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Congrats! You got a job as a traveling therapist! Now, you need to find short-term housing for your travel therapy assignment. Finding housing can be one of the most challenging parts of travel therapy.
You have come to the right place! As a therapist who has taken travel assignments for over 10 years, I have lots of advice to share to help make finding housing easier for you.
How to Find Travel Therapy Housing
To start, we are going to discuss two different paths that you can take to find housing for your travel therapy assignment. You can have your agency provide housing, or you can book it yourself with a housing stipend. I’ll break down the differences between these two options next.
Have your company provide housing
Did you know that many staffing agencies will provide housing for you on your travel therapy contract?
Having your agency find housing often isn’t talked about or used because it can end up being quite costly to your overall pay package. Learn more about pay packages here.
When your company sets up housing, they tend to place you in pricier hotels or corporate housing units. This means that you would receive less money weekly from your paycheck because some money would be allocated towards housing costs.
However, the benefit to this is that you would have no upfront housing costs and would not have to sign a lease, submit to a credit check or find housing yourself.
Take a housing stipend and find housing yourself
While this option is more work on your end, it offers greater flexibility to determine where you live. This is what the majority of travelers do to find housing.
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, these options allow for more flexibility to find what you want.
Where to find Temporary Housing for Travel Therapy Assignments
Here are some ways and websites to find short-term housing for your travel therapy assignment. When using these methods, especially sites that don’t verify landlords, like Facebook and Craigslist, I highly recommend being very aware of scams and misrepresentations.
When searching for an apartment in a new place as a traveling therapist, consider booking yourself in a hotel for the first week of your contract. By staying in a hotel, you know that you can get to your contract and relax in a place to stay. Then, you can use the first week of your contract to scout out apartments while you are on location at your assignment. You can also ask co-workers if they know of any open units.
Our first website, Furnished Finder is designed for traveling healthcare professionals to find housing on their assignments.
Furnished Finder acts as both a search engine for travelers to use to find housing, and as a reverse search for landlords to find travelers. So, on Furnished Finder, not only can a traveler search for units but they can post a listing for themselves. This listing is sent out to all of the landlords in that specific location with their contract details. Landlords can then reach out and contact the traveler.
I’ve used Furnished Finder a lot for travel therapy housing and am especially happy with the reverse search feature where landlords reach out to me.
When you think of Airbnb you may think of vacation rentals. However, you can also book longer-term month-to-month rentals from them. Yes, on Airbnb you can search for 3-month periods and often find discounted pricing for longer stays.
One of the positive things about Airbnb is that it has a great review system and you’ll find a lot of reviews on the units and hosts. These reviews are helpful to determine if a unit is where you want to stay or not.
Landing is a subscription model that has a network of apartments in over 300 cities across the U.S. You can stay in these apartments with flexible, short-term leases. You can either set a move-in or move-out date for a set fee. Or, if you stay greater than 6 months without a move-out date, you can receive more flexible pricing options.
They don’t have application fees or deposits and you can transfer to any unit in their network with a 2-week notice if you are a member ($199/year fee). This is great for the fast-paced life of changing contracts as a traveling therapist.
Craigslist is the OG (original) housing website and one that I remember searching through for hours to find housing for many assignments. You can use Craigslist to find an apartment, sublet, or a shared place with roommates. Like Furnished Finder, you can search for units on Craigslist, or post an advertisement for yourself and have landlords reach out to you.
While Craigslist has a wealth of listings, because it is free to post there, it is full of scammers.
Other Apartment Listing Websites:
Contact local realtors/agents
In an era where the internet makes everything so accessible, it seems like every available unit should be listed online. However, that’s not the case. Not every landlord is going to list their place online. Some landlords prefer to list units with real estate agents or even post a “for rent” sign on a bulletin board.
You can search for “real estate agents + location you are working in” to find agents in your area that might be able to help you find a unit. Believe it or not, I have also found really amazing units by walking around apartment buildings and looking at their “for rent” signs on their building bulletin boards.
Extended Stay Hotels
Extended stay hotels offer the best of both worlds when it comes to the comfort of home and the amenities of a hotel. These hotels cater to long-term travelers and offer studios and even one-bedroom units with kitchenettes. Extended Stay America, Homewood Suites, and several chains by Marriott all offer extended stay units.
Extended Stay Hotels often come with weekly house cleaning, daily coffee and snacks, wifi and utilities included, and more!
When booking an extended stay hotel, look for special pricing on longer stays. You can call the hotel manager directly to inquire about a long-term rate or use the promotions that I have here. For Extended Stay America, I am happy to offer promo codes that offer up to 40% off stays.
For the most updated codes, please check out this blog: Extended Stay America Promo Codes
Other benefits of Extended Stay Hotels:
- Often they accept pets
- Weekly housekeeping services
- Complimentary coffee, snacks, and sometimes meals
- Hotel loyalty points
- Perhaps a gym or pool on site
Ask Your Co-Workers
The struggle is real to pay bills as a healthcare professional.
As somebody who has taken a lot of travel therapy contracts and met a lot of therapists, I 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. You can also rent a hotel room the first week of your contract and ask peers if any of them rent out rooms or know of anybody who does.
Facebook Marketplace and Groups
Last but not least: Facebook. Facebook has become the mecca of all things community buy and sell related. Love it or hate it, it is a place where you can list your unit for rent for free and this is enticing to a lot of landlords.
There are many Facebook groups that are dedicated to connecting traveling healthcare professionals with landlords. If you search for “Travel nurse Housing” many groups will appear.
Here are a few:
The benefit of using a travel nurse group to find housing is that the landlords are (hopefully) familiar with traveling healthcare professionals and understand a bit about our industry.
You can also change your Facebook Marketplace location to your assignment zip code and search for units off of Facebook Marketplace. Or, you can search for community groups that allow housing posts in your temp location and post/search there.
I can’t say this enough but BEWARE OF SCAMS ON FACEBOOK. Many of the sites I listed above in this article spend considerable amounts of time verifying who posts on their sites and ensuring that fake listings do not get posted. Facebook does not verify posts and is a hotbed for scammers to list fake units, or message you about a unit that they have when in reality they are scamming you.
Short-term housing can be a significant challenge for traveling therapists.
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. Searching through listings, avoiding scammers, and taking a chance on a unit can all be stressful parts of an already hard journey.
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!
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