Tips to Make the Perfect Accommodation Choice
Travel nurses now make up a sizable portion of America’s nursing jobs. According to Zippia, there are around 1.7 million travel nurses working in the United States, and the numbers continue to grow. It’s easy to see why. Travel nurses deliver a solution to a big problem in American hospitals:
- They help to correct short-term staffing needs
- They reduce costs of staffing for healthcare providers
- They fill difficult-to-hire positions
One of the concerns of those new to travel nurse jobs is travel nursing housing. Can you stay in fully furnished accommodation? How do you find your ideal property? What’s the difference between company housing and a housing stipend?
We answer all these questions in this article.
Reasons to Consider Travel Nursing as Your Next Career Move
When searching for a job, nurses often find themselves settling for a position that may not be the best fit or at a location where they don’t want to live. Travel nurses can work in various locations and experience new cultures, while still being able to provide for their family by having a guaranteed paycheck every week.
So, why become a travel nurse? Here are a few of the most compelling reasons:
· You can choose to work in some great locations
Whether you’re addicted to the ocean or prefer the mountains, you’re a city lover, or you desire the tranquility of rural settings, travel nursing gives you the chance to experience it all.
· You can avoid burnout and stress
Of course, just like regular nursing, travel nursing can be stressful. Living like a nomad can take its toll. But there are plenty of ways to manage stress as a travel nurse, and if it all gets too much, you can simply take a break between assignments. That’s a luxury you don’t get in a regular nursing job.
· You get paid very well
Often, the pay of a travel nurse is more than that of a staff nurse in the same location. You also benefit from tax breaks and may be paid bonuses, too.
· You can travel with your best friend
You’ve got a pet that you don’t want to leave? That’s no problem. You can travel with your pet, too. We’ve compiled a list of 10 tips for successful travel nursing with a pet, so you can travel with your best friend by your side always.
What about Accommodation for Travel Nurses?
When considering accommodation, you may have two choices:
- Company housing
- Housing stipend
Company housing is as it says on the can: housing provided by the healthcare company you are working for. You won’t need to pay a cent, as it’s part of your remuneration package. That’s sounds great, doesn’t it?
What may be even more beneficial, though, is a housing stipend. In simple terms, you are paid a sum of money to cover the cost of housing while you are on an assignment.
Why could this be even more beneficial? Because if you find accommodation that costs less than the stipend you receive, you can bank the balance.
Company Housing or Stipend?
If you are given the choice between company housing or a stipend, which you should choose depends upon you.
Company housing takes away any stress of needing to find somewhere to live during your assignment. You simply pack up, travel, and move into a furnished property.
These properties are always furnished – and usually to a high standard. It pays healthcare providers to look after their nurses.
If you elect to receive a housing stipend, then you’ll need to find a fully furnished, short-term rental. You’ll need to do your research, make some calls, and find a place in a safe area that is not too far from where you will be working. Oh, and it’s got to be short-term. You’ll also want utilities to be included. Sounds a tough ask, doesn’t it? But it needn’t be!
10 Tips to Find the Ideal Fully Furnished Accommodation
With a little work, it is possible to find an elusive short-term rental perfect for travel nurses. These tips will help you do so.
1. Avoid ‘Too-Good-To-Be-True’ Scams
There are great bargains to be found on sites like Craigslist. Some are just too great. Those too-good-to-be-true offers usually are. If a property owner is offering five-star accommodation for two-star money, it’s a good sign you’re about to be scammed out of your stipend.
2. Airbnb? Could Be a Great Source of Short-Term Properties
Vacation rental properties are a reliable source of short-term rentals. Sites like Airbnb, HomeAway, and VRBO are easy to search on and simple to use. While properties can be expensive because they are aimed at ultra-short-let tenants, many property owners operating on these sites will offer sizeable discounts for mid-term rentals – especially out of season.
3. Deal in Person to Check Out the Owner
If it’s possible to do so, deal in person with the property owner. This may mean scheduling a trip or asking someone you know to make a visit for you.
Ask for a few personal details – credit score, rental history, criminal background, and so on. If they don’t want to give them, tread carefully.
4. Avoid Poorly Written Ads
Nothing against people with poor writing ability here, but a good clue that all is not as it seems with poorly written or worded property ads. It could be that the owner lives abroad – or they are someone from abroad trying to defraud you.
5. Deposits Should Be Reasonable
If you are requested to pay a deposit to secure the accommodation, never wire the funds via a wiring service. If you are asked to do so, walk away. Never part with a large upfront deposit, either.
6. Be Prepared to Spend Time Searching
It’s very unlikely that you will find the right property immediately. You’ll need to spend at least a few hours doing your research. Narrow down by location first, and then start searching. You’ll need to get busy on email and phone, too – and don’t be deterred by no response.
7. Don’t Leave It Late!
The later you leave your search for accommodation, the harder it will be to find a suitable property. It’s best to work on your assignment schedule several months in advance whenever you can.
8. Be Ready to Move Mid-Assignment
It may be easier to find accommodation if you are flexible and willing to book two properties. One for the first half of your assignment and one for the remainder. This could widen the scope of accommodation available to you, making it easier to find suitable living space.
9. Never Give Out Your Personal Information
Under no circumstances should you give out personal information such as bank account numbers, credit card details, your social security number, etc. until you have seen the accommodation and agreed to rent.
10. Consider Extended Stay Hotels
You may also consider extended stay hotels. With amenities like gyms, housekeeping, and breakfast – as well as kitchens to cook your own meals in – many travel nurses use these often. They are also great to use as a bridge accommodation between assignments. (Bonus tip: Always ask for a discount!)
The Final Word on Travel Nurse Accommodation
Accommodation provided by the employer will be fully furnished. You won’t need to do any research or spend time on the phone. You won’t risk being scammed. And if your contract is ended early, you won’t lose money on accommodation you don’t need.
On the other hand, a housing stipend gives you much greater flexibility and choice of accommodation. You can choose a property that better suits you and benefit from extra cash in your pocket. Don’t forget, too, that the housing stipend is tax free, providing you qualify.