7 Secrets to Successfully Traveling With Your Nanny
June 10, 2012 | in Nannies
One of the great benefits of employing a nanny is having a caregiver you know and trust that can travel with you on family vacations. Having a nanny who is willing to travel makes it much easier to get away and it gives you and your spouse the chance to carve out some couple time during the family vacation. But traveling with your nanny can present some unique challenges too. Check out these ways to make your next trip with your nanny a great one. 1. Work out your team approach beforehand. When traveling with your nanny, you’ll often be working side-by-side with her. For many parents this is a new arrangement and brings unique challenges. Before you leave for your trip, talk with your nanny about who will doing what, how you’ll handle discipline issues that come up, how the daily schedule will work, and anything extra you’ll need her to do. Clear expectations and boundaries will go a long way in creating a comfortable and successful nanny/parent team. 2. Make sure she has adequate downtime. Traveling with your family can be a stressful time for your nanny. For you it means time away from work to relax and have fun. For your nanny it means working outside her normal schedule, trying to bring the consistency your child needs to an unfamiliar environment, and being away from her home, friends and family. Giving
her time to rest and relax will help her recharge and stay ready-to-go. 3. Schedule time for her to explore on her own. Your nanny may never get the chance to visit your vacation destination outside of your trip. Giving her the opportunity to explore the local area and culture on her own or with a local tour group is a wonderful and unique gift you can give her. Generally she can do this during planned family-only time so it doesn’t have to take away from your vacation. A win-win for both of you. 4. Find lodging that gives her privacy. Often when families travel together, space is limited. Family members are happy to share bedrooms or sleep in common areas because, well, they’re on vacation. Remember, although you may be close with your nanny, she’s still an employee and it’s not appropriate to ask her to share a room with your visiting cousin or camp out on the sleeper sofa in the living room. Giving her a private room or one shared with another nanny is essential is maintaining professional boundaries. 5. Recognize this is work, not a vacation, for her. Nannies sometimes travel to exotic locations, stay in luxury hotels, eat in trendy restaurants, and enjoy amazing attractions and shows while they’re traveling with their employers. To the outside world, this seems like an amazing vacation she’s getting paid to take. To the nanny, it may be a fun opportunity but it’s still work. Her time and energy is devoted to helping both the parents and the kids enjoy their vacation. That doesn’t leave much if any “me” time. So while her work environment may be enviable, it’s still not a vacation. 6. Pay her for an extra help she provides you. A nanny’s schedule and typical responsibilities are often extended during travel times. She may:
- Work more hours than normal.
- Work flexible blocks of time throughout the day and evening (e.g. from early to late morning so the parents can sleep in).
- Care for additional children vacationing with her employer’s family.
- Care for a child in difficult, non-kid friendly environments (e.g. a hotel room, a “please don’t touch” home she’s visiting).
- Pitch in with chores outside her normal responsibilities (e.g. cooking, family laundry, light housekeeping, family errands).
- Help with the many other tasks that come up when traveling with children.
Of course she should be paid for all the hours she works. Providing her with a daily travel stipend or an end-of-trip thank you bonus are great ways to let her know you appreciate her extra effort. 7. Provide her with an off-duty meal stipend. Most employers understand they’re responsible for covering the costs of bringing their nanny along on a trip. Those costs include airfare, hotel, and all costs she incurs on while on duty like meals, entrance fees and tips for service people. Did you know that covering the cost of off-duty meals is also part of the employer’s responsibility? Your nanny may choose to go on local excursions, visit the spa or learn a new sport during your trip. Those expenses are optional and her responsibility. However meals, even when she’s on her own, aren’t optional. Providing your nanny with a daily off-duty meal stipend through cash, a credit card or hotel / resort account is an easy way to make sure you’re covering all standard costs and still staying within your budget. Taking your nanny on vacation can make your next family vacation even better. With a little planning and awareness, you can make it a great trip for both your family and your nanny.← 6 Factors that Affect Nanny Salaries | 10 Things a Thorough Nanny Background Screening Should Include →
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