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Everything You Need to Know

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When diving into the world of travel nursing, there are several factors to consider before signing a contract – location, hourly rate, length of assignment, guaranteed hours, block scheduling. A part of the pay package that can make or break the deal is housing. Your recruiter will inform you if you’ll receive a weekly stipend to secure your own housing for the duration of your assignment, or if housing is booked and paid for by the travel nurse agency at no cost to you.

Generally, we see that travel nurses receive an untaxed stipend to cover their housing, meals, and incidentals. The stipend amount is set by GSA.gov and varies by location and time of year. Stipends put nurses in full control of their money. From traditional hotels to fully furnished studio apartments, there are lots of options available.

Travel Nurse Housing Options

  • Airbnb -- Airbnb is one of the most well-known property rental sites. The great thing about Airbnb is the company ensures that all property hosts are verified, and you can communicate with hosts in real time via the app. This rental site is unique because hosts offer a variety of property styles, from small studio apartments to 8-bedroom beach houses. Airbnb’s search filters make it easy for travelers to find exactly what they’re looking for, from securing a place with an outdoor pool or somewhere that will allow pets.
  • Furnished Finder -- This company runs criminal background checks on all tenants via KeyCheck. And on the flipside, it also runs background checks on the landlords who are advertising their properties on the site. Travel nurses can easily submit a Housing Request and take advantage of Live Chat via the Furnished Finder app. Travelers can visit the FAQ page to see that it’s been used by more than 100,000 travel nurses and is trusted by more than 100 healthcare staffing agencies. Travelers who utilize Furnished Finder will have a minimum 30-day stay and typically, utilities are included in the overall price.
  • Travel Nurse Housing -- TravelNurseHousing.com is the sister company of Furnished Finder. One of the unique perks is free owner verification. If you’re a traveler and looking for temporary housing somewhere else online, TravelNurseHousing.com provides a free report that shows the name of the owner on record, if there is a pending foreclosure, and other property-specific information.
  • Transplant Housing -- Transplant Housing focuses on the whole travel healthcare field, including nurses, locum tenens, mobile dentists, and allied healthcare professionals (such as physiologists, technicians, physical therapists). To see what other travelers are saying about specific properties, and for general tips on travel safety, join the Transplant Housing Facebook Group.
  • Extended Stay Hotels -- These are a great option for travelers as they are ideal for month-to-month situations (opposed to a longer lease) and typically, they charge you weekly. Extended stay hotels have a layout similar to an apartment, including a complete kitchen as well as free internet and paid utilities.

    Since there are hundreds of extended stay hotels across the country, we recommend checking out Extended Stay America.com so that travelers can search for options near the location of their travel assignment.

    A brief list of extended stay hotels includes Candlewood Suites, Hometown Studios, Staybridge Suites and Intown Suites.
  • RV Life -- If you love the great outdoors, opting for an RV for your temporary housing might be a great fit. Of course, there are a few things to consider, like safety, having a designated area to park, and the option to pull the RV on a regular roadway vehicle, like a pickup truck or SUV. Plus, if you have three or four days off in a row, you can fill up your gas tank and head out to your desired destination without worrying about the cost off additional housing!

    To learn more about a stellar travel nursing couple living the RV life, check out  Chase and Lindsay! Follow them on Instagram for dozens of tips and tricks about living on wheels and how to get the most out of travel nursing - @WereOutNAbout.
  • Anyplace.com -- Anyplace allows customers to rent living spaces that come fully equipped with office spaces. And the best part? There are no leases, landlords, or long-term commitments. Right now, Anyplace only has apartments available in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York City. This housing option could be a fit for travelers who take on assignments in California and New York in highly populated areas. However, since these apartments are located in major cities, travelers can expect to pay a higher cost per month, which can quickly eat up the weekly stipend.

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How to Protect Yourself Against Online Housing Scams:

  • Run a Google image search of the property being advertised in photos
  • Never wire funds
  • If the landlord has a dramatic story as to why they can’t meet with you or answer your specific questions
  • If the price seems too good to be true, then it probably is
  • If the landlord’s main focus is always about collecting your money/deposit
  • Check the listing for misspellings or broken English
  • Odd hours of communication (e.g., calling/emailing you at 3 a.m.)
  • High-pressure sales tactics


CanceledIf for any reason your travel assignment gets cancelled, please reach out directly to your recruiter/staffing agency to make them aware of your circumstances so they can provide clarification about next steps. Make sure to double check your contract and see what was written into it regarding cancellation.

If you opted to lease/rent an apartment, ask if the lease includes an early termination clause if your assignment is cancelled, and if there is a required notice that you need to provide (e.g.,14-day notice).

Tip: Before agreeing to sign a contract, ask that your travel staffing firm insert a cancellation protection clause.

Traveling With A Pet

PetsA question that staffing firms often receive is, “Can I travel with me pet?” Typically, the answer is a resounding “yes.” It just may take a bit more time to accommodate, especially if you’re flying on a plane to your assignment.

Let’s saying you’re driving your own vehicle. When loading up the car with all your favorite things and your best furry friend, it’s important to find housing that will allow pets. Consider downloading an app or two that will connect you with animal-friendly restaurants, housing (including hotels that don’t charge an additional pet fee), and walking trails.

If you’re taking your dog on your next assignment, we recommend downloading BringFido. We fully understand that pets are family and that they provide companionship when you’re far away from family and friends. Before packing your bags, consider checking out this article for must-have apps, boarding and grooming, and emergency information.

Stipends – What’s Covered?

The United States General Sales Assembly (GSA) website breaks down tax-free stipends for travel nurses. Stipends are tax-free and may vary by county, city, and state. It’s important to note that stipends can change seasonally, especially if you’re on assignment in a popular city during peak/tourist season (e.g., Bar Harbor, Maine in July).

Stipends are divvied up into two categories – lodging, and “M&IE” which stands for meals and incidental expenses.

Stipends are separate from the hourly rate. Your hourly pay is a flat taxed rate (e.g., $50/hr), whereas the stipend amount is tax-free.

Sometimes, recruiters will provide a blended rate. A blended rate is exactly what it sounds like – a cumulative total of hourly taxed wages and your untaxed per diem (lodging, meals, and incidentals). For example, if your hourly rate is $50/hr and you are working 40 hours a week, and you also received a stipend of $1,300/week, your blended ride combines these two totals ($50X40 hours, which is $2,000). $2,000 + $1,300 = $3,300 blended rate.

The great thing, is you have a travel buddy to split costs with, or if you secure lower-cost housing, you can pocket the rest of your tax-free stipend!

Want to Rent Your Property?

If you’re leaving your primary residence because you’re heading on a travel assignment, have you considered renting out your place? Or do you know someone who may want to rent their property out to travel nurses while they’re on assignment? BluePipes breaks down the details, from pricing and utilities to listing the property across websites and social media.

Still Have Questions?

LeaderStat recruiters have decades of experience working with travel healthcare workers just like you. We would be happy to help you with on finding housing that works best for your travel assignment and for your lifestyle. Our goal is to be your trusted partner, every step of the way.

Ready for your next travel nursing assignment? Our user-friendly Job Board makes it easy for you to browse thousands of openings by specialty and state.


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