For travel nurses who mostly spend 13 weeks at one destination, road trips are a big part of the job.
Most travel nurses move to their new assignment by road tripping from distances as little as 100 miles to long distances farther than 3,000 miles.
While these road trips are a fun, exciting and a memorable way to discover new cities, they can also gruelling and stressful.
This article discusses tips for planning your road trip and great cities to explore or visit as you work.
- What should you consider before the trip?
- First, consider how long the assignment will last.
Most assignments last 13 weeks but 4-26 weeks’ assignments are not uncommon. The length of travel time determines how you pack, so an estimate might help you pack more efficiently.
- Secondly, think about the location
Different locations require different clothing for their climate. Pack items you can use to explore the area, such as a bikini or bathing suit for Miami and ski gear for cooler regions like Alaska.
- Next, ask yourself: What will my travel nursing agency be providing?
Some agencies provide housing with essentials such as furnishing only, while others provide fully furnished housing with cleaning packages, kitchenware and electronics. Inquire about specific items so you know exactly what to bring.
- Don’t forget your favourite travel nurses packing apps
There is an app for everything and travel nursing packing apps are abundant. These apps will help to refine your list based on destination and activities you might like to partake. A recommended app is PackPoint, available on both Android and IOS.
5 resources to make your road trip memorable
- Plan your road trip
Most travel blogs recommend a flexible itinerary that allows you discover new spots on the go, ad to just go with the flow. The problem with this method is that you might miss some hidden treasure you didn’t know existed, get lost or miss a rest point. A detailed itinerary of events helps to prevent pitfalls and ensures your trip flows nicely from start to finish.
- Install RoadTrippers.com
This app and website is a great resource for finding accommodations, restaurants, attractions, entertainment, sporting, shopping and other interesting areas you can discover as you travel.
- Discover foods and restaurants
A fantastic benefit to a road trip is trying new restaurants and a plethora of menus along the way. RoadFood.com and TVFoodMaps are good apps you can use to find restaurants. Over 4000 restaurants featured on TV are included in TVFoodMaps and you can check reviews for a restaurant you like with RoadFood.
- Explore attractions with RoadsideAmerica.com
The website credits itself as the online guide that leads to all the best offbeat attractions such as dinosaurs made from used car parts or giant chickens.
- Truck stops will save you money
Truck stops aren’t just for truckers. You can buy cheap gas, eat at one of the restaurants and buy supplies at a retail store. If you need a shower, most facilities charge $10-15 dollars and supply a washcloth, fresh towel, soap and bathmat.
You can also sleep in your car or get an inexpensive room at a popular motel or hotel chain nearby. Trucker Path Pro lets you enter a route and highlights all truck stops along the way for free.
5 best cities for travel nurses
Travel nursing is probably the best way to explore attractions across America, help people in need of medical care and get paid to travel. While there are hundreds of cities in America that travel nurses work in, there are some that pay more and if you’re interested in making the big bucks you should give serious consideration to these destinations.
- Atlanta, Georgia.
The salary of Atlanta is the seventh highest in the country and nurses travelling south can make $57,000-$97,000 annually. Other incredible benefits include fun activities and attractions you can explore in your downtime. Popular attractions include Georgia Aquarium, Fox Theatre, Turner Field, Atlanta Botanical Garden and College Football Hall of Fame.
- Las Vegas, Nevada.
This is a city famous for its casinos, strip clubs, non-stop entertainment and historical live boxing matches. Travel nurses who want to enjoy a vacation in the famous Sin City will enjoy their time here with nearby recreation destinations such as Lake Mead and Mount Charleston. The cost of living is reasonable and there is always a high demand for nurses, which makes it an ideal destination for you.
- New York, New York.
No list would be complete without mentioning America’s most populated city. Some of the best hospitals are here and travel nurses who commit to an assignment earn $64,000-$109,000 every year. Popular attractions include the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, Wall Street, American Museum of Natural History and many others.
“The fun of every new assignment is in getting there,” says P.K. Scheerle, RN, CEO of Gifted Healthcare. “Enjoy the best of your assignment by exploring as many attractions as you can, budget for fun, make inquiries from your travel nursing agency before you leave and get the best out of every new location.”