Bringing your nanny on a family vacation has become increasingly popular due to the many benefits it offers. With families being able to work remotely, they are now traveling more frequently, with many opting for month-long trips.
Imagine going on kid-free excursions, knowing that your little ones are well taken care of and comfortable with their usual caregiver while you are away, enjoying that time to connect with yourself, your partner, your family, or a friend. How about being able to go on a few dates to your favorite spots or long kid-free hikes?! For many families, traveling with their nanny is outside of their budget, though if planned during the hours the nanny currently works, it isn’t as much as one would think. If you’ve never taken your nanny on vacation with you, then you may be unsure how to go about compensating your nanny or what you should cover in terms of their expenses. It is important to have a solid section in your contract regarding travel, and if travel is required of your nanny, make sure that is very clear when interviewing candidates. Thankfully, if you need a parent-nanny agreement with this clause, I have you covered. You can request a copy by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you don’t have a section in your contract about travel and are considering asking your nanny to travel with you, you need to be sure to have an open conversation about expectations and add an addendum to your contract that both parties are comfortable with. With all this said, some nannies simply aren’t interested in traveling with their nanny family.
Here are some things to think about when traveling with your nanny –
NOTICE// When requesting your nanny to travel with your family, it's important to give them as much notice as possible. Keep in mind that not everyone can make last-minute travel arrangements, and your nanny may need to arrange for pet care, house care, and childcare. Therefore, it's recommended to give your nanny a minimum of three weeks' notice. Additionally, your nanny should inform you at least two weeks in advance whether they are able to make the trip or not.
If the travel is optional and your nanny declines to go, they should still be paid their guaranteed hours. However, if your nanny accepts a travel position and frequent trips are required, they should be prepared to travel with little notice.
PASSPORT// When making plans to travel internationally with your nanny, it's important to plan ahead and give your nanny enough time to acquire a passport. If your nanny doesn't already have a passport, you will be responsible for covering the costs of the passport processing fees.
It's recommended that you make sure your nanny has a valid passport before hiring them for a travel position. This is an important requirement to consider while screening potential nannies for the job.
Obtaining a passport can take some time, so it's important to factor this into your travel plans. The process of acquiring a passport involves submitting an application, providing necessary documentation, and potentially attending an interview.
TRANSPORTATION// How is your nanny getting to and from the destination? If your nanny is required to drive their own car, then you will need to cover mileage reimbursement and pay their hourly rate for the travel time. If a flight is required, then you will need to provide the airline tickets, luggage costs, internet service, and your nanny’s hourly rate for all hours while traveling. Even if your nanny is on a different flight than you and does not have your children. This is important to understand because even though your nanny isn’t “nannying” in that instant, they would not be on that flight or driving there if it weren’t for it being a part of their position.
ACCOMMODATIONS// It's important to consider where your nanny will stay during their time with your family. Each nanny may have their own preferences, so it's best to discuss this with them directly. At the very least, they should have their own room, and it's even better if they can have their own bathroom. Many nannies prefer to have their own hotel room so they can fully relax and disconnect when they're not working. It's important to keep in mind that some accommodations may make your nanny uncomfortable, such as renting a room in someone else's home. If possible, try to find a space for them that is private.
AWAY FEE// It is industry standard to compensate your nanny for each night they are away from home, even when they are off duty. This fee should be around $50 to $60/night. You might be wondering why you should pay them since they are off. It is simply because they cannot go home to their own bed and family.
PET BOARDING// If your nanny has pets that require boarding, it is crucial to provide them with a stipend for pet care. This stipend will help cover the costs associated with boarding, such as food, grooming, and veterinary care. By doing so, you can ensure that your nanny's pets receive proper care while they are away, which can ultimately lead to a happier and healthier environment for everyone involved.
PER DIEM// When you bring your nanny on travel, it's important to know that even when they are off the clock, you are responsible for covering their food and incidentals. This is because if they were at home, they would have access to their own groceries, car, memberships, and so on. To ensure that you are providing a fair and reasonable amount, it's a good idea to follow the US per diem rate. If your nanny has a work credit card, it's probably easiest for them to make purchases with that. If not, you could give them petty cash at the beginning of the trip to cover their expenses.
ACTIVITIES// If you plan on taking your children and nanny on an excursion, and your nanny is working during that time, you will be responsible for covering the expenses of the excursion. This includes any special activities, tours, or other costs associated with the outing.
SCHEDULE// When hiring a nanny for a trip, it's important to remember that they have guaranteed hours and pay. This means that even if you end up using them for fewer hours than the guaranteed amount, you will still need to pay them for the guaranteed hours. It's also common for nannies to work overtime while traveling. If you need your nanny to switch their hours around during the trip, it's reasonable to ask, but make sure to communicate openly with them and plan ahead so they can use their time off accordingly.
ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS// Some other things to keep in mind: If you work from home or are a stay-at-home parent, then going on vacation with your nanny may not feel so obscure for everyone. You are used to being around each other with the children in tow, and there is less likely to be contention. If you typically work out of the home, then this could be a big adjustment for everyone. Some quick tips I would give to parents are, do not undermine your nanny, work together, and don’t be afraid to redirect your child to your nanny if they need something or have a question. Another thing to keep in mind is that your children and your nanny will want to adventure and explore, just as they do back home. If at all possible, let them get out and about during their time together.
Please keep in mind that while you're on a family vacation, your nanny is not on vacation. This is a work trip for them, and they should not be responsible for any expenses that accrue while on this trip unless they book excursions, shop, or site-see on their own. It's important to remember that your nanny is away from their own home, family, and friends, so it's essential to do what you can to make them feel welcome and appreciated. Your efforts to make them feel valued will be greatly appreciated.
Kyla is the owner and founder of The Nanny Consultant, a premier Seattle-based nanny agency. She lives in the PNW with her three children and two kitties.