Fly or Drive? A Question for Every Travel Nurse - Answered
One appeal of travel nursing is that it feeds the spirit of adventure. Many travelers love the opportunity to live in different parts of the country. After all, sight-seeing is fun, and having the chance to pair that with work is a dream come true for many nurses who choose to travel.
Understandably, one question new travelers often have is: do I drive or do I fly to my new assignment?
We at Cross Country Nurses recently saw the question posed on a popular online travel nursing group. Within a couple of days, over 150 travel nurses responded to the question, “How do you travel across country to California, fly or drive?”
We were curious, so we dug in to the answers to gain some more insight for our nurses. Some definite trends emerged when we looked closely at the travel nurses’ responses:
How did nurses travel to their destinations?
- 85% drove
- 14% flew
- 1% took a train
While not all respondents mentioned how the trip went, of the 38% who did:
- 78% had a positive response
- 23% had a negative response
When we looked into what made it an overall positive experience, we saw comments including “The road trip was part of the entire travel experience” and “If you fly you miss out on a drive of a lifetime. So much to see in this big, beautiful country. Take the opportunity while you can!” One traveler said, “Drive and take your time and hit some bucket list stops on your way of course!!! My brother and I did it and we went from NC to New Orleans, to San Antonio, to Durango, the Four Corners, up to Arches National Park, through Monument Valley, and topped it off with the Grand Canyon before he flew home. It was the adventure of a lifetime!” Other responses fell into these categories:
- The great tourist attractions along the way
- A great way to see the U.S.
- The beautiful drive
Some travelers had a negative experience, and we saw responses like, “I drove and was totally exhausted by the time I got to Cali.” Other respondents gave these reasons:
- Parts were boring
- Too hard to drive
- There was not enough time
Sometimes in life, we want to stop and smell the roses, while other times, we just want to head on down the path. The trip to a new destination can be an exciting chance to create memories that will last a lifetime. Many respondents said that enjoying the journey along the way is why they chose to drive. Here are other reasons they made the trip by car or RV:
To enjoy the journey: “The drive is so worth it. Set aside two weeks and enjoy the adventure!”
To transport pets: “…took our dogs. No flying for our 4 paw kids.”
To have a vehicle: “I plan on driving around California for a year, so I wanted my car.”
To spend time with a family member: “I love the long road trips with my husband.”
To have belongings: “I overpack, so I would not be able to afford the baggage fees if I flew!”
On the other hand, driving can present challenges – and hopping on a flight might be a simpler solution. The 23% of nurses who chose to fly did so for various reasons, mostly to avoid the expense and time commitment. The travelers who responded chose to fly because they wanted:
To save: “Fly and ship your car. Saves a ton of time and money.”
To skip the long drive: “…I no longer have the patience for long road trips.”
To avoid having a vehicle: “…in San Francisco I definitely do not need a car.”
Of the nurses who drove, several mentioned that they had company. A parent, spouse or even a pet can make the trip easier and lots of fun. One traveler said, “My husband and I are currently driving from Maine to San Diego with our pup and honestly, it's a blast.” Other travelers brought their:
Clearly, for some nurses, it was worth doing over again, as they reported having made the repeat trip. Some have taken the trip 2 or 3 times, and one respondent said, “Every time!”
And when we looked at the length of the trip, we saw a range of answers depending on starting location and whether the travelers chose to stop for sight-seeing. One traveler said, “DRIVE!!! You can see so much along the way!!! I took 12 days to go east to west!!! Amazing.” Other answers ranged from 25 hours to 2 weeks.
Travelers came from all over the United States – and Canada. Most were from LA, NC, FL, OH, and NY, and a few were from IL, MA, MD, MI, and PA. Other states mentioned once were AL, CO, DC, DE, GA, IN, KY, SC, VA, and WI.
It is interesting to take a closer look into what many travel nurses chose to do on their way to a fresh, new assignment in a brand new town. No matter how you choose to get there we can help you decide where to plan your next travel nursing job. The ideal destination is waiting just for you!
Contact your Cross Country Nurses recruiter at 800.530.6125 to embark on your next big adventure.