People become traveling healthcare professionals for many reasons. To do the work they love from multiple cities, to travel the world (or at least the country) while practicing their craft, to build a breadth of experience in a short amount of time. But travel isn’t always easy...here are some quick fixes for the biggest traveling issues.
You can’t take your furry friends
False! You may think that but if you let your recruiter know the situation, they can work with you to find appropriate assignments. While some housing complexes have strict rules about pets there are also ones that allow them! All you have to do is keep this and your pet’s needs in mind. There may be a few extra doggie hoops to jump through but it’s not impossible. Consider your traveling methods during this process as well. Keep in mind the regulations airlines have on pet travel during particular times of the year. Also take into consideration, do you really want to cross a few states in a car with your large St. Bernard?
Quick tip: Be up front with your recruiter. Mention your type of pet(s) and needs up front.
Not being able to fit everything you think you need
We all have a tendency to over pack but in the moment those 20 different tank tops and 5 watches seem so necessary! It’s okay, we have a few tips to get all the stuff you need, or just think you need, into your suitcase. Start by rolling instead of folding up all of your clothes, you’ll get those 20 tank tops and more to fit this way. Use dry cleaning bags to put items in that you don’t want to wrinkle. You can also use the room inside those 8 pairs of shoes that seem so necessary, as well. Put plastic baggies with toiletries in your shoes. Voila! Extra space.
Quick tip: Remember, the work location likely has a uniform, so keep extra fancy clothes to a minimum. Also find out whether your hotel or apartment has laundry facilities and factor that into your packing decisions!
Leaving your family and friends behind
So no, you can’t take your friends with you like you can take your pets. But you can definitely stay in touch in between shifts. Skype and FaceTime will soon become the most used apps on your phone. You also get to decide how long you want to be on assignment, so if you know you can’t handle being away from your bestie for 13 weeks, only take assignments that last for eight. Don’t just assume you’ll have major holidays off to come home either. You can avoid this problem by setting up your assignments to start after a major holiday or end right before.
Quick tip: Invest in a great smartphone to help you keep in touch while you’re away.
Hometown banks, local credit unions and paying the bills can all be trouble when you’re on the road. Instead, sign up for direct bill pay, overdraft protection and a national or online bank. Avoid any future complications by using a large national bank that has locations in major cities across the country. This way there will be no ATM fees and most major banks have apps that are pretty handy, as well.
Quick tip: Look into national or online only banks to avoid the phone hassles.
Not knowing where anything is, literally
Most likely, the biggest issue to traveling and being in a foreign city for about 3 months is having no clue where anything is located. It can be very frustrating when you’re in need of gas or chocolate and do not know where you can find these necessities. You may want to try a little exploring but, you’re busy and there’s not always enough time. Download apps like Zomato and GasBuddy for a win on the best places to eat and gas up. You can also get chummy with one of your coworkers that call your unfamiliar town ‘home’ and they can show you all the local secrets.
Quick tip: Reduce the time it takes to get familiar by using apps like Yelp and TripAdvisor to show you what’s fun, FAST.
Traveling as a healthcare professional is a very big decision, but the benefits are more than rewarding. You’ll have the ability to do what you already love and enjoy in a new place, traveling from one great assignment to another. Don’t let the fear of not knowing, or the hassle of cross country banking stand in your way! Ready to take the road less traveled?