Travel nurses get to see new places, meet interesting people, and gain valuable nursing experience. That said, living out of a suitcase can be difficult, and hotel breakfasts can start to get old. But some travel nurses have gotten creative with their travel nurse housing, and Bryan and Bethany Flake are leading the charge.
Bryan and Bethany have been travel nursing for four years, but with three kids, seven cats, four dogs, a pig, and a ball python (yes, really!), hotels aren’t an option, and trying to find rentals is beyond difficult. Bryan and Bethany love the flexibility of travel nursing, but they needed a house that was just as flexible as their career. Enter the tiny house on wheels!
Two travel nursing assignments ago, Bryan and Bethany decided to invest in a 30-foot custom trailer as their new home. They worked with a tiny house builder to create a custom tiny house that fit their lifestyle perfectly. For six months, they prepared by decluttering their current home, slowly getting rid of the things they didn’t need. Now, their home is 255 square feet, and with the addition of a loft, the total square footage is 415.
The tiny house on wheels lifestyle
Bryan and Bethany have loved that their tiny house has allowed them to take their home (and kids and pets!) with them on travel nursing assignments.
Three kids and thirteen pets in a tiny home might seem crowded, but Bethany said that with effective decluttering, it actually feels spacious. Bethany and Bryan have said that because their family is tight-knit, fighting hasn’t been an issue. Plus, one of their favorite features of the tiny home is the “catio” where the cats get their own space, including a fan that gets rid of the litter smell. The cats even get to watch the birds and squirrels outside with two large windows.
“Several of our cats never leave it they love it so much!” said Bryan.
Where do you park a tiny house? Bryan and Bethany rent land that has RV connections, as well as stay at RV parks and state or national parks. They prioritize renting land, due to its privacy and price.
Saving wallets and the environment
Not only are tiny houses easy and convenient to use, they’re friendly to the environment and even friendlier to your wallet. With fewer materials and smaller appliances, families with tiny houses have a carbon footprint that is less than a tenth the size of families with traditional houses, according to Renewable Energy World. These energy savings add up to financial savings!
The actual cost of building or buying a tiny house is much lower than traditional houses, as well. On average, building a new tiny house costs just $23,000. This explains why 68 percent of tiny house owners don’t have mortgages, compared to the average 29.3% of all homeowners.
All of this adds up, to the extent that Bryan and Bethany estimate that they’re currently saving around $500-$1,000 a month, although this number changes depending on their travel nursing location.
Adventuring at home
Bryan and Bethany enjoy the best of both worlds — the ability to travel where they’d like, along with the comforts of home. Bryan and Bethany still look for longer-term travel nursing assignments so that their kids can have stability, but Bryan said that his kids have adapted well to the tiny house.
“The kids have seen more in the last three years than I have in the first almost thirty years of my life,” said Bryan. “Instead of reading something in a book, you can go out and see it. When we were in Las Vegas, my daughter was learning about the Grand Canyon so we just took her to the Grand Canyon.”
Since they started travel nursing, Bryan and Bethany have had assignments in Texas, Nevada, Utah, and California. They loved the beautiful Padre Island State Beach in Texas, the amazing food in Las Vegas, and the breathtaking snow-capped mountains in Salt Lake City.
“We really have enjoyed each place and enjoyed exploring what each region of the country has to offer,” said Bethany.
Do you have travel nurse housing alternatives that work for you as a travel nurse? Share in the comments below!