It may be a vacation for the family, but traveling is still work for a nanny. That’s why, if you’re planning an upcoming family trip, you should work with your nanny to make sure the process (and the trip) go as smoothly as possible.
First and foremost, you should always ask your nanny if she’s available to travel with you and your family during the chosen dates. Also make sure she’s comfortable with the destination and length of the trip, and that she has ample time to get everything in place.
In some cases, there may be vaccinations or prescriptions needed to travel abroad, so she will need to make appointments. You can also create a list of things for her to collect, such as her medical insurance, identification, and emergency contact information. If this is an international trip, check that she has an up-to-date passport (giving her at least 6 weeks to order a new one if needed). You can also share the weather forecast and type of clothes or accessories she will want to bring, especially if your family has planned certain activities like swimming or hiking.
It’s easy to be overwhelmed with travel preparations, but that’s exactly why you have a nanny! Your nanny can help you get ready for a big trip, but only if she knows what to expect. Important details are likely to be forgotten in the rush of a travel day, such as deciding who is responsible for the children on the plane or in the car or who packed the baby’s blanket. That’s why you should make sure to hash out those details before you hit the road. And while you don’t need to plan every minute of every day, it does help to discuss the trip details and expectations before you leave.
Stressed about getting everything ready for the trip? You can also ask your nanny to help you pack, to arrange transportation or activities, and to get the kids ready to travel.
If you’re planning to take your nanny on vacation or a trip with you, it’s important to think about pay. After all, she’ll be working more hours than usual. To accommodate this, you can negotiate a daily rate or hourly rate with your nanny that includes her new “work schedule.” Remember: federal law dictates compensation and overtime for all hours spent traveling and working, so don’t overlook this part of traveling with your beloved nanny. You will need to pay her time and a half for anything over 40 hours. Also keep in mind that just because your nanny is accompanying you on family outings and may not be the only one in charge of childcare, she is still “on the clock” and those activities will go toward her weekly hour count.
Another thing to consider: flights, meals while caring for children, and travel-related expenses are the employer’s responsibility and are not taxable income for the nanny. If she is caring for additional children at any point during the trip (such as with a larger friend or family group), your nanny should also be compensated accordingly by the other parents or by you. Lastly, make sure that the additional vacation compensation is added to her regularly scheduled paychecks. You may need to work with your nanny agency to increase pay temporarily, or add the additional travel pay to her weekly or biweekly check.
Your nanny should have his or her own room during your trip. Having your nanny stay in the same room with the children is tempting, but when this happens, it’s much less clear when your nanny is on the clock or off. In special cases where she must stay in the same room, like when parents enjoy a night out or if you have an infant, be sure to clearly outline the hours and pay for that. Also, make sure she’s comfortable with the sleeping arrangements and living quarters.
Your nanny should have sleep and rest time during a vacation. The Association of Premier Nanny Agencies states that nannies should have at least 5 hours of sleep and 8 hours of rest each day. You may also offer her “time off” to explore or enjoy some alone time, for which you do not have to pay. If your nanny must work overtime during your vacation, you may also consider giving her a few days off once you return home (in addition to paying her for her time).
Do you have questions about traveling with your nanny? Are you wondering how pay or time off works in your specific case? If you and your nanny are supported by Stanford Park Nannies, feel free to contact us with any travel-related questions.
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