How to Find a Babysitter When You're on Vacation [6 Ways]
Tips & Advice

How to Find a Babysitter When You're on Vacation [6 Ways]

by Martha Scully

Why is the couple above so happy?

They found a sitter to watch their toddler while on vacation and are now enjoying their first romantic date night in 2 years!

Many parents who travel with small children find that their vacation isn’t much of a holiday when they’re dealing with a crying baby or chasing an active toddler. It’s hard to do excursions when you have to adjust all of your plans around naps and early bedtimes.

Wouldn’t it be great to get some quality “me” time or “we” time with your spouse while on a family vacation?

This is possible only if there is some kind of childcare available during your vacation. Sounds like you need a vacation babysitter!

6 Ways to Find a Sitter on Your Next Vacation

Resort Babysitting Service

It has become more and more popular for resorts to offer babysitter and child care service. Some even have staff trained in Early Childhood Education. Resorts may have specific drop in times that you simply sign your child in and out.

Other resorts have special programs that have themes and structured play activities. Most of these services are at an additional cost so be sure to check ahead.

Hotel Babysitter Services

Hotels often have local babysitting companies that they are connected to that can provide parents with nearby childcare. A concierge will provide you with the options they have for babysitting services in the area.

Be sure to specify the ages of your children so a babysitter with the proper experience is sent to care for your child. The babysitting is normally done within your hotel room. Many of the sitters come with a bag of activities and fun games to keep your child busy.

The sitters are normally fully screened and are employed by the agency that the hotel has a partnership with. Normally you do not pay the babysitter directly. The hotel will present you with the charges for this service on your final room bill.

Bring Your Babysitter With You

This may work well for you and the babysitter. You get to have someone that your child and you are already comfortable with and the sitter may get to go to a destination that they normally could not afford.

Travel, accommodation, and food are normally covered by the parent. It would be fully acceptable for the sitter to share a room with the children and the parents have a separate room.

You should allow for the babysitter to have scheduled time off every day.

A flat fee for the babysitters time is often what most families do. It is always recommended to agree on all arrangements in advance with your sitter.

On the Internet

With services like Sitter.com and CanadianNanny.ca you have thousands of babysitters at the tip of your fingers. Both sites are national and therefore there are babysitters in every community.

The sites are designed to help families find as-needed care. Once you have registered, you will have direct contact with babysitters in the city and area of your choice.

A registered member will be able to communicate with them in advance and even do a virtual interview and complete reference and background checks. You also determine the wage and the hours for the sitter.

Nanny Agencies in the Area

Many nanny agencies have on-call babysitting services that they can provide to families with flexible child care. You will need to call in advance to arrange this with the agencies.

They usually need at least 48-hour notice. The agency will send a babysitter out to your location. Depending on where you are you may need to pay for travel expenses.

The cost of this service is traditionally 40-50% higher than if you were to find a sitter yourself. All costs are usually paid directly to the agency, not to the sitter.

Bring a Family Member

A grandparent or a related adult may love to be part of your family vacation.

Discuss with them in advance the costs and what times you were hoping to slip away from the kids on your trip.

Many family members would not expect to be paid for the time that they are providing child care. Paying for their accommodation or travel is always an appreciated gesture.

Keep in Mind When Hiring Vacation Babysitters

With online services, hotels, resorts, and agencies parents should assure that babysitters are fully screened. This includes references, CPR, First Aid, background checks and other pre-screening.

Here’s a list of babysitter background checks you should consider and how to go about doing them.

The babysitter should have experience related to the age of the child they will be caring for.

Here are some great websites for ideas and tips on traveling with your children


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About the Author
Martha Scully
Martha is the founder of CanadianNanny.ca. Martha has been featured as a Child Care Expert in hundreds of publications across Canada including The Globe and Mail, CBC, Today's Parent and The National Post, She lives in British Columbia with her husband and two daughters.