Advice for New Healthcare Travelers (from Experienced Travelers)

Taking the leap and trying something new can be both exciting and terrifying. We know that for healthcare professionals considering travel, the questions seem endless. Recently, we asked our current travelers to share the best advice they could offer to someone who is new to travel or thinking about making the switch. We have received a ton of wonderful advice from all of you and wanted to share it in case it helps those who are considering making the jump to traveling. Here are some of the best entries!

Be open to “the way they do it”. Don’t say things like “oh I’m used to xyz…”, unless it’s a patient safety issue. Ask questions, learn and go with the flow. Be confident in your skills and patient care. You’re gonna do great!—Danielle

Enjoy all parts of your contract. Yes, you are there to work, but you are also there to explore! Try new things, don’t be afraid to push your comforts. You will be amazed at what each location has to offer. I have been surprised by each contract and participated in activities I NEVER expected to do. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out and make friends. I have so many life long friendships I never imagined were possible!Brea

Be confident and proficient in your skills. Ask ALL the questions in your interview. Make sure you get everything written in your contract that’s pertinent. Enjoy your location. That’s a HUGE part of traveling. Understand all the traveling logistics before you even entertain the idea of starting. And then, as always, JUST DO IT.—Kristin

Be humble. The first day at any facility brings nerves, but after that first day is behind you….enjoy the adventure! Don’t tell them how you did it where you worked. Traveling was the best decision I made in my journey as a Tech! I have learned so much and continue to learn different ways of doing the same thing!—Rebecca

Make sure you take some time off to explore the area you are traveling to. I always tried to have a 3 or 4 day weekend once a month to have time to explore the area. But make sure this is discussed and in contract before signing to guarantee that time off. If it’s not in writing, it’s not guaranteed! Make sure you look at housing options prior to accepting a job. If possible look before the interview so if housing is very limited you can ask the manager or whoever you are interviewing if they have any housing resources.—Tom

Don’t offer unsolicited advice.—Fran

Go in with a positive attitude. It’s a scary feeling doing something so new and diving in head first. You will pick up on everything faster than you think. Remember that you know how to be a nurse. Traveling is mostly learning how to do things the way others do them. That’s all. Ask tons of questions along the way.—Samantha

Just relax. Take a deep breath and do your very best to be adaptive and receptive to the way THEY do things. You got this.—Bob

Be your best self. If they do it different than you are used to—be flexible and learn their way. Ask questions and take notes. Be the coworker you wished you worked with. You’re there to help them in a bind—be that help and go the extra mile. And ask their opinion on best places to eat and visit while you’re there. Have fun and love the new friends and memories you made.—Kathy

Every interaction with a patient or coworker is a valuable learning opportunity to add to your experience and expertise. That expertise will make you more adaptable and valuable in each of your next contracts. So take advantage of each learning opportunity!—Michael

This is what I’ve told others along my 11 yrs of traveling and they thank me for it as they now enjoy their travels too. Don’t let your fears stop you from fulfilling your dreams. If you want to travel, do it! You can make a difference all over. Ask all “your necessary questions” in the interview. Be confident and just get to work; nursing is nursing, but don’t be afraid to ask questions. You will most likely get 1-2 days orientation on the unit so just know you WILL have questions. Don’t tell them “we did it this way at my last job” as you are there and must conform to their policies and procedures. Just know, some assignments will be harder than others. 13 weeks go fast, so you can either just move on, or decide by you want to extend. On your “off days” make sure you go explore. Make friends (if you want) and go see new places. There’s so much beauty out there in this country so it would be a shame to not see what you can while you are there. Most importantly, just be you! And have fun!Gina

You have this! You are embarking on an amazing adventure. I started in 2001 and traveled until 2023. I hope to be able to do it again soon, I miss it.

1. Don’t go in and tell them how they should do things differently.

2. Don’t get involved in office politics.

3. If asked what you make, do not tell. Some people could get mad that the hospital is paying you more.

4. Don’t try to poach their employees.

5. Be friendly and professional.


Be flexible and open minded. I’ve ended up in a lot of small towns I’ve never heard of but completely fell in love with them and they’ve become my favorite contracts! Make sure you take advantage of your days off and explore the area, locals have the best advice!Lisa

Go in with a positive mindset. If things seem overwhelming, educate yourself. Keep calm under pressure and be a part of the solution. Don’t burn any bridges. Those bridges lead you back to good places.

Take good care of yourself while you’re learning & making new friends along the way!—Sarah

Use your experience traveling in various locations to connect with other therapists!! You can learn SO much from the amount of people that you will meet. Everyone has something they are especially good at or knowledgeable in. Use that to expand your own knowledge! Talk to everyone around you, get to know them and the things they know! Most of all, have fun! Travel therapy has been the best decision of my life and I’ve learned so much along the way. I’ve also made some connections and friends that I know will last my lifetime!—Kayla

I’ve been to many facilities and there’s so many different policies and different ways to get to the end goal— you never want to be the “well at my last hospital…” traveler.

Unless it’s a major safety or license issue, learn to roll with it. If you go with the new processes and policies and adapt to the new ways and learn from it all – it’s going to make you a WAY stronger nurse.—Phil

If you are a new grad traveler, look for contracts in settings that you completed fieldwork in to help you feel familiar and comfortable!—Natalie (Triage note: Rehab specialties can typically travel right out of school.)

Don’t just work all the time, you are somewhere new so take time to enjoy the new area and definitely be a foodie and try new restaurants!Sammie

Don’t hesitate to go somewhere you didn’t expect to go. I ended up in Washington and absolutely adored it.—April

Our Team Triage FB group is a great place for our travelers to share all sorts of information and ask questions and they absolutely delivered when asked to share the best advice for new travelers. Curious about current job openings? You can check allied and travel nurse jobs here.