance wherever you go.
Who knows? Pursuing your hobbies might even help improve your work performance.
While looking for a place can be challenging for any traveling nurse, the payoff of finding the right one is well worth the effort.
We can't stress this enough: A spacious, fully furnished place at a desirable location is always an investment worth making. So keep your eyes peeled for the right opportunities.
Follow these tips and you’ll surely find yourself in an environment that you love and enjoy.