You will need at least one year of experience in your specialty, preferably in a hospital setting, before you can become a travel nurse. Some healthcare facilities require two or more years of experience, and others require previous travel nursing experience.
Facilities typically staff anywhere from 2-5 weeks out from a start date. There are some facilites that will staff further out. Ultimately where and when you want to start an assignment will determine how far out you'll need to apply.
Having someone travel with you might change your living expenses but is definitely something that is possible.
The vast majority of assignments are 13 weeks. They can fluctuate by a matter of weeks or be looking for a candidate to sign on the a longer stint of 26 weeks.
Housing should be considered, but yes traveling with a pet is something a many travel nurses do
Orientations vary greatly. Some hospitals you'll have one day of orientation and then be expected to hit the ground running. Other health care systems will give a full week.
Travel can be extremely fulfilling and lucrative but it comes with its fair shares of challenges. Having a good agency and great recruiter can first and foremost minimize problems that arise. If an obstacle does present itself, having a good support system and planning ahead will help mitigate its affect on your assignment.