Life on the road can be challenging for travel nurses when it comes to making good decisions on expenses.
Food, transportation and entertainment can become costly when a Travel RN is in an unfamiliar city and working crazy hours. Making good decisions when it comes to expenses on the road can often make a big difference in a travel nurse’s bank account. Go Healthcare Staffing has compiled the following innovative list of 7 ways for travel nurses to save money during assignments that you may find helpful during your next travel nursing job.
Use alternative transportation to save on gas and car rental fees
Taking the bus, riding your bike, or carpooling with coworkers can save a great deal of money compared to driving a car every week. Not only is it helpful to your budgeting efforts, it’s also much better for the environment.
Use the “Six-Block Rule” when eating out
A common travel rule of thumb is to ‘Never eat less than six blocks away from a tourist site.’ Why? The food tends to be twice as expensive and sometimes, not half as tasty as the local food spot located two miles in the other direction. Finding your favorite food truck or neighborhood eatery is an easy way to explore your temporary home while traveling on assignment.
Buy groceries at the local farmer’s market instead of eating out.
There is double the reward for using this tip while traveling. The first, you’re saving money by buying groceries instead of eating at a restaurant for every meal. Second, the local farmer’s market tends to have more benefits to the actual food than buying from the grocery store. Food at the farmer’s market is usually freshly harvested and most of it is organic and non-GMO. It’s also just as affordable as buying from the store, and is often of a better quality.
Download apps on your smartphone that are designed to help you save money
These days there’s an app for just about anything. Why not use an app to help you save on everyday expenses AND special occasions? Groupon is a popular app/website that gives you discounts on countless activities and services with new ones added daily. Hopper, is an app that price predicts flight costs for you in advance and alerts you when it’s the best time to purchase. BerryCart helps you find healthy food choices at an affordable price. Look here for more apps that will not only change the way you shop during your travel assignments, but even when you’re back home!
Look for groups, activities, and events posted on Facebook that meet your interests
Facebook takes your likes and interests from your profile and displays events that might interest you that you can add to your calendar. This is a great way for nurses to meet people when they’re not working, especially since most are events that are either free or low cost to attend. Joining a group on Facebook that coincide with your likes and interests is also a good way to socialize and save money on activities that give special group rates, like theme parks and museum tours.
Take advantage of your credit card’s points program
Learning how to use your credit card’s rewards system effectively is an awesome way to save money while still purchasing things you were going to buy anyway, like gas, food, or flights. If you don’t already have one, try finding one that you know will benefit you the most. For instance, getting a card that gives you free flight mileage for every purchase you make is a great deal for travel nurses taking on assignments too far to drive to. If you have a favorite hotel that you frequent on trips, see if they partner with a bank to help you save on rooms and get complimentary upgrades! Here’s a list of rewards cards geared towards travelers.
Schedule your flight to depart and return on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday
This tip is more to help you save time and sanity rather than money, since travel nurse staffing firms (like Go Healthcare Staffing) often allot money for housing and your plane ticket to and from your assignment if you choose to fly there. Physically, going to the airport is usually the #1 least favorite thing to deal with when it comes to traveling. Flight delays, long lines, and bad customer service are enough to make even the least patient nurse book a rental car to drive 10 hours instead of taking what would have been a 2-hour plane ride. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the cheapest days to fly to and from your assignment location. Saturdays are generally the best days to avoid flight delays. Keep in mind that delays and high traffic is subject to happen at any given time or day, but if you fly on one of these days you should be able to enjoy savings and smoother travel conditions.
We hope you find these tips on 7 ways for travel nurses to save money during assignments helpful. Implementing even one or two of these on your next assignment can save substantially on your expenses.
If you would like to speak live with one of our experienced recruiters to explore opportunities, please feel free to call us at 844-966-8773 today!