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Traveling with a Nanny - Setting Expectations

Holly will be vacationing with a nanny (how awesome is that?) and she wants to know a fair wage.  Any thoughts?

We are planning a family vacation to Hawaii in October.  We’ve invited a college-age sitter from our children’s daycare to travel with us and act as our nanny for the week.  We’ve never traveled with a nanny before and have some questions about compensation, time off and reasonable expectations.   

So far, we have purchased a plane ticket for the sitter and she has agreed to sleep in the kids’ room – in her own bed.  We also intend to provide all meals and give her some free time off each day. 

Our initial thoughts are to pay the nanny between $8 - $10 per hour.  We are thinking that this will cover the money she could have made by working at the daycare for the week, and it’s tax free.  This is for two preschoolers and one infant.

We don’t plan on being absentee parents on this vacation.  We see nanny acting as a helping hand and extra pair of eyes.  We are hoping to reach an agreement that is favorable for nanny and us.  We would love to hear from the UrbanMamas.  What sounds fair to you and is there anything else we should consider? 


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i certainly don't know much about this, but maybe you could consider a flat weekly wage as well?

I am pretty interested in a related issue -- rates for a babysitter overnight. Since we are not going with sending the girls to grandma's, we have arranged for a sitter overnight when my husband and I are running Hood-to-Coast. (Yay - Run Mama Run!) Do you think the rate for 24 hours is 24 X $X/hr? So, for a $10/hr rate, a day with the sitter would be $240?

I have heard folks say that a flat rate is the way to go - a weekly rate in the case above or a daily rate in our case. But, what's the right rate? Look forward to hearing some suggestions...

We have a nanny and here are a few tips.

Like with any job, clear expectations will prove to be the best policy for both of you. This will make for a pleasurable experience and make sure that your relationship remains strong with the caregiver after the vacation. I agree about a fixed rate for the week(since sleeping doesn't require much work, but then again, they may wake up, pay then??). Bring to the table your expectations, i.e. how much time during day on her own, hours (do you want to go to dinner alone every night?, etc). Ask her what she wants, and you can agree on what is reasonable. You will all be a lot happier then! You can be flexible when you get there as needed. Winging it totally sounds great but is bad employer policy.

I have not taken a nanny on vacation but have some friends who have and learned what they did. We also plan on taking a nanny to Hawaii with us in January.
To be honest, the hourly wage sounds low for 3 very young children and not getting her own room. Unless you plan on being in sight at all times, I would offer her $10/or more per hour. I would work out how many hours per day you want her services, or how much she wants to work. (ie: Does she want to work a 40 hour week?) Then you can figure out a daily schedule with her so everyones expectations are clear before you leave. That leaves room for flexibility once you get there.

For Olivia, we have used an overnight nanny and paid her for the waking hours on an hourly basis and and overnight compensation of $30. (Our kid is 99.9% sure to not wake up, if she did I would add that to the hourly)

i agree they should be paid well. however, if the nanny is there most of the time with you as an extra pair of hands, and she does get time alone as a mini vacation for herself, is the airfare and room considered in any part of the compensation??

We just invited our (28-year old) sitter to come with us to Europe next summer for 2 weeks. We have paid for her airfare ($1,400). In exchange we have asked her to plan to watch our son for 50% of the time (7 days and nights). We will provide her lodging and meals when she is with our son. During her down time she will travel on her own - She may invite her sister to join her. We are not planning to offer any additional "cash" compensation. We will be generous and make sure all ground travel, misc. spending, etc. are also taken care of.

Final note: She will not stay with our son for 7 consecutive days. We plan to do a 2-days on 3-days of pattern. We will incur extra lodging expenses when we tavel for 2-3 days at a time.

I have not taken a nanny with me on vacation (what a lovely luxury!), but I travelled with a few families back in my college days. It always ended up being a fun way to "work" and I always felt appreciated. I agree that a flat rate is the way to go...figure out roughly how many hours/day you'd like her to work, and then round it up to a nice round number. Pay her 1/2 on the first day of the trip, and the remainder at the end of the vacation. Pay for all of her meals and incidentals while she's with you, so that the only things she has to pay for are outings on her own, or shopping money for herself. Enjoy!

FYI, this compensation is actually taxable. She may want to claim it (doubtful, but she should) and therefore you would also owe employer tax.

I worked as a nanny for several years about 5 years ago and also joined a mum and her babe on vacation. Here are my thoughts from personal experience. A lot of people already have brought up some great points.

I think it depends greatly on where the vacation is taking place...Is it somewhere she would like to go and would enjoy visiting? If so and you are able to give her plenty of time off, your rate might be okay.

However, I think with 3 children and no room of her own...10/hr is probably better. Typically when I traveled I had my own room, which was nice...it meant that I was off hours and could enjoy my sleep. However if it works best for her to share a room with the kids, it might be nice to give her a few afternoons off to rest, nap, or explore.

One nice gesture that the mum did was to take me out one day with her. She was shopping for makeup and we decided it might be fun for me to get a makeover...when it was over...she surprised the heck out of me by buying several of the key pieces...It was expensive makeup that I would never have been able to buy myself and it made me feel appreciated.

Have fun on vacation!

Since the last post on this was from 07, I'd love any updated opinions people have on this subject.

Everything from how much free time, pay (both for salaried & for hourly nannies), bonuses, etc should be expected.

New at this and thinking about a trip soon.

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