Traveling with your Nanny

Making the best out of your trip!

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It is important to set some ground rules up front when traveling with your nanny so that everyone has the same expectations of the trip. Making sure everyone is on the same page from the beginning is essential.

It can be difficult to travel with others, you need to set things up to minimize any possible points of friction.

After all, you’re probably hoping that you’ll employ your nanny for years, and it's not much of a vacation if everyone comes home disappointed with each other.


Put it in writing
I can’t tell you how many calls I get from nannies asking me about travel compensation. One way to make it a seamless interaction is to think ahead and make sure it’s included in your initial contract. Even if you don’t initially foresee taking your nanny on trips in the future it’s still good to include a travel clause in your contract.

Adding prospective
It’s easy to think of it from a one sided approach. Don’t let yourself fall into that habit, especially when it comes to the person that is taking care of your children. Some families take the mindset on that they are giving their nanny this wonderful vacation but the truth is that they are working and this is a business arrangement. They are giving you their time and undivided attention to make sure you and your family enjoy your time away. This often means extra hours, later nights and ultimate flexibility from the moment you set off into the sunset. 

Don’t try to short-change your caregiver. Regardless of how you frame it, they are working. Weather or not they enjoy a day off, a glass of wine at dinner or you pay for them to have a spa day they are away from their own family, friends and home. Remember you want your nanny to say yes the next time your need help while out of town so make sure you think of their prospective as well!

Passport & Visas
Verify that your nanny has a passport and the visas she needs, you don’t want to find out at the last minute that there is a problem. If your nanny does not have a passport, you might want to help get things started, and you’ll certainly want to pay for any application fees

It’s important to have clear communication about expenses up front. What will you be paying for on the trip, and what will the Nanny be responsible for? Here are some examples:

• Travel (air, train, etc.) to and from destination

• Hotel or Vacation rental expenses

• Meals. You might have a different policy when dining with family than when the nanny is dining alone

• Activities and admissions with kids or family

• Telephone calls home

• Transportation at the destination

• Luggage storage at an airport or train station

• Internet café expenses

• Remember that your nanny will probably have some extra expenses while she is traveling. She'll eat more meals out, need to call home, and have ATM fees when she withdraws money. If you are traveling out of the country, exchange rates can also make even everyday needs more expensive. Consider giving a lump sum stipend to cover these expenses.

Sleeping arrangements
You’ll need to decide whether you expect your Nanny to share a room with your children or want to provide a separate space. It’s more expensive to give the Nanny privacy, but giving her a space to call her own can help her be better rested and more mentally available to your kids during the day.

Whatever your decision, you should communicate clearly with the Nanny about what to expect.

Decide whether you will provide a per-diem to compensate her for the extra difficulty and expense of being away from home? (A typical stipend ranges from $50-$150 per night and depends on expectations.) Decide if the nanny will be paid her regular salary plus overtime. The days may be longer, so you want to decide if you will pay her for example for her typical 8 hour day or the full 12 hours for that day. This should be something that is negotiated well in advance of going on a trip together.

It’s important that your communication about work hours and overtime pay be just as clear while you’re travelling as it is at home.

It’s a good idea to bring a printed calendar with me on trips and write the planned hours & actual hours on each day. Set expectations in advance with the nanny that the work schedule will be different than it is at home. Here’s are some suggestions:

• Set a schedule at the beginning of each week of travel. During the week we track the actual hours and adjust the schedule as needed.

• Pay for each hour that the nanny is in transit with us, and expect her to work during that time (i.e. From the time she arrives at your home until the time you reach our destination).

• Set up the schedule so that we have more hours with the kids during the day than we would at home and several date nights a week. The travel hours usually eat into the schedule enough that we have lots of daytime hours with the kids to enjoy our destination.

• Always give a day off after a travel day. Travel days can be stressful and it’s good to give everyone a little time apart to recuperate. Also, you may want the nanny to have time to scope out the destination before she’s responsible for entertaining the kids.

Work Expectations
Not being in your house and in your usual environment will bring up a lot of new questions about what’s expected. Also, unless you have a live-in Nanny, this is probably the first time you’ve shared a space. You’ll want to make sure you answer any questions the Nanny has and set expectations up front about what will be different and what will not change even though you’re all “on vacation”

• Remind your nanny that the kids continue to be her first priority when she is working. Any personal sightseeing or shopping needs to be done on her own time.

• Once you’ve ironed out exactly what you expect in terms of work schedule, remind her that because you’ll be sharing a space, she’s likely to get woken up at night if the kids wake up and that the kids will see her coming and going. Explain that of course you’ll all try to be sensitive about this.

• You’ll want to decide what types of activities she can take the kids to do. Can she take them on public transit? To a museum? How should she expect to be reimbursed for these activities?

• Nighttime work is a little different than at home as well, if you’re sharing an apartment, is it ok for her to go to bed once the kids are asleep? Or do you expect her to wait up until you are home? 

• Review any special safety issues related to your destination (E.g. only bottled water, no taxi rides, parts of town to avoid, etc.)

• You’ll want to decide what types of activities she can take the kids to do. Can she take them on public transit? To a museum? How should she expect to be reimbursed for these activities?

• Is the nanny still responsible for household chores that she would normally do in your home?

• What is your policy about the Nanny bringing guests into your shared space?

Lastly, if there are any limitations on how much luggage your nanny can bring (perhaps you have booked a rental car with a small trunk) or if you anticipate needing her to have hands free to help with the kids on travel days, let her know in advance so that she can pack light.

Family Travel Contract Topics to Cover:

Travel Destination:
Dates of Travel:
Ticket: Included and arranged by
Passport: Yes or No
Lodging: Included (Private or with children)
Compensation: Hourly rate X hours per day (Regular pay) (plus $100 per night per-diem which includes additional travel expenses and overnight) (including over time rate, which is typically time and a half.) 
Responsibilities and expectations:

● Monday:
● Tuesday:
● Wednesday:
● Thursday:
● Friday:
● Saturday:
● Sunday:

“Off Time”: Dates and times when your Nanny will be off the clock. 
Food: Included (With the family but not on included on "off time")
Other expenses: (Luggage, transportation, phone calls, outings with the children, etc.)