Travel nursing is attractive for a number of reasons. You don’t have to settle down in one position, you can visit cities all over the country, and you can gain valuable experience. But travel nursing isn’t always perfect, and many nurses run into challenges with cost of living and other expenses they didn’t see coming. So how can you avoid hidden costs as you travel for your nursing career? Here are some tips to help keep the money you make in your pocket.
Keep lodging costs down.
You know your housing is paid when you arrive at the site of your next contract, but what about the lodging along the way? It may not be a direct shot between locations, so you may run into the need to stop overnight. Some people avoid paying expensive hotel costs by staying with friends. Or, you can camp for the night by getting a membership with an organization like the KOA.
Meet other travel nurses.
Becoming part of an extended network of travel nurses means you can tap into resources and learn from their experiences. This is a great way to get money saving tips. For instance, you may want to avoid hooking up cable during your three-month contract and watch TV streaming online instead. These are things you can learn by talking with others who have already done what you’re doing.
Make a cost of living budget.
It is also essential that you plan ahead. Before you go into a new city, learn something about the cost of living in that area. Don’t just learn about the rental costs, but the other fees. What are utilities? Is there a pet fee in your rental location? What items will you need in your home and how can you get them inexpensively and temporarily?
Put value on the must haves.
All of this planning can give you the freedom to determine what it is you must have rather than trying to recreate all the comforts of home. For example, it may be more important that you focus on your physical health so getting a gym membership rather than a television can be a benefit to you. You can sacrifice some luxury to have the experience you want in your temporary home.