30 May Tips for Finding Housing as a Travel Nurse
By Megan Cook, Travel RN
Travel nursing is a grand adventure and brings light to just how much opportunity is out there. As a travel nurse, finding housing to accommodate your travel stent can sometimes be difficult and can add some unwanted stress to getting to your destination. From experience, it can be really easy and fall into place, or sometimes it can seem that you may never find housing. This blog is to present multiple tips on finding housing to make your transition from one destination to another seamless. I hope with these tips, I help make your adventure more enjoyable and take away some of the stress of finding housing for your travel stent.
Depending on your company’s terms, they will find housing for you. Others, such as mine, allows me the opportunity to find my own housing that will fit my budget and needs, I recommend this. We all have our own preferences when it comes to our living quarters, and finding my own, allows me to meet all of those needs. That being said, my first tip is, if you’re responsible for finding your own housing, never hesitate to reach out to your recruiter for help. Remember, most of them have been doing this a long time, or have been travelers themselves, and have seen every block in finding housing. Hence, many of them have resources that we may not have thought of. For instance, when I find housing that has been accommodating and great, I give the contact information to my recruiter for future travelers pending the landlords permission. Within my traveling time span, 8 months, I have already given three great landlord contacts to my recruiter for future travelers to those destinations. I have even given contact information for housing that I have not stayed at but, have spoken with the landlord and deemed appropriate for great potential housing. Reaching out to your recruiter/company for help, along with other known travel nurses who may have been to your destination, is always helpful.
Another great tip I would like to suggest is the great World Wide Web. As we all know, the internet is the greatest resource , but along with that we have social media and apps. Facebook and Instagram have amazing resources and accounts for finding housing as a traveling nurse. One Facebook, an account that my traveling partner follows is “Gypsy Nurse, Travel Nurse Housing”. This account is sponsored by Furnished Finder, in which I’ll touch on later, and lists potential housing opportunities to travel nurses across the United States. Now, in case your like me and are one of the few millennials who do not have a Facebook account, there is always Instagram as well. I follow an account called, “Travelnursehousing”, and they will sometimes post the listing options throughout their account, or they have a link in their Bio to direct you to their website for housing options as well. Along with these two accounts that I have found helpful, you could also search for other accounts who offer these same things. Social media and the internet is your greatest housing tip.
Along with social media, I also use apps on my phone. Some of the apps that I use are, Airbnb, HomeToGo, Vrbo, HomeAway, Zillow Rentals, and Furnished Finder. These apps allow you to create an account and search multiple properties far and wide from your destination work place. These apps list the property and give you details such as, furnished or unfurnished, gives the location, amenities, house rules, cancellation policies, availability, and most importantly, reviews. These apps have been my best resource for finding housing. There are a few of my favorite perks of using an app to book my housing. One, you can inquire with the property owner. Inquiring allows you to message the owner securely and ask questions. A lot of times, these properties are listed as a per night rate, the perk of inquiring is, you can ask the landlord if they do month to month rentals even though it isn’t listed that way, and can ask for the monthly rate. Don’t be afraid to do this, this is how I have found each one of my housing options. The second favorite perk of mine within app use is that, sometimes the property owners phone number is listed, this gives you the ability to call and talk to the owner, which in return, makes it more personable. The third and final top favorite perk of apps in my opinion is that there is a third party money collector. Let’s face it, scams are out there and as unfortunate as they are, it happens. I never send money to a landlord until I’m certain its verified. Within the apps, the money is collected through the third party, such as the company itself, example; VRBO entity. You’re probably thinking, whoa, I can’t send all the money upfront for a three month stay? Well good news is, often times most landlords understand this, and do not require the full amount, mostly just the deposit and maybe the first month’s rent. Using apps is truly a blessing when it comes to finding the perfect housing for your travel stent.
Another tip I would like to provide information on is simply picking the right housing. One thing I consider is, is it furnished. As travelers, a lot of times we are driving or flying to our stents, this doesn’t always allow us to bring a ton of stuff with us. Finding furnished housing is the best way for me to travel. I have found housing that is so furnished it comes with laundry detergent. I’ve even had landlords tell me, “all you need to bring is your suitcase of clothes”. Furnished housing makes remembering what to pack a lot less extravagant and ultimately can save you money on those over fifty pound suitcases. Another good tip is to inquire whether your utilities are included in the rent rate as this can become expensive. A few more questions to ask or topics to inquire on in the app are, is there parking, is it pet friendly if you have pets, is trash included in the monthly rate, or can you receive mail there. I have found that these items/details are a top priority for myself when searching for housing. Getting the answers to these questions will help save you money and make your stay as seamless and comfortable as possible.
As I sum up the tips for you on finding housing for travel nursing, my final tip is, get rental references. If you go on a travel stent and have a great experience and everything goes as a rental should, ask your landlord for a renter reference. This can provide meeting housing requirements in the future. One, some landlords require references to check on your status as a renter before they accept you, and two, it may give you the opportunity over another potential renter. As a returning traveler to Alaska in a smaller area, I have rented off of two landlords who know each other, this allowed me to say if you need a reference or want to check on my rental upkeep, contact so and so, this was greatly appreciated. It gives you and the landlord the ability to have trust and good terms.
Sometimes being a traveler and finding housing can lead to unwanted difficulty. Being a new nurse to a new area and facility can be somewhat stressful enough. I only hope that these tips will take away the stress of finding housing during your stay. Finding reliable and accommodating housing will only allow you to enjoy your travel stent that much more. I wish all my traveling nurse friends the best of luck on their housing search.