Ask a Travel Nurse Question:
I just took my first travel assignment and I love it, but my company has me in a motel and not the efficient little apartment that I was promised. How do I keep this from happening and get the housing I want in the future? Also, have you ever taken an assignment and found out it wasn’t quite what you imagined?
Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:
Yes, I have been on an assignment where everything was not as expected; in fact, I have been on a few.
The measure of a travel company is not when things are going great, just the opposite. The true gauge of a travel company comes when you see how they react to problems with your assignment. If you have not already, voice your frustration with your company’s housing coordinator and make sure you also let your recruiter know what is going on. Your recruiter is your advocate within the company and if you were promised an apartment, and one is not provided within a timely manner, then you do have one easy decision … NOT to use that company again.
I use several companies for my travels, but the one I use most has always provided great housing. The trade off? I was never the highest paid traveler in the unit, but what did I care? I was earning a decent wage that allowed me to pay all my monthly bills and have money left over for fun. Being that I always went to locations that I wanted to see, I felt very blessed to have at least three months to explore the area, make a living, and have a nice place to lay my head. What more could I ask for?
However, I do know that many travelers are what I term “paycheck” travelers, who are all about making the MOST take home pay (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). But for me, it’s about the adventure, not the money. You sound as if you do not fall into the “paycheck” category, but do want a nice place and have some concerns about being paid fairly.
As for your present situation, raise hell, give them a chance to make it right, and then choose where you go from there. If an apartment is in your contract, then likely, technically (or more precisely, legally), they have breached the contract (if it was in your contract, you can even point this out to them). I cannot give legal advice as I am not a lawyer, but this in itself could provide a way for you to walk on the contract.
Personally, I might allude to the possibility of “walking” to your company if they do not make things right, but would probably not actually do it as the company may decide to levy some penalty, fee, or other cute way of taking money out of your paycheck to cover their losses.
Again, if they do not remedy the situation, at least you know which company to avoid in the future.
The best way to keep this from happening is to make sure your recruiter and the housing coordinator know that you want a one-bedroom apartment and will not leave for your assignment until you have a confirmed address (usually at least a week before your contract begins … especially if traveling cross-country).
Once you have the address, go a step further and call the apartment complex and confirm the lease, their address, apartment number, and start date (and any extras agreed upon like the ability to take pets, a second floor apartment, etc.).
You can also look up the complex on any of several rental websites (or the corporate website) and see the location and amenities.
As always, if you do need company options for your next contract, you can write me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d be happy to set you up with the great recruiters I use and trust with my travels.
Hope this helps and hope your travel company comes through for you.