It can be tough to feel at home on your healthcare travel assignment. Sure, hotel suites and rental homes are nice, but they don’t have the pencil marks on the wall that track your child’s growth or the same familiar smell of your favorite Tuesday night meal.
You’re required to move around as a professional healthcare traveler, and while that’s part of the thrill of the job, it’s still natural to get homesick every now and again. So, when you start missing home a little extra, try these tips and tricks to make your temporary housing feel like your ultimate home away from home.
No. 1: Fully unpack your bags
You just crossed the threshold of the place where you’ll live for the next couple of months—what’s one of the first things you do? Hopefully unpacking came to mind and if it didn’t, it certainly will when you reach your next travel job destination.
The last thing you need is a constant reminder that your current living space is temporary. Make time to fully unpack your suitcases, boxes, and bags and then, arrange your belongings how you like. Fold your clothes and put them in drawers or hang them up in the closet, organize your toiletries on the bathroom counter, and once you’re finished unpacking, take a huge sigh of relief that you no longer have to dig through your packed luggage to get dressed in the morning. It may not seem like a lot, but the instant gratification of this simple task goes a long way.
No. 2: Get comfy and cozy
It’s hard to beat the coziness of crawling into bed after a long day, so why not add a little more familiarity and bring your personal bedding. Adding your favorite blankets and pillows from home is an easy way to instantly transform your new bed into a comfortable and familiar safe-haven.
Don’t forget to bring other items that make you feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside. Whether that’s an oversized hoodie, a silk sleeping mask, or plush slippers, you can never go wrong with a little extra comfort and self-pampering.
No. 3: Add your personal touch
If anything can make a place feel like home, it’s personal mementos, photographs, house plants, candles, and all those small things that put a smile on your face and remind you of your permanent home. Maybe it’s the novel you can’t get enough of or a picture of your parents-- whatever those special items are to you, make sure they’re front and center, because nothing cures loneliness like happy memories.
When it comes to plants, stick to something low-maintenance like a Christmas cactus or fern. Helping a plant grow and thrive can be a fulfilling way to connect with your temporary space, reduce stress, lift your mood, and keep homesickness at bay.
No. 4: Keep it clean
Nothing says unorganized like a messy room. Don’t let the chaos creep into your space and make an effort to keep your temporary home neat and clean. And, no—this doesn’t mean you need to kneel with a scrub brush every other day to spot-clean the smallest dirt particles.
Instead, ensure everything has its place—dirty clothes in the laundry basket, pillows and blankets on the bed, toiletries in the bathroom, etc. That way, you’ll always know where to look for things and you can relax without the stress of clutter surrounding you.
No. 5: Familiarize yourself with the neighborhood
Don’t get stuck inside watching the world go by without you. Step outside of your comfort-zone and venture out in your new city and explore your neighborhood to get familiar with your surroundings. On one of your days off, go out and hunt for a new coffee/tea shop, find a farmer’s market, walk a nature trail, or experience local attractions like museums or boutiques. Integrate yourself within your current community to get more comfortable and familiar with your location.
No. 6: Don’t be afraid to make friends
We may have grown up with the idea that we shouldn’t talk to strangers, but that’s the best way to expand your social circle and make friends. A few great ways to get yourself out there is by attending happy hours, team lunches, or joining a club or group.
It can be difficult to make friends as a professional traveler, but with your social circle there to support you every step of the way, you’ll feel right at home.
No. 7: Find comfort in routine
It might seem like the perfect opportunity to switch up your routine and try something new and form new habits while on an assignment, but that change can have a detrimental affect on your productivity levels, as well as your physical and mental health.
While on a healthcare travel assignment, set your alarm for the same time you normally wake up and perform your regular routine. Make your transition even smoother by incorporating small additions to your day like journaling, stretching or exercising, and listening to music.
Your stress and anxiety levels are sure to drop as you stick to a consistent schedule and daily routine. Plus, this consistency will help you stay focused and positive for what’s on your to-do list for the upcoming day.
No. 8: Embrace the little things
You may be surprised to find out that it’s not the biggest or heaviest items that bring the most comfort away from home. In fact, the smallest, most personal things are what have the largest impact on your happiness—it’s all about including touches of home.
The little things look differently for everyone. For some, it may be a fridge magnet from their hometown and for others, it could be an alarm clock, so they wake up to the same sound as they did at home. Before you pack up and head out of your permanent residence to hit the road for your travel job, take a look around to see if there are small, movable items that never cease to make you smile that can fit into your suitcase.
Let Fusion Marketplace help find your next home
Fully integrated with Furnished Finder, Fusion Marketplace makes it easy for you to find and reserve temporary housing in cities across the U.S. Browse through fully furnished apartments and extended stay hotel suites, full houses or single-room reservations, and other luxurious lodging options near your next assignment or use the stipend calculator to learn the average rate of rent in the area where you’ll work.
Through enhanced transparency and traveler autonomy, Fusion Marketplace simplifies the travel process for professional healthcare workers in multiple divisions and specialties. If you want to streamline your travel job search, application, and hiring process, as well as housing reservations, create and complete your personal Marketplace profile for exclusive access to job and lodging options.
Living out of a hotel room can make your inner rock star appear, especially when you’re not responsible for clean towels or fresh bed sheets, but on the other hand, temporary housing can feel cold, impersonal, and uncomfy. Next time you’re on the move towards a new travel job, don’t forget to take the steps to make your new environment feel like your optimal getaway.