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By March 19, 2015 6 Comments

Ask a Travel Nurse: Any advice for someone scared to travel alone?

Travel Nurse takes selfie on bridge

Ask a Travel Nurse: Any advice for someone scared to travel alone?

Ask a Travel Nurse Question:

I am looking to take a Travel Nursing assignment in California this spring, and originally planned on doing it with my best friend but that fell through. I would really love to travel but I’m a little scared to do it on my own. I’m a 27-year-old woman, have never lived on my own, and this would be my first Travel Nurse assignment. Any advice for someone scared to travel alone? On the other h and , are there any blogs where I can find a traveling buddy?

Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:

When I published my book on Travel Nursing back in 2009, one of the first chapters covered the traits that a travel nurse should possess. I mentioned that if you have never lived on your own or done your own laundry, then travel might be a big wake up call.

There is no doubt, having a support system of family and friends, that might be hundreds or even thous and s of miles away, can be a bit unsettling. But I do believe that it is only when we push ourselves that we truly grow. Ever had an extremely chaotic shift at work, with a critically ill patient, where you spent the entire shift just trying to keep your patient alive? While it may have been a horrible shift when you were “in the mix,” afterward you likely learned a few things and grew from the experience. It is the same with Travel Nursing.

At 27, I believe you would do okay if you pushed yourself, but I can respect if it’s your decision to want a companion along the way. Try hitting some of the Travel Nursing sites and post what you are looking for in a travel companion.

Some good Travel Nurse forums can be found at,, and the Delphi forum for traveling professionals (go to, look for the box on the right that says “Explore existing forums”, type in “travel nursing” and the top result is a group called Travel Nurses and Therapists).

Pan Travelers is also another good site with a forum as is Healthcare Travelbook, which is a sort of Facebook style place for travelers.

And since you asked for some general travel advice, I hate to make this shameless plug for the book, but I truly do believe that I’ve taken all my travel experience and put it in one great place for those just starting out. It’s called the Travel Nurse’s Bible and while I’ve been working on a rewrite for some time now, I’ve had a chaotic last year. But with all the continued requests for the book, I decided to make the 2009 edition available online in the Amazon Kindle store.

While it is a few years old, during the reworking of the book, I was surprised to see how much of the book, has stood the test of time. Plus, I’ve made it available for less than the price of your next meal at McDonalds. It’s a great place to start even if you do have some knowledge about the travel industry.

If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download free programs or apps to read it from any computer, tablet, or smartphone. You can find it here.

So, try hitting the forums for a travel companion, but if you can’t find one, consider steps toward gaining more independance, or just go for it and take the big step. If you are still a little uncertain, try a Travel Nursing assignment a few hours away or one state over. That way, if you really need to, you could always head home for a recharge on your days off.

I hope this helps and if you need any help getting started with some great recruiters in the industry, I do always offer to set nurses up with the people I use and trust with my travels. Just email me directly at


About the Author:

Hello everyone. I’m a travel nurse originally from Ohio who graduated in 1993 from Mount Carmel School of Nursing in Columbus. I completed a critical care fellowship at Riverside Methodist Hospital in 1994 and started traveling in that specialty a year later. My first travel assignment was in Maui and since that time I have completed close to 40 different contracts in various states with multiple travel companies. I am the author of Travel Nurse’s Bible (A Guide to Everything on Travel Nursing), in addition to my writings here and in the pages of Travel Nursing publications such as Healthcare Traveler Magazine and American Nurse Today. I am presently on assignment in Phoenix, AZ and travel anywhere from six to eleven months of the year.

6 Comments on "Ask a Travel Nurse: Any advice for someone scared to travel alone?"

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  1. Lisa


    I began traveling as an IR nurse 3 years ago. I absolutely love it and have had assignments all over the U.S. wish I could have started sooner, but due to other obligations I wasn’t able to pursue it any earlier.
    David’s book is s must have. I plan on doing this until I retire in 5 years. What an adventure it has been. After 35 years I have fallen back in love with my profession.

  2. Ginger Curry


    1) Go carless–having to get around by plane, train, subway, bus or water taxi (I am currently on assignment in Baltimore) forces one to depend on others and makes you keenly aware of your surroundings. 2) Rent a bedroom/private bath in a house –stable environment and someone is kinda always watching out for you. 3) Call home, or a close friend on a regular bases–Just feels good knowing someone, even from a distance is watching out for you (more than anything ppl you love worry less). 4) As said, remember, traveling leaves you speechless then turns you into a story teller–more time to write when you travel solo.

  3. Sarah Wengert


    Lisa, I love that Travel Nursing has let you fall back in love with nursing. And Ginger, thanks for sharing those great tips!

  4. jennifer walker


    Lisa. Are you looking for a travel buddy. I am a32 yo RN in the OR. Just finished an assignment and looking for another one. It would be nice to share housing and have someone to explore the area with and look for cultural things to do or hiking etc. Or anyone out there looking for a travel buddy.

  5. Rebecca


    Good Afternoon All,

    I am looking at getting back into travel nursing. I would love to find any nursing groups that are interested in taking assignment together.. I am not as interested in traveling alone anymore. If there are any suggestions of a group of nurses traveling together please let me know. I am interested in all states. I currently hold an California and Indian license.. Any advice much appreciated.. Thank you

  6. David says:

    You can also try posting to various online travel nursing forums.

    Some good forums can be found at,, and the Delphi forum for traveling professionals (go to, look for the “enter search keywords box in the center, and type “travel nurses”, and the top result is a group called Travel Nurses and Therapists with over 50,000 members).

    Pan Travelers is also another good site with a forum as well as Healthcare Travelbook (, which is a sort of Facebook style place for travelers.

    Hope this helps.


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