It’s not an industry secret that travel nursing is where you can make a ton of money while creating lifelong memories and adventures.
As perfect as that sounds, it’s not that straightforward.
Even though at face value, you can see the money, it’s vital that you are familiar with the unexpected expenses that many people overlook.
A perfect example is that many nursing agencies will tell you they will upfront the cost for you getting your nursing license in different states but not tell you that they will not cover other expenses that you help you get that license. You will have pay for small expenses like verification and credentialing, which at the end of the licensing process can add up.
I know these hidden costs may make your dreams of becoming a travel nurse uneasy, but at Skillgigs Healthcare, we’ve got your back and have the tips to help you avoid these types of costs.
#1 – Be prepared
You did it! You landed your perfect assignment in your dream location. As you start to plan your journey to your next home, there are hidden tips and tricks you can implement to save on your move. The biggest cost waster that you might face is fuel expenses. As you expect, your nursing company probably agreed to pay for your mileage on your move, but what many tend to forget is that they won’t reimburse you upfront.
Your first pay stub will usually have your mileage reimbursement, but that could take weeks till you see that money. So to offset the time you wait, we recommend that you enroll in a gas reward card which could get you a lower price per gallon. We also highly recommend that you use Apps to help you find the cheapest gas in the area.
#2 Rest Easy
When driving to your next assignment, it might take a couple of days to get to your location. We recommend that you don’t lodge in your everyday hotel or bed and breakfast but opt-in to stay at a campsite with cabins. It’s a perfect way to keep cost low because nursing companies will not cover your housing in-between contracts. Campsites allow you to use your bedding and cook your food, which will help cut your cost in meals.
Once you make it to your assignment, most nurses opt-in for a housing stipend, which is a small fund, usually the equivalent to the cost of a single bedroom fully furnished apartment plus utilities, remember utility charges do not include TV or internet those expenses will be your responsibility so plan.
Realistically you won’t find a one bedroom that’s clean, fully furnished, safe, and friendly to pets for a reasonable price and if you do it most likely won’t be a 3-month lease. It’s highly recommended that you let the nursing agency handle your living arrangement, but if that’s not an option don’t worry this next tip will help.
#3 Be social
No doubt during your travels you’ll come across plenty of new friendly faces most other traveling nurses have their own experiences and advice to share with you.
They can have space for you to stay at or know good temporary housing options to help you in your search. They might warn you of places to avoid or even inform you of great bargains in the area. Plus, friends almost always have the inside to all the best restaurants and spots to visit after work or on off days. You can even organize a carpool to save money on gas!
#4 Take all cost in consideration
Remember that taking a stipend means you have to budget out your living expenses yourself. Budgeting your costs helps ease the process and can save you much money. Things like renting furniture can add up, and a lot of it can be purchased for a bargain at thrift stores. You can also rely on thrift stores to save money when you stock up on kitchen utensils and cookware.
If you look for a place with a washer and dryer, you can end up saving time and money from not taking trips to a laundromat. Another great way to save money is to purchase the internet over cable and utilize the low cost of streaming services, which also travel with you much easier than a short-term TV contract. Any money you manage to save from your stipend is yours to spend on anything!
#5 Practice self-care
Going to the gym is highly recommended for traveling nurses. Most times discounts can be given if you explain your situation and how you will only be there for a few months. Staying positive is huge when traveling if you start to feel unhappy about your situation you can always contact your recruiter and tell them about the positives and negatives of the assignment.
Next, you can plan your next journey! Remember you have a massive community that has your back. Whether its friend’s family or another travel nurse, there’s someone to talk to that understands what you’re going through. We are a community slowly but surely expanding, and we always look out for each other.
#6 Have fun
It’s not all boring budgeting and planning, after all; you’re on an adventure when you become a traveling nurse! It’s essential to step out of your comfort zone when you arrive at a new city and explore. You’ll likely meet exciting people and make lasting memories when you take advantage of the opportunity to travel and visit new places. Plus, if you end up falling in love with a place, you always have the option to extend your contract. Remember, this is a unique opportunity that could be fun and should be taken advantage of! If you are ready to begin your adventure be sure to signup for the Skillgigs marketplace here.