A travel nursing assignment is always a unique adventure. For travel nurses with children, bringing your kids with you can add an extra level of fun to the journey!
Before you and your children embark on your next travel nursing assignment, there are a few things to consider and prepare for. We’ve created a list of ways to get ready for your travel nursing trip with kids.
Read on for some tips on travel nursing with children!
There are different things to consider when choosing a travel nursing destination if you’re bringing children.
Make sure your city of choice is a safe place for children. Safewise.com offers an array of online tools for determining the safety of various neighborhoods in your destination.
Some cities are more conducive to traveling with kids, offering lots of fun, family-oriented activities. Travelocity, Forbes, and many other organizations regularly release well-researched lists on the best cities in the US for family travel.
Do you have extended family near your travel nursing destination? Taking your trip to a city near family members may be helpful for childcare needs and provide a sense of added safety in case of an emergency.
Make use of the wealth of resources online to research your city of choice. If it’s a good fit, have a blast!
First things first – before you leave for your trip, remember that you’re packing for more than one person. Whether you’re flying or driving to your destination, efficient packing will save you lots of stress when you arrive.
Packing cubes are small bags designed to neatly organize clothes inside of luggage without causing wrinkles or misuse of parking space. Check out Smarter Travel’s list of the “6 Best Packing Cubes Ever” to find the right one for you.
Make a list of items to leave behind and purchase when you arrive. Items like bath towels, toiletries, and electronics are unwieldy and take up a lot of space. Affordable towels and toiletries can be purchased when you arrive, and consolidating electronics will free up lots of space for more essential items. Also, when it comes to books – consider bringing an eReader or just using your smartphone instead.
Traveling by Car
If you’re traveling by car, plan ahead for your road trip. If your road trip will take more than one day, there are two reasons why it’s a good idea to plan where you’ll be ending your drive each day.
First of all, it’s a safe thing to do. If you don’t plan ahead, you’ll risk getting stranded in an uninhabited area in the middle of the night. Planning your daily endpoints also allows you to pace yourself, providing you with more freedom to explore when inspiration strikes.
Fill a cooler with healthy, energizing snacks for the little ones such as:
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Apples, bananas, or grapes
- Beef jerky
- Almonds or pistachios
- Hummus and celery
- Sliced bell peppers and guacamole
- Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
If you’re bringing your kids on your travel nursing journey, you’ll need extra space in your new home.
Regarding what to consider while searching for housing, travel nurse Kelli Leach says:
“We also consider whether the apartment complex is child-friendly. Are there walking trails? A playground? A pool? Also, since we now have a crawler, it’s important to me to find housing with brand new carpet.”
Consider searching for housing that resembles your current home environment to preserve a sense of harmony and continuity for your children. In addition, check out our blog Finding Your Home: Tips for Travel Nurses.
Even if they’re old enough to be in school, it’s totally possible to bring your kids on a travel nursing assignment. There are many online public schools your kids can attend while staying at home.
Travel nurse and super mom Britany Ullman travels often with her three children, all under the age of nine.
“No need to worry about credits and graduation criteria as his schooling is all guided,” says Britany. “All I have to do is follow their curriculum and teach him with flexibility.”
As you know, nurses’ schedules vary widely, and finding childcare while travel nursing with your kids will be essential to maintaining a livable schedule. It is also typically the biggest obstacle.
However, websites like Care.com and Sittercity are fantastic resources for exploring childcare options in your travel nursing destination. Be sure to search for childcare options in the city of your assignment before you arrive.
For travel nurses with children that aren’t in school and must stay at home with a sitter or nanny, Ullman urgently suggests investing in a nanny cam. Amazon.com offers a wide range of nanny cams with lots of customer reviews so that you can find the one that works for you. A nanny cam will give you priceless peace of mind while working, allowing you to check in to see what’s happening at home any time you please.
Once you have a safe, reliable place for your kids, you can rest easy and focus on having a successful, convenient, and flexible life while you’re on assignment!
Take Your Kids on a Travel Nursing Adventure with GIFTED Healthcare
Travel nursing companies like GIFTED Healthcare are there to guide you along your travel nursing journey. Ask your recruiter for tips, information, and any wisdom they can relay from other travel nurses who have lived in the location of your assignment with their children.
Finding the right place for you and your family takes work, but doesn’t need to be stressful. Use the wealth of resources available to you and speak to your recruiter, and soon you’ll be settling into a family-friendly destination that feels just right.