Travels with Nanny - Make it Work for Everyone!

August 6, 2013

Summer vacations with your nanny along to help… sounds idyllic. But keeping a fair balance for everyone can be harder than it first seems. Good pre-planning and good communication of expectations are the key to a successful trip.

Strong respectful relationships are built slowly and carefully over time but can disappear very quickly with one bad holiday experience. Here are a few suggestions to help you avoid this possibility.

First and foremost, it is important for you to realize that you are not trading traveling costs and "wonderful opportunities" for 24/7 childcare for the whole trip. They are with you to work, and although the sights may be new and wonderful, it is still work. Just as you structure their hours and responsibilities at home, the same must be done for travel time.

Decide, with your nanny, what her schedule will be in advance of the trip. Will it be a 24/7 situation for a few days followed by a few days off? Will it be a certain number of hours a day? Will these hours be set or at different times of the day depending on the circumstances? How flexible is she with the schedule? Moreover, what are her expectations of the trip? Are there things she is counting on doing?

As well, you must decide on the salary…hours worked, if more than usual week's work, must be paid hours. The trip is not the payment! If your nanny is not completely free to go off on her own and do whatever she likes, then she’s on the clock. This includes time on the beach.

Everyone needs downtime, nanny included. Make sure your nanny has a private space that she can disappear to, relax and recharge. If providing a separate bedroom just for her isn’t feasible, give her access to another private room and make sure she has uninterrupted time to enjoy it.

Expectations and responsibilities while on holiday can be very different from those at home. Discuss these with her before you leave home--be clear and check with her that she is comfortable with them.

Vacations can be the best of times and the worst of times. Any new prolonged time away from home with someone other than family or close friends can be stressful. The key is good planning and fair expectations on the part of the employers.

A successful and fun holiday away with the nanny can enhance and enrich the holiday experience and your relationship.