Many families ask their nannies to travel with them on vacation to provide quality childcare while the parents enjoy some time alone or attend to business matters. As a nanny, you certainly have the option to say yes. Becoming a travel nanny could allow you to visit new places and grow closer to the family you care for.
However, you should know certain things before agreeing to become a travel nanny that will help you and the family make the most of your trip.
Communication is essential for nannies and families, especially before they take a trip together. Trust us – you don’t want to learn these five lessons the hard way.
1. Agree to compensation terms before going anywhere
Becoming a travel nanny is a financial decision. When you travel with a family, you will likely be working more hours than usual, including travel time to and from your destination.
Ask the family for their compensation terms before agreeing to anything. They should pay for your travel and lodging expenses, and any hours you are on the clock for them. Many families also pay a per diem to cover incidentals and food. This vacation should not be your paid time off (PTO) since you will be expected to work for significant portions of it.
2. Plan schedules ahead of time
You should have some downtime as a travel nanny to enjoy the sights, food, and culture of the place you visit. Ask the family for a rough idea of their itinerary so you know when you can plan on working and when you will have free time. That way, you can make plans accordingly.
3. Be prepared for the unexpected
Traveling takes you outside of your routine. If you have never traveled with this family before, you may not know how the children will react to being on a plane, tasting new food, or being away from home.
The parents will expect you to be calm when things get chaotic and help the children you care for adjust to their new surroundings.
4. Be professional at all times (even during your downtime)
You should absolutely get some downtime when traveling with a family. However, you are still traveling as an employee. Don’t think of this as a vacation. Instead, consider it a business trip, where your actions reflect on you as a professional.
That means don’t do anything you wouldn’t want the family you are traveling with to find out about, even if they aren’t physically around you.
5. Be responsible about where you go and whom you meet
Finally, be responsible about where and with whom you spend your downtime. You don’t want to bring COVID or another illness into the family’s home because you were being irresponsible in your downtime.
Your downtime should be for relaxing and recharging to ensure you provide the best possible childcare when it’s time for you to work again. Save the adventures for your personal PTO.
We love helping nannies develop professionally so they can continue providing the highest-quality childcare possible. If you have questions, feel free to contact us.