Travel allied healthcare jobs are jobs that allow you to work temporarily in facilities all over the nation. Usually, you travel away from home to work in facilities for a short period of time, usually about 13 weeks. This can make finding housing difficult, but there are plenty of options to find something that works for you, including agency-provided housing or finding your own housing with a tax-free stipend. We’ll go over some of the most popular housing options for traveling allied health professionals in this blog.
What Are Travel Allied Healthcare Jobs
As we mentioned, travel allied healthcare jobs are temporary jobs where you travel away from home to work in a facility that needs your help. Facilities usually hire travelers because they have staffing gaps that need to be filled immediately. Working with travelers allows them to either hire a new permanent professional, allow someone on leave to return, or to simply wait out higher-than-normal patient numbers. These jobs vary in length, but are usually 13 weeks. After that time, the traveler then moves on to a different assignment in a different facility.
With travel allied healthcare jobs, you choose which assignments you take. This means you have control over where you go, which facilities you work in, and other important aspects that matter most to you. Another great perk of being an allied health traveler is the pay, which is often higher than permanent staff. However, since you’re in the area short-term, it can make finding housing challenging.
Housing for Travel Allied Healthcare Jobs
There are many different options for housing during your travel allied healthcare jobs. For instance, some medical staffing agencies, like AHS MedStat, offer housing for you. Our housing options are private, furnished, and close to the facility.
However, we understand that that option doesn’t work for everyone, which is why we also offer you the choice of a housing stipend. These stipends are to pay for housing during your stay. In most cases, they’re tax-free, so you don’t have to claim them on your taxes at the end of the year (though, there are some exceptions).
Benefits of Agency-Provided Housing for Travel Allied Healthcare Jobs
There are a lot of advantages to choosing agency-provided housing for travel allied healthcare jobs. First, is that it takes a lot of the hassle out of the picture for you. There’s no need to do any research, contact property owners, or make arrangements for lease agreements. Instead, you simply show up and move in. This also doesn’t take any pay out of your normal wages, as the housing is included in your compensation package. Also, you’re not on the hook if the facility cancels your contract. This is pretty rare, but it can happen and this way you’re not obligated to move in or pay anything toward the housing.
Benefits of Choosing a Housing Stipend
Of course, travelers can also find their own housing. With this option, you will generally get a housing stipend in lieu of the agency-provided housing. The stipend varies based on the assignment and things like cost of living in the area. If you have a tax home, then the stipend is usually tax-free income. You can use your stipend however you like. So, if you spend less on housing, then you can pocket that extra money. You can also use it toward more expensive housing to reduce how much is coming out of your paycheck for your lodgings during your assignment.
How to Find Your Own Housing for Travel Allied Healthcare Jobs
There are many ways to find your own housing as a traveling healthcare professional. When finding your own housing, you’ll need to be wary of scams. You also want to make sure that whatever you choose fits your needs. The good news is that there are any number of options to choose from.
Beware of Scams
One thing to look out for is scams. Since you’re looking for housing for upcoming travel allied healthcare jobs, it means you might be too far away to check out the property in person and will likely be doing most of your looking online. This may expose you to scams. Some scammers want your personal information like your social security number. Others want you to send money. Watch out for offers that seem too good to be true, like housing in a prime area for really low prices. One tactic you can try to avoid scams is to request to tour the property before filling out an application or sending money. If they push back then it may be a scam. Don’t forget to use your research skills as well, as often you can uncover whether a property really exists and is leasing through some basic searches. However, this isn’t fool-proof, as some scammers use addresses and pictures of real properties that they don’t actually own.
Think About Your Priorities
It’s also important to consider what your priorities are. Everyone has a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves when they think about their living situation. Know what yours are! Try listing them out if it helps. From there, you can find out what your priorities are. For instance, you might be traveling with a pet and, therefore, need pet-friendly housing. Or, you might need more than one bedroom if traveling with a friend, colleague, or family. Nice-to-haves might look like being within 15 minutes of a beach or being within a certain commute time to the facility.
Common Housing Options for Travel Allied Healthcare Jobs
Once you know your priorities, the next step is to look at all your options. Believe us, there are quite a few. Here are some of the most popular ones:
Extended stays are hotels specifically designed for longer-term living. They’re really popular among business travelers. Most feature a kitchenette so you can cook some meals in your room, but you will want to verify that before you book.
Some of the benefits include that there’s no lease agreement that you sign, so you’re usually not obligated to stay a certain time period (though there may be cancellation fees when you book ahead). Also, they tend to be less expensive than some of the other options on this list.
However, amenities vary widely, so you need to ask about things you need like WIFI or laundry facilities. Also, these tend to be pretty small and might cost a little more than some options, since it is, at the end of the day, a type of hotel.
Another option is to stay in hotels or motels. These are usually used for short-term stays like when vacationing, but some prefer to stay in them for travel allied healthcare jobs. Depending on the star rating, they can be really comfy and come with some pretty amazing perks (hello room service?).
However, keep in mind they’re one of the most expensive options on this list. Also, most hotel rooms don’t feature a kitchen or any way of cooking beyond maybe a small mini-fridge and a microwave. This may mean you’re spending more on food by eating out or buying only ready-made meals.
Vacation rentals like those you find on Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway, and other similar sites are also an option for housing for allied health travelers. These vary in size, location, and price, but can really be customized to your needs. They’re also often located close to nearby attractions and must-see sites, which is a great plus.
Just keep in mind that they’re still a little pricey compared to some options. You also want to look for hidden fees that might make them even more expensive. Also, often these properties don’t have someone on hand at all times to take care of things like maintenance issues if something goes wrong, so that’s also something to think about.
Apartment rentals and home rentals are another option for housing during travel allied healthcare jobs. These tend to be less expensive than hotels, extended stays, and vacation rentals. They are typically more home-like than like living in a hotel.
However, they usually aren’t furnished and finding a short-term lease is often difficult. Also, you do typically need to sign a lease, which you might need to pay to get out of if your contract gets canceled.
Rent a Room
A lot of people today rent out rooms in their homes or apartments to save on living costs. As a traveler, you can often rent a room pretty inexpensively. This often means you can save some of the stipend for some fun or for your financial goals.
Once again, it can be hard to find people willing to rent to you for only 13 weeks and you do often have to sign an agreement of some kind. This option also limits how much privacy you have.
Some traveling healthcare professionals invest in an RV to take with them from assignment to assignment. This basically gives you a home on wheels, so you don’t need to worry about finding furnishings or things you need once you get there. It’s also an asset that you can sell later if you want.
However, there are some disadvantages. For one, the up front costs are usually pretty high to buy an RV. You’re also in charge of all maintenance and repairs. Not to mention, you’ll need to find a place to park with proper hook ups, which might be hard in more urban areas.
AHS MedStat – a Medical Staffing Agency with Your Best Interests in Mind
If you’re looking for allied healthcare jobs, get in touch with our team at AHS MedStat. We are a medical temp agency specializing in allied healthcare. We offer travel jobs to professionals of all kinds, including respiratory therapists, rehabilitation professionals, and technologists. Start your adventure today – contact our recruiters and browse our job board now.