If you are planning on taking your nanny on vacation with you, I’d like to share some tips and experiences with you. The whole idea of the family vacation is to have a great, stress-free time. To that end, make sure you talk about how you envision the holiday BEFORE you leave.
First, make sure your nanny understands that this is YOUR vacation, not hers. She is working– just in another venue. But, you need to adhere to some kind of schedule so she is not working 24/7. Seems obvious, but few people really think about a vacation schedule before they leave. If you want to go out to dinner every night and the nanny is used to getting off at dinner time at home, you could be in for a rocky time. The important message here is to manage expectations. If your nanny knows what you are planning to do, she won’t feel blindsided.
Think about the best way to carve some time out for her to have off. Sunday morning, she may want to go to church and just walk around without her charges. This may be an easy time for you to manage without her. Give her a dinner or lunch out on the town or maybe a gift of a spa treatment. Tokens of appreciation for extra hours worked make for a much happier nanny. But, if she is going to work considerably more hours than her normal schedule, discuss extra pay before you leave. We have gotten numerous calls of nannies thinking they were going to be paid for extra hours and employers who felt that they didn’t need to compensate. Mostly because they felt that being at a beautiful vacation spot more than made up for the extra hours. Most nannies don’t feel that way. If you discuss this up front, you won’t have a disgruntled caregiver on the way home! By the way, sharing a room–— with children on vacation no matter how lovely the hotel or house and how darling the children is never fun for the nanny. Essentially, she has no time to herself.
Also, if you hiring someone new, whisking them off to even the best place on earth can lead to trouble. The nanny doesn’t know you and your family and she doesn’t have any support system where you are. While it would seem like a great chance to get to know each other, the intensity of the time together could backfire. Over the years, we have gotten calls from nannies completely distraught in some of the best vacations spots I know. They were homesick and sometimes overwhelmed with all that instant togetherness. If you are going to be away 2-4 weeks, it might be better to start the nanny when you get home or have her join you the last week of your vacation.
There is no reason not to have a great time on vacation with your family and your nanny. Just remember to do some advance planning.
1. Discuss duties and a tentative schedule before you leave
2. Discuss time off
3. Discus pay –are you planning to pay extra for extra hours. How much?
4. Discuss accommodations especially if you are expecting her to bunk with your children
Have a great time!