Taking your nanny with you on vacation can be an amazing experience and provide you with a much needed helper. There are some considerations such as cost, the effect on the employer-employee relationship, privacy, etc. Hiring a temporary nanny when you get to your destination can help with some of these issues. So, should you take your nanny with you or hire a temporary nanny at your destination?
Taking Your Nanny:
- Your children and your nanny already have a relationship that can smooth transitions and help you and the children feel secure during travel.
- Taking your nanny with you can add a richness to your family/nanny relationship by sharing experiences outside of your day-to-day routines.
- Your nanny can help you with all the pre-departure planning and packing.
- Cost: you will need to cover all your nanny’s travel expenses, pay her for time, and usually provide a per diem for additional expenditures she would not normally incur at home. It is also highly recommended to provide your nanny her own room so she has time to rest and refresh to give your children her best attention.
- Remember, this is a work trip for your nanny, not an all-expenses-paid vacation. Make sure she understands that by communicating in advance. Set up a schedule and try to stick to it. Make sure there is some built in time off for the nanny so she has breaks just like she does at home. Make sure to give her a day off after each travel day, as those can be the most intense days.
- Decide in advance whether or not travel time (taxi rides, airport, etc.) are considered work time or not. Also, figure out how she will receive her pay (i.e. before the vacation, direct deposit on vacation, cash per diem, etc.).
Hire a Temp Nanny on location:
- Taking your regular nanny or babysitter with you on a trip to an expensive location might be cost prohibitive. Most popular destinations (like Hawaii), have nanny agencies in the area that specialize in nannies for traveling families. The cost can be significantly cheaper.
- Privacy: by only hiring a nanny when you need them for a dinner or a day excursion, you get to have quality time with your family and have privacy in your accommodations. Also, traveling with another person can add more complexity than you may want.
- To find a qualified nanny, start with the local agencies. You can do an internet search, or go to a site like the Association of Premier Nanny Agencies (www.theapna.org; they vet nanny agencies and make sure the agencies follow codes of conduct). Also, check with the hotel you are staying with as they may offer babysitting services.
- To feel comfortable with the nanny you hire, make sure to ask the agency questions about their screening processes, etc. Also ask if you will get to speak to the nanny before she arrives. A good agency will work with you to make you feel comfortable about the nanny they are sending.
No matter which option you choose, having some childcare on vacation will provide you with a nice balance of adult time and family time!