Exploring new places is a major perk of working as a traveling therapist. But while you're searching through listings for respiratory therapist travel jobs, or other assignments, you may worry about finding housing in a new area. If you’re choosing a housing stipend instead of provided housing through Cross Country, it’s important to research your assignment location before you make the trip. Here are the top four reasons you should do your research.
Be Prepared for the Commute
The last thing you want is to expect a quick 20-minute ride on your first day and end up with a 60-minute headache-inducing commute each day. Don’t wait until the Last minute to navigate your route to work. When researching an assignment location, transportation options should be a major consideration. Get the scoop on:
- Public transportation. What types are offered? What’s the cost? Will the routes and times be convenient for you?
- Drive times and traffic. You can’t always rely on an app to tell you how long a trip will take. During peak traffic times, commute times can easily double or triple. Connect with someone living in the area and ask for the real deal.
- Alternative transportation. Is the location bicycle friendly? Is carpooling an option? What about walking? If you don’t want to drive to work, or use public transportation, you need to know the alternatives.
- Parking. Do you need a parking pass? Is there a fee? Are there areas where you’re not allowed to park? Getting this information beforehand will save time and stress on your first day.
Find the Best Neighborhood
Photos and Google map images don’t tell the whole story. When considering a housing location, you should be aware of more than the square feet and curb appeal. Keep in mind:
- Crime rates. Check out both the housing and assignment facility areas on online crime maps. If the area isn’t listed in a national database, do an internet search for the town name and crime map. Look not only at number of crimes, but the types of crimes.
- What current residents say. Search Facebook for neighborhood groups in the area and comb through some of the posts.
- People who know the area well. Talk to your future coworkers and inquire about the best parts of town to reside in and parts to avoid.
Find Out if the Area Is a Good Fit
Depending on the length of your travel assignment, you may there for a good part of the year. Think about activities you enjoy outside of work. Here’s how to find out if the area offers plenty of opportunities:
- Check out tourism websites for the city and surrounding areas. These are often broken down by categories of interest.
- Search for your interest and city name. For example, if you’re an avid hiker, search for hiking in city name.
- Search for clubs or interest groups on social media. This is a good indication if there are like-minded people in the area and a great source of first-hand information.
Make It Easy on Yourself
Before you pack one bag, do some planning:
- Make a list of the services you’ll need soon after arrival. Grocery store. Drug store. School. Vehicle service. Bank. Figure out the most convenient location for each and make a note.
- Make a list of any questions and concerns you have about the assignment, the area, etc. Talk to your recruiter or company representative to wrap up any last minute details.
- Make arrangements for any personal tasks, such as transfers of prescription medications, or school paperwork if your children are going on assignment with you.
- Take advantage of online grocery shopping services or grocery delivery. Find a local grocery in the new area that will either deliver your groceries, or allow you to order online and pick up curbside. This can relieve you of the stress of getting settled into a new location and trying to grocery shop. Plan for a few simple meals for your first couple of days.
Apply for Your Next Respiratory Therapist Travel Assignment with Cross Country Allied
Search for travel assignments with Cross Country Allied, with more options for Allied Health professionals than any other staffing provider, you can choose where you’d like to go next. We have exclusive job opportunities with some of the most reputable healthcare facilities in the country. Remember, you’re never alone, we can help with travel and housing arrangements or, if you’d like, you can Find your own. Apply online or contact us today!