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6 Tips for Finding Housing on Your Next Travel Assignment

Congratulations, you just landed a great new travel assignment in a city you have always dreamed of visiting. We get it, you’re really excited about the next 13 weeks, but what are you going to do about housing?
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Congratulations, you just landed a great new travel assignment in a city you have always dreamed of visiting.  We get it, you’re really excited about the next 13 weeks, but what are you going to do about housing?  For most travel nurses and travel therapists, the housing decision is the most important consideration once an assignment has been confirmed.  Here at Supplemental Health Care, there are teams of travel professionals ready to help you make housing arrangements that suit your needs.  In order to make the best housing decision, there are a few simple things that you can keep in mind as you go through the process.

Determine Your Goals for this Assignment.  When deciding what kind of housing you want to be in for the next 13-weeks, much of it will depend on your personal preferences.  For example, is this assignment in a place that you want to treat as a working vacation?  If it is about the sight-seeing and entertainment value of the location, then you may want to consider spending a little bit more on your housing and treat it like a vacation.  On the other hand, if you want to make as much money as possible, and not spend all of your stipend on housing, then you will be in the market for a lower cost housing option.  Fortunately, there are options available based on your particular criteria.  You have the freedom to do your own housing research, or work closely with a Supplemental Health Care housing specialist.  Ultimately, you are never obligated to select a provided housing option.

What Are Your Minimum Needs?  It is up to you to decide exactly what you need to be comfortable on your travel assignment.  Can you get by in a minimalist room, or do you need a two bedroom apartment to stretch out in while on the road?  These are important considerations, and they may change for you over time.  Finding short-term, all-inclusive housing will be more difficult when you are traveling to more touristy type regions.  Finding small studios, or one bedroom apartments are more common if you can avoid getting hooked into a lease.  The key is to strike your balance between cost-effective and minimum levels of comfort to make your working vacation truly worthwhile.

Don’t Always Believe What You See on the Internet.  While the web has a number of great sites for helping you check out available housing, be careful about what you are seeing online and be wary of sending a lot of money to someone on Craigslist sight unseen.  You don’t want to find yourself in a less than desirable location for the next 13 weeks.  Stacey Clemons, Housing Compliance Supervisor for Supplemental Health Care’s Travel Division, has advice for travelers.

“It is very important to know that upfront money, like holding fees, or first and last month’s rent are negotiable,” she explains.  “Always negotiate.  Not only the amount of the holding fees but also, how much you have to send them up front.”

Consider Using AirBNB.  If you are into convenience, AirBNB, an online site allows you to find hosts in various cities who are renting out rooms and even entire homes.  This site is an option to consider when you are looking for an extended stay and want to have a choice between rooms, apartments, and homes within a set price range.  Part of the appeal is that with AirBNB, you have the opportunity to choose your amenities, and even check out the neighborhood.  Plus, all financial transactions are handled through the website.

Never Under Estimate Your Network.  For travelers, developing and maintaining a solid network of friends, family, and contacts can be extremely helpful in solving your housing needs when on assignment.  If you have an upcoming assignment in a location where you have distant relatives, don’t be afraid to make a connection.  At a minimum, you can reconnect with long lost family and learn more about the area that you are traveling to, or at best, find yourself with a reasonable place to stay.  Staying in touch with your out-of-town Facebook and LinkedIn network can also provide valuable contacts to help you arrange for housing on an assignment.

Extended Stay Hotels Are Your Friend.  With all of the competition for repeat customers between major hotel chains, extended stay hotels are becoming an attractive option for travel assignments.  While they are not always the cheapest option, they provide enough amenities to make it worthwhile.  Most offer free breakfasts and even free dinners at various times throughout the month.  They have fitness centers, convenient laundry amenities, and will always have helpful staff around to keep you informed about local events and fun destinations to visit.  When you are a member of their loyalty club, you can also benefit from free stays and other attractive “give aways”.

With experience, travelers quickly find out their own best methods for organizing life on the road.  For those who are still new to the ways of a working tourist, Stacey Clemons has some important parting advice.  “My best recommendation is to get yourself a hotel for a week in your assignment location,” she explains.  “You will have a nice, safe, place to stay, and it will give you time to check out the area, talk to your co-workers and gather enough information to make the best decision for the rest of your assignment.”

What are your keys to finding housing on a travel assignment?  Do you stick to online searches, extended stay hotels or a combination of everything we’ve already discussed?  Weigh in on this important topic and help out your fellow travelers by leaving a few thoughts in the comment section below, or visit us on our Facebook page.  Thanks for reading and happy travels!

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