After securing a travel assignment, the first order of business is finding housing in your new city. Your travel nurse agency should be able to help you arrange short-term housing, which can come in range of options. These include apartments with variable lease terms, sublets, extended stay hotels, and even vacation-type rentals through Airbnb or Vrbo. But all of them have one thing in common—they’re transitional, and by nature, living in them feels a lot different than home-sweet-home. Here are a few tips on how to make temporary housing feel like home when you’re on a travel assignment.
Put Away the Suitcases!
Living out of a suitcase is not only hard, but it’s a daily reminder that you’re living in flux. To combat this, make an effort during the first week of your assignment to completely unpack your suitcases and place everything in drawers and cabinets. Feeling like all your belongings have their place in your new living space will go a long way to make temporary housing feel like home.
Personal photos are fantastic additions to your new home and will immediately cozy up the place. Surrounding yourself with pictures of friends, family, and places that bring you joy will make you feel comfortable in your new living situation. Instead of busting out the hammer and nails, grab a few tabletop frames for your photographs so you don’t have to make any holes in the wall of your rental. An even more travel-friendly option is bringing a photo album that you can place on the coffee table or nightstand.
Invest in a Houseplant
A surefire way to make temporary housing feel like home is to add a little green to your living space. Check out the local garden store and pick up a couple low-maintenance houseplants or succulents. Having indoor plants is proven to not only improve the air quality of your space, but also reduce stress.
Use a Furniture Rental Service
When it comes to temporary housing, furniture is one big question mark. Landing a furnished space is not guaranteed, and the last thing you want to do is haul all your furniture to a temporary space, or God forbid, buy all new stuff. This is exactly where furniture rental services like CORT and Inhabitr come in. These services specialize in helping people furnish their temporary homes without stress. You simply select the stuff you need (bed frame, couch, coffee table), and like magic, your furniture appears! Best part? It’s super budget-friendly! You can rent a high-end sofa starting at only $35 a month.
Meet Your Neighbors
Getting to know to your new neighbors is a great way to both combat loneliness on your travel assignment and make temporary housing feel like home. It’s nice to know the people around you, even if you’re not going to be living near them for long. Offer up a friendly smile and an introduction when you first run into them so you can establish a camaraderie. Oftentimes, staffing agencies will place their clinicians in the same apartment buildings or hotels, so you may even meet fellow nurses. You don’t have to actively try to make any sustainable friendships (though certainly do so if you want!) but having a few friendly acquaintances around is a big step in feeling more settled and secure in a living environment, and particularly a short-term rental. While traveling with Premier, our nurses keep up with one another via our Facebook group, which is another great way to meet fellow travel RNs.
Splurge on Little Things that Bring You Joy
Think about what makes you smile when you’re at home and bring more of those little things into your temporary space. It could be a scented candle, plush bathrobe, pretty cutting board, or bobblehead of your favorite sports player. Little tchotchkes from local shops (yes, Target is ok too) are great additions to any travel RN’s living space. As long as these things make you happy, having them around are sure to make temporary housing feel like home.
Looking for a new travel assignment? Apply with Premier!