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Tips on Finding Short-Term Housing as a Travel Nurse 

Treyvon Kurr
Reading Time: 7 minutes

Traveling is one of the many perks of being a travel nurse. It is one of the enticing reasons why many people want to become a travel nurse. After all, there are better-paying travel nursing jobs, and you get to see new places, meet exciting people, and experience different cultures. However, one of the challenges of being a travel nurse is finding short-term housing that is both convenient and affordable. It is a daunting task since traditional leases in the US usually require a year’s commitment. 

You want to find a house in a convenient location close to your work and make sure that the house is clean and comfortable, but you also want to find a place that won’t break the bank. Like landing a suitable job with healthcare facilities and a lucrative salary, finding the right short-term housing in the US depends on where you are looking and how you approach the situation. 

So before we discuss a few crucial tips on how to find short-term housing as a travel nurse, it is imperative to consider one pro tip that a surprising number of travel nurses forget. 

Always Remember This Important Tip 

Never make the mistake of making a short-term housing commitment or paying a deposit before signing a contract with your employer. Since travel nurses usually move from one place to another, it is always best to wait for a signed contract before considering your short-term housing options. 

How To Find Short-Term Housing As Travel Nurse 

Whether you are a newbie or a seasoned travel nurse, finding the right short-term housing can be overwhelming. After all, it could play a deciding factor in the success of your upcoming assignment. 

So, here are a few important things to keep in mind if you want to avoid the hassle, fatigue, and bad experiences when finding temporary housing as a travel nurse. 

First, Make Sure Your Housing Meets Your Needs 

Before you search for suitable short-term housing options, make a list of non-negotiables. For instance, are you comfortable sharing a space? Is the housing pet-friendly? How far can you commute to your job? Does the housing have appliances like a microwave, washer, dishwasher, etc.? 

When you are looking for short-term housing, it is essential to make sure that it meets all of your needs. This includes things like having enough space, being in a safe area, being close to your work, and having the amenities that you need. If you are going to be living there for several weeks or months, you want to make sure that it is a place where you will be comfortable. 

Utilize Websites Like Airbnb and VRBO 

When it comes to finding short-term housing as a travel nurse, utilizing websites like Airbnb and VRBO can be a great resource. You can also consider other websites Apartments.com, FurnishedFinder.com, Tripping.com, Padmapper.com, Homestay.com, and ShortTermHousing.com. These types of websites allow you to search for housing by location, price, amenities, and more. This can be a great way to find a place that meets all of your needs and is within your budget. The thing is, these websites can also be a little bit overwhelming. There are so many choices, and it can be hard to know where to start. 

You need to make several considerations to narrow down your search. Where do you want to be located? Do you want to be in large cities? Would you like to be in the heart of the city or closer to nature? Consider your commute to work and what kind of activities you want to be able to do in your free time. When you find a listing that looks promising, be sure to read the reviews. 

Ignore If The Offer Seems “Too Good To Be True” 

One of the most challenging tasks is finding temporary accommodation because you don’t know where to reside, who is trustable enough, or whether the rent is the most expensive. Unfortunately, these insecurities offer an easy way for con artists to take your hard-earned money. 

You must exercise particular caution and pay close attention to the growing number of scams because short-term US housing costs will account for most of your money. Although this adage is overused, con artists constantly come up with inventive ways to lure you in with services and luxuries that seem too good to be true. 

For instance, one of the red flags is a much lower rent than other short-term housing options in the same area. Scammers also try to persuade you to move in as soon as possible, and they usually never conduct any background checks. The scammer may also make excuses not to show you the property or meet you. And last but not least, a scammer will try to pay the deposit right away. 

Unfortunately, there are people out there who will try to take advantage of unsuspecting travelers. While websites like Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist are good places to search for short-term rentals, they’re thriving with scammers who will do the most to swindle you. Anything that’s too good to be true should be scrutinized and approached with optimum caution. 

Check With Your Nursing Agency 

If you are working with a nursing agency, they may be able to help you find housing. Some agencies have arrangements with apartment complexes or housing developments that offer discounts to travel nurses. This can take a lot of the stress out of finding a place to live since you know it will meet all of your needs and be in a safe area. 

Healthcare staffing agencies offer short-term housing options to some extent. In such accommodations, the nurses have to pay a weekly or monthly rent that is typically lower than the market rate. This is a suitable option for nurses who prefer not to go through all the hassle. Not many travel nursing agencies offer this option, and it may be challenging to find a suitable apartment through an agency, even if it does. 

Look for Furnished Rentals 

While unfurnished houses are fantastic in the long run, furnished short-term rentals are a superior option for temporary housing. Furnished apartments can be a great option for travel nurses since they come with everything you need. This includes furniture, dishes, linens, and more. This can be a great way to save money and time since you won’t have to worry about buying or renting these things yourself. 

Additionally, furnished housing and flats are chosen for higher turnover as a smart business move to capture the “people-on-the-go” market. You may frequently find a considerably more flexible lease at a furnished location, and most of them never demand a long-term commitment. 

With short-term furnished rentals, you might have to sign a lease of just one month, which is better than an unfurnished housing option with a requirement of at least a one-year lease or longer. Just be sure to check what is included in the apartment, so you know what you need to bring with you. 

Consider a House Sitting Arrangement 

If you are open to living in someone’s home while they are away, house sitting can be a great option. This arrangement allows you to live in someone’s home for free or for a reduced rate in exchange for taking care of their home while they are gone. This can include things like watering plants, taking out the trash, and keeping an eye on the property. 

So the most obvious benefit of house sitting is the opportunity to stay in a nice home without paying for it. This can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in travel expenses. Provided you are reliable and capable of handling the upkeep and care of a house, as well as any unexpected situations that may arise, you can essentially live rent-free. 

Check Whether You’re Required to Sign a Lease 

If you’re only going to be in town for a short time, short-term leases of 3 months or less can be a great option, so you’re not locked into a long-term contract. This gives you the flexibility to extend your stay or move on to your next assignment with ease. However, some landlords may require that you sign a lease for the full length of your stay, regardless of how long that may be. Be sure to ask about this upfront, so there are no surprises later on. You want to know how flexible the landlord is before making a decision. 

If you plan to move out of your apartment at the end of your lease, many short-term housing options may ask you to give as much as 60 days’ notice. This implies that travel nurses will need to decide whether they want to prolong their contracts by the fourth week of their contracts or risk being fined for giving late notice. This could be fine if you are sure you won’t be staying over your current contract, but if you’d rather wait and see, you may face trouble in this matter. As a general rule, you should look for a place with a notice period of at least 30 days before moving out. 

Have Realistic Expectations 

While it could be fun to daydream about spending the next 13 weeks in a tree home or a high-rise condo in the heart of the city, it’s important to keep your expectations in check. At least two or three days a week, your temporary residence will serve no use other than as a place to sleep before you report for duty again. 

Reduce your discretionary spending to make the most of your tax-free stipend. You get what you paid for, as the saying goes. However, it is also important that you don’t compromise too much on amenities like a full kitchen or laundry that are essential to your comfort.  

Have a Backup Plan 

Even if you have done all of your research and found what you think is the perfect short-term rental, things can still go wrong. The housing market is always changing, and availability can be unpredictable. That’s why it’s important to have a backup plan in place just in case your first choice doesn’t work out. 

Having a backup plan also applies to your job, and as a travel nurse, you may always be on the lookout for new healthcare gigs or may want a full-time job. In this case, check out our available opportunities here

MLee Healthcare is a nationally ranked travel nurse agency known for its industry-leading interim healthcare services, clinical recruiting, and medical staffing services. As a reputable staffing agency committed to offering superior levels of service and integrity, we take pride in helping you explore new opportunities and organizations finding the right candidates for important roles. 

Please contact us if you are interested in knowing more about our travel nurse staffing process or just need advice on what should be your ideal course of action. 

Bottom Line

If you are a travel nurse, finding short-term housing can be a challenge. However, there are a few things that you can do to make the process easier. Be sure to start your search early, and don’t be afraid to ask for help from your nursing agency or friends and family. You should also be aware of scams and only work with reputable landlords. 

There is a wide variety of housing available for traveling nurses, so you can find something that works for you. Look into all of your requirements, ideal locations, market competitive rates, benefits, and facilities. And feel free to ask your recruiter as many questions as you have before making a final decision. 

Finally, make sure that your housing meets all your needs and have a backup plan in place just in case. Keep these tips in mind for all your future travel nursing assignments. 

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