What To Do During Thanksgiving as a Travel Nurse

Health Carousel Travel Nursing
November 18, 2021
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Being away from family and friends during a travel assignment can be difficult, especially during the holidays. Are you finding yourself spending Thanksgiving alone as a travel nurse? 

Travel nurses usually end up working most holidays during their assignment, but if you find yourself with the rare day off, chances are you may not have enough travel time to make it home to share a meal with family. Consider these suggestions to help you get through the holiday. 

Travel Home

Chances are you may not be a short driving distance away from your family (or even some extended family & friends you haven’t seen in a while) during your assignment, but if you are, take the day to share a meal and catch up.


Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for all that you have and to give back to others less fortunate. If you find yourself having the day off, consider volunteering at a local homeless shelter, senior center, or soup kitchen serving Thanksgiving meals to those in need. 

You could also deliver meals or Thanksgiving desserts to your colleagues that are working that day, to win over fellow nursing staff!

Share a Meal with Coworkers

If you find yourself not wanting to spend Thanksgiving alone, ask around and see what your coworkers have planned. You may find yourself with an invite to a fellow nurse’s family gathering, or arrange a dinner out with other fellow travel nurses. Reach out to your recruiter to see if there are any other fellow travelers in the area.


If you don’t have any plans for the Thanksgiving holiday, relax, and enjoy your well deserved time off. Let yourself catch up on some sleep, read your favorite book, take a bath, and order in a meal from a local restaurant. Catch up on the shows you have been meaning to watch or visit that park you have passed on your way to the hospital. Video chat with family and friends so that you can spend time with them on the holiday, regardless of how far away you are. 

Pick up a Shift

If crashing a fellow coworker's Thanksgiving dinner or spending the day alone doesn’t sound appealing to you, take advantage of holiday pay and sign up for an extra shift. Working holidays as a travel nurse can be a great opportunity to earn some extra cash and help out the unit. It shows that you are a team player and are willing to help your new coworkers. 

Stay Close to Home

Choose an assignment that you know will be close to home during the holiday season if it's important for you to be home for the holidays.

Travel Nurse Life

Moving to a new city every few months can be exciting, but it is natural to feel lonely when you are away from friends and family during the holiday season. Hopefully, this gave you a few options to consider to help you enjoy Thanksgiving as a travel nurse. Our travel nurse recruiters at Health Carousel Travel Nursing understand what life can be like as a travel nurse, and are always here to listen to your concerns and provide support. 

Lauren Rivera

Lauren Rivera BSN, RNC-NIC is a certified neonatal intensive care nurse. She serves as a nurse expert for a mother/baby telehealth company, and develops content for various nursing sites and fellow healthcare providers.

Health Carousel Travel Nursing

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