As traveling nurses, sometimes we think we’re destined to travel by ourselves. It’s rare to find a fellow traveler, or maybe a significant other who’s also a traveler. And, by far, the last thing we think of is the ability to travel with a family successfully. But in reality, people do manage to do it, and the ones who do find they actually enjoy it! If you’re one of the travelers who think it can’t be done, follow this cheat-sheet full of tips to get your family together and see the country while doing what you love! [bctt tweet="Doing what you love, seeing the country and being with your family. Sound too good to be true? See how it can be done as a #TravelingNurse!" username="freedomhcs"]
Travel when your family is young
Traveling with a family is never easy. Doing so when your kids are younger definitely lightens the physical, emotional and psychological load on everyone. Why? Because A) they’re smaller and easier to transport, B) they’re still oblivious to the world and the changes that come with traveling frequently and C) they require less in terms of packing belongings. Teenagers hate moving constantly because they feel they can’t make solid friendships or have enough clothes, games and other possessions to fit several suitcases. Plus, maintaining a consistent education can be a challenge when they’re moving a lot. It’s best to travel before they’ve come of age. Here are 7 tips on how to travel smart with a young family:
Tip #1: Maximize efficiency by minimizing costs.
Most essentials like shampoo, toothpaste and other toiletries come in travel-sizes and cheaper alternatives. Format a budget and stick to it to make sure you have the extra dollars you need to devote to diapers, formula and daycare expenses.
Tip #2: Pack only the necessities.
Does your baby look like the most adorable little thing in their baby booties? Absolutely. Do you need to pack all five pairs with identical, color-matching outfits for your next travel assignment? Probably not. It can be difficult to pack a stroller, diapers, toys, books and other child-related belongings. Plus, overpacked suitcases cost more to fly and are heavy and cumbersome to move if you’re driving. Use our packing checklist to sort out the essentials for yourself so you can better plan for your kids!
Tip #3: Entertain hands-free while you travel.
Young kids, in general, have very low attention spans and can cry or poop at any given moment. With a hectic, unpredictable toddler (or younger) on your hands, keeping them preoccupied on a plane or in the car long enough for the trip can be a blessing. There are tons of cheap, easy-to-use kids tablets and portable DVD/Blu-Ray players on the market to help with this! [bctt tweet="Pack the necessities, find a safe neighborhood and be a #TravelingNurse with your young family! Find out how it can be done! " username="freedomhcs"]
Tip #4: Find a safe neighborhood.
Sometimes the best job opportunities take us to places with higher-than-average crime rates (i.e. Chicago). While the city may be an exciting adventure with tons of opportunity, the crime rate is still something to consider in terms of your family’s safety. Websites like AreaVibes help filter locations by “liveability” and show the crime and employment rates for each area.
Tip #5: Homeschool during the early years.
When schooling becomes an issue, traveling can actually be an advantage, especially if you’re homeschooling your kids. Why? Because you have the opportunity to teach your children about the places they are experiencing and learning about! Technology like Time4Learning incorporates “Roadschooling” – teaching children based on where the road takes them – to help homeschooling parents educate their children without having to worry about the hassle of a systemized education schedule.
Tip #6: Travel during the summer.
Turning a summer travel assignment into a summer travel excursion is a fun way for you to give your kids an opportunity to explore a new part of the country, see new destinations and learn about the landmarks and other sights. Make a summer bucket list of things to do and places to see/learn about while you’re there!
Tip #7: Find a babysitter or nanny you can trust.
Finding childcare services like babysitting, nannies and daycare can be especially difficult when traveling with your kids. How can you find someone you trust with your kids when everyone around your family is a stranger? Websites like Care.com and SitterCity.com provide recommendations and reviews so you know the people you’re inquiring about have been vetted by families just like yours before. Use these tips to plan out your future traveling assignments with your family, and sign up to receive alerts from our travel nursing jobs portal to find your next family adventure!