Your a mobile PT, why not have a mobile TV?

man holding TVIf you take a travel physical therapy job far enough away from your home that you need to set up housing, one thing you will have to deal with is setting up cable while you are there if you want it. There are companies that pay for your cable and that makes the cost easier to deal with. Some companies will even set it up for you, but that is still a pain waiting around for the cable guy all afternoon.

But there is an alternative. Slingbox.

Slingbox is fairly new (its been around a couple years already), but lately it hit me how awesome it could be for a traveling PT.You basically hook up the Slingbox to your TV at your home and it lets you watch your TV at home on the Internet through your laptop, PC or SmartPhone, no matter where you are.

Here is a video about it.

If you have it you don’t have to deal with the headache or cost of setting up cable at your housing while on assignment. It is definitely worth checking out.

If you have used or are already using it during your travel physical therapy jobs let us all know how you like it.

Under the Same Woof: Take Your Pets With On Your Next Travel Therapy Assignment

Traveling to your next travel therapy job without your furry friends would make things seem incomplete. There’s nothing better than coming home from a hard days work and having your four-legged friend meet you at the door, especially if you’re away from home. Having them along with you during your assignment would help give your new routine some semblance to actually being home, and there’s no reason you can’t bring them.

Traveling to your next travel therapy job without your furry friends would make things seem incomplete. There’s nothing better than coming home from a hard days work and having your four-legged friend meet you at the door, especially if you’re away from home. Having them along with you during your assignment would help give your new routine some semblance to actually being home, and there’s no reason you can’t bring them. Most agencies will do what they can to accommodate you and your pets, but double-check with your recruiters and the companies you may be researching to ensure that it is allowed. I can imagine if you work for one that does not permit this, you may want to venture out and find a new agency to work with.

Start by talking with your recruiter, they are the best resource to anything you may have questions about regarding your assignments. Tell them that you want to bring along Fido and let them take care of the rest. In most cases, housing can be found that will allow pets, but you may have to pay a little extra for a pet deposit and so forth. It all depends on the location and the housing available, in larger cities it is fairly easy to find places that welcome pets, but in smaller, more rural locations, you may have difficulty. It all depends.

Take your pets with to your next travel therapy job.
Traveling with pets is easy.

When you have your new therapy job lined up, it’s wise to take a little extra time to carefully plan your trip since you’ll be traveling with your pet(s), especially if you are traveling by car. If you plan on flying, definitely check with the airlines ahead of time – there are sure to be some guidelines you’ll have to follow regarding traveling pets.

If you browse the internet and search for “traveling with pets,” you will find a number of great sites and services out there to assist you, either in mapping out a route that is pet friendly or just best practices. One such site is Pets On the Go, which has listings of  everything from B&B’s to major hotel chains that welcome pets.  You’ll also find great travel tips and links to things you can buy for your pets related to traveling.

Another good site to check out is, They offer a product called, Auto Friends. It’s a hammock-like slip cover that lays over top of your back seat and prevents your pets from sliding should you hit the brakes quickly. It also protects your upholstery from stains and such and is easy to clean and maintain. The site also released a list of the top 10 destinations for traveling with pets.

1. New York City – Between winding trails, off-leash hours and fenced-in dog parks, NYC’s Central Park is the perfect pet hang-out. Plus, pet daycare can be found in nearly every Big Apple neighborhood.
2. Chicago – Dogs are welcome on canine cruises at Chicago’s Navy Pier, and the Windy City is home to a number of pet resorts and patio restaurants that welcome furry friends.
3. Boston – Pooches are welcome to tour Boston Harbor by boat, and dogs are welcome to take the subway.
4. Houston – Local pet lovers praise Barnaby’s Cafe, where pets aren’t just welcome, they’re given their own cardboard bowl to dine from while their owners grab a bite.
5. San Francisco – The city by the bay offers plenty of pet-friendly dining, off-leash beaches, and outdoor areas. Take your dog for a stroll across the Golden GateBridge — or even bring him along on a cable-car ride!
6. Austin – Besides outdoor cafes and off-leash parks, Austin residents tout the Zilker Botanical Gardens and Congress Street Bats as great places for local dogs (and dog-owners).
7. Washington (and its suburb Alexandria, Va.) – Both areas feature plenty of pet-friendly restaurants and parks.
8. Portland, Ore. – The Lucky Labrador restaurant chain is famously pet-friendly. Pets are also invited to visit the Rose Gardens and Saturday outdoor market.
9. Charleston – Bring your pet along on a walking tour of historic Charleston, whether it’s a daytime stroll through Magnolia Plantation or a nighttime ghost tour of the city’s haunted haunts.
10. Ann Arbor – Pets are welcome to frolic in many of the city’s outdoor spaces, including the Nichols Arboretum, a large botanical garden at the University of Michigan.
So you should be ready now to hit the road with furry friends, don’t forget the treats! Bone voyage!

Travel Physical Therapy Career Guide: Step 5 – Weighing your housing options

The next thing you are going to want to think about in planning your travel therapy assignment is your housing options.

First off you need to decide if you are even going to need housing. If you have decided that you are going to work an assignment that is within an hour of your home then you can opt to receive a housing stipend instead of worrying about setting up housing. But if you are going to need housing you basically have two options.

1. Have the travel therapy company find you your housing
2. Take a housing stipend and find your own housing

Having the travel therapy company find you your housing has its pros and cons, but most of the better companies will provide it for you if you want it. One of the main benefits of having the travel therapy company find it for you is that it becomes one less thing you have to worry about. They also have the expertise, time, knowledge of the area and established relationships that may allow them to get discounts you may not be able to get on your own, so they may be able to find you better accommodations than you could on your own.

But on the flipside there is an element of unknown when someone else chooses where you are going to live for the next 3-6 months. Here are some key questions you should ask regarding housing if you go with the company provided housing to avoid surprises.

Who pays for?

  • Rent
  • Moving Expenses
  • Utilities (check if there is a monthly allowance and which ones are covered by the company, including cable and internet)
  • Deposit (if there is one)

Will the housing be?

  • Close to my hospital (check on your own using Google Maps)
  • An extended stay, apartment, duplex or  house
  • Located in a safe location
  • Private
  • Furnished with basics like a bed, chair, microwave, television, TV stand, washer & dryer, etc. (find out what you will need to bring if anything)
  • Equipped with things like plates, utensils, pots and pans, towels, etc. (again find out what you will need to bring)
  • Big or small (ask about the square footage so you are not surprised when you get there)
  • Central Air 

Can I bring?

  • My Spouse/Significant Other or Roommate
  • Pet

When can I?

  • Move in
  • Move out

Now if you decide instead to take a housing stipend and set up your own housing or stay with family or friends who live near your travel therapy assignment, you will receive a monthly stipend to cover your costs so if you enjoy spartan living or already have housing with a family member or friend you can really use this as an opportunity to make some extra money. If you have to set up own travel therapy housing it will require some leg work and a fairly big time commitment to set it up. But here are some tips to help you get started:

1.  If it’s too good to be true then it probably is.  Stay away from renting from individual owners.  It’s a better idea to go with a property management company that has to follow HUD rules and regulations.  Our experience with individual owners has been that some, not all, like to keep money from deposits to continue work or updates on their rentals. 

2. Make sure you ask about fees and deposits.  Normally anything named a fee, like a Pet Fee, or Administration Fee are non refundable.  Deposits are usually fully refundable if there are no damages.  Some places charge deposits but then automatically take money from that deposit for the clean at move out.  Therefore if you ask up front you will know exactly what to expect at move out. 

3. Always get pictures if possible.  If you have pictures of your unit before you move in, then you can make sure to take pictures at move out.  Therefore you are not charged for any damages that aren’t yours. 

4. Double check your lease.  Even after discussing on the phone the rent, lease term and other items the lease could come back differently.  Look over dates, rent amount, fees, day that rent is due, notice to vacate, utilities or any items included in the rent, and who is responsible for maintenance, yard care, and snow removal.   Knowing all these things up front will save you a lot of time when something goes wrong.

5. There are a lot of rental websites out there.  A couple favorites are, Apartment,,, and  In smaller towns Google Map the town and then search for apartments.  In smaller towns you may also have to reference the paper and chamber of commerce.  Once finding an apartment you can look up furniture companies online at Yahoo Yellow Pages.  Enter furniture rental and these are one of your best resources as far as quality and location of the apartments you are looking in to.  They live there and deliver furniture to these places so don’t hesitate to ask their opinion.

You got questions, hopefully they have the answers.

16474952The idea of a traveling for therapy and rehab jobs is a fairly new concept. Though it has been around for some time, not many know how to get involved and worse yet, may not know what to do to prepare yourself for the short-term contract assignment. Perhaps you’ve heard of others who have ventured out and loved every second and found their living quarters to be top-notch. Or maybe you’ve heard some who returned with unfavorable results, like the provided housing was “nestled along the shores of a beautiful lake,” when in reality it was a cabin next to a pond full of who knows what! My hope is that all your adventures lead you to the former. This can certainly happen but it will take some legwork from you.

It’s rare that you would make a major purchase, sight unseen, so why would you take a job in a city you’ve never been to and have no idea where you’re living or where you’ll be working. That’s just disaster waiting to happen. So what should you do? Ask questions and plenty of them. Here’s a series of The Ultimate List of Traveling Rehab & Therapy Questions that should help you learn more about the agency you are working with up front. Finding out as many answers to these questions will definitely help you in molding your perfect assignment. Try them out yourself. Have you thought of any other questions you need an answer to?

Short-Term Contract Questions List 1: Housing

  • Is housing furnished? (bed, night stand, couches, tables, etc.)
  • Are utilities paid? Up to how much do they pay? Which Utilities are not paid for?
  • What kind of housing do you offer? Is it private or shared?
  • Is it an apartment or house?
  • Can I have Pets?
  • How close is your housing to the hospital?
  • Does the travel nursing assignment allow me to bring my spouse or significant other, children, pets) Are there charges if I do?
  • When doing housing through your company can I have a part in choosing our own apartment so we can maybe negotiate with the apartment complex for even better deals?
  • Is there a housing package for things such as the kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom? (ie: pots/pans, utensils, towels, sheets?)
  • Does the housing you offer come with washer and dryers? If so where is it located? (eg: my room or within the complex?) If in the complex, do I have to pay to use it?
  • What about phone service, Internet (wireless), cable?  Are they included or do I pay for those?
  • How much sooner than my assignment start and end date am I allowed to move in and out?
  • Am I able to see where my room would be located in an apartment layout? Such as close to streets, parks and which floors?
  • Does the housing I am offered come with A/C and/or heat or would I have to find a way to take care of those needs myself?
  • Am I able to know the actual square feet of my apartment before and also see an exact layout of where the rooms are located to make sure the sq. ft. is right for me?
  • Do you offer an extended stay option instead?

Hopefully the answers to these questions will get you the housing you deserve and pictured. All it takes is being a little proactive and you will make your traveling career better than you could have ever imagined.