Finding Travel Nurse Housing can be one of the most challenging aspects of taking on a travel assignment.
It can be difficult to find short term furnished housing that’s not outrageously priced and it can take a few assignments to really get the hang of how to find housing. Here are some tips to find housing for your next travel assignment!
Do Your Research
When you are a travel healthcare worker your pay consists of an hourly rate and various tax-free stipends. The stipends usually include one specifically for housing (which is sometimes the largest chunk of where your take-home pay comes from). As long as you qualify, housing stipends are tax-free. If you do your research, you can almost always find cheaper housing than your housing stipend, making that extra money equal cash in your pocket. Thus, finding inexpensive housing is a good way to increase your income while on assignment.
Decide Which Option Is Best For You
Finding travel nurse housing can be overwhelming. You’re probably wondering what’s the best way to go about it? Typically when you travel around every three months, it is not ideal to travel with furniture. Thus, most of the time you will need a furnished apartment/hotel that allows you to stay short term.
A short term lease and rent furniture
Many apartment complexes have short term leases. It can be a bit more difficult to find less than 6 months but they are out there. Look for apartment complexes close to your next assignment and call.
Do not just depend on what it says on the website, always make a call and ask to speak with the owner/ building manager. Sometimes apartment complexes won’t advertise short term leases and will run 3-month leases if they have several vacancies.
If you are able to find a short term apartment, you can then rent furniture. This can be done at places like Cort or Aarons. Another inexpensive option is to buy cheaply and resell/donate when you leave. Check out local thrift stores, Facebook market place, and Craigslist for inexpensive furniture to use during your temporary assignment.
Private short term rentals
The next option is to try and find privately-owned short term furnished housing. Similar to vacation rentals, this could be a privately-owned condo, a room in someone’s home, an entire house, or even an RV. Travelers can usually contact owners directly through the website they were found on.
Check out these commonly used resources:
Craigslist: This site can be taboo but it really is the go-to for most landlords. Always try and talk on the phone with the landlord or even face time/zoom. Be cautious of any housing scams and never give out your personal information or a deposit until you are certain that the apartment/space is legitimate. Travelers may also have success by placing their own “housing wanted” ad on Craiglist, and then having landlords contact them.
Airbnb: This is a great resource for travelers to find housing. If you are a traveling professional, hosts will be more likely to want to rent to you and see you as a responsible tenant. If you can commit to three months, hosts are also sometimes willing to give you a discounted rate as Airbnb is mostly based on a per night basis. Make sure you message the host and ask before you book directly through the site.
Furnished Finder: This is a website that was created for travel nurses! (and other traveling healthcare professionals) This is a great tool to use because all landlords understand what travelers go through and what their needs are. On this site, you will find a plethora of short term furnished rentals, with reasonable cancellation notices.
VRBO: VRBO stands for Vacation Rentals by Owner. These can be expensive per night but sometimes you will find landlords who will provide a discount for monthly short term rentals, similar to Airbnb.
Extended Stay Hotels
Travelers do not always think of hotels as a place where they could live for 3 months at a time, but it’s actually a great option for finding travel nurse housing. Many extended stay hotels will offer discounts to travel healthcare agencies so that their employees can live affordably during their assignments. They can also come with insanely awesome amenities such as free breakfast, full kitchens, wifi, tenant mixers, swimming pools, and gyms. If you think this could be an option for you, ask your recruiter if they have a list of hotels in your area that are doing traveler rates.
Use Your Recruiter
Chances are you will not be the first traveler to go to your travel job location. Your recruiters will have ideas of where past travelers have stayed in that city and can sometimes get you connected to other travelers for references. They may even be able to connect you with other responsible travelers who are looking for roommates, which could ultimately help you save money on housing. Recruiters also have the inside scoop on whether or not the hospital you will be working at offers housing for it’s travelers and they can connect you with someone who would be in charge of that.
In conclusion, it can be stressful and confusing finding travel nurse housing for your new assignment, but as long as you do your research, know which option is best for you and use your recruiter as a resource you will find something every time!