Locum Life Hacks: Tips and Tricks for Doctors on the Move


Locum Life Hacks

Locum tenens roles provide a chance to explore diverse healthcare settings across the country. Yet, the thrill of moving from one assignment to the next is accompanied by the practical realities of a life in transit.

Each new city brings its own rhythm, local flavors, and the challenge of making a temporary space feel like home. From the art of packing a suitcase to mastering the dynamics of local transport in a new city, the locum lifestyle demands more than medical expertise — it requires a specific set of skills to thrive.

Here are 7 life hacks designed to make your locum assignments not just manageable but truly enjoyable.

1.   Travel light

Mastering the art of packing is crucial. Traveling light eases the transition between assignments and simplifies your life on the move.

A great place to start is with a capsule wardrobe comprising versatile pieces that can be mixed and matched to suit any occasion. Select items that are easy to care for and resist wrinkles.

Also, invest in a durable, lightweight suitcase with compartments to help you stay organized and avoid overweight baggage fees. Packing cubes and compression bags are lifesavers that keep your belongings neatly sorted and accessible while maximizing space.

2.   Save on Transportation

Whether traveling across the state or country, managing your transportation costs can significantly impact your savings.

One of the most effective ways to save on transport is through travel rewards programs. Airlines, hotels, and car rental companies offer points or miles that can substantially reduce the cost of flights and rentals.

You can also opt for ride-sharing and carpooling with services like Uber and Lyft. Additionally, some cities have local carpooling apps or community boards where you can find fellow healthcare professionals or locals willing to share rides.

Using public transportation? Use apps like Google Maps, Citymapper, or Waze for efficient transportation planning and navigation in new cities.

Quick tip: Download a map of the area you’re traveling to on Google Maps to access it even without cell phone coverage.

3.   Personalize your space

The transient nature of locum tenens assignments means constantly adapting to new living environments which can feel impersonal or sterile. However, you can create a sense of home in your temporary space to help you relax and recharge after long shifts.

The power of familiar items to evoke a sense of belonging cannot be overstated. Bring along a few personal items like photos, a favorite mug, or a cozy blanket to make temporary housing feel like home. You can use portable items like LED candles or compact speakers to create a warmer ambiance and comfortable environment.

4.   Manage finances on the go

Managing finances efficiently while on assignment is key to maximizing earnings.

Tools like Mint, PocketGuard, and YNAB (You Need A Budget) allow you to categorize expenses, set budgets, and monitor your spending habits. By linking these apps with your accounts, you’ll have a comprehensive view of your financial health at a glance, making it easier to adjust spending habits on the fly. These apps can also help keep your finances organized when the time comes to submit your expenses for your weekly timesheets.

Also, consider establishing a bank account specifically for assignments. Use it for all work-related expenses, simplifying tracking and management.

5.   Build a support network

It’s vital to have a robust support network. Whether you’re looking for professional guidance, emotional support, or friendship, connecting with others in the locum tenens community and beyond can greatly enhance your journey.

You can engage with professional communities specific to locum tenens and healthcare. Online forums, social media groups, and professional organizations offer invaluable resources for networking, advice, and support.

Whenever possible, participate in conferences, seminars, and continuing education workshops, which offer fantastic networking opportunities. Remember, each new assignment is an opportunity to expand your network, so be proactive in getting to know your colleagues and engage with the local community. You could also participate in local events or volunteer opportunities to connect with the community and enrich your experience.

6.   Maintain relationships

The locum tenens lifestyle can make it challenging to maintain strong relationships with loved ones back home. But, despite the physical distance, there are meaningful ways to stay connected.

Schedule regular video calls or messages as part of your routine. You can also share photos and videos through social media or dedicated family group chats to keep everyone updated.

7.   Balance work and play

Achieving a healthy balance between professional duties and personal fulfillment is crucial for locum tenens professionals. So, actively plan for leisure activities and allocate time for relaxation and exploration, preventing work from consuming all your time.

Use your locum assignments as opportunities to immerse yourself in the local culture. Whether trying out local cuisine, visiting landmarks, or attending community events, engaging with the area you’re working in can significantly enhance your overall experience and provide much-needed downtime.

Are you ready to put these tips and tricks to use on a locum tenens assignment? Contact us today and one of our dedicated consultants can help you get started.