Check out this interesting vacation gig in Lake Placid, NY on Relief Rover’s job board.

The message popped up on my LinkedIn notifications. Would I be interested in coming to Lake Tahoe, California to cover maternity leave at a single doctor practice? Although I was living in Florida, as a UC Davis graduate I was very familiar with the beauty of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding Sierra Nevada Mountains. Since I had no firm plans for the summer and love an adventure, I decided to entertain the idea. After a phone conversation with the practice owner, I found myself planning a cross country trip with my husband and two dogs to spend a summer in Tahoe.

Now, I have the kind of life that allows that type of spontaneity. I’m a full time relief vet who is married to a freelance photographer and we have no children. Making temporary moves to different parts of the country for work and pleasure is a lifestyle we love and actively cultivate.

But there are all sorts of ways that being a relief vet can support a vacation. Perhaps you have kids and want to spend an extended time at grandma’s house over the summer. Maybe you’ve got a friend or sibling who lives in a great part of the country and you could turn that into a working visit. I know of at least one adventurous Relief Rover member who is currently traveling the country in her RV soaking in the magnificence of the US landscape and helping practices and patients at the same time.

Sometimes veterinary practices will offer housing or subsidize a place that you find. They may even cover some of your travel costs depending on the situation. Even if you don’t see these perks in the offer, it never hurts to ask. Practices may be willing and able to negotiate some additional incentives to get coverage for their practice and this can turn out to be a big win for everyone.

For veterinary practices looking for a relief coverage, don’t forget to consider that some vets are willing to travel for work. In your job descriptions, think beyond listing medical equipment and characterizing capable staff. Mention the recreational features your area offers and any housing or travel subsidies you can provide.

My summer in Tahoe was incredible for so many reasons. The practice I worked for was wonderful. I had the challenge of a slightly different case load and patient population from what is typical for my area of Florida. I received more large breed dogs and injuries than I’m used to seeing because these dogs were out enjoying the same trails I was hiking in my time off. Every evening we’d take our dogs for a stroll in the forest behind our rental house. Every weekend we hiked, biked, swam, or kayaked. This extended vacation in Tahoe was made possible by the wonderful flexibility of relief work.

If you are a relief vet, practice looking to hire a relief vet, or just want to learn more about relief life, sign up for your free Relief Rover membership here!