How to Find Temporary Housing as a Travel Nurse
For both seasoned travel nurses and ones just starting, there’s a deciding factor you need to consider: furnished travel nurse housing.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the process of spending hours calling ads, with little reward.
This stress, termed by some as “housing fatigue,” can worsen until you obtain adequately furnished travel nurse housing for your upcoming assignment.
Previously, it was more common for your travel nurse recruiter to handle your housing, but things are changing as many travel nurses choose to take the housing stipend, which allows them to exercise more control over where they stay.
It’s not necessarily challenging to search for your furnished travel nurse housing, but it can be time-consuming. It’s important to remember that you’re seeking short-term housing, which can require more effort. Additionally, your housing should come already furnished, with utilities included, located in a safe area, and realistically priced. This narrows down your options significantly, so keep reading for the following tips to aid in the process.
1. Be cautious of Craigslist.com and offers that seem “too good to be true”
While Craigslist does contain viable housing options, it can come at a cost. Joining the Gypsy Nurse Travel Nurse Housing Group offers you a glimpse of those consequences; often, someone will ask about a housing offer that seems too good to be true, asking if it is a scam or not. This group can save you from getting stuck in unfortunate situations and can offer you the knowledge that comes from other travel nurses’ multitudes of experience.
2. Take extra precautions with potential landlords online
When sifting through emails from potential landlords, consider these three rules:
- Your intuition is usually right.
- Double check to ensure the images match the price; if the photos look extremely appealing, but the rent is set at an extremely low price, it’s likely a scam.
- Never send them money directly; scammers tend to prey on desperate travelers.
3. Consider vacation rental websites
Starting your search on vacation rental websites may be a good idea. Some of the more commonly used are Airbnb, HomeAway, and VRBO. Their selection includes some great housing options, and are less likely to be scams. All you have to do is search for a city or state, and you’ll be offered plenty of vacation rentals. However, it’s still necessary to avoid properties that don’t apply to your needs, such as a 7-bedroom mansion that sleeps, 19 guests.
You’re likely looking for a reasonably priced studio or 1 bedroom located close to the hospital you’ll be working at. After narrowing your search results down to your needs, you’ll need to explore the availability of each option. This can be the discouraging part of the process; because most of the vacation rentals are booked in advance, finding a place that is available for the entirety of your 13-week stay can be difficult (but not impossible). While communicating with property owners on the vacation rental sites, keep the 10% rule in mind: only around 10% of the owners you reach out to will get back to you. This will mean sending out lots of availability requests.
4. Extended stay hotels
Hotels that offer extended stay are another popular option for travel nurses who are searching for either an intermediate option or as their housing option of choice. Some travel nurses enjoy the amenities hotels provide such as breakfast, housekeeping, and fitness centers, and most will accept animals up to 60 lbs. Additionally, most of these hotels contain kitchens, which can help you to save money on food and give you the benefit of feeling more at home in your room. Hotels also grant you the flexibility on the backend compared to an apartment, in the case that your assignment is ended unexpectedly.
Travel nurses may receive large, pre-negotiated rates for extended stay hotels. TGN recommends the use of HotelEngine for shorter transitions between contracts. Hotels are a vital aspect of the housing equation for the travel healthcare industry, so make sure you are receiving the best possible rates.
You have many decisions to make after you accept an assignment – many of which can determine how well your 13 weeks of experience go. Utilize all the resources that are available and think wisely about how you spend your time and money when searching for housing.
5. Stipend-based travel nurse housing services with a “concierge approach.”
In general, most housing services tend to be vague because they appeal towards either the expansive vacation rental market or the corporate housing industry. In recent times, however, housing services have begun to shift towards designs with the stipend travel nurses in mind.
One of the most commonly used travel nurse housing companies is TravelersHaven. The rise of housing companies such as this one is beneficial to the industry because they accommodate the unique needs of travel nurses. Furthermore, because property owners post their properties on TravelersHaven for travel nurses, they are expanding the number of options travel nurses have for their 13-week stays.
An important thing to keep in mind as a traveler is credit preservation. It is crucial to have good credit if you want to get approved for a new apartment every 13 weeks, but the more applications you submit, the more your credit score is affected. For this reason, services similar to TravelersHaven are used more often because the lease is not in your name. It is still necessary to qualify and pass a background check, but your credit score is not affected by the application because it is categorized as a ‘soft inquiry’). The use of this service can help you to maintain your good credit.