What to Do After Your First Travel Contract


What Happens When My First Contract Is About To End?

As your travel assignment nears its completion date, there are 2 things you can do:

1. Renew your current contract at your current assignment

2. Change contracts and start a new assignment


Renewing Your Current Travel Assignment

As you near the 2-week mark from your contract completion date, your recruiter may ask you if you want to re-sign with your current company. If yes, then it’s really easy. Tell the recruiter any vacation time you will need during the contract and between contracts. You can also ask for a short break in between the contract to rest or have a vacation. This is also a prime time to go over any other changes in the contract you would like. This may include, asking for a raise, asking for a sign on bonus, and asking for guaranteed hours.  To learn more about how to negotiate a raise as a traveler click here. Then just keep working. Your recruiter will draw up a new contract and have you sign it as it gets closer to your completion date.

Starting A New Travel Assignment

If the facility you are working at does not need or want you to return, then at the 2-week or earlier mark, you can start applying for your next position. You should call your recruiter and start a game plan for your next travel assignment. Provide your recruiter with any updates to your resume and have them start applying you for positions.  Here is the step by step guide to becoming a traveler if you need a refresher! 

This process is the same if you do not want to return. It is strongly suggested to give your recruiter as much time as possible to find you a new traveling job if you don’t want to continue at the end of your contract. I suggest 2 weeks, but I think 4-6 weeks is also a good time line if you want to minimize the chance of taking time off between assignments.

Note #1: You can always end your contract early in the case of emergency, if you got another job, or if the facility is not fitting your needs. However, it is often suggested that you give the facility 2 weeks notice and keep premature contract ending to a minimum.

Any sign on bonuses or other bonuses may be forfeited if you leave your contract early as well.

Note #2: That the facility can always discontinue your contract at any time. Usually the facility must give the traveler 2 weeks notice. During this time, your company will start finding your next position.




Switching Traveling Companies

Switching traveling companies is easy and acceptable. Many recruiters will encourage you to only work with one company and I agree with them. You want to maintain a sense of loyalty throughout out your career. Staying with the same company will also reduce the amount of paperwork and time required and will also you to potentially gain 401K matching and vacation perks. However, when your travel company is not treating you right and is not providing you with assignments that meet your needs, then I firmly believe that should switch companies.

I switched traveling companies during my career. To switch companies, all I did was contact another company for my next assignment and then complete similar paperwork as with my previous travel employer. That was it! I easily returned to the other company later in my career. If you do switch companies, I encourage you to give the other company notice, be respectful and be professional.


Moving States/Cities As A Traveler

Moving states or cities as a traveler is quite easy. Contact your recruiter as soon as you know you want to move to a specific location. It’s best to do this while you are in your current traveling contract in order to provide your recruiter with enough time to start the new job search. Once you alert your recruiter, he basically does all the work. You may need to update your resume and provide facility specific paperwork but then just wait for the interviews.

Note: I encourage you to stay through your contracts if at all possible. This is to maintain relations with the facility in case you want to return to that clinic in the future and also so that the facility can provide your future employees with an excellent reference.


If you are looking to work in another state, make sure you have the required licenses. Google your prospective state’s requirements and contact your recruiter to see if they have a team that can help you obtain your license quickly. Once you are licensed in one state, obtaining additional state licenses often only requires the submission of additional documentation. Certain states take longer than others to get a physical therapy license, so be prepared for at least several weeks to receive your prospective state license.

The length of time to complete this process varies from location and setting. The more flexible you are with your location and clinic setting, the quicker you will be able to find a new contract.

More Resources:

Travel Therapy FAQs: Everything You Need to Know About Traveling 

How to Repay Student Debt with Travel Therapy 

Check out my Travel Therapy 101 Facebook Group for lots of awesome videos and answers!  


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