Congratulations, new traveler! Welcome to a fantastic community of allied health professionals (and the teams who support them) who are all passionate about travel!
We know that although you’re feeling excited about embarking on your first travel assignment, you may also feel a bit nervous. Where will you stay? What should you pack? When should you arrive?
Don’t worry. Your travel team will have your back, and you can ask them anything! In the meantime, here are some of our top tips to help you prepare for your first travel assignment as an allied healthcare provider.
Top 12 Travel Tips for Allied Healthcare Providers
- Choose your housing accommodations based on what’s most comfortable for you. At most agencies, you’ll have options. Either your team can provide accommodations for you, or you can take a stipend and arrange your own housing. Each option has pros and cons that depend on up-front costs, furnishings, cost, etc., so be sure to talk with your housing specialist to discover what’s best for you.
- Find out whether your housing will be furnished. Whatever option you choose, be sure to find out whether you’ll have furniture. Most company-provided housing arrangements are furnished. But if you make your own arrangements, speak with the property manager to find out what is or isn’t provided. Also, ask whether you’ll have appliances, dishes, pots and pans, cooking utensils, bedding, towels, etc.
- Plan how you’ll get around. Will you drive, fly or take a bus or train to and from your destination? Once you’re settled in, will you be using your own car or taking Uber, Lyft or cabs? Is there a train, subway or another local transit system? Research how people get around at your future destination and plan your packing with transportation in mind. Ask your recruiter about travel reimbursements or arrangements.
- Get covered. Just as you would carry renter’s or homeowner’s insurance at home, you should consider doing so on a travel assignment. Call your insurance company to find out how to protect your belongings best.
- Pack for your assignment length. How many weeks or months will you be on assignment? Will your assignment span different seasons? If so, pack warmer and cooler clothes; layers are ideal. Don’t forget your work uniform and equipment, cosmetics and toiletries, medications and first aid supplies, electronics and chargers, books and magazines, hat and sunscreen, and workout clothes. To pack as efficiently as possible, consider what you absolutely will need over the next few months. You can always pick up necessities if you’ve forgotten something.
- Squeeze it in. To make your packing compact and efficient, use space-saver bags, roll your clothes, bundle or nest items, or use packing cubes. Before packing, create a prioritized list, remembering that some items may not make the cut. Choose shoes and other clothing items that are versatile and appropriate for work, rest or play.
- Pack for your pet. If you’ll be bringing along your furry companion, you’ll have a bit more packing to do! Don’t forget food, treats, toys, bed, crate, leash, litter box, etc. Also, be sure your pet is vaccinated and microchipped and that you have access to their vet records.
- Remember essential documents. Find out whether you should bring any instructions, contracts, handbooks, licenses, credentials, proof of insurance, social security card, birth certificate, etc. You may be able to bring digital versions of required documents but check with your team to find out whether you need original paperwork.
- Scout out the new pad. When you arrive, walk through the property and take some pictures. Make sure there are no issues at move-in. Next, get familiar with the facility. Does the location have a gym, laundry facility, front office and mail area? Ensure you have all the keys and codes you need for access, mail, security and parking.
- Take a trip around town. Next, branch out and take a spin around town or get online and see what’s nearby. Where are the grocery stores, restaurants, parks, gym and library? Do you plan on attending a church, temple, mosque or another place of worship? If you’ll be bringing a pup along, where are the nearest dog parks, groomers and vets? What sight-seeing adventures can you look forward to during your time off? Get busy planning exciting excursions!
- Be prepared. Also, leave time to make a practice run to your assignment location. Ideally, drop in and meet your contact and team. If you don’t have time to meet them in advance, be sure to show up early on your first day. Remember, there is always the possibility that you could run into traffic, get lost or have trouble parking, so it is essential to plan for the unexpected.
- Use your resources. Don’t forget that your housing specialist is there for you! You can also ask other travelers, check out social media sites, read books and find apps to help you pack for your new adventure.
Channel all the energy and excitement you feel about embarking on your first assignment toward planning and packing. Put on your favorite music, make a list and start packing. Meanwhile, picture yourself on your first day, think of the new friends you’ll meet, see yourself growing and developing new skills, and imagine how fun it will be to explore a new location during your time off! We’ve helped countless allied healthcare providers fulfill their dreams of traveling, so we’re pretty convinced you’ll love it too! Safe and happy travels!