Traveling can be a great way to pick up extra income as a nurse or allied professional while experiencing new cities. But if you’re not careful, it can become a major drain on your finances. Don’t worry though. With some careful planning and a few tried and true tips from former travel healthcare professionals, there are ways to make traveling more budget-conscious so that you can grow your bank account, not drain it. Here are the 7 best budget tips for travel nurses and allied professionals. 

1. Have 1-2 months of income saved before traveling 

Even though you’ll be making income as a travel nurse or allied professional, there are a lot of upfront expenses, so make sure that you have, at minimum, 1–2 months of income saved up. Also, life happens, and having a financial buffer is crucial for anything unexpected. Maybe your car breaks down, or you want to go out and explore your new city one night – whatever arises, having a safety net in place can help you enjoy your travels, minus the stress.

2. Use Airbnb or Furnished Finder for a place to live 

Finding a place to live is an important part of the process. Unfortunately, it can also be one of the most expensive parts of working as a travel healthcare professional. So what are the best options? Our tip is to search for places to live using websites like Furnished Finder or Airbnb. These sites usually have places fully furnished with everything you need to have a comfortable travel experience – sofa, kitchen, etc. That way, you can move to your new city knowing that you don’t need to pack up everything. Just you and the essentials! 

If you don’t want to commit to a lease or an Airbnb yet before checking out the area, book a hotel for the first week of your assignment. That way, you can check out the city to see what neighborhood you want to live in, where your assignment is based (and whether or not you want to commute or stay close),  and if there’s a particular area that you want to call your home for the next few weeks. Even though a hotel can be a bit pricey, it might be worth it to pay a little more upfront to make sure you’re staying in the best location for what you want! 

3. Utilize other modes of transportation 

We all know that gas is expensive, so if you’re looking to cut costs, try using your car less. If the city you’re in has a bus system, utilize it! If you can ride a bike, give biking to work a try! Even good old-fashioned walking can do the trick. These options might add a little extra time to your commute, but there are ways to pass the time, like checking out a podcast or listening to a playlist to get you pumped to start working. Plus, by using your car less, you’re helping out the environment! 

4. Be flexible on location

Part of the pull of being a travel nurse or allied professional is exploring new cities and places. And while many people would love to end up in a big city for travel assignments, (for example, New York City or Los Angeles), these cities tend to be in extremely high demand, meaning fewer jobs. So, instead of looking for assignments in specific cities, look at entire regions.

For example, if you want to take an assignment in New York, look at the entire northeast region rather than just looking at New York City. You might not end up in New York City, but if you’re in the region, it’s easy to take a few days off to go down to the city. You can still enjoy visiting the places you want to while not paying an arm and a leg on living expenses in larger cities.

5. Choose one thing to splurge on 

One of the fun parts about being a travel nurse or allied professional is, in some ways, it’s kind of like a vacation (except you’re getting paid), so you might be less strict with your budget. You might go out to eat more than usual, splurge on fun activities, or spend more money on shopping. One of our best tips to balance your budget is to pick one thing that you’re going to “splurge” on during a travel assignment.

For example, If you’re going to be in a big city with lots of fun things to do, choose to splurge on experiences and activities and maybe choose a cheaper place to live or find a roommate. If you’re working in a more rural area with fewer things to do, splurge on a nicer place to live. By choosing one thing to splurge on, you’re ensuring that you’re not blowing your budget while also having a fun time where you’re working. It’s all about balance.

6. Search for cheap ways to travel 

Depending on where your travel assignment is, you might have the option between flying or driving. Take some time and figure out what the most cost-effective option is to get to your new city. If you’re going to a more rural area where driving is necessary, shelling out thousands of dollars to take a flight and rent a car when you get to your destination might not be the best financial option. It might make more sense to take a road trip to your location so that you’ll have access to your own car while you’re there. If you’re going to a location that’s super walkable or has great public transportation, it might be a better option to take a flight and leave your car behind.

Do a little research before going to ensure you’re choosing the best way to get to and around your new city! And if you need help with your research, Medely has an in-house concierge support team to help you find housing and travel accommodations. Don’t hesitate to reach out! 

7. Have a budget (and stick to it)

While this might be an obvious budget tip for travel nurses, starting a budget is always easier said than done. Our tip is to find a method that works for your lifestyle and that you’ll actually stick to. Whether your budget is online, an app, or a notebook of all your purchases, any budget is better than no budget. 

And remember, consistency is key, so make sure you set aside time to fill out your budget every day, once a week, or whenever you think you’ll be most likely to remember it. While there are lots of helpful tips for saving money, actually sticking to a budget is going to be the most important way to feel in control of your finances throughout your whole assignment. 

Find Your Next Travel Assignment with Medely

Ready to make the leap and use these budget tips for travel nurses? Check out to create your free profile and start looking for assignments across the country.

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