How To Prepare For Traveling To Your Locum Tenens Assignment

Traveling to a Locum Tenens assignment can be an exciting and enriching experience, giving you the chance to work in diverse healthcare settings and broaden your knowledge and abilities. Despite the excitement, it may seem intimidating, especially when traveling to an unfamiliar city or state. This applies to both physicians and advanced practice professionals alike. However,, the unique experience and growth opportunities that come with a locum tenens travel assignment make it well worth it.

What Can You Do To Make Your Travel Experience Smooth?

Connect With Your Locum Tenens Agency

Experienced staffing agencies have the expertise to make your travel to your next assignment seamless and effortless. Just as your recruiters handle the intricacies of your trip, it’s important to remember that they also act as your travel agent. They can book your flights, rental cars, and accommodations if necessary. Sometimes they can even cover the cost of relocating for your locum work. In the event of any issues during your travels, your recruiters are available to assist and support you.

Decide Your Method of Transportation

The mode of transportation you choose is a personal choice. However, there has been much debate about the pros and cons of driving versus flying. It ultimately depends on your specific circumstances. For example, if you’re just traveling for a short work trip, and prefer to book your own travel flying may be the more convenient option. However, if you’re relocating to a new part of the country, driving your own car may be the better choice as it provides the opportunity to explore new areas and have your own vehicle at your destination. This is a common recommendation among traveling healthcare professionals.

Pack Light

Driving in your own car allows for more flexibility in your packing choices. However, air travel often requires a more mindful approach to packing. By only bringing what is truly necessary, traveling for short assignments by plane can be made simpler and more cost-effective. Minimalist packing reduces baggage handling and saves time, so make sure to leave unnecessary items at home and bring only the essentials.

Flying Easy

Despite not being a guarantee, long waits, lines, and delays are an unfortunate reality of flying. To ensure a successful airport experience, it’s important to plan ahead and allow for extra time in case of any flight cancellations or delays. Choosing direct flights can also minimize the risk of disruptions during your journey. Maintaining punctuality is key to making a positive impression during your locum assignment, so it’s best to do everything in our control to stay on schedule.

An important consideration to make: Holidays are a busy time for airports as families and friends travel to visit one another. During these seasons, wait times can become even more prolonged and delays more frequent. Stay prepared and stay organized to avoid any added stress.

Sign Up for Airport Perks

Airports have made various improvements to make travel more manageable, particularly for frequent flyers. If you expect to fly frequently, consider investing in TSA Precheck. Although there is a fee and requires advance planning, the faster security lines are well worth it, especially during peak travel times when waits can reach up to two hours.

In addition to TSA Precheck, it’s also important to explore the benefits of travel rewards programs offered by airlines. Each airline has its own rewards system, so if you plan on flying frequently, consider enrolling in a program that offers frequent flyer miles. Accumulated points can lead to potential free or discounted trips and even be used towards accommodations, making it a valuable option to consider.

Plan Ahead

While packing light is an important travel tip, don’t forget about the gadgets that make your locum tenens travel experience more enjoyable. Ensure you have your laptop, phone, charging devices, and any other essential electronics. Consider using a cloud storage system for your work, movies, and TV shows. Noise-cancelling headphones, eye masks, and pillows are also important for comfort during the flight. Create a comprehensive checklist to ensure you have everything you need, including transportation, housing, and meal arrangements at your destination. Book your flights and accommodations early to get the best deals.

Focus On Your Health

Pack healthy snacks, exercise equipment, and anything else you need to maintain your health and wellbeing while on the road. Make sure to take care of yourself, as you’ll need to be in top form to provide quality patient care while on assignment.

Stay Connected

Make sure you have a reliable and accessible means of communication, such as a cell phone, tablet, or laptop. Keep in touch with your family members and friends back home and let them know where you are and what you’re doing.

Stay Calm

Travel delays can be irritating, but it’s crucial to keep a composed demeanor. Your recruiter is always on hand to offer assistance, and as an independent contractor, your employer is aware of the possible disruptions that come with traveling. Being patient and keeping your cool during these travel interruptions benefits everyone involved.

Breathing techniques and having movies or TV shows ready to watch on your devices while you wait out can help, or even grabbing some food and beverages. Whatever will be, will be, so don’t overwhelm yourself. If any other changes could be made for next time, make them. Otherwise, sit back and relax while you wait.

One of the biggest benefits of Locum Tenens assignments is the travel. That doesn’t mean every assignment will have you taking fancy cross-country road trips. Every so often the travel can be short and sweet, if the delays or kept to a minimum. While we can’t always control the outcome, using the tips and tricks above to make your travels just a little easier may save you a massive headache in the long run. Happy travelling!

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