Having young children (we are talking between 2-5 here) can certainly be a challenge to the idea of travel nursing, but it doesn’t have to mean that it is impossible. There are things to consider if it is something you are thinking about, but there are also things you may have in your favor as well.
Taking your young kids with you while you are travel nursing is a great way to provide your child with new experiences and environments that can help with their development as they grow and it can really spark their curiosity and learning opportunities. However, it can also be a time of stress for a young child to change environments too often though, so be sure to check out the resources at the end of this post before deciding if travel nursing with a young child is right for your family.
Who will watch your young child while you are a travel nurse?
The one overriding concern that will ultimately determine whether traveling with your young child is who will watch your child(ren) while you are working. But some simple questions will help you look at a wide range of options to address that concern:
- How permanent of a lifestyle change will travel nursing be?
- Is your spouse or significant other going on your travel nursing job with you?
- How far from home are you going to be travel nursing?
- Will extended family be nearby or traveling with you while you are travel nursing?
How permanent of a lifestyle change will travel nursing be?
The first question you need to look at is how permanent or temporary of a lifestyle change this is going to be for you. If it is just for the summer for instance then it will not require as much work and pre planning as making it a permanent move for your family. Once you know how long you plan on traveling then you can address the next three questions.
Is your spouse or significant other going on your travel nursing job with you?
If you have your spouse traveling with you then childcare is obviously a much easier issue to address than if you are a single parent looking to travel (keep an eye out for a future post in this series about travel nursing as a single parent). But even having your spouse or significant other traveling with you that doesn’t mean that it is necessarily going to work out that one of you will always be home to care for the little tykes.
If having your spouse or significant other watch your little one while you are at work is not an option then there are other possibilities, they just take a bit more planning. One option here obviously is to utilize the local daycare in the city you are traveling in, assuming it is big enough to offer daycare. Your hospital or spouses employer may also offer a corporate daycare setting if your hours work out.
How far from home are you going to be travel nursing?
Another question you need to ask is how far from home you are going to travel. Travel nursing assignments don’t have to be across the country, they can actually be close to your home too (you just may not be eligible for a Per Diem allowance). So if you take an assignment close to your home then you can just work out arrangements with your current daycare provider or at the very least it will be easier to find a daycare provider in your hometown.
Will extended family be nearby or traveling with you while you are travel nursing?
Of course, never underestimate the role that your family can play in helping you achieve your goal to travel. There may be a family member, like a retired grandparent who is willing to travel with you. They would get to spend time with their grandchild and wouldn’t cost you much more to bring along and certainly they would be cheaper than daycare. If you don’t have a grandparent that is able to go with you, don’t worry; just get creative. Do you have a college aged sister who could go? Or an aunt? Obviously this may not work for everyone, but it is definitely worth exploring before determining that you can’t be a travel nurse because you have young children.
If your family can’t travel with you maybe you could to travel to them. With all the travel nursing needs out there with a little patience you could try to find assignments near your family who could watch your child. This could be a great chance for them to spend time with family they don’t get to see very often, while you can earn more money as a travel nurse.
Conclusion about travel nursing with young children
Travel nursing with young children may not be the easiest way to travel, but it is definitely doable with some planning if you have your heart set on it and feel that it is good for your family. Below are some more resources to help you make your decision and help you with the process if you embark on the journey.
Resources for travel nursing with young children
Traveling with young kids in general
- A Child’s Tools for Travel Fun
- Tips for Travel With Young Kids
- How to Move with Children: 10 Tips for Relocating with Kids
- Easing the Trauma of Moving for Children
- Relocation: Helping Your Children Make the Move
- On the Move: Helping Children Adjust to Moving and Relocation
- On the Move:Relocating With Young Ones Requires Extra Care
- How can I make moving to a new house easier on my toddler?
- How to Ease the Trauma of Relocating for Children