Being a travel therapist can be confusing, especially if you are just starting out. Stipends, reimbursements, shift differential. These are just a few of the travel therapy lingo. To help you achieve success as a travel therapist, we have created the following travel therapy glossary. Familiarize yourself with the travel therapy glossary so that you fully understand everything that comes with being a travel therapist.

Travel Therapy Glossary: Pay Lingo

  • Stipend: There are two components to a stipend: meal and housing.
  • Housing Stipend: Your stipend is your housing allowance if you choose to find your own housing instead of taking their provided housing. It will be quoted in a monthly rate, or you can even ask for the daily/weekly breakdown rate. It is tax free and the rate will vary based on the housing costs of the area you will be living.
  • Meal Stipend: The daily meal stiped in broken down by tiers, plus the $5 incidental rate. The tiers are based on popular city destination and cover breakfast, lunch, and dinner. To learn more about tiers and the break down per meal click here.

Travel Therapy Glossary: Benefits and Reimbursements

  • Travel Reimbursement: Each company offers a different amount of money that they will pay per mile travelled, and some will allow you to apply hotel stays, U-Haul rental, etc. towards your travel reimbursement funds as well. Again, travel reimbursements are tax free.
  • Sign-On/Completion/Extension Bonus: Some contracts that have an urgent need for nurses or therapists ASAP will offer a sign-on and/or completion or even extension bonuses that are typically paid out in your first and/or last paycheck.
  • Interim Benefits: Occasionally, if you are extending a contract and need to go home when one contract ends and before the next one begins, you can sometimes negotiate some sort of interim bonus or travel type reimbursement in the middle of that assignment. It is very important to know how long you have because each company’s requirements vary.
  • Insurance Reimbursement: Most companies offer some sort of insurance program. But if you find it easier to carry your own insurance, some companies will reimburse you each month up to a certain dollar amount.
  • Holiday Pay: Each company/contract pays holiday’s differently. It is important to understand what your holiday requirements are and how you will be compensated for them. As a traveler, holiday pay is not always a part of the deal.

Travel Therapy Glossary: Shift Differential and Penalty

  • Shift Differential: This is a common term, but make sure you ask if there is and what is the shift differential on your assignment. It varies greatly, and doesn’t always exist in the travel world. Along the same lines, make sure you understand the state in which you will be working’s OT and DT laws – they vary from state to state.
  • Missed Hours Penalty: Your contract will likely include a missed hours penalty. If you call off a shift, not only will you not get paid, but they will also deduct a certain amount from your paycheck to cover benefits you have received. This can often be made back up and re-earned during a contract, but make sure you understand how that all works for each contract.

Travel Therapy Glossary: Contract Lingo

  • Travel Therapy: The basic travel therapy contract is usually 13 weeks and includes an average pay scale and benefits.
  • Day/Night Rotate: Basic concept, but just be aware that it can vary greatly from facility to facility. If you see a D/N travel position listed, make sure to ask for clarification what type of rotation it requires. Some will do something like the first half of the contract is days and second half is nights. However, in the travel world this can mean you could technically flip flop from days and nights within one week.
  • Guaranteed Hours: We prefer contracts that offer guaranteed hours but not all travel contracts are guaranteed hours. And even if they are, there will still be an allowance for the hospital to call you off up to a certain number of hours during your contract without pay. Make sure you understand the terms of your contract and hours.

Host Healthcare Travel Therapist

Host Healthcare offers an extensive list of travel therapist jobs. Call one of our friendly recruiters at (800) 585-1299.