Many working tourists use the summer months to turn their travel nursing assignment into an opportunity for the whole family to experience a new place. Summer assignments with the family in tow can be a great vacation opportunity as long as you plan ahead. Let’s look at five things to consider before you plan a travel assignment with your family.
- Appropriate Housing. Unlike being out on assignment alone when traveling with your children and spouse, you are going to have to put a lot more thought into where you will be living for the next 13 weeks. In addition to the obvious concerns, like the number of bedrooms, and easily accessible laundry facilities, there are other things to keep in mind. Are you bringing your pet? Are there parks or a playground nearby for the children to unwind and make new friends? If your spouse is going to work from “home” during the assignment, it is important that the location has access to high-speed internet.
- Bring your car. Even if your assignment is clear across the country, your family is going to need a vehicle, so it is best to drive to the assignment. While you are working your normal shifts at the hospital, you don’t want the rest of the family being cooped up when they could be enjoying a beach or a waterpark, or even just rounds of mini-golf. Avoid the expense and hassle of relying too much on Uber when it is much more convenient to have access to your own vehicle. Just try not to be like the Griswold’s on the way to Wally World.
- Plan ahead for local doctors. Hopefully, this is one that isn’t ever necessary, but it is better to be prepared. When you are going to be in a new location with the family, you should do some homework ahead of time and know where to find the best pediatrician or local doctors. You never know when one of your crew is going to fall ill and having a local provider already in your cell phone helps you avoid scrambling if the situation arises. And don’t forget about Fido, have a veterinarian contact also.
- Pack smart. When the family is going on assignment with you, the process of packing the necessities gains a level of complexity that can easily be overcome with a plan. The most important thing you can do is to create a packing list for each member of the family. Keep in mind that you are going for 13 weeks, not 13 years and everyone will have access to laundry facilities. Obviously, you will consider the weather in the location and plan accordingly. For example, if you will be exploring the mountains and outdoors, hiking boots and other gear will be needed. One tip from experienced travelers is to pack the clothes in clear, vacuum-sealed bags saving a ton of packing space.
- Teamwork Wins. There are many benefits to allowing your family to experience a travel adventure and one way to ensure it will be successful is keeping everyone involved in the planning. Letting the children help in planning the educational and recreational adventures will go a long way toward keeping them motivated. Before leaving, let them research things that they want to experience and allow the whole family to have a say in putting together a “schedule of activities.” Challenge them to find fun activities, but also opportunities to learn about local culture and history.
Have you ever traveled with your family? What are your tips and suggestions for others who are considering a family travel assignment? Leave your experiences in the comment section below or start a discussion on our Facebook page.