a travel nurse making the most of the holiday season with one of her patients

Making the Most of Travel Nursing During the Holidays

Dec 5, 2022

Flexibility is one of the many reasons that nurses choose to travel. That flexibility can be a particular asset during the holiday season, though you still need (or try your best) to plan thoroughly in advance. How is working the holidays different when you're a travel nurse? Many people are looking for time off during the holidays, so there’s often an increase in the need for shorter, 4-13-week assignments.

Wanting to try out traveling, or are on the fence about starting a new assignment during the holidays? Here are a few ways to make the most of the season while on the job.

Seize the (holi)day

The holiday-stuffed half of the year can be the perfect opportunity to bump a location to the top of your assignment preference list. Maybe you’ve always dreamed of going to Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade or seeing the ball drop, so this could be a great chance to check out the Big Apple. Sick of cold weather? Look for assignments in warmer climates seeking additional help for the holidays.

Holiday pay and other perks

Additionally, some travelers don’t need all the holiday hubbub and prefer to make more cash by picking up extra holiday shifts. Because there’s more demand for travel nurses during the holiday season, there are more opportunities for overtime, bonuses, and higher pay rates. Always discuss holiday rates in detail with your recruiter to determine if working the holiday is worth it (however you deem it) and if the assignment is a good fit for you.

Besides the money, there are many opportunities to create connections during the end-of-the-year holidays, like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. Whether you’re bringing your patients holiday cheer or bonding with your coworkers, holidays at work can still become warm memories.

Keeping connected

That said, the holiday season can highlight the lonelier side of traveling. Don’t let it get you down. There are many ways to keep connected to loved ones, even if you can’t all be together.

Utilize technology to stay connected

If the pandemic has had any silver lining, creative ways to connect online are one of them. Schedule some holiday facetime or phone calls— or text a friend. Create a watch party for a holiday film or do a digital game night. Just because you can’t be in the same room doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be part of the fun of a gathering.

Organize festivities for fellow travelers

One of the benefits of choosing this career is the countless people you will meet while you are on the road. If having a national network of friends and colleagues appeals to you, don’t hold back from celebrations with new friends on the road. Meeting new people and exploring new places are just two of the perks of the traveling nurse lifestyle. Apps like NurseGrid can help you schedule holiday plans with travelers to have a “Friendsgiving” at a local restaurant, check out a Christmas market, create a white elephant night, or plan a NYE night out. Small things can go a long way.

Looking for something more but need some ideas to start? We recommend:

  • Dressing up for SantaCon
  • Taking part in a Polar Plunge
  • Check out a tree lighting (National or otherwise)

Making your own traditions

As hinted above, every new city can be a reason for celebration, with or without comrades. Take time to make your own traditions. Challenge yourself to find the best cinnamon roll, karaoke bar, or whatever you fancy during these assignments, and keep that tradition going. Have you found a local restaurant, coffee shop, or personal hidden gem that’s become a regular haunt during your assignment? Stop in, treat yourself—marinate in the small moments that come with traveling.

Have a merry holiday season with GetMed

Despite the influx of attention that the time of year gets, like any assignment, working holidays as a traveler comes down to what you make of them — whether you choose to even work them at all. There are benefits to both sides! Even if you can’t get your preferred holiday off during a contract, you still have many ways to make the most of it.

GetMed Staffing is here for you whether you want to transition your skillset from a permanent position to a traveling healthcare professional or are looking to add another assignment to your list. Our experience and care allow our team to connect with you on a deeper level to learn about your career drivers and help you further them! 

Connect with our team today and get started on your next adventure!