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How to Find Short-Term Housing For 13-Week Travel Assignments

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Congrats traveler!  You applied and got a job as a travel nurse or travel therapist.  Now you need to decide where you are going to live for the next three months.  Are you wondering how to find short-term housing?

Related: Did you land here because you want to host travelers? If yes, check out this page: How To Start An Airbnb In Your Home

Related: Take the course on finding housing at Housing Pro! 

How To Find Short-Term Housing:

1. Have your company handle housing.  This means that you would receive less money weekly from your paycheck because some money would be allocated towards housing costs.  Your company would decide where you live and booking your accommodations.   However, you would have no upfront housing costs and would not have to sign a lease, run a credit check or find housing yourself.

2.  Take a housing stipend (bigger weekly paycheck) and find housing yourself.  While this is more work on your end, it offers greater flexibility to determine where you live.  It also gives you the option to spend more or less on housing than your company would. Whether you are minimalistic or a luxury seeker, this options allows for more flexibility to find what you want.

If you chose to find your own housing  you may be thinking,  “Now what, where do I find an apartment for 3 months?”  Here are some places and websites to find short-term housing.  When using these methods, especially internet sites, I highly recommend being very aware of scams and misrepresentations.  When searching for an apartment in a new city, sometimes the best thing to do is to rent a hotel room for the first week of your contract.  That gives you time to view listings in person versus trying to book something online without ever seeing it.

Furnished Finder

Furnished Finder is an online website designed for traveling healthcare professionals. Travelers can input their contract location and information on the site. Then, vetted hosts can contact travelers with open properties. Unlike other housing sites, this site is specially designed for travel healthcare housing.

Airbnb

Airbnb is a website of people hosting out their houses, apartments, rooms, tree houses, boats, you name it, to guests.  This is a great place to find a short-term rental because the rooms rent like hotel rooms versus doing long-term contracts.  While some Airbnb owners prefer to rent out their places daily or weekly, others will rent monthly and may have a monthly rate.  Unlike Craigslist and other search engines, hosts and properties on Airbnb are reviewed by renters and are shared with the listing.  To find out if a host will do a monthly rate or three-month rate, it is best to message them and ask.

Similar to Airbnb is Vacation Rental by Owner www.vrbo.com and Home Away www.homeaway.com.

Craigslist 

Remember when you used to post an add on a bulletin board or in a newspaper to find a roommate or rent an apartment?  Craigslist is a worldwide bulletin board of apartment ads and roommate searches.  You can use Craigslist to find an apartment, sublet, or a shared place with roommates.   It is a wealth of listings, just beware of scammers and use the advice given above to avoid being scammed.

Other Apartment Listing Websites:

https://www.apartments.com/

https://www.trulia.com/

https://www.zillow.com/

Contact local realtors/agents

Not every landlord is going to list their place online.  Local agents and realtors may know rentals that are not listed online.  Ask in advance about any broker or agent fees that you may have to pay and if they can be passed onto the owner of the property.

Long-Term Stay Hotels

There are hotels that cater to long-term travelers and offer studios and even one bedroom units with kitchenettes.  Extended Stay AmericaHomewood Suites, and several chains by Marriott all offer extended stay units.  When booking a room, do not book a daily rate!  Looks for long-term stay rates online or by calling the hotel manager directly to inquire about a long-term rate.

For Extended Stay America, I am happy to offer promo codes that offer up to 50% off stays of 30+ days or more. For the most updated codes, please check out this blog: Extended Stay America Promo Codes.

There are many benefits to staying in a long-term stay hotel.  Often they will accept pets, have daily or weekly housekeeping service and free breakfast, coffee and snacks.  Sometimes they may have a gym.   You may also be eligible to receive hotel chain points for your stays, if the hotel has a loyalty point program.  You can then use these points to book free stays in the future.

Ask Co-Workers

The struggle is real to pay bills as a healthcare professional.   I have found many therapists and nurses rent rooms to travelers, especially in places that get a constant flow of temporary staff.  While living with a co-worker may not be your ideal, it is worth looking into.  I have called managers, after accepting positions, to ask if anybody on staff rents to travelers.

Search Facebook

Last but not least: Facebook!   Facebook has been my #1 way to secure housing as a traveler.  I use Facebook in two ways.  First, I ask my direct network of friends if they have any connections to housing in [insert place that I am traveling too].  Given that I have a large network of friends and co-workers; this alone is usually enough for me to find something.  However, if that does not work, I also turn to online forums for healthcare travelers to find housing.  Groups such as Travel Nurse Housing: The Gypsy Nurse and Gypsy Soul Travel Nurse Housing Options have members that include landlords and travelers, so you can connect on both ends.  The members of these forums are also familiar with the travel nursing industry, so there is a greater understanding from both ends.

Short-term housing can be a significant challenge as a healthcare traveler.  If you select to take company-sponsored housing, you may make less money than if you find your own place.  However, finding your own place can be a difficult task.  The internet has many helpful options for short-term housing.  Utilize your network of co-workers, friends, and peers to your advantage.  Take a deep breath and relax while you do the search and decide on options. When you find an apartment, check out my tips for making your short-term housing feel like home! 

Want to learn more about finding housing? Check out the mini-course: Housing Pro! 

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11 thoughts on “How to Find Short-Term Housing For 13-Week Travel Assignments”

  1. This post helped me so much when I first started looking for housing for traveling. I’ve had to find housing twice so far and have used airbnb for one and craiglist for the other. Thanks for all your wisdom Julia!!

  2. My husband has to go on a pretty long term trip for work, and we have been wondering where he could stay. I didn’t know that there are hotels that cater to long-term travelers. We will have to take your advice and call the hotel manager directly and inquire about a long-term rate for my husband. Thank you for the information!

  3. I was considering listing my guest room for rent to traveling medical professionals. I came across FurnishedFinder.com. Are you familiar with this site and whether or not professionals use this site? Are there other sites like this? Thanks.

  4. Hi Rosemary! It sounds like you are doing all of the right things. The other site that you may want to join is Furnished Finders – they specifically market to healthcare travelers. You may also want to give your info to local hospitals or rehabs so they can pass your info along to their travelers. I honestly don’t do any work connecting individual landlords to travelers. I would need to hire a whole team of people and develop a platform to start doing that work. It does sound like you’re on the right path to get travelers. Best of luck!

    1. It might be best to check with BBB Better Business Bureau to know the true feedback of Furnished Finders.
      I was about to sign on as a landlord and the red flags went up immediately based from the initial conversation and lack of upfront info I had to ask about opposed to facts that should have been presented without me questioning.
      Do your research.
      Best regards

      1. Elaine, I was thinking similarly about FF, after speaking to them a few times on the phone. I am not sure what the benefit is really, as a host you pay them to list but you have to handle the contracts, agreements etc.
        I am a Super Host and would like to rent to Traveling Health Care, I think I will call the local hospital and see if they have a listing service. Otherwise, back to the Airbnb service which is good but I have had many a bad guest. With the current health crisis, I am sure the need has increased.

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