Your vacation is supposed to be a stress-free experience. Bringing a nanny along can be the key to not only a stress-free vacation, but also one where the children are tended to while you and your spouse are able to enjoy some alone time, too.
However, to ensure that your vacation is as wonderful as it should be, you will need to sit down with your spouse and your nanny prior to leaving and work out all of the minor details so that everyone is on the same page.
It is important to remember that this is not a vacation for your nanny. They are working. There can be downtime for them to explore and relax but ultimately they are there to work with the children.
The Dilemma – Travel Expenses
You will be responsible for paying for the nanny’s room and travel expenses. In addition, meals should be considered, too. If you are staying in a hotel without a kitchen, meals will cost more than regular cook-at-home meals that the nanny is used to purchasing and making. These are certainly all topics of conversation that should be discussed prior to leaving for the vacation. You can elect to bring the nanny along while you eat out or you could provide her with a daily stipend for meals, but make sure that the stipend is fair and will feed her enough food for the area that you are staying in.
The Dilemma – The Nanny’s Schedule
Quite often, parents will feel that a nanny should be thankful for the opportunity to take a trip to a beautiful, luxurious place and will work as many hours as the parents demand. Unfortunately, this misunderstanding causes unhappy nannies, children and parents and may ruin vacations. Discussing the schedule and making plans ahead of time with the nanny will dispel any miscommunications and ensure a much happier and enjoyable vacation. This is not a vacation for the nanny but a job.
You need to make sure that the nanny completely understands that although she is coming along with you on vacation, she is still on the clock, working. You also need to understand that she cannot be expected to be on the clock for the entire vacation. A routine or schedule must be made prior to the vacation and then you should come up with a way to ensure that this routine or schedule is adhered to.
For example, if your vacation is a week long and your nanny’s regular scheduled hours are from 7am to 4 pm, but you and your spouse would like to go out to dinner two nights during your vacation, you will need to come up with a compromise. Maybe you could give her a few hours off during the afternoon of those particular days so that she gets a break and then you and your spouse could enjoy two nice evenings alone without children.
If you expect her to work a few extra hours while you are enjoying your vacation, you could offer her a spa treatment, a surfing lesson, a min-gym membership or a special luncheon as a “bonus” for the extra hours worked. However, if you expect her to work more than just a few extra hours, you will want to discuss the schedule and overtime pay prior to going on vacation.
The Dilemma – Accommodations
To share a room or to get separate rooms? Some nannies will have no problem sharing a room with the children; however there are others who want to have the evenings “off” unless they are being reimbursed for overtime.
Prior to the vacation, you will need to discuss the sleeping arrangements that you are planning to provide for the nanny. You will also need to discuss whether or not you plan to pay overtime if the nanny is expected to stay in the same room as the children. You will also want to take into consideration whether the children are sleeping through the night or not. If you have younger children who frequently wake during the night, they may want mom or dad, but if you have older children who sleep through the night and you participate in the bedtime routine, the nanny may not have a problem at all sharing a room with the children.
Discussing the schedule and the arrangements that you plan for your vacation will ensure that your family and your nanny are able to enjoy your vacation completely. Be sure to ask your nanny if she has any questions or concerns in order to clear up any miscommunications prior to travel.
Enjoy your trip!
Article written by Michelle Kelsey, founder of Nannies on Call.
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Have you taken your nanny on vacation before, were you happy with your decision? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.