Are you taking your nanny along on your vacation this year? Thinking about how nice it would be to have an extra pair of hands and some couple time with your partner? Taking your nanny on your family vacation can be an awesome experience or a miserable one - the difference is in the planning and attention to details.
The keys to successfully vacationing with your nanny:
- Plan ahead! This is your vacation, yet you must realize that no matter the awesome locale your nanny is working. Plan in advance the nanny's schedule, recognizing that it might be different than your normal day at home. You may wish to plan a date night or two, so make sure your nanny knows that she will be working those nights and schedule out appropriate time earlier in the day or the next day so she doesn't burn out.
- Encourage her to enjoy the venue herself. Have a conversation with your nanny and find out what she would find enjoyable about the vacation locale. Maybe there is a museum she would love to explore, an activity like snorkeling she would like to try, or something else entirely. Do try to plan the schedule to allow the time needed for her to have a vacation memory too.
- Privacy is important - make sure she has a room of her own to go to when she is off duty so she can decompress.
- Three is a crowd! The nanny is working and if you and your partner are hovering in the background all the time, your child will be confused about who is in charge, and your nanny may be uncomfortable too. Of course there will be activities you all do together! However, embrace the opportunity to relax by the pool while your nanny supervises play in the kiddie pool.
- Plan for the expenses. Nanny travel expenses are the family's responsibilities, including meals during the vacation. If you will not be eating together as a family, a reasonable daily meal stipend should be arranged. All entrance fees and excursion fees for activities the nanny will be attending are the family's responsibility too.
- Keep track of the nanny's time! Your nanny is an hourly employee and if you are going to schedule her for more than her normal hours, you must compensate her accordingly. If nanny is helping during travel, this is working time, even if she is simply playing a game with your pre-schooler on the iPad during your flight. If you will be using your nanny for fewer hours than usual, it is a best practice to insure she receives her regular weekly pay. Your nanny is already making a sacrifice of her normal daily routine to travel with you, she should not be paid less!
- Will your nanny have to spend money to travel with you? Make sure you cover these costs. If your nanny doesn't have a passport and needs one, pay for it. Consider the dress code and equipment needed. If your Florida nanny usually works in shorts and a t-shirt and you will need to to accompany your children down a ski slope, she may not have the appropriate clothing. Ditto if your nanny is to care for your children during a formal event where cocktail attire is expected. Discuss this well in advance, and if necessary consider providing her an allowance in advance to pick up what is needed.
- Express appreciation and gratitude! Whether your nanny is being flexible on her schedule, working 7 straight days without a break, or simply missing her own family while she vacations with yours, expressions of appreciation are important. This can be a surprise gift card to the resort spa (and time to use it!), a end of vacation bonus, and most importantly WORDS!
Do you have more ideas or experiences vacationing with a nanny to share? Please let us know below!