Travelling Tips for Nannies
With the Easter holidays coming up fast and summer, not far behind, many nannies might be preparing for a trip with their nanny family.
Whilst a sunny break away from everyday life might sound like a fantastic escape, it’s important to remember that you’ll still be working and that your job might become a bit more difficult when faced with new challenges and unfamiliar surroundings.
We’ve put together our top tips to help you make a success of any trip with your nanny family:
1. Be Prepared
Picture the scenario. You’re in the house where you work and the child you care for is hungry. What do you do? You go to the kitchen and prepare the food they like. What if the child is particularly fussy and wants to play with a certain toy or comforter. What do you do? You find it and give it to them.
Now imagine that you’re in a different country, a different location, a different house with no toys and un-familiar foods. Now what do you do?
A travelling nanny must always be prepared, so try to pack some of the things that the child will need like their favourite blanket, book or teddy bear to help comfort them on long journeys or nights in an unfamiliar bed.
Whilst you’re unlikely to be able to take food with you, especially if you’re travelling abroad, you can do a little research about the area you’ll be staying in and (if grocery shopping is part of your job) you should be able to source some familiar foods.
Top Tip: It’s still worth trying to encourage children to eat new foods, even if you offer them alongside something more familiar.
2. Communicate with your employer
Before you leave, in fact, before you agree to travel, you’ll need to discuss several things with your employer including:
- Working Hours – will your hours change whilst you are working away? Remember that working more than 40 hours per week entitles you to overtime pay.
- Pay – most employers choose to pay the standard salary whilst covering all expenses. However, others include bonuses or prefer to pay a day rate. Discuss this with your employer and agree on a solution that suits you both.
- Sleeping Arrangements – some employers prefer the nanny and child to share a room to lower holiday costs. It’s important to voice any objections to this early on.
- Arrange Time Off – whilst this isn’t a holiday for you, and you’re still expected to continue with your normal duties, you’re still entitled to your usual free time. Discuss this with your employer so that you know exactly when your free time is. You could even try negotiating a free day if you want to see the sights, but you may have to give up some of your other free time to balance this out.
- Responsibility – when you’re at home with the child, you’ll usually be the one in charge. However, during a holiday, when one or both parents are present, this role may shift. Discuss with your employer who is to be in charge whilst you travel, at the hotel or during trips/excursions. This needs to be especially clear in busy situations such as airports or train stations, for the safety of the child.
3. Consult the itinerary
Some parents may want to pursue a myriad of activities with you and the children in tow, whilst others might want to venture off alone, leaving you and the children to do your own activities or to stay at the hotel.
The key to a successful trip is knowing what’s expected of you, so be sure to ask. That way, you know what to prepare and can plan ahead.
The most important thing to remember is to talk to your employer and have a clear picture of what’s expected of you during the entire trip. Planning and preparation will ensure that both you and your nanny family have a great time.
If you’re a seasoned nanny traveller, share your tips and advice in the comments below!