Being a travel nurse is fun. The people we meet become friends and the cities we live in become home for a short time. When we are not working, we are fortunate enough to explore the areas around us to the point where it feels like a mini vacation. We are men, women, old, and young. Some of us are married with children and/or pets, others like me may be traveling solo or with a friend. Our reasons for becoming travel nurses may be quite similar or completely different. I have student loans I would like to pay off, but I would have traveled regardless of the loans. The life of a travel nurse is an adventure, both scary and exciting. Not every traveler is going to want the same experience, but I think we can all agree that where we live can make a tremendous impact on our overall experience.
Whether you are renting out a room or an entire space; these are some of the things that could help make your place the perfect travel nurse rental:
1) Be quiet and understanding
I talk to people all day, standing on my feet most of the shift. In twelve hours, the average person eats breakfast, lunch, and dinner. So when I get to my place of comfort, all I want to do is eat, shower, sleep, sit, relax, and go to bed sooner rather than later. As the host, keep conversation short and don’t be offended if I say a quick hello and walk off into my room. I am exhausted. Especially those of us that work night shifts.
2) Alarm clock w/sound machine
Speaking of sleep, for those who have roommates working night shift, please try and limit the use of anything loud, ie: vacuum cleaner, blenders, overhead garage doors, and podcasts or phone calls on speakerphone. Seems pretty common sense, but it happens.
Most places I have stayed provide alarm clocks. I have not touched one in years, which is a little embarrassing. In my opinion, the majority of people use their cellphones rather than an old fashioned alarm clock nowadays because of convenience and our ever changing schedules. For those thinking of providing an alarm clock, consider one with sound options. It is a nice addition, especially if the rental is in a downtown or noisy area. I sleep much more soundly with a background noise such as a fan, so I highly recommend this.
3) A comfortable bed
The nicest part of having a designated home for three months is having a comfortable bed. As nurses, we are constantly leaning over and standing during work, so we can appreciate a solid nights sleep and waking up with no back pain the next morning. Providing a bed in a furnished rental is obvious, but a comfortable bed should not to be overlooked. Not every bed has a good mattress. Your renters will appreciate you for this.
When renting out a room, it is nice to not feel like you are living out of a shoebox. A dresser or two with empty drawers and a closet make all the difference. We live out of our vehicles between destinations. Everything we own and travel with fits in our vehicle, so having the extra room to put it all in is convenient. Especially when seasons change. Snow gear is very bulky and it is wonderful to have a place for the items we are not using at the moment, but don’t necessarily want to get rid of.
5)Let me borrow the basics
Since my vehicle is pretty full of personal belongings and souvenirs I could not part with, there wasn’t much room for the bulky home essentials. The kitchen, living room, and bathroom are the rooms I need help with when traveling. Providing clean towels, bathroom supplies, linens, and kitchen utensils saves me every time. There is no room for furniture in my vehicle, so renting a space that is fully furnished with these additions items makes life simple.
6)Washer & dryer
Even though this next recommendation is at the end of the list, it is one of the key reasons why I would rent a space over an alternative. If at all able, provide a washer and dryer. It is something people don’t rank highly enough until you live without one. Having a washer and dryer in your unit makes all the difference. I would pay more for a place just to have this option, and I am sure others would too.
7)Internet and a television
I haven’t found many places that don’t provide free internet. But, a television in the living room or personal room is nice to have available. Again, another bulky item that I don’t want to travel with. With all of the online streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon; all we need is a television and the internet setup to easily access these channels through our own Roku or Firestick devices.
“The life of a travel nurse is an adventure, both scary and exciting.”
8)A safe and secure space
Just as a washer and dryer were key on finding a place. It is important to know where I am staying is safe. Anything you can do to make a unit more secure will attract potential renters. Having a high walking score is always nice but there is nothing you can do to change that. Having a unit that is not on the first floor, investing in an alarm system, or upgrading a lock, may make all the difference. Some units have a secure parking garage so I don’t have to worry about my vehicle or a security guard present within the building at all times. Maybe that security guard is nearing eighty years old, but just knowing someone is there to help makes me feel safe.
The extras are always appreciated. Bar soaps, cleaning supplies, coffee filters, a coffee pot, hand soap, aromatherapy diffusers, or a vacuum. Anything additional that you want to provide in your home is an added bonus. Providing brief instructions and personal setting preferences on how to use the washer, dryer, dishwasher, and thermostat would also be helpful for any new traveler.
10)A list of local recommendations
Lastly, recommendations on favorite local attractions are great. Maybe even provide maps and brochures on this information. When we are given three months to explore an area, it is really nice to be given a locals perspective on what to spend our time seeing or visiting. We are making your home our home for three months. Thank you for listening and providing a place for us to call home. Travel Nurse Housing / Furnished Finder has always come through with reliable resources and future places for me to call home as a traveling nurse.