Advice From a Travel Spouse

My husband and I loved the idea of travel nursing, but we were anxious about me leaving a stable career. Ultimately the idea of travel, new places, new experiences, and the extra money he earns as a travel nurse helped us feel more confident in taking the leap.

Having total freedom four days a week was (is!) amazing, but I needed to stay busy while my husband works. Plus, having an income makes us more financially secure, and allows us to travel even more! At first, I struggled to find ways to make passive income away from home. Now, after a few years, I have found enjoyable ways to make some good money.

When and where are you headed?

These factors impact your job options and planning is super important to avoid spending your limited time in various locations searching for opportunities, instead of working. Checking Craigslist, Reddit groups, and Indeed are helpful resources when identifying the local companies that are hiring.

What I have found to be the best route in securing a job is to apply online prior to arrival and, if possible, scheduling an interview for as soon as I arrive.

Be up front about your availability. 

While it’s painful at first, I’ve found it vital to tell an employer upfront when I’m arriving, that I am leaving in 13 weeks, and am only searching for employment for that duration. While this may limit available options, it’s respectful to them and their resources, and being candid will avoid an even more uncomfortable conversation later. Plus, they appreciate your honesty. It shows you’re serious, open, and realistic about your goals/desires. This is one reason I like working in the service industry, as they typically train quickly and don’t mind the short employment duration.

Use direct deposit. 

If available, have a direct deposit set up! Confidence in knowing you’ll get that final paycheck is something I didn’t appreciate until “that one time”… We left the state for another contract, and my employer never mailed me my final check! I had to learn the hard way. But I’ll never do it again!

Work for yourself. 

Though not always the most lucrative pay, I love working gig-economy jobs. You can set your work schedule, and typically get to work right away on arrival to each location.

Some solid gig-economy work:

Bartending, waiting tables, Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Postmates, and, for the animal lovers, Rover and Wag. On assignment in Alaska with my husband I would house-sit overnight and watch the owner’s dogs while he worked night shift. It didn’t cut into his time off and allowed us to explore more during the day. And seriously, who doesn’t like getting paid to cuddle with a puppy and watch TV!

Bottom line:

Have fun! If you are on assignment somewhere beautiful you may decide that you would rather take advantage of your spouse’s time off and see the surrounding nature that you might not otherwise get the chance to experience.

So instead of working, you spend that time planning and organizing exciting trips. Some of my favorite travel tools include: CityMaps2Go, AllTrails, and Let’s Roam.