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The only constant in life is change, and people in the healthcare travel profession are all about it! That’s why being flexible and rolling with potential punches comes standard when dealing with medical travel housing options. Sheryl Lambert—who recently began her travel nurse career in critical care—is no exception. (Though she is exceptional!)

Here’s how she landed a place she loved along with a breakdown of your housing options at LRS Healthcare.

Sheryl started her journey with LRS Healthcare in August, and that first housing adventure sure was a whirlwind. She quickly discovered not all housing advertisements are created equal. Based on her parody feedback, we learned a thing or two about where not to go and how darn funny this gal can be. Overall:

Option 1: Too “crowded.”

Continental breakfast? Check. Six-legged friends who don’t pay rent? Gotta go.

Option 2: Too costly.

Super clean comes with a cost. A long scroll of transaction fees wasn’t the souvenir she was looking to take home.

Option 3: Too much work.

They didn’t advertise the free stair stepper, but third-floor living without an elevator sure gets the blood pumping. Living this close to work would be great if not for the massive construction project she wasn’t informed of.

Option 4: Too perfect.

Fourth time’s a charm, right? Sheryl finally found a place she was ecstatic to call home for about 12 weeks.

Here’s Sheryl’s review—as told to us—jokes and all:

“I found a GREAT place, and the Airbnb hosts were really sweet. It’s got a cozy, homey feeling I adore. Plus, it was 15 minutes from work via country roads—I almost hit a wild turkey, dinner served. Lol.

“My new place was super awesome—private room and a private bathroom. It has a king-sized bed, a four-post behemoth about three feet off the ground. I climbed into it every night like my life depended on it, and I’m pretty sure there’s enough space under it to rent out another sleeping area.

“My hosts are avid Christians, live on the lower level and were cool with me keeping to myself or hanging around if I choose. An upper-level housemate joined about a week later. His setup was more basic than mine (no private bath, he’ll have to roam the hallways).

“The hosts did say to keep any heavy metal music down, so Pantera is gonna have to be heard through my Beats by Dre, totally cool with me.”

All and all, her first time out taught her valuable housing lessons, but her tenacity and light-hearted spirit shined the whole time according to Leah Butler, LRS Healthcare travel experience specialist:

“Sheryl is very collaborative and laidback—she’s a dream to work with on housing. When challenging circumstances arise, she finds the humor in the situation and doesn’t let it ruin her mood. She always has us in stiches with her hilarious comments. A career in comedy would be a good fit for her, should she ever decide to make a change. She also isn’t someone that waits around for an issue to resolve itself. If something isn’t working, she takes charge and finds a solution.

“She was initially in a hotel that had some unfortunate issues. Sheryl made the transition to another property and notified us of her situation. While we searched for additional housing options, Sheryl also networked with locals at the hotel to find more suitable options. She was in an area with an extreme housing shortage, so rental prices and hotels were at a premium.

“Sheryl’s willingness to collaborate to find suitable housing was outstanding and very much appreciated, and the Airbnb we located fit her needs for the remainder of the assignment.”

Your Medical Housing Options

Housing options can vary just as much as the personalities of LRS travel nurses and allied travelers.

“Depending on the medical traveler’s needs, available options in their area can range from a traditional apartment to a cabin rental at an RV park and everything in between,” Leah explained. “If it’s a viable option in our traveler’s price range and available for the assignment dates, we’re going to pursue it.”

Paid Housing: LRS Healthcare Covers Your Costs

LRS Healthcare travelers are guaranteed the opportunity to receive a furnished or unfurnished private housing setup on any assignment. Our travel experience team has vetted quality places coast-to-coast.

Many travelers choose the paid option when they care more about pocketing all their earnings and less about the extras fancier digs offer. This choice can also put more money in medical travels’ pockets to explore the area and go shopping!

Typical paid housing setups include:

  • Apartments (some can be offered unfurnished)
  • Hotels
  • Extended stays
  • Executive suites

The amount offered for paid housing is fixed up to a certain price per month, and LRS’ travel experience team takes care of all the details for you. If you like to keep your temporary home life simple and cost effective, the paid housing option is for you.

“We have a list of more than 40 dedicated housing resources, and we also network with private rental owners and property management companies nationwide,” Leah said. “Medical travelers always have a list of thigs to prepare for during each new assignment. So anything we can do to help make the search for housing simple and painless, we’re on it.”

Housing Stipend: Medical Travelers Receive Funds to Cover Some Costs

Travel nurses and allied travelers also have the option to receive a housing stipend. The stipend is intended to cover the cost of your rent and some other expenses.

The amount of money dished out for housing stipends vary by assignment and location. The perk here mainly revolves around flexibility and personal choice. Some savvy medical travelers will find a spot on their own that costs less than the stipend amount—meaning more money in bank.

On the flip side of scoring a place cheaper than your stipend allowance, many medical travelers utilize the funds to supplement the cost of a super-sweet place with extra amenities and/or pet options turning your home away from home into even more of a working vacation.  

LRS Healthcare walks every traveler through the stipend and home-hunting process, but the majority of the legwork is on the medical traveler.

Paid Housing vs. Housing Stipend

The choice between paid housing and housing stipends can be weighed with our travel experience team and your LRS recruiter.

Also, which option to take is a medical traveler’s choice on each and every assignment. The paid housing choice works best when you know you’re going to be out-and-about most of the time, or you can find something swanky if you think you’ll want more of a staycation during your assignment.

Paid Housing Perks

  • Housing is completely taken care of by your employer for a stress-free moving experience.
  • LRS Healthcare can fix you up in a fully furnished place.
  • Any difference between the max rent allowance and your choice of home is reimbursed to you through your paychecks.

Housing Stipend Perks

  • Stipends offer the most income flexibility.
  • The stipend is an additional, completely tax-free payment.
  • Travelers are free to select any housing option they choose to afford.

“Team LRS loves helping travelers find and secure housing so they can start focusing on the fun parts of each new assignment—the adventure of a new city to explore and the fun things to do in the area,” Leah added.

LRS takes these and other travel aspects into account when helping with the home hunt:

  • The traveler’s budget and personal preferences.
  • How many people, if any, will be sharing the living space.
  • If the traveler will be bringing a pet along on assignment.

“We try to give them as many viable options as possible,” Leah said. “Once a traveler selects a rental they’d like to move forward with, we can help with the application and leasing process while answering any questions they have about housing, especially if they are a first-time traveler.”