Recently I received the following question in one of my discussion groups. “I was just wondering what many of you do for a home base when traveling. Do you sell and put the rest in storage or do you continue to pay your house payments and have someone watch over things while you’re gone? Also, we’re younger so what do your spouses do on the road? Do any of them work odd jobs?”

Whoa now… let’s take one task at a time. What to do with your house while on the road?

There are several options here. Some people have relatives that stay in their house, some have a neighbor watch the place, while others hire an independent company to look after their home.
The critical thing to remember is that you can rent out a room or two, but there must be a place for you to come back to and live. For example, I have a three bedroom house. I can rent out the two guest bedrooms, but I have to leave the master bedroom for husband and I to stay in when we come home. I can rent out a room or two, but there must be a place for you to come back to and live. For example, I have a three bedroom house. I can rent out the two guest bedrooms, but I have to leave the master bedroom for husband and I to stay in when we come home.

The people you rent to have to pay rent, and you have to claim that rent on your income taxes.
The same goes for if you rent a place at your relative’s house. You have to pay them actual rent, and they have to actually claim that on their taxes as additional income, but not necessarily as rental income.

Another option is to have someone look over your house while you’re gone. That would be my personal situation. My neighbor watches over my house while I’m gone, and I pay her a nominal fee to mow my lawn every week. I was home in June, and my yard was one of the best looking ones there, and I hadn’t been back in 10 months! This not only helps out me but helps out my less fortunate neighbor.

All the maintenance you do related to the fact that you are away from home, or the help that you have to hire while away on assignment is all tax deductible as a travel expense since you are away from home.

Traveling with a spouse can add a whole new degree of difficulty, but can be done! I’m fortunate that I don’t have many bills; therefore, my husband and I can afford for him to work as a house husband.

But, for those who are less fortunate, there are some options. As in finding a national chain to work for. If he does home improvement, what about a national home improvement center? There is always the number one discount store in the United States… Walmart! Not necessarily fast food, but they could go with a national higher quality chain such as Red Lobster, Olive Garden, or Applebees.

Online business and other home businesses are also great to go for. Do a lot of research on informational services, medical coding, freelance writing, book sales, or setting up sales through eBay or Craigslist.

A big thanks to smiley for bringing these questions to the table!

Written by Kay Slane, RN, BSed, CGM (Certified Grad-level Nursing Management) Matriarch of Travel Nursing. The CEO of Highway Hypodermics®, LLC, the longest running travel nursing website by a traveling nurse. Author of “Highway Hypodermics: Travel Nursing 2019.”


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