Congratulations, you have accepted a new travel nursing job with Go Healthcare! With so many things to do before your first day at a new job in a new city, you may need help planning for one of the most important things: the trip getting there. Before you hit the road, check out the list of helpful tips and best phone apps to download for your travel nurse assignment:
1. Map your trip. Determine how much time you need to drive to your new destination. Make sure you give yourself a healthy margin before your start date to arrive. Plan on getting to your new nurse travel assignment at least one or two days before your scheduled “first day”. Apps to download: Waze, Iphone Maps, and Google Maps. (These are the most reliable apps we have found.)
2. Plan for the weather. Check the weather forecast and buffer extra time in case you hit stormy areas. By allocating additional time to your plan, it allows you to pull off and relax instead of rushing through bad weather. Great apps to download: “NOAA Weather Radar Live” & “The Weather Channel”. Both have been used and tested to show “real time” forecast not only at your current location, but where you are headed.
3. Gas Up and Gas often. Whether you are making the drive at night or day, make a point of “filling up” at a quarter of a tank instead of waiting until you are on “E” or the gas light comes on. Also ensure you are including fuel in your trip budget. Figure out how much gasoline you will need and make sure you have money or enough on your credit card for multiple fill ups. Best app to download: “Gas Buddy” – it shows the lowest gas prices in your specific area.
4. Rest and Sleep. If traveling a long distance, plan where you will stop to rest and/or sleep. Do not wait until you are on the road to “find something”. Prioritize your safety and security by planning where you will stop for the night or a few hours by booking your motel/hotel room ahead of time. Apps to download on your phone: Hotwire, Priceline, or hotels.com.
5. Stay in touch. Check in with friends and family via Facebook or text while traveling so they know you’re safe and can keep track of your current location! It’s fun to allow them to share your adventure. However, never text and drive. Social apps to download: Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, or Skype.
6. Get familiar with your new location. Part of the adventure in taking a travel nursing job is getting to know the new city you will be calling home for thirteen weeks. Good apps to download: “Yelp” “AroundMe” and “TripAdvisor”. All three have been “traveler tested” as great resources with reviews for finding the essentials: nearest grocery store, pharmacy, nail/hair/barber. These apps are great for also finding your next favorite restaurants, hotels and things to do in the area.
7. Don’t forget your charger! Make sure you have a car charger for your phone. No app needed for this, just a friendly reminder.
8. Get your car checked. Plan on getting your car inspected for your trip a few days or even a week prior to your actual road trip. Anticipate any service work will take a day or a few days which may cause a delay if you wait until the last minute. GO Tip: Invest in a AAA Membership (or something similar) for roadside assistance.
9. Confirm your housing or hotel arrangement. Make sure you have details and instructions on how to check-in especially if you are staying at an AirB&B. If staying at an extended stay property, consider the hotel/motel’s specific check-in time as part of your travel planning. If you are arriving early (before the check-in time) or late (after 10PM), let them know. Sometimes they can accommodate your request to check in early. If you are arriving late, you can be assured that your room will be available and not you are not considered a no-show or a cancellation.
10. Make sure you have your “First Day Instructions/Orientation” from your recruiter. Before you leave, check-in with your recruiter for the most up-to-the-minute information about your travel assignment, including understanding where you are to report for your first day, what time, what to bring, and what to wear.
GO Tip: If you arrive a day prior, consider driving the route you will take to get to/from your new hospital, finding the best parking option and even learning where you are to report for orientation. Bonus: You may find the nearest coffee shop where you can grab coffee before your scheduled orientation.
As a Go Healthcare Travel RN, we want to ensure you are getting to your travel assignment safe and sound. We hope these tips and suggested apps help with your travel planning. If you are not yet a Go Travel RN with us, what are you waiting for? C’mon, let’s go somewhere! Check out all of the hundreds of travel jobs we have throughout the U.S.
Let’s connect via talk or text 844-966-8773 or email at email@example.com.
*The list of suggested apps posted in the article are available on “App Store” in IOS devices or the “Google Play Store” in Android devices.
I share professional advice, travel nursing related news and insight on some of our amazing travel contracts and clients.” -Jenny is the Vice President of Go Healthcare Staffing