The best part about being a travel nurse is that you get to spend time in a variety of unique places. That is, after all, probably why you chose the job. The biggest challenge can be figuring out which travel nurse assignment to take next. However, there are a few ways to narrow down your search and find the best option for you, with your budget and hobbies in mind. For help getting started, here are our top five tips to help you decide where to go as a travel nurse.
Do you want to be able to drive?
If you want to drive, you’ll need to consider two things: First, can you navigate the location without a car? Some larger cities like Chicago and New York provide adequate public transportation, and many residents themselves don’t even drive to work. For example, in New York, 45.9% of workers aged 16 years and over in households don’t own a vehicle. This is, in part, because these densely populated areas have terrible traffic. Are you comfortable walking everywhere, or can you fit multiple ride-sharing apps like Uber, Lyft, or taxis into your budget? If not, you may prefer less congested cities that make getting from destination to destination by car simple.
Second, do you want to rent a car? Renting expands your options considerably because you’re able to fly to your new location instead of driving. How far you’re comfortable driving is up to you. You may enjoy a road trip and the drive across the country, or you may prefer driving no longer than six hours or no farther than 500 miles. Whatever your preference, transportation should be taken into consideration.
What would you like to do during your off-time?
One of the easiest ways to verify if a location best suits your needs is to lay out the activities or hobbies you want to pursue during your time off. Do you want to go snorkeling, fishing, and hang out by the water? Consider Miami. Want to go hiking, visit parks, and see mountains? Consider Denver. While travel nurses licensed in compact states have more options for visiting other states, it’s a good idea for any travel nurse to research potential locations along with the area’s common attractions.
How often do you plan on staying home?
Travel nurses have a set amount of work hours every week per their travel nurse contract, and some days may leave you more tired than others. After a long or stressful shift, you may set your sightseeing plans aside to stay home and rest. This is natural but may impact how you choose your next location. You may not always have the energy to make the most of the location you’re visiting, and you may consider leaving some locations to times that you can visit off-assignment where you will have more opportunities to explore. If you are feeling burnt out and like you need to spend more time resting and recuperating, factor that into your next location. It might be the perfect time to take an assignment closer to home or in a more rural, quiet area.
Will you draft a budget?
Some states simply cost more to live in, especially if you’re visiting around holidays. While Nurse First takes every step possible to help you make the most of your assignments, including securing the highest compensation available to our travelers, you may simply prefer a more affordable area. You can travel to and explore new cities, pursue hobbies, and engage in activities all while saving money by making financially conscious decisions.
Will you travel with others?
Finally, our last tip regards travel companions: are you traveling alone or with others who have their own interests to explore? Some travel nurses enjoy pairing assignments with fellow travel nurses, while others travel with family members. In either case, you and your traveling companions can improve your travel experience by coordinating with each other to plan activities. Find opportunities available to groups, as well as backup plans if one person decides to stay in instead.
Following these five tips should help you decide on a location. Remember that wherever you decide to travel, we’re here to support you. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us online.