Globalization—notwithstanding Starbucks and The Gap and Abercrombie and Fitch—has a positive side. It has made travel simpler and much less intimidating. Find baggage claim at SUX and you can find it at LAX. Return a rental car at SeaTac and you can return one at Miami International. Learn to navigate your home airport and you can pretty much make it through any airport in the world.
Of course it helps to have a great team paving the way for you. VISTA has a three-person, in-house travel team. We book flights, reserve rental cars, and arrange for short-, mid-, or long-term housing while physicians are on assignment with us in the US, Australia, or New Zealand.
Our goal is to find the optimum balance between comfort and timing for physicians, and affordability for the hospitals and practices in which you work. We understand that practicing medicine is what you do best, and that you do it best if you feel safe, comfortable, and in control of your situation. That’s why we always work to accommodate your requests and special needs. (We recently booked travel and housing for a physician traveling with six Coin Parakeets—we can handle just about anything!)
On the flip side, the most important thing you can do to make your locum tenens travel successful and less stressful is GET TO THE AIRPORT ON TIME! I know there are factors beyond every traveler’s control, but if you can get in the habit of arriving early enough to complete the last task on your to-do list on the premises instead of at home or on the way you will save yourself, your team, your colleagues, and yes, your travel agents a lot of heartache. So make a plan to shine your shoes, get cash, check your email, stop for coffee, call your mom, or clean out your briefcase once you are through security and in the relative vicinity of your gate.
If you miss a flight or your flight is delayed or cancelled, the most important thing to do is get in line for a ticket agent. Run, don’t walk. And call us from the line. The on-site agent may have more information or options to help you. Conversely, we may be able to act more quickly. Either way it’s best to cover both bases. Happy traveling!