Traveling with kids can be quite a challenge for a family. Parents might struggle to keep their kids entertained or well-behaved during long car rides or flights. And the newness and novelty of going on vacation can send kids into a frenzy of excitement. It’s why many parents opt to bring their nanny along with them on vacation.
If you’re considering going on vacation with your nanny, it’s important to know how to do it right.
Check her schedule before you make vacation arrangements
Before you begin booking flights and hotel rooms, check with your nanny to make sure she’s free! This is especially important if you have not taken her on a vacation with you yet. If she’s new to your family, she may not know that you take a family summer trip every year, and she may have plans of her own. Avoid any miscommunication by bringing up the trip as early as you can.
Review responsibilities and hours for the trip
Your nanny’s responsibilities may not be that different on vacation compared to her duties at home. But consider how the hours may change. Imagine you’re flying to a destination that’s about 4 hours away. If the flight is within your nanny’s usual shift, you may not think that you’ll have to pay her overtime. But remember: she may spend a good portion of the morning getting the kids ready to go to the airport, supervise them while going through security, flying on the plane, then driving to your destination. All that extra time can easily add up.
Plus, you may want to spend more time with the kids during the day and have quality time with your partner at night, when your nanny will take over. These hours might be different from her usual day shift. That’s why it’s important to review what her responsibilities and typical hours will be during the trip. And yes, you’re responsible for paying overtime for anything over 40 hours — even on vacation.
Lastly, go over who will be in charge on vacation. Your kids may not know who the authority figure is when both nanny and parent are present. Will you want to work together with your nanny, or defer to her? Not every scenario will be the same, but it’s a good idea to have a strategy in place ahead of time.
Book separate accommodations
Be sure to give your nanny her own accommodations during the trip. You might be tempted to have her room with the kids to save money, but that’s not a good idea. If your nanny rooms with the kids, that makes it much harder to decipher when she’s on the clock or off. Book a separate room so she can enjoy some privacy.
If special circumstances require her to be in the same room as the kids (for example, a child is ill or she will need to care for them overnight), clearly outline her schedule and include time that she can spend on her own.
Pay for her expenses
We hope this goes without saying, but remember that all of your nanny’s travel expenses and accommodations should be covered by you. If she’s taking the children on activities and excursions, make sure you give her money to cover it. That goes for meals while she’s on the clock, too. Anything she purchases on her own time, like souvenirs, are expenses she can pay for herself, but everything is should be provided.
Help preparing for your vacation
Planning a vacation with your nanny can be an uncomfortable discussion, but it’s necessary. It’ll eliminate any doubts either you or your nanny might have when handling certain issues. It will also show your nanny that you respect her by discussing accommodations, pay, and schedules ahead of time. Your vacation will run much more smoothly when you and nanny are prepared for what to expect while on vacation.
If you are hoping to find a nanny who can and will travel with your family, or you’re currently part of our agency and have questions about travel time, reach out to Tiny Treasures. We’re happy to help you, your family, and your nanny have a great trip together.