You have enough to worry about with getting licensing and credentialing in order for your travel nursing assignment, so why not simplify the other steps in the process?
With apps to help you find affordable gas, connect with loved ones, go sightseeing and even meet new friends while you’re living in a new place, you’ll be feeling at home in no time. Here are our favorites:
FaceTime is great if you have an iPhone or iPad and so do the rest of your family and friends, but Skype is the perfect messaging app for any platform.
While you may be familiar with its free video calls for mobile devices, desktops and even TVs, you might not know about its group chat function or ability to call any landline or mobile phone, whether international or within the United States, for as low as 2 cents a minute (depending on where you call). Skype is a great way to keep in touch with those you love affordably while you’re away from them.
If you’re driving across the country for a travel nursing assignment and to and from work each day, you’ll go through quite a bit of gas — but it’s hard to know where the cheapest pumps are, especially if you’re new to the city. GasBuddy allows users to post the price of gas per gallon at stations throughout the United States as they visit them, and then sorts them from least to most expensive so you can figure out where to fill up. Simply type in your zip code to see how much gas costs near you or view a map with gas pump icons and prices to view several zip codes at once.
You can also filter results by regular, midgrade, premium or diesel gasoline or even by top-tier stations (those that supply gas with fewer additives). GasBuddy offers a trip cost calculator and gas price charts by state or country so you can track trends as well.
Don’t miss out on that amazing wax museum in the Midwest or the Airstream Ranch in Florida simply because you didn’t know they existed. Download the Roadtrippers app on your phone for your next assignment and type in your current location and destination. You’ll immediately see a plotted route with icons dotting your way and can sort by accommodations (including bed and breakfasts and motels), attractions and culture, restaurants, outdoor opportunities, points of interest, camping and RV spots, entertainment and more.
Add “layers” to your trip to see attractions, sports opportunities and restaurants at the same time, for example, and save and share your trip with others on social media or through email so they can see where you’re headed.
You’ve probably used Google Translate to read a comment in another language online or even just to type in phrases here and there to see what they mean in Spanish, but did you know you can download the app and translate entire conversations while they’re happening? While Google Translate will never be as accurate as a live interpreter will be, the app allows you to use your camera to scan text (say a sign in an airport) and instantly translate it into 26 languages.
You can also begin typing and the app will automatically translate the text into the language you choose, and you have the option to save translations for later when you need them again. Finally, Google Translate allows you to download language packs and use them when you’re traveling to quickly figure out how to say or write something to someone who doesn’t understand you. While it’s invaluable when traveling, it’s also helpful for translating conversations you may have with non-English-speaking patients.
TV Food Maps
Whether you’re obsessed with shows like Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and Man Vs. Food or simply want to find the best, most unique restaurants to eat at on your travel nursing assignment, you’ll love the TV Food Maps app. You can type in your location and get a list of all the restaurants and bars in the area featured on top food/cooking TV shows or sort by TV show and then state to find only places featured on No Reservations, for example.
If reading about mouth-watering food makes you want to watch the original episodes, never fear! The app also lists upcoming showtimes for your favorite series, complete with links to the restaurants featured in them.
It’s not easy to meet people when you’ve moved to a brand-new city and will only be staying for a few months. Fortunately, there’s an app to help with that, too. Enter your city in Meetup and find hundreds of get-togethers ranging from book clubs to paranormal groups who check out haunted houses together. You can choose from more than 30 categories (such as fitness or singles) or browse all of the upcoming events in your area.
If you can’t find the right group for you, it’s simple to start your own and get people with related interests to join you. You may be able to find other travel nurses in the area as well and share what’s working for you on your assignment.
Though each city will be different and you’ll face other challenges when taking a travel nursing job, these apps can help you enjoy your time there and stay connected in the process.
Share your favorite travel apps with us below, and check out the Top 5 Apps for Nurses for other resources that can help you on the job.