The coronavirus pandemic threw a wrench into the world of travel, making it feel nearly impossible to go anywhere away from home. While vacations and getaways were previously considered a luxury, healthcare professionals have been using travel as a career opportunity and a way to help hot spot COVID locations all over the U.S. What will post-COVID travel look like for healthcare professionals?
Travel trends throughout the pandemic
Before the COVID pandemic infected the globe, Americans were free to travel at their leisure by planes, trains, and automobiles. In 2019, the hospitality industry was flourishing as travelers enjoyed comfortable hotel stays, restaurant cuisine, and meeting new people. Now we’re looking at the ghost of travel’s past. Compared to 2019, 2020 domestic travel decreased by 31 percent and direct travel jobs decreased by 34 percent year over year, according to Travel: The Hardest-Hit U.S. Industry. This dramatic decline resulted in a 36 percent loss in travel spending that further impacted the U.S. economy. From the beginning of March 2020 until December 2020, the U.S. Travel Association reported a cumulative loss of $492 billion for the U.S. travel economy due to the pandemic.
Traveling healthcare professionals in their careers during COVID
Since the pandemic hit, RV road travel won the hearts of Americans and 75 percent of the population agree that RVs are a great travel choice, according to RVBusiness. In fact, statistics show that 57 percent of travelers consider RV travel more appealing than they did before the COVID pandemic because it requires minimal interactions with other travelers outside of their group. From June 2019 to June 2020, the U.S. experienced a 10 percent increase in RV sales with 50 to 80 percent of buyers being first-time RV owners compared to 25 to 35 percent in 2019. According to the RV Industry Association, approximately 11.2 million households in total own an RV and 22 percent of owners are between the ages of 18 and 34.
“The global travel industry has been hit hard by this pandemic, but the demand for domestic travel options remains strong, and interest in RV travel has never been greater,” RVShare’s CEO Jon Gray told Travel Pulse. “These findings help us understand how consumer travel preferences are evolving.”
Many travelers are accustomed to frequent travel, especially those in the healthcare industry. With shifting assignments approximately every 13 weeks, a lot of professional travelers have opted for the RV life to help ease the anxiety of finding new housing and enhance personal comfort while on the road.
As professional travelers, RV travel allows their home, pet(s), and cherished belongings to hit the road with them for every job. In addition to convenience and increased comfort, RV living also appeals to outdoor enthusiasts and encourages traveling professionals to adventure and explore their surroundings during their time off.
What post-COVID travel means for traveling healthcare professionals
While the virus may have made traveling challenging, it also enhanced Americans’ intense desire to get away and make the most of life. Statistics show that during 2020 lockdowns, 65 percent of travelers reported feeling excited about traveling with the majority actively researching future getaway destinations.
For healthcare travelers, the constant need for crucial frontline workers and other healthcare positions has only greased the wheels of their travel world. One thing healthcare professionals are looking forward to, though, is getting back their source of exploration on travel assignments. A year of pandemic lockdown has made it difficult to spend time immersing oneself in the culture and experiences of their travel locations. As restrictions ease up, healthcare professionals can get back to public socializing, trying new restaurants, making new friends, and enjoying their surroundings.
The outlook for traveling healthcare careers
More healthcare professionals are in demand for travel. In 2020, as the pandemic made waves through the U.S., the demand for qualified healthcare professionals has surged. Many facilities shifted priorities to focus on the recovery of COVID-19 patients and redistributed healthcare travelers to locations based on high infection rates. It’s expected that the future of traveling healthcare professionals will increase to help mitigate the wide impact of coronavirus in the U.S.
Travel pay increases for healthcare travelers
Pre-pandemic in 2019, traveling healthcare professionals could expect to earn an annual salary between $73,820 to $101,365 with the average being $92,734 in the U.S. depending on assignment location, according to data collected by ZipRecruiter. As of April 1, 2021, ZipRecruiter reported the average U.S. annual salary for a traveling healthcare professional is $99,202, which is a more than a six-and-a-half percent average wage increase from 2019 to 2021.
As the crisis of the pandemic added pressure to the critical need of trained healthcare workers, wages increased, reports Marketplace.org. Because of the coronavirus outbreak, the competition for skilled professionals has skyrocketed and some facilities have offered a stunning amount of weekly pay up to secure qualified personnel.
For many healthcare professionals, traveling has opened the door to endless opportunities from exploring the country to an increased salary. Fusion Marketplace is making it easier for you to own your career. By creating a profile, you can keep your information, licenses, and certifications all in one place for quick, one-click application, getting you to your next healthcare job faster.