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  • Writer's pictureJalin Coblentz

Housing Options For Travel Physical Therapists

Updated: Jul 25, 2023

If you're a travel physical therapist or another type of traveling professional, finding temporary housing is always a significant obstacle. This is especially difficult if your business or recruiting agency doesn't help you find housing. However, while temporary housing is one of the more difficult aspects of travel therapy, it shouldn't keep you from giving it a try.

There are plenty of assets and websites out there to help you find travel therapy housing. This article will examine how to choose the right option and give you a few outside-of-the-box ideas if you're struggling to find housing.

Travel Therapy Housing Options

For the most part, travel physical therapists sign work contracts that are anywhere from 2 to 6 months in length. Because this isn't long enough for most traditional lease agreements, traveling healthcare professionals need to pursue other options. While some people turn to corporate or company housing, this isn't always viable. When you have to find your own housing accommodations, here's typically what your options are.

Entire Houses

In a perfect world, everyone would prefer to have an entire house to themselves for temporary housing. You have more privacy, room to spread out, and it's easier to feel at home when you have an entire house or condo at your disposal. Additionally, houses usually have more amenities and accessories than other housing options, including the following.

  • Extra rooms in case you have guests

  • More than one bathroom

  • Kitchen Appliances

  • Cookware and other kitchen utensils

  • Cleaning supplies

  • Blankets, pillows, and other comforts from home

Having an entire house to yourself is also great if you travel with your family. However, because entire houses typically cost double or triple what other housing options do, people can't always afford them. This is especially true if your agency doesn't provide a decent housing stipend.

Furnished Apartments

If an entire home isn't in the books, maybe a furnished apartment is! Furnished apartments, while typically not as big as houses, are the second-best option when it comes to temporary housing. They often have the same amenities and features as a house would, just with less square footage.

Furnished apartments come in all shapes and sizes and can range from a studio apartment to a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom luxury apartment. As you might have guessed, however, the bigger and fancier the apartment, the more money it's going to cost you. When it's all said and done, you can easily end up spending your entire housing stipend on an apartment, if not more.

Private Rooms

Private rooms located inside homes are becoming an increasingly popular housing option for short-term travelers. Depending on the size of the home in question, there may even be multiple private rooms available for rent. While some private rooms are accessible via a separate entrance, others are not, and it will vary from situation to situation.

In most cases, a private room will be equipped with a limited amount of accessories, such as a hot plate, coffee maker, and similar appliances. It's also common for people leasing out their private room to offer access to a kitchen and public area. You'll also have access to a shared or private bathroom, depending on your accommodations.

Private rooms are best suited for single people who are traveling alone and don't mind interacting with others. If you crave privacy and having your own space, however, a private room is not for you.

Extended Stay Hotels

Along with private rooms, extended-stay hotels are another short-term housing option that's growing in popularity. Extended-stay hotels offer the allure of room service, free cleaning, in-house laundry facilities, and even free breakfasts. However, the downside is that it's tough to make a hotel room feel like home.

You'll also have very limited storage space in a hotel room, not to mention the outlandish housing costs that most hotels charge. Extended Stay America, which is the most popular short to long-term housing hotel, still charges $100+ per night when you book an extended stay. However, if you're in a pinch and nothing else is working out, an extended-stay hotel is a viable option.


One of the lesser-known housing options for travel physical therapists is to stay at a campground. Many campgrounds, especially larger ones, have cabins or RVs that you can rent on a nightly, weekly, or monthly basis. Some cabins will even have kitchens, bathrooms, and an extra bed in case you have guests. In general, these options are also cheaper than houses, apartments, or hotels.

However, rental cabins and RVs are usually few and far in between, and it will take a bit of luck to find one. Additionally, a cabin or RV at a campground is usually fairly small, won't have a lot of storage space, and you'll likely have to bring blankets, kitchenware, bedding, and other comforts from home.


Finally, you have the option of buying or renting an RV and setting it up at a local campground. While the upfront cost of purchasing an RV is high, it's a good investment if you plan to travel long-term. The cost of staying at a campground for a month or more is often half of what it costs to rent a house, apartment, or hotel. Additionally, when you're traveling in the same RV from job to job, it will soon start feeling like home.

Things to Consider When Choosing Your Housing

Now that you know the various suitable housing options for your next travel therapy assignment, let's look at how to make the right choice.


If you're anything like me, you place a high value on privacy, and you're willing to pay a little extra for it. That's why the idea of staying in a private room, apart from not being big enough for two people and a dog, almost makes me cringe. It's also part of the reason we decided to invest in an RV so that we can live in the same home no matter where we go.

The Security Deposit

Another thing to think about when you're finding housing is whether or not they require a security deposit. In general, most short-term rentals will require a security deposit of some sort, but there's a big discrepancy in how much it is.

We've had deposits that were between $1,000 and $2,000 and deposits that were $100 to $200. It all depends on what you're comfortable spending and how confident you are that you'll get your deposit back at the end of your stay.

Pet Policy

If you want to travel with your furry companion, you'll also have to check the pet rules of any housing option you're considering. Unfortunately, while more and more rentals are becoming pet friendly, the vast majority still don't allow pets. As soon as you apply the "pet-friendly" filter, well over half of your rental options will disappear, which makes it extremely difficult to find short-term housing.

Additionally, most renters will also require a pet deposit and may even charge extra for rent.

Location, Location, Location

Another crucial thing that healthcare professionals need to think about is the proximity of a potential housing option to their place of work. Depending on the driving distance, it's worth paying a little extra to be closer to work when you factor in gas, oil changes, and other factors. This is especially true if you float between multiple local hospitals or medical centers.

Flexible Cancellation Policies

As with any type of lease agreement, it's important to check the fine print when you're thinking about submitting a housing request for a short-term rental. As any experienced travel therapist knows, there's a chance that your travel assignment will fall through, and you'll have to find a new contract. When this happens, you're going to want a refund on your deposit and any money you paid towards rent.

Your Budget

One of the nice things about being a travel physical therapist is that if you're employed by a recruiting or staffing agency, you'll be provided with a housing stipend. However, you receive the tax-free housing stipend as part of your weekly pay package, which means you can technically use it for whatever you want. Therefore, savvy travelers can save money by choosing the cheapest housing possible.

However, there's a fine line between saving money on housing and feeling safe and comfortable during your travels. You should never skimp on rent to save a few bucks if it's going to put you or your family in a bad situation.

Why is Temporary Housing So Hard to Find?

There are various factors as to why short-term housing is so hard to find. The main one is that it presents a higher risk and liability to renters offering their apartments, condos, and homes. In general, renters like to lock people into long-term lease agreements of at least a year for guaranteed income. With short-term leases, there's no guarantee that renters will have tenants from month-to-month.

As a result, most of the short-term housing options that are available are offered by individuals rather than corporations. This means that most of the temporary housing options available are individual houses or apartments rather than entire apartment complexes.

Who Can Benefit From This Article?

Although this article is meant specifically for traveling physical therapists, it can help all traveling professionals. This includes those that are involved in healthcare and those who travel for business, blue-collar work, or other reasons. In general, websites and housing agencies don't discriminate based on profession as long as you're in good legal standing and are a good tenant.

Here are some of the specific professions that can benefit from this information.

  • Travel Speech Language Pathologist

  • Travel Occupational Therapist

  • Oil Workers

  • Insurance Adjustors

  • Travel Nurses

  • Other Traveling Medical Professionals and Blue Collar Workers

Essentially, anyone who travels for work and requires short-term housing can use the options in this blog to find a home.

Final Thoughts

Whether you're a traveling physical therapist, travel nurse, or another type of traveling professional, this article should provide some valuable information that can help you find housing arrangements. This is especially true if you need to find your own housing, and agency-provided housing isn't an option. The sheer lack of options makes it tough to find temporary housing, not to mention affordable housing options.

However, by using the information in this article and searching helpful housing sites like Furnished Finder and Air BnB, you should be able to find your temporary home. It may also be worth reaching out to local real estate agents to see if they have any inside tips or deals for you. While it might not seem like it at first, there's almost always a viable housing option if you look hard enough.

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