Working as a locums physician more often than not means that you will be traveling a lot. Although traveling can be stressful, here are a few tips to ensure your travel days are smooth and hassle free.
- Use your locums agency’s travel department. Most locums companies will make the travel arrangements for you. They will book your flight, hotel, and rental car. Not only is this convenient, it offers an additional layer of protection in the event of a travel emergency. The locums company’s travel department is oftentimes available around the clock. Therefore, if you have an issue with a delayed or cancelled flight, issues with your hotel reservation, or issues with the rental car reservation, you can just call the travel agency and they will resolve the issue promptly.
- Always take a direct flight to your locums destination if available. Missed connections means you risk not making it to your locums assignment on time and that will cost you money.
- Try to fly into a major airport if possible. Flights into smaller, regional airports are often cancelled. In addition to that, the next available flight may not be until the next day. Therefore, try to fly into a major airport, even if it means you have to drive a few hours to reach your destination.
- Avoid taking the last flight of the day. If that flight is cancelled, you may not be able to fly to your locums destination until the next day. This means you will start your assignment one day late and miss out on one day of pay.
- Try to avoid traveling on the start date of your assignment. For example, if your locums assignment shift starts at 7 pm on Tuesday, do not fly to the location of the locums assignment on Tuesday. Fly in on Monday if possible. Delayed or cancelled flights mean that you could miss starting your assignment. Fly in the day before your assignment starts. If you must travel the same day, take the earliest flight available and make sure there are later flights to your destination just in case of a flight delay or cancellation.
- Get travel insurance. For around $200 hundred dollars a year, you can purchase a business traveler’s insurance policy. These will policies will provide coverage in the case of trip interruption, trip delay, baggage delay, loss/theft of property, emergency medical evacuation, etc.
- Notify your locums recruiter of any travel issues that may prevent you from starting your locums assignment on time. Your locums recruiter will notify the client who can make alternative arrangements just in case you can’t start your assignment on time.
- Sign up for the travel rewards programs. Try to use the same hotel chain, airline, and rental car company for your business travels. Enroll in their rewards programs. You will earn rewards points very quickly and will experience the travel perks that come along with them. As a result of my frequent flyer miles, I am able to take several free flights each year. I also earn enough hotel reward points to qualify for about a week’s worth of free hotel nights each year. On that same note, get a credit card affiliated with a rewards program. For example, if you fly one particular airline a lot, get a credit card affiliated with that airline. You will be awarded tens of thousands of frequent flyer miles just for opening the account. You will also get points for every dollar you spend.
For more information on how to make traveling to your locums assignment stress free, schedule your one-hour Locums Strategy Session with Dr. Stephanie.