Tips and Tricks for Travel Housing

One of the things that can make or break a contract is finding housing. It is something we see time and time again. We can find you the perfect travel job, but without a place to stay, the perfect job won’t matter.
As a traveler, what do you need to do to find the right housing?
The first step is easy. Start looking immediately. When you are looking for jobs, also look at housing in the area. We recommend you make a list of all your housing wants and needs. This list should include items specific to housing as well as items specific to your lifestyle. Put your non-negotiables at the top of the list. There are a lot of factors to consider including cost, availability, if pets or guests are allowed, distance to the facility, the location, parking and whether you are comfortable with roommates or would rather have your own place. Are you okay with going to a laundry mat or do you want your own washer and dryer? Is there a gym onsite or close by? Is there an option to extend your stay there if you extend your contract with the facility? Obviously, the more flexible you are, the more options you will have. When considering cost, a good rule of thumb to follow is your monthly housing payment should not cost more than one week’s take-home pay. Never assume a housing option comes equipped with anything. Asking the questions ahead of time will save you time and money in the long run.
Something that comes up quite a bit is that a traveler finds the “perfect” housing online, but it is not-so-perfect upon arrival. How can you avoid that? We always recommend our travelers get a hotel for the first week or two. This gives you the opportunity to get a feel for the city and the area where you want to live. It also allows you some leeway in case your assignment gets delayed due to credentialing, waiting on licensure, the weather or any other last-minute things that might pop up. We also recommend looking at staying in extended-stay hotels for the duration of your contract. Not only do they have housekeeping, laundry onsite, workout areas and parking, but many of them will offer discounts to travelers, allow pets and some even have free breakfast daily.
Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Always do your homework and make sure you know what you are getting into before securing your housing. Utilize your resources – Google the area, check out Facebook housing groups, ask the manager about where travelers stay in your interview. You can also contact the facility Human Resources department to see if they have any housing contacts in the area they trust or reach out to Cariant’s Housing Coordinator Jessica Foster.
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