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Kathy’s Story: Traveling with a baby in an RV

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kathy-tim-rvKathy is the spouse of a travel nurse, touring the country in a 34 foot RV with her husband and their baby son. If you are thinking about traveling in an RV or traveling with a baby, you'll want to read this one. Kathy gives us an idea of what you might expect in an RV payment and monthly fees for a space at a park.

Specialty?

Husband is an ER Nurse.

Total years as a nurse?

10

Total years as a traveler?

3

Do you travel with a significant other? Children? Other family? Pets? 

My husband started out traveling alone but stayed in the state so I could visit him on the weekends and he could come home during the time he had off. Last year we decided that he would travel to Phoenix to establish residency and was here for 7 months. We now travel in our RV with our 10 month old son Garrett. We also travel with our Giant Schnauzer Dog Bailey.

What made you decide to pursue a career as a traveling nurse?

We heard about it from another nurse that was at the facility my husband worked at. We then started to do research and made the decision that was something we would love to do. We both love to travel and what a better way to do it than travel nursing.

How did your family react to the news of your plans to travel? How did you handle this?

They didn’t think it was something that we would do and at first just brushed it aside. I think they realized we were serious when Tim finally put his notice in at the hospital and we actually took the plunge and did it. After they realized this was something we were doing they were all very supportive.

What was your biggest fear when you first started traveling or considered traveling?

Looking back, were those fears justified?

Not having work available in the state we lived in. Not getting paid during the time he wasn’t working. Some of them were justified. The longest time we went without him working was 3 weeks and that was our decision to make. Waiting to hear from a hospital and wondering where we are going next can be stressful at times but it also adds to the excitement as well. Always have some kind of a nest egg to live off of in case something happens. I also highly recommend having some kind of short term disability insurance especially if you are the main bread winner of the family.

What were you most excited about?

Being able to see this great country of ours. It is amazing how different each state is and being able to experience this first hand is one of the things we love most.

Which company do you currently travel with? Why did you decide to go with them?

We currently travel with TotalMed Staffing but just switched over to them. The other contracts we have always been with Advantage RN. We like both companies but switched to Totalmed this contract since they were able to offer more pay.

What do you love most about travel nursing?

Being able to see the country, my husband who is the nurse also likes the fact that he only has to work usually 13 weeks in a hospital. If he doesn’t like it we move on. You can pretty much handle anything for 13 weeks.

What do you find to be the hardest part about traveling?

Being away from our family for the big stuff. Our son will be turning 1 year old on the road and he won’t have any family to help him celebrate his big Birthday. But on the other hand he will get to see things that most other families only dream of.

If traveling with a significant other, what does he/she do to fill time while you work?

I watch our 10 month old son and I have a Travel Agency on the side.

If you travel with children, what are their age ranges?

10 months old.

Do you travel only during the school year or are your children homeschooled?

Our son will be homeschooled.

How do your children adjust to the frequent moving?

We have an RV so we take our house everywhere we go. So far, he seems to love to travel.

If you travel in an RV with your family, is space an issue?
Nope, my son has his own room in the back we have a living, dining, kitchen, bathroom and our bedroom. Plus we have the huge outdoors as well.

Do you ever have problems finding a location near the hospital?
So far this hasn’t been an issue. When the recruiter gives us areas to pick from I research the area and check out the RV parks to see if there are good ones available. I go on rvparkreviews.com and look at the reviews. If there are several parks with good reviews then I know we are ok.

What do you typically spend per month for RV payment and rental space?
We purchased a 2014 RV and our monthly payment runs around $300. Our RV space right now that we are in is $325. We have paid up to $700 for an RV space.

What’s your main goal for traveling? Adventure? Gaining knowledge? Looking for a place to settle? Our main goal for traveling is for both adventure and to learn about the areas. Right now we aren’t looking to settle but know that by traveling we will know where we want to settle down at.

What’s one thing you wish you had known when you first started traveling that you know now? There really isn’t anything, I researched for years before we took the plunge. One thing I wish there was more information on is International Traveling. That is something that we would love to do, but there isn’t a lot of information out there on it right now.

What’s one piece of advice you would pass along to a new traveler or someone considering traveling? Make sure you have some kind of money set aside, pay off your debt before you start.

You can follow Tim and Kathy along their journey and read more about them at their blog -  www.theadventuresofsuttonstravel.com

We would love to hear your travel nursing story! If you are up to the challenge, you can easily submit your story online.Whether you are just getting started as a traveler or have traveled for several years, your story could inspire others and help them decide if travel nursing is right for them. Thanks!