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Before You Go: Must-Knows for Prospective Travel Caregivers

If you have a passion for helping people and love traveling, becoming a travel caregiver may be the career for you.

There are many benefits to being a travel caregiver, such as exploring new cities, trying new foods, and meeting new people. Being a travel caregiver gives you the opportunity to learn new techniques and practices that will boost your healthcare career. While travel healthcare may sound great, there is quite a bit to consider before switching careers. TotalMed has compiled a list of our top nine must-know items to help you prepare before embarking on your career in travel healthcare.

Choosing the Best Travel Healthcare Agency and Recruiter

There are many travel healthcare agencies. When starting your career as a travel caregiver, travel nurse, travel med surg, home health nurse, or labor and delivery RN, you want to look for an agency that cares about you. With some companies, you may feel like you are just another number. At TotalMed, we truly care about you and your career. TotalMed will work with you to help you land the perfect assignments and will always be with you throughout your journey. From our employees to our caregivers, we treat everyone like family and want to help you thrive.

Have Travel Healthcare Documents and Licenses Ready

Before beginning your travel healthcare career, be sure you have all necessary documents ready to help TotalMed find the perfect travel healthcare assignment for you. These necessary documents may include your resume, certifications, licenses, vaccination records, and references. Having these documents ready will help you and your TotalMed recruiter when looking for travel healthcare contracts.

Experience and Flexibility

Do you have the experience to become a travel caregiver? At TotalMed, we require our caregivers to have at least two years of experience before getting placed as a travel nurse, travel med surg, home health nurse, or labor and delivery RN. Being flexible is also a necessity for a travel caregiver. While you may get the city you want to work in, you may not get the shift you would prefer, or vice versa. Your recruiter will do the best they can to land you the perfect assignment, but there may be times when you end up in a different city or working a different shift. Having experience and being flexible will help you get those competitive travel healthcare assignments.


With travel comes packing. Throughout your travel healthcare career, you will gain knowledge of which items you will need to pack. Most temporary homes come furnished and some may have utensils and other kitchen electronics. However, if you are into cooking, you may want to bring your own utensils. If you are traveling far, you may want to bring a few personal comfort items such as a favorite stuffy or blanket. If you are unsure of what to pack, reach out to your TotalMed recruiter or fellow travel caregivers for advice about necessary items to bring with you.


Not all travel health workers qualify for tax free stipends. Consult with a tax professional to see if you qualify for travel healthcare tax free stipends.

Read Your Contracts

Read your travel healthcare contracts thoroughly. You may want to have your TotalMed recruiter go through your contracts with you to ensure you understand all that they entail. Some key things to review are pay rates for the first x amount of hours and overtime, contract length, requested days off, cancellation policies for both you and the facility, shift times, stipend, and in which unit you will be working. There will be more items to review, so be sure you understand your contracts entirely before signing.

Have Savings Before Beginning Career

Along with being flexible regarding travel healthcare contracts, you must be prepared for unexpected circumstances. Travel healthcare contracts may be cancelled by facilities, so it is important to have some money set aside in case you find yourself in the position of a cancelled contract. Situations may occur during your travels, such as your car breaking down, or other mishaps. Family emergencies may also happen that will cause you to end your travel healthcare contract early. Before choosing a career in travel nursing, be sure you have plenty of savings to help tide you over if an emergency does arise.

Do Not End Assignments on a Sour Note

There may be times during your travel healthcare career when you dislike your current assignment. Whether it be problems with the facility or the people you work with, do your best to complete your contract. Most of the time your contracts will be about thirteen weeks long. If you dislike your assignment, let your TotalMed recruiter know, do your best to continue working,  and end your contract on a positive note. Ending your contract on a sour note may cause that facility to not recommend you for future travel healthcare contracts, which might cause issues when looking for new assignments in travel nursing. Fulfilling your contract in a positive way is especially important if you are a first-time travel caregiver!

Research Your Assignment City Before Moving

If your new travel healthcare contract requires you to move, research the city before relocating. Get to know the neighborhood you will be living in, your commute, and where the grocery stores and gas stations are located. It is important to try to move, at the very latest, one week before your travel healthcare assignment begins. This will give you time to practice your commute, gauge traffic, and adjust your schedule and route. This will also give you time to explore the local shops, get restaurant recommendations,  meet the townspeople, and plan some sightseeing for your off days. 

Are you a caregiver looking to travel? TotalMed wants to work with you! Click Here to start your adventure today with TotalMed!

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