As a travel nurse, the majority of the assignments you make with hospital clinics, community hospitals, or other facility types are just business as usual. But from working in the ER to the ICU, every now and then, you may book an assignment that feels like a paid vacation.
Before you start packing your bags, consider why it feels like a vacation: Is the location of the assignment a popular tourist spot? Are you traveling during a high volume time for vacationers? If you answered yes to either question, you may run into trouble in making hotel reservations for your stay.
Booking Through Your Agency
Once you and the client have mutually agreed upon the terms of the assignment, and contracts have been signed by both parties, your recruiter will immediately reach out to their travel team to begin booking arrangements for your stay, given you chose to have your agency handle the housing arrangements.
Travel nurse agencies make housing arrangements for you, relieving the stress of being your own travel agent. Barton has lists of preferred hotel chains in close proximity to all of the healthcare facilities we work with, making booking and commuting to and from work easy. But when it comes to spring break, holidays, or other popular travel times, reservations at these preferred chains are usually the first to sell out.
Nonetheless, having Barton secure housing for you means that even if our preferred hotels have no open reservations, you can have peace of mind that our travel team will always find the next best option.
Booking Housing with a Stipend
While choosing to accept a stipend gives you more freedom and options to choose from, it comes with the responsibility of finding your own housing. When you prepare for an assignment, for example, in the sunny Florida Keys during the dead of a New England winter, you’re definitely not going to be the only one looking for a hotel stay by the beach.
Vacationers usually arrange their hotel reservations many months in advance. Depending on how far out the start date is from when you booked the assignment, your housing options may be slim. Whether or not you'll have time to spare between licensing and onboarding, generally speaking, the sooner you start looking, the more abundant your options will be. Our #1 piece of advice is to start making housing arrangements the second your contract is signed.
Though your agency cannot coordinate housing on your behalf if you chose to take a stipend, they are still available as a resource to you. If you do find yourself stuck with slim pickings in available reservations, be sure to ask your recruiter for recommendations from their travel team. In most cases, the travel team has dealt with similar situations to yours.
Remember that your agency has likely provided a nurse to fill the same position many times before, and the travel team can guide you toward the best resources or alternative options based off past nurse staffing experiences.
The most important thing in this predicament is to make sure you have someplace to stay on your assignment as a staff nurse. If it comes down to booking a nonpreferred reservation at first, take care to check in daily for any cancellations at your preferred hotels.
Making Preparations For Your Assignment
Perhaps the biggest reason why so many travel clinicians choose to go into Travel Nursing is because they get to work when they want and, in particular, where they want. Travel Nursing can offer you a vacation in the Virgin Islands, or opportunities to explore bustling cities across the country in exchange for quality patient care. Proactively ensuring that you will have a place to stay is one of the key ingredients to a positive Travel Nursing experience.