Being on the road, we sometimes forget about our physical health. We don’t have a regular gym we go to or a regular exercise routine like at home. But your physical health is paramount and a must-do as a travel nurse life hack.
If you are a gym rat like me, one cool thing I found during my travels is ClassPass! I love this app! At present time I am not using it as obviously gyms are a little spotty right now due to COVID, but you better believe I will be using it again when things open up!
So how it works is you buy a certain amount of credits a month and you get to use these credits for regular gym use, gym classes, and all kinds of other fun things. The super cool thing is that you can go to gyms and spas and in different cities! I have used it while home in Charleston, on assignment in Atlanta, on assignment in D.C., etc. Hello gym on the road and no signing up with new gyms every assignment! 💪💪
I have gotten a manicure, infrared sauna therapy, done kickboxing classes, barre, pilates, and even a TWERKING class. That’s right, this white girl went to a twerking class and I had a BLAST! You can try it free for 14 days and see if you like it. They even have virtual classes you can do during these COVID times (I am much more of an in class in person, and the virtual instructors were a little too peppy for my taste but to each their own).
- Make sure your city is included with class pass, some of the smaller towns and cities do not work with class pass. If that’s the case you can pause your membership at any time and pick up again in another city.
- Be sure to look at their class cancellation policy, when you commit you want to make sure you are definitely going otherwise you can be charged a small fee
- Get outside of your comfort zone! Go twerking and have fun!
INSIGHT TIMER + CALM APPS
Well I think we can all agree, with COVID, mental health is of the utmost importance as a travel nurse life hack. Travel nursing can be lonely on a good day, and then add on the isolation with COVID and it makes for a tough time in travel nursing.
One thing I have taken up much more seriously in the last couple years is meditation. It takes practice and dedication, but the results are life changing. I am still working on perfecting my meditation, but it has provided me with a lot of clarity, helped me to recenter, and ease my anxiety.
A free app I found has been wonderful, Insight Timer. I love it because there are tens of thousands of free meditations, both guided and just music. You can also set a timer to different background musics for your own meditation and it both starts and ends with a soothing chime bell. There are also live sessions that are free (you are asked to donate if you can though) and also courses for a fee. Lots of prominent and wonderful teachers on there.
I also really like Calm. This one is a paid subscription around $60-70 a year. The thing I most love about Calm is the sleep stories! Matthew McConaughey telling you a bedtime story anyone?? 🙋♀️ Ok maybe some people might have a hard time going to sleep listening to Matthew McConuaghey. 😂 In that case, you most certainly could fall asleep to Ferris Beuller’s teacher? No? Harry Styles? Seriously there are all kinds of lovely sleep stories and also ones with a British accent! In addition to sleep stories there are also great meditation courses and music. Get meditating today and improve your mental health!
Professional organization is a biggie. A vital travel nurse life hack is to stay organized, particularly if you are working with several different companies. You have to keep up with your license and certifications and be ready to provide them to whichever company you may decide to work for. You also have to provide health records and immunizations, as well as work references, work history, etc. It’s a lot to keep up with! Every time you change companies it is a big headache to get all your paperwork again. You find that you are repeating yourself, A LOT.
I happened to be in a travel nurse Facebook group when I came across the amazing guys at Kamana. Founded by former travel nurses, it’s your one stop shop to put all of this info in one secure place! Then when you find that perfect job or company you can email them your profile right from Kamana. The recruiter can get a limited file or the whole kit and caboodle. Then boom! Your recruiter has all the oodles of information, certs, references, and the like that you begrudgingly have to provide for EVERY. SINGLE. COMPANY. 🤦♀️
It’s a game changer in my opinion! Kamana is still working on being able to work with some companies, but even if they don’t directly work with the company, your recruiter is sure to be impressed by the profile you send over. It’s free for healthcare professionals and is a great way to stay organized. Winning! ✅
MINT + BARCLAY'S
I guess you can see I’m big on organization right? 😂 Organization is a key travel nurse life hack! As I started to make more money as a travel nurse, I became a little more liberal with my money spending, and thus I acquired a couple more credit cards. I also decided to buy a house and along with that comes all the utilities and expenses of a house. With so many jobs and different companies I started to lose track of 401ks I had. I hit a point where I was like WOAH, I need to get a handle on my finances!
I needed a place where I could keep track of all my expenses and accounts in one place. That’s when I ran across Mint. I really love this site and it’s free! You put all of your accounts and assets on there as well as your debts. It tracks your monthly spending, gives you a free credit score, and so much more!
You can classify each purchase which is super helpful come tax time if you keep up with it in a timely manner. This particularly helps if you are writing things off for business purposes (i.e. if you are a 1099 employee or work from home). I believe the tax laws have changed now, but we used to be able to write off a lot as travel nurses for business expenses. I think you can still write some things off, but best to consult a tax professional.
Mint also links up with Intuit and Turbo Tax so that you can import information for your tax returns. Always a bonus! Mint also makes recommendations for other financial resources. For example, I found my savings bank Barclay’s through Mint. At the time they were offering a 1% APY with no minimum balance and no maintenance fees. Unfortunately, the pandemic has wreaked havoc on a lot of financial institutions and my APY is significantly lower now, but still a solid return and a place to park your cash.
More on finances for another time, but getting your finances together is definitely a good travel nurse life hack!
There are certainly other things to keep in mind when travel nursing, but these are a few of my favorite things that help keep me organized and fit mentally, physically, and financially. Hopefully these were helpful to you and stay health and safe gypsies!