Tips for Making the Most of Your Travel Nurse Experience

Being a travel nurse can be physically and mentally exhausting; however, it can also be quite rewarding. Travel nurses can use their travels to expand their knowledge, see new places, and further their careers while making a healthy salary.

Keep reading for tips on how to make the most of your travel nurse experience.

Tips for Making the Most of Your Travel Nurse Experience
Tips for Making the Most of Your Travel Nurse Experience

1. Explore Your Surroundings

One of the many benefits of travel nursing is the ability to visit new places. Every city has something different to offer. The parks, museums, restaurants, shopping centers, etc. are worth exploring, and these little adventures can make the job worth the disadvantages.

Many travel nurses make a bucket list of landscapes and attractions they would like to visit during their careers. Often, you can request contracts for a specific location and start checking off boxes on that bucket list. If your nursing agency does not accept location requests, you can make a city-specific bucket list for each contract.

2. Lodge Somewhere Comfortable

Where you stay while away makes a huge difference in how happy you will be during your travels. As a nurse, you will likely be exhausted at the end of every shift, and going home to an empty and poorly decorated hotel room can leave a person feeling lonely and defeated. 

Typical hotels are designed for people that are just passing through for a day or two, not people that are trying to create a temporary home. You can make the most of your travel nurse experience by avoiding those accommodations and choosing an extended-stay hotel instead. If you are a traveling nurse looking for extended-stay housing, visit

Extended-stay hotels offer amenities like a pool, spa, gym, restaurant, and bar. Additionally, the rooms are generally more “homey” and have a kitchen, television, free wi-fi, and real furniture.

These small features make a big difference in your experience because they allow you to stick to comforting routines like making a home-cooked meal and working out.

3. Treat Your Free Time Like a Vacation

Being a nurse is a demanding job with long hours and quite a bit of stress. However, you still get days off while away, and you can treat those days like a mini vacation.

Occasionally, we find ourselves needing a break from work, loved ones, and stress, and working away from your hometown makes taking those breaks easily.

Your days off can be used for self-care activities like lying by the pool, getting a massage, or staying in and having a movie marathon. Regardless of what you choose to do, you can make the most of your experience by taking advantage of that free time. 

After treating your days off like a vacation, you will likely return to your real home feeling refreshed with a positive attitude and excited to see your loved ones.

4. Take Advantage of The Learning Opportunities

The learning opportunities are endless when it comes to being a travel nurse. You get to experience new cultures, work with new patients, and learn new charting systems.

If you start each contract willing to learn, your knowledge base will expand, and your career will flourish.

If you decide to discontinue your travels down the line, your experiences will be useful when looking for a new job, and your travel will open opportunities you may not have been qualified for or considered previously. 

5. Negotiate Your Earnings

Making the most of the financial side of travel nursing is also important. Luckily, there is a high demand for travel nurses, which means that most companies are more than willing to negotiate earnings. 

Generally, a travel nurse’s salary consists of three parts: hourly pay rate, tax-free reimbursements, and bonuses/benefits.

Because a travel nursing agency has pre-set contracts with health facilities, your base pay is often non-negotiable. However, you can request contracts with a higher pay rate. If the employer would like to extend your contract, you can then negotiate your base pay.

Tax-free reimbursements are also non-negotiable because these expenses are pre-determined by the government depending on the destination.

Negotiation typically comes in when discussing bonuses and benefits. Most agencies can offer signing bonuses, contract completion bonuses, and health benefits. Again, when your contract ends, you can request a pay raise, an extension bonus, and a change to your benefits.