Holiday travel as a professional healthcare traveler can be bittersweet. On one hand, you’re actively making a positive impact in the lives of healthcare workers at the facility, as well as improving patient lives. On the other hand, you may not experience the satisfaction of opening presents on Christmas morning or lighting the menorah each night of Hanukkah with your family and loved ones. Sure, there may be some challenges to holiday travel, but it can be well worth it.
How ho-ho-holiday healthcare travel works
Holiday healthcare travel largely depends on the staffing agency you work for and the healthcare institute you’re practicing in because facilities define holiday shifts differently. For example, one hospital may consider the Christmas holiday starts with the 7 P.M. to 7 A.M. shift on Christmas Eve and ends at 7 P.M. on Christmas Day, while another may not start the holiday until 7 A.M. on Christmas Day and end it the following day at 7 A.M.—be sure you exchange these details with your recruiter when you accept your holiday job offer.
For some travelers, the holiday season is a personal and significant time of the year, and they may want to take breaks during their contract or choose not to travel altogether for the holidays. Either way, the most important thing is to communicate your wants, needs, and desires to your recruiter upfront so they’re able to help successfully match you with a travel placement.
Before you book your flight, consider these traveler tips to get you through the holiday season.
Traveler holiday travel tips:
- Get an early start. Start browsing for winter travel jobs towards the end of September or beginning of October. That way, you have plenty of time to apply for licenses, if needed, and more travel job options to choose from.
- Opt for assignments in locations that interest you. If you were born and raised in the Midwest, you might want to experience the winter season in a warm, sunny climate like California. Or maybe you want to try to find a travel placement that’s close to home.
“I love the white Christmas,” said traveler, Pharaby. “I’m from Louisiana, so it’s never cold or snowy.”
- Consider holiday events you want to attend. Perhaps you’ve always had a dream to witness the Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City or ice skate in Seattle’s Winter Wonderland. If that’s the case, search for travel assignments nearby event destinations so you can attend on your time off.
- Plan time off around your scheduled hours (i.e., request to be scheduled Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday of the first week and Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of the following week). Instead of asking for time off, try to arrange vacations and family time around your work schedule, so you don’t have to take a pay cut for some time off.
Holiday travel assignment perks
Whether you’re full of holiday spirit or more of an Ebenezer Scrooge, taking a travel job during the season has many benefits:
First, let’s state the obvious—the overtime, holiday pay, and sometimes even a travel bonus.
Traveling medical laboratory specialist (MLS), Julie, said she tends to work holiday shifts so perm staff can enjoy time away from work. “There’s usually a free meal involved, holiday pay, and if you’re lucky a reduced workload!”
Traveling medical lab technologist (MLT), Teresa, relates, “The biggest perk for me is the extra money.”
Next, since most perm staff usually get first picks on holiday time-off, you could see more travel job options open for you.
“I usually volunteer [to work holidays] so permanent staff can be home with family,” said Julie. “If I’m on contract, I might as well work the holiday.”
Bring the holiday festivities to work with you for a Friendsgiving, Secret Santa, or White Elephant gift exchange.
“Every year, it always feels a little homier during the holidays,” said travel MLT, Lee. “Everyone usually brings in food and it feels more like a nice permanent job for a day.”
Travel nurse, Tori, loves to celebrate the holidays with her colleagues. “It’s fun celebrating holidays with your coworkers,” she said. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve celebrated New Years with my coworkers in an empty patient room cheering with sparkling cider. Oh, the memories!”
You’re more likely to have fewer patients to care for during the holidays because of low census rates.
“We volunteer to work most holidays because we don’t have family nearby most assignments,” Tori said. “I try to help others if they want time off so they can spend the holidays with their families! On the rare occasion, census is lower during the holidays, so sometimes you aren’t maxed out on patients. It can be a break sometimes.”
You have the potential to earn travel rewards and other frequent travel perks. The more you travel, the more rewards you can earn from your credit card company, preferred airline, and more!
- Lastly, working the holidays could be a way for travelers to cope with stress or loss by filling their time in the service of others.
Travel MLT, Teresa, said that she’s known many healthcare folks to work during the holidays or celebrate on different days of the year. “I’ve known others to who prefer to work during the holidays because they don’t have family, or don’t want to do the family thing.”
Even if you’re the most holly, jolly individual, you can’t argue with the sweet advantages that come with healthcare travel during the holiday season. After all, what’s better than making money, making more money, sharing delicious treats, and enjoying the company of others, all while saving lives?
Find your holiday placement with Fusion Marketplace
You should be in complete control of your healthcare travel career and with Fusion Marketplace, you can be. With your personal Marketplace profile, you gain full access to tens of thousands of available travel healthcare jobs in your division and specialty, plus the ability to compare pay packages, benefits, locations, and more.
Start your search now to find your ideal winter holiday travel assignment. Easily narrow down and refine your search with the sort and filter functions to view results that match your agency, shift type, destination, and other job preferences.
When you’ve found the top job postings that pique your interest, easily apply with one simple click of a button with your traveler profile as your professional resume. Then, wait for a call from the agency recruiter for more details before you start packing your bags.
Come winter, while others may be home wrapping gifts, some healthcare travelers are on-call or working during Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Year’s and other winter holidays. Fusion Marketplace offers travelers the freedom to browse and apply for healthcare jobs that fit their wants, desires, and needs, no matter what that looks like for you.