Vacations can be a great way to improve family bonding, relieve stress and explore the world. When it comes time to pack the bags, does your nanny travel with you?
Although it can be considered a “working” vacation, there are many benefits to being able to take your nanny to the various destinations around the world. She can help you make the most out of being away from home. What kinds of benefits am I talking about?
- Professional Bonding – While your relationship with the nanny should be a professional one, taking her along can help build a kind of bond between employee and employer. Call it a perk if you will, but it can tell the nanny you are willing to pay her way to come with you in order to help while traveling. As long as you can allow the nanny some freedom to explore the area you are visiting, it could strengthen that professional connection.
- Mommy/Daddy Time – Parents know it’s much more difficult to arrange romantic getaways. You begin to appreciate any alone time you can get with your spouse regardless of the situation. For some parents, shopping at the grocery store without the children is as relaxing as a real date at a fancy restaurant. You don’t have to ignore your children while on vacation, but experiencing some of the adult activities with your spouse can remind you of what it feels like to be an adult again. You can love your children without end, but there is something special about spending time without the children.
- More Adults, Less Stress – Having an extra pair of eyes around can help decrease your stress levels greatly. This is especially true if you choose to visit more populated areas and amusement parks. Every parent dreads hearing his or her name blasted over the intercom that a child has been found. Everyone fears that walk of guilt to the security office to claim their child. Having your nanny on hand can greatly reduce the chance of your child being found alone by a security guard.
- Knowing Nanny - While your relationship with the nanny may be professional, your children may begin to form a bond with her. Having along a familiar face in a new location can help the children feel more relaxed. It could give them a lifetime of memories and a method of sharing an experience with the person that is in charge of their care. This bonding can easily affect how well your children interact with the nanny on a regular basis.
Not every nanny wishes to take a “working” vacation. She could see the time you spend away as a vacation of her own. However, it doesn’t hurt to ask if she would like to be part of the experience. Just make sure you allow her some time to be an adult on vacation as well. Her needs are just as important as your own.
If you are able to take your nanny with you, it is best if you set boundaries and mutual agreements. This can prevent a great deal of problems during the experience. Such a trip has a different aspect to it than simply providing childcare in the home. What are some things you can do to prepare for the situation before you leave the house?
Discuss Expenses – Normally, you probably pay the nanny an hourly wage. You could still use this method, starting the clock each time she is needed. However, this could be quite tedious and confusing depending on circumstances. There needs to be a mutual agreement for expenses such as:
- Will the nanny have to pay for her own travel – plane, train or automobile?
- Will there be a spending allowance – perhaps you could give her a set amount of money to use for the entire trip?
- Is there a possibility for a bulk salary instead of an hourly wage – such as giving the nanny a set amount of money whether she is needed or not?
- Who will be responsible for meals?
Set Expectations – Before you leave the home, you should hammer out the exact details of what each party should expect. This can solve a lot of problems during the vacation before they even develop. You don’t want to be too regimental when developing a list of expectation as your nanny is traveling with you. This needs to include things such as:
- How often will the nanny be needed?
- How much time will the nanny have to enjoy herself?
- Will she get her own place or share with the children?
- Is there going to be an itinerary for the vacation that she’ll have to adhere to?
Rachael Cherry is a wife, mother, and writer who is passionate about helping connect families in need with high quality caregivers. She has taken that passion and put it to work through NannyPro, a respected online nanny referral service. Learn more by visiting @NannyPro on Twitter.