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How to Plan a Successful Vacation When Bringing a Babysitter Along

You are planning a family vacation, but you and your spouse would like one romantic evening in your destination city.  Wouldn’t having your babysitter nearby come in handy then?  Additionally, by taking the babysitter on vacation with your family, you can potentially make the vacation more relaxing for the family. 

When planning to take your babysitter on vacation with you, it is essential that you establish shared expectations pre-departure.   Ensure that you and your babysitter have an understanding on the following subjects:

  • What the travel accommodations will be (Will the babysitter have her own guest room or is the family renting a shared suite in which the babysitter has her own bedroom?)
  • What the babysitter’s responsibilities will be (Will she have responsibility for the children at all times or will there be time to pursue her own interests?)
  • Which expenses will be paid by the family and which expenses are hers to bear (It is common for the family to pay for the babysitter’s transportation, lodging, and admission tickets to attractions that the family will visit. The family usually pays for the babysitter’s food, either in whole or up to a specified dollar limit per meal or snack. The babysitter is usually responsible for purchasing her own souvenirs and her admission tickets to attractions that she will visit apart from the family.)
  • What compensation will be due to her for her services during the vacation (The average is $150 per day, based on the babysitter working eight hours each day.)
  • What the wake times and bedtimes are expected to be, and whether family vacations are active adventures or leisurely breaks from the usual hectic pace of life
  • What the appropriate attire will be for the various activities during the vacation (If visiting a beach is on the itinerary, is it acceptable for the babysitter to wear a string bikini?)
  • What constitutes appropriate attire at breakfast and when lounging in the evening (This is relevant only if there will be shared living space during the journey.)
  • To what degree it will be deemed acceptable for the babysitter to use her personal cellular telephone while on the vacation

As always, communication is key to maintaining a solid relationship.  Clear, up-front communication before and during vacation lays the foundation for a wonderful journey for everyone.

*Footnote:  when traveling with children, with or without a babysitter, ensure that you are packing toys for the children.  Just because the babysitter is going on vacation with your family, that doesn’t mean that the children shouldn’t have toys to keep them occupied at times.

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