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Traveling with Your Nanny? Do’s and Dont’s

Is your family planning an upcoming holiday? If so, will you bring your nanny?

Whether you have traveled with your nanny in the past or this is uncharted territory, it’s important to set clear boundaries and guidelines before your vacation begins.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Traveling with Your Nanny

Many nanny families wonder, how do I travel with my nanny? Remember, just because your family is on holiday, doesn’t mean your nanny is. On the other side of the coin, due to the personal nature of the working relationship, nannies can become confused in terms of where to draw boundaries. The departure from daily routine and place of work during a vacation invariably adds to this confusion.

In most cases, both parties do not know the industry standards for vacationing with a nanny.

The following do’s and don’ts will help you navigate this scenario so that your family has a great time, and your nanny feels respected. This will help ensure a positive, long-lasting relationship.

DO compensate your nanny fairly and pay for all travel expenses

Paying for your nanny’s vacation isn’t compensation. If you plan on vacationing for a month, your nanny will still have bills.

Before you leave, discuss payment with your nanny.

  • How many hours will they be expected to work?
  • Will the schedule differ from their typical schedule?
  • Discuss what does “off duty” means to the family and the nanny?
  • Will there be overtime options and a confirmed overtime rate?

Don’t forget to factor in expenses. For example, do you plan on eating at a restaurant once a day? If so, cover your nanny’s meals. If you’d like, you can offer a realistic amount for each meal based on the types of restaurants you plan to visit — just as other businesses allocate meal credits to employees who travel for work. This will allow you to budget accordingly. Discuss this arrangement before leaving so that everyone is on the same page.

Do you want to go on excursions? Again, your nanny should not need to absorb these costs.

DO discuss your expectations and set boundaries to avoid scope creep

While on vacation, do you want your nanny to tag along as your helper — or do you want your nanny to take a more inclusive approach, so that you can enjoy more alone time?

Before you leave, you need to talk about the type of role he/she will play during the vacation and the types of responsibilities that may arise during your trip. Maintain a schedule. That way, if you decide you would like your nanny to take on additional duties, no one feels taken advantage of. Any wage and labor laws that relate to your nanny’s employment, will also apply if they are working while your family is on vacation.

DON’T make your nanny feel uncomfortable and respect their privacy 

You must discuss accommodations, and the living arrangements while away. Will they have a room to themselves? Regardless of how close your nanny is to your family; you want to make sure they’re comfortable. Don’t pressure them into doing anything they don’t want to do and respect their privacy. If you would like your nanny to stay in a room with your children, factor in overnight pay and know the labor laws for your city when considering overnights.

If you cannot cover their travel cost and pay them for their hours, do not put them in an awkward position. Unfortunately, some people will say that the cost of the vacation is their pay, which isn’t fair — or legal. Either allow them to have paid time off or if they have guaranteed hours, they can perform their normal duties while you’re away. 

Although they won’t be caring for your children, there is likely plenty they can do around the house concerning laundry, organizing the playroom, etc.

DON’T ask your nanny to use their paid time off (PTO)

Your nanny should be able to use their PTO as they please. When people take business trips, this time away is not considered paid time off, so the same rules should apply to your nanny. Remember, your nanny is protected by the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Regardless of where you plan to go, communication is imperative. You also need to respect your nanny’s role, as they will be working while you are on vacation. Set clear boundaries and expectations before you leave so that you can enjoy your trip and maintain a lasting relationship with your wonderful nanny. Everybody wins!

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