Transportation Options for Travel Nurses

Health Carousel Travel Nursing
September 18, 2019
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As a travel nurse, you have many options when it comes to traveling to your next assignment. When travel nursing becomes a full-time lifestyle, you should make sure that you’re doing the best you can to minimize extra travel expenses and hassle for yourself. Part of this process includes choosing how to travel to your next travel assignment, as well as finding transportation once you arrive. Below are some of the most common travel options for the travel nurse lifestyle.


Many travel nurses have begun using RVs on their travel nursing assignments. RVs allow nurses to take all their belongings with them and pick up and move to their next assignment without worrying about flights, hotels, and short-term rentals/leases. Here are a few of the reasons RVs are an attractive option to travel nurses:

  • Saving money on housing. The only payments you will have to make for housing in your new location are RV park fees!
  • Less hassle with pets. No more worrying about finding a place that’s pet-friendly or trying to sneak your furry friend in under the radar.
  • You can bring your car. If you’re worried about traveling locally once you reach your location, you’ll be able to bring your car with you. Just make sure your RV is up for towing a car cross-country.

However, RVs are not the right choice for every travel nurse. Here a few things to consider when deciding on whether to make the jump:

  • You’re living in a rental park, not a community within the city. For nurses who want the full immersive experience, you may be a little letdown. However, you can still find plenty to do with the money you’re saving on housing!
  • Breakdowns are your responsibility. When your whole house is on wheels, if something goes wrong it’s coming out of your pocket, not the agency or the landlord.
  • You take everything, everywhere. Traveling light isn’t an option when your home is on wheels. Everything you might need will be stowed in your vehicle, making traveling a bit more cumbersome.


If you’re leasing a car and want to avoid putting too many miles on it or are generally unsure about how your current car will hold up on a cross-country road trip, you might be interested in shipping your car to your travel nursing location. Be aware that shipping a car cross-country can be very expensive, but these costs may be outweighed by the amount that you would spend on hotels, food, and car maintenance along the way if you drove yourself to your assignment.

Many shipping companies will ask you to remove all belongings from your car to cut down on weight, which means that you are limited to the luggage you take with you when you fly to your travel assignment. It’s also important to give yourself a few days of buffer when shipping a car since there can be logistical problems if you’re not shipping it to a big city.

Nurses who want to ship their cars might consider using car rental apps like Zipcar or Turo, which allows you to rent cars from other people in the city you’ve traveled to. These cars will allow you to explore the area and drive to and from work, without the high costs that come with shipping a car.


Renting a car for your travel nursing assignment is the most convenient method of transportation for travel nurses who don’t want to drive to their assignments. There are many benefits to renting a car for your travel nursing assignment. You can choose a car that fits your lifestyle (some nurses want an SUV for long weekend trips or a Prius for low gas consumption and lower costs) and your travel nursing adventures. You also don’t have to worry about routine maintenance like oil changes.

However, renting a car can be expensive. In fact, depending on the length of your assignment, it may be more costly than having your car shipped. To calculate this, consider the up-front cost of shipping your own car compared to the ongoing costs of car rental per week of your travel assignment.

It’s also worth considering that some rental agencies have restrictions on where cars can be driven (e.g. no bumpy or unpaved roads). You will also have to fit all your belongings in your suitcase, limiting what you can bring on your travel nursing assignment.

As mentioned earlier, Zipcar and Turo are both solid options for nurses who don’t want to drive to their assignments but want the freedom of a car once they arrive.

Want to speak with someone who knows about the intricacies of getting travelers to their assignments, no matter where they are? Our HCTN recruiters are standing by to answer any and all questions you have. Click below to get in touch.

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