10 Ways to Find a Babysitter While on Vacation
Part of planning a family vacation is including the children and bringing them along, but it can severely limit opportunities for parents to enjoy an adults-only evening on the town. Securing childcare in an unfamiliar location can be quite a challenge; here are ten tips for enjoying your vacation as a family without sacrificing grown-up time.
- Contacting a Local Nanny Agency – Parents often assume that local nanny agencies are designed solely for full-time arrangements, which is very rarely the case. Temporary, on-call services are available through almost all agencies.
- Inquire With Hotel Guest Services – A call to the concierge or guest services can point vacationers in the right direction for the fulfillment of a variety of needs, not the least of which is childcare.
- Plan Ahead – While making plans to secure a sitter for a specific night in advance eliminates any vestiges of spontaneity, it’s often a parent’s best bet. Exploring local agencies, job postings and classified ads for a reputable sitter in an unfamiliar city is a time-consuming task, and not likely to be one that you’re eager to undertake while trying to enjoy your vacation. Treating your adults-only dinner date as another part of your trip-planning checklist is a very effective way of cutting out last-minute stress.
- Web-Based Services – Online services like eNannySource.com and GoNannies.com are designed to put busy parents in touch with local babysitters on a temporary, as-needed basis. For a fee, parents can place job postings, and access background check information for sitters that respond. These sites operate on a national level, allowing parents and childcare providers to connect across the country.
- Take Advantage of Resort Childcare – On-site childcare is de rigueur for high-end resorts, though these services are not always advertized. Checking your brochure or contacting the resort before your arrival are the most practical first steps to securing a sitter while you’re visiting.
- Personal Recommendations – Vacationers that are visiting family or friends in the area, or have loved ones who have visited the destination previously, should not neglect any valuable advice they may have about babysitters and childcare in the area.
- Make Social Networking Work For You – The power to obtain information and recommendations from people around the globe is in your hands with social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Letting your followers know that you’re in search of childcare in a specific area can net a staggering number of responses in a very short time.
- Bring Your Existing Nanny With You – Families that employ a full-time nanny might want to consider bringing her along, in order to eliminate the need for securing childcare through strangers in an unfamiliar setting. It’s important to remember, however, that your vacation is not her vacation. Nannies that are performing childcare-related chores, even on the beaches of a tropical paradise, are still working and should be compensated accordingly.
- Make Arrangements With Travel Companions – Group vacations are not uncommon, and offer the potential for parental date nights when adults take turns watching all of the children. This cooperative approach to vacation childcare keeps kids under the care of familiar adults, which is typically far preferable to trusting an unknown sitter.
- Virtual Interviews – Through the power of the internet, parents can comb local classifieds and job postings in their destination cities, and perform virtual interviews from the comfort of their home offices. Using video-chat to simulate an in-person interview allows for a more personal experience, and can inspire more confidence than hiring a sitter sight-unseen on the night of your planned excursion.
Parents shouldn’t hesitate to ask resort-based childcare centers, local nanny agencies and any other childcare providers about experience, references, CPR and first aid training, background checks and other related pre-screening information prior to securing a sitter.← 10 Ways to Teach Kids How to Sew | Reasons to Hire a Babysitter When Entertaining at Home →
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