Healthcare providers are often drawn to locum tenens work for the unique travel opportunities that come with the job. As a provider, you can choose where (and if) you’d like to be temporarily relocated. From mountain towns to seaside destinations, D&Y makes it possible to achieve your travel and professional goals.
While exploring new cities is a definite job perk, navigating airports is undoubtedly the least enjoyable part of the process. And with the holiday season approaching, airport traffic will increase exponentially. Whether you’re taking an assignment during the holidays or considering a future cross-country locum tenens opportunity, follow these tips to make your travel less stressful.
We recommend that all of our traveling providers purchase TSA PreCheck, as it can significantly reduce the time spent going through airport security. The application process is simple and requires a small fee, but it’s well worth the cost. Domestic travelers can purchase a 5-year membership for $85, and international travelers can opt for the Global Entry membership for an additional $15. With a membership, you won’t be required to remove your shoes, laptop, compliant liquids, belt or jacket, allowing you get to your gate faster. The benefits of TSA PreCheck are evident throughout the year, but it will prove invaluable come the holiday season.
The holiday season is notorious for flight delays. With inclement weather a possibility during the winter months, it’s important to plan for changes to your flight schedule. To avoid arriving at your assignment destination late, morning flights are a safer option than late-night flights. In the event that your flight is delayed or canceled, you’ll have the opportunity to find another flight later in the day.
While checked bags may be necessary for long-term assignments, we recommend opting for a carry-on when traveling for short-term assignments. Hospitals will have all of your work essentials, so you will only be required to travel with personal items. Packing your belongings in a carry-on bag allows you to bypass baggage claim, getting you to your destination faster and minimizing your time spent in the airport. Lost baggage is always a possibility when traveling with a checked bag, but it’s completely avoidable when using a carry-on.
The holiday season tends to see more airport traffic than usual, but certain days are far worse than others. When possible, avoid peak travel days like the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, or the day after Christmas. Even if it means arriving for an assignment early, your travel will be far less hectic if you avoid the busiest days. If you’re taking locums work in a new city, use the extra time as an opportunity to try out a popular local restaurant or visit major landmarks.
Consider traffic patterns when you decide what time to head to the airport. If you’re traveling in an unfamiliar city, ask your hotel concierge for a recommendation on when to leave to get to the airport on time. Most airlines recommend arriving at least two hours before takeoff, but you may need to arrive even earlier if you’re traveling around the holidays. TSA’s website provides security wait-time estimates for several airports that can be helpful in deciding when to arrive at the airport.
If you’re planning an assignment during the holidays or another time when your kids are out of school, consider bringing your family. Locums jobs can be a great way to plan a vacation—especially when you’re visiting an exciting destination. You won’t feel like you’re missing out on time with your kids, and it gives them a chance to experience a new place. Add on a few days to the front or back of your assignment to explore the area and visit the city’s tourist destinations. As you plan for your next trip, keep in mind that you’ll need to plan and pay for your family’s travel separately.
Are you interested in traveling to a new city as a locum tenens provider? Speak with a recruiter today!