Whether you’re a seasoned travel nurse or tech or new to the industry, once you accept a travel healthcare position, it leaves you with one large decision to figure out – housing! Finding a short-term housing option, especially for the standard 13-week assignment duration, can be very stressful and exhausting. It’s easy to get lost looking through the plethora of Craigslist ads that either seem too good to be true or are unaccepting of a short-term agreement. In addition to a short-term housing agreement, you’ll want the place you choose to be furnished, with utilities included, in a safe and convenient area, that’s pet friendly (if you have pets) and within a reasonable budget. Is finding your own housing impossible? No, but it will certainly take some time to find. And, you’ll want to be sure you feel confident with the decision you’ve made. Here are some tips on what housing pitfalls to avoid, along with some housing option ideas.
What to Avoid
- Sending money before viewing the housing option.
- Sending money before meeting the landlord in person.
- Agreeing to the housing option before meeting potential roommates, if applicable.
Potential Affordable Housing Ideas
- Craigslist: Craigslist is an option for finding housing, if used properly. You’ll want to avoid investing time calling about housing ads that seem “too good to be true” as they are likely scams. To identify potential scams, ask yourself: “Do the images used in the ad look credible?” “Does the housing option seem grossly underpriced for what you get?”Always use your intuition as it’s almost always right.
- Facebook Groups: There are several Facebook groups dedicated to helping traveling professionals find safe, affordable housing. Some Facebook group options include: “Travel Nursing: Place/Rooms for Rent” and “Travel Nurse Housing - The Gypsy Nurse,” which have 27,000 and 72,000 members, respectfully.
SpringBoard also hosts two Facebook groups that are a great place to connect with other healthcare travelers for housing tips – Cath Lab Cabanaand EP Exchange. By utilizing Facebook groups, you may be able to pair up with other traveling healthcare professionals who may be looking for housing in the same area as yourself. Another benefit is that members of these groups often post to the group page warning of known housing scammers, oftentimes from Craigslist, that you’ll want to avoid.
- Vacation Rental Websites: Vacation rental websites such as Airbnb, HomeAway, and VRBO (just to name a few) are also a good resource. You can find some great housing options on these sites, as for the most part, they tend to steer scammers away. However, as with any site, you’ll want to filter the search results down to studios and 1-bedrooms or whatever best meets your needs. This will help you avoid getting lost in the sea of thousands of search results. Take note, because many of these vacation rentals allow you to book online in advance, so finding a place that can host you for your entire 13-week stay may be challenging, but certainly not impossible.
- Contact Human Resources (HR): Another option is that you can contact HR at the facility you’ll be working at as some facilities offer low-cost housing for travel professionals. HR may also be helpful in connecting you with other travel professionals on assignment at that facility that you could possibly share housing with.
- Contact a Hotel/Extended Stay Hotel: By contacting hotel or extended stay hotel properties directly, you will get better long-term stay rates than if you were to contact their 1-800 telephone numbers or book on-line for reservations. Avoid third-party booking sites as well as they tend to “mark-up” their nightly prices and don’t offer “extend stay” prices.
- Stay in a Hotel Initially: If the worst comes to the worst, you could stay in a hotel for the first week of your assignment and then ask around at work to see if anyone else may be open to housing with you.
- Connect with Other Travelers: Finally, the staffing agency you work with should be able to help you connect with other travelers in your selected location. At SpringBoard, our team of relationship managers regularly connects travelers so they can serve as a resource to one another regarding housing and other challenges that are unique to the traveling healthcare professional.
If you’re looking for a healthcare staffing agency to help connect you with a healthcare institution, please consider SpringBoard Healthcare. SpringBoard Healthcarestaffs traveling healthcare professionals in hundreds of facilities all over the United States. SpringBoard Healthcare can be contacted anytime at 866-465-6286 (Contact Us).