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Start of travel questions

Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:22 pm
by PTwanderer
I am considering travel again after doing it at the start of my career 20+ years ago. I understand to get the tax free stipends for housing and food I need a home base. Currently I live in an apartment in a city I just moved to so I don’t have a real base. My permanent job fell through due to caseload issues. Do I really need to keep that apartment? Do people use their parents /family home base? I don’t want to do something in the gray area or down right illegal but I don’t know where to start looking for this information.

I also don’t know what to expect for pay. I think the recruiter I have spoken to has really lowballed me but I don’t know. I have a good solid career just wanting freedom to explore. Do you have any travel companies you recommend for the Oregon region?

My email address is Thanks.

Re: Start of travel questions

Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:43 pm
by Hobohealth
Super slow reply.... so sorry. These answers may be too late to help you, but maybe they'll help someone else. OK, let's get to answering your questions.

The simple answer is that you need a home base in order to collect tax-free monies as a traveler, which is really where the money is. Although, with having been a PT for a long time, you might not find the difference in your current pay versus traveling to actually be all that much. The true definition of a tax home is dependent on you being financially attached to a place (i.e. Owning, mortgage, or "fair value" rent). People do pay their parents rent, recruiters may tell you that any number of things is fine..... but to truly cover your butt, you should be paying a normal rent somewhere and have at least a bedroom that is reserved for you should you be audited.

Ah, pay. Here's a piece from a ways back about pay: ... -you-paid/ The short answer is that as an experienced PT, I would make sure you are making at least $1600/wk after taxes including your housing stipend (less if you decide to have housing provided for you). There are, of course, some exceptions - places like Hawaii might pay lower than that - but if an agency is giving you offers in the $1400's, walk away.

I'll shoot you an email with the recruiters I typically use. Hope this was helpful.


Re: Start of travel questions

Posted: Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:00 pm
by machano
Hi! Thank you for the response! It helped ME :) I am also considering to start traveling and feeling absolutely clueless! Here is my current big question I have. Is it even possible to work as a traveling therapist if I were to choose not to have a home base ("tax home")? I understand that I will not be able to have the tax-free stipends in that case, but will I still be able to work with travel recruiters? Without a tax home, therefore working as an "itinerant worker", what will my weekly take home significantly less?

Thank you so much in advance for helping me! :P

Re: Start of travel questions

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:59 pm
by Hobohealth
You nailed it. Without a tax home, you can't collect the tax free money, but it's fine to work with the agencies - people do it all the time. However, I would encourage you to try to negotiate higher pay because of your not getting the tax free benefits.

As a very casual statement based on only a couple cases: The people I know that have worked with travel recruiters who don't have a tax home have been able to get good hourly rates and make money similar pay rates of a traditional traveler. Make sense?

Also, as a warning, many agencies will set very low standards for you being able to get tax free money from them. But, if the IRS comes knocking, it's your responsibility to make sure you have paid taxes accordingly. So, if you don't have a tax home, don't take the tax free benefits.