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Travel without a car


I'm getting ready to leave for my first travel assignment (just 90 minutes from where I'm staying now) and feeling flustered at how I'm going to manage this when I take an assignment that is further away... I don't have a car and my plan was to fly/take the train to assignments and have any belongings I can't carry with me shipped. But that feels REALLY daunting, especially with my bike, which I can't imagine living without (or anyway, I don't like the idea).

There are so many good things about not having a car, and so many things that are easier, but I'm having second thoughts. Anyone here done travel nursing without a car?

I think you can certainly do fine without a car. I'm with you on the bicycle thing, and I've survived long periods in my life without a car. I do see them as very handy adjuncts and use mine regularly (at least once every two weeks). Depending on how often you need a car and for what, renting a car for a couple of days when you need it is far less than year-round ownership adding thousands of dollars to your savings account. I did without a car during nursing school, including working during nursing school ten miles away, and for two out of the three years of my first staff job.

I did buy a car when I started my travel career because I like to take a lot of stuff (bicycles, tools, skates, cookware), and I really like the added flexibility. I see cars as range extenders for my bicycle, transport between assignments, and special event transportation when the event is not close enough for biking (I never find public transport to be convenient, even where it is done well).

After my first assignment, I always found my own housing. Agencies idea of housing is somewhere "safe" and generic, and while it may be handy by car, it often is too far away to bike to work. My personal preference is 7 miles or less. Cars are also handy during the search process to stash your belongings during the housing search.

One last plus for the right car, I have often used it as a bicycle garage. I prefer keeping my bicycle inside, but sometimes that is just too inconvenient (a double doorway with a direct stairway for example). So a hatchback/station wagon/SUV makes a great garage while it is just parked.

Most cars when seldom driven prove quite reliable! So the ownership costs are mostly the upfront capital cost and insurance. An inexpensive well used Japanese hatchback or wagon will be reliable and cheap to own.


Specializes in Flight nurse, flight medic, ER, ICU, NP school now. Has 20 years experience.

My last two assignments my RV has been parked less than two miles from the hospital. Lucky! My current assignment literally has a bike path from the RV to the hospital entrance. I ride my bike to get groceries, to work, everything. Saving $300 a month in gas from my California assignment.

Sorry, useless info, but I'm with you, riding to work is a nice bonus.