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Anyone travel to Hawaii


I am being considered for an assignment in Kula, HI. The pay is okay, but they are saying I am to pay $300-400 a week for private housing and need to rent my own car. It is my first travel assignment and I wasn't really considering traveling except that it is Hawaii and the timing is right for personal reasons (my wedding just got cancelled and I just need to get the heck out of dodge ASAP). It is in my specialty, which I love doing and I'd love to get my feet wet. Anyone else had a similar experience or is this completely unacceptable?

You shouldn't be paying for housing. They should have you in a "dorm" at minimum with another nurse, or provide you with a housing stipend! The rental car I'm not so sure about. I would try and get them to pay for it if it is necessary (which it probably is) to get you to/from your housing location and the hospital. Doesn't really matter how good the pay is if you are having to spend it all on housing and car rental expenses. And $300-$400/WEEK for housing?!? Depending on how long your travel assignment is, that is the cost of renting a good apartment in So. Cal @ $1,200-$1,600/month!! Wow...

Thanks for replying! I know it's expensive to live there so I wasn't sure if that's why I needed to pay that much (a 1 bedroom furnished seems to be about $2300 from my search so far). I know other assignments in the continental US have free housing or a stipend so I was wondering if any other nurses who have traveled to Hawaii have had a similar issue.

Wow, Kula is really remote. What is the job?

Generally, travel jobs have several compensation components quoted separately: hourly, per diem, housing, travel, insurance, bonus, and sometimes car rental. Occasionally, agencies will lump all tax free reimbursements together and you are responsible for paying expenses such as housing and car rental. That sounds like the case here. (No such thing as free housing, it is just another way of splitting the pot of money available from the bill rate).

To me, the question is can you at least break even with the cost of housing, food (much more than the mainland), plane fare, rental car and gas, and some fun money. If so, go for it, it sounds like a much needed complete break. Don't expect to save money.

You are extremely knowledgable Ned, thank you! In your expertise, what do you consider a fair hourly wage with this sort of lumped together benefits package? It is only a few dollars more than what I am making now as a staff nurse with 1 1/2 years RN experience. It was advertised as LTAC/SNF both of which I've done. I'm currently in Rehab.

When I questioned about what kind of housing, if I'd have any choices or info on it before signing the contract, the recruiter was even a little annoyed saying that was impossible and he was going to place a nurse in the position either way and hey! it's paradise.

It does sound like I may just about break even and I don't think I'll see the islands in my lifetime otherwise so for 13 weeks why not? It did encourage me to apply to other agencies though in the meantime to see what they are offering as well. I just did not see any that had any positions in LTAC or Rehab.

Fair depends on what you think it might be. If breaking even is OK with you, go for it! Very likely, a good bit of your compensation is tax free "reimbursements" so the buying power of your net pay is higher than staff pay. Counterpoint is that everything will cost you much more than at home on top of the added expense of air fare (plus island hops) and a car rental (you might be able to do a scooter for less if you don't mind getting drenched at times - might be refreshing actually). In addition, the benefits you enjoyed as staff such as PTO/sick pay, holidays, vacations, good insurance are gone. But this is only three months.

I doubt you will find housing in Kula (or even like it there perhaps), but it is not that far from Kahului. You might be able to find a house/apartment share, perhaps even with another traveler, that will make the assignment more affordable and enjoyable.

I wouldn't work with this agency again after this assignment, the recruiter's attitude is indefensible.

Having been in a similar situation... it sounds pretty good to me. Take the assignment, don't worry too much about making money for the moment, and give yourself these three months to get some distance and figure out what you really want to do. Good luck.

This sounds horrible. I just left Hawaii. They should find your housing and pay for your flight there and home along with rental. Housing is not cheap and the pay was not owrth it. Don't go for the pay. You'll be disappointed.