Traveling With a Nanny: Whose Vacation is it?


Are you considering taking a family vacation and asking a nanny to come with you so that you can have another set of hands? Whether you are going only a state over for the weekend or visiting another country for two weeks, you may have wondered what exactly do you pay for when asking a nanny to travel. There aren't specific laws in place when it comes to bringing a nanny on vacation, so how do you know what is appropriate when it comes to traveling with a nanny?


Many nannies today reach out to other nannies (virtual co-workers if you might) with questions regarding traveling with their nanny family, and many parents reach out to Facebook groups asking for advice on what to pay their nanny. When asking online communities though, there will be many different opinions that range from not paying a nanny to overpaying a nanny. When you are traveling with a nanny, you need to understand that it's not the nanny's vacation. Even if the nanny has free time during the evenings or weekends to explore, it's still not the nanny's vacation. A nanny didn't choose the destination and they didn't determine how those days away from home would be spent. They will be accommodating your lifestyle by leaving their home, friends, and family behind to assist on your vacation.


Let's take a look at the industry standards when it comes to traveling with a nanny.


  • A nanny needs to have guaranteed hours. If the nanny is guaranteed 40 hours per week at home, then they need to be guaranteed 40 hours per week on vacation. The nanny relies on her normal income to pay her bills, so even though the nanny may enjoy and love a nice sunny vacation during the winter months, they will still need to pay their bills. If the nanny works more than 40 hours, then they need to still be paid overtime. All the laws that apply to employing a nanny still roll over no matter what state or country you are in. The nanny will need to be paid from the minute they arrive at your home until the minute they get back home; this includes paying for the time at the airport and in the airplane.


  • The nanny should not be using their PTO or vacation days for traveling with your family. This is not their vacation because they are still working, even if you have them working less than their guaranteed hours they are still on duty with your family. PTO and vacation days are decided by the nanny on how they will be used, the same way your PTO and vacation days are decided by you and not your employer.


  • All travel expenses must be covered, which include airfare, meals, activities and lodging. The nanny will require a private room during travel, and if one is not provided then the nanny will be compensated her normal wages plus overtime, regardless if the children are sleeping or not. If a nanny is scheduled to have the weekend off and wants to do an activity or excursion on their own, then that is something the nanny would be responsible for. Meals should be provided throughout the trip, regardless if the nanny is on duty or not.


  • The nanny requires time off to sleep, relax, and recoup. Do not work your nanny 24/7, even if you are willing to compensate for that time. A nanny who is not well rested will not be a nanny you want caring for your children. When you are done with vacation, it's often nice to give a free PTO for the nanny to regather before jumping back into the typical workweek.


Before you take a vacation with a nanny, it's highly encouraged to sit down and go over expectations and the hours. Having clear expectations on both ends will assist with any conflict or confusion that could potentially arise when on vacation.


Remember that a nanny is not required to travel with your family, unless it was discussed in the contract upon hire. Traveling with a nanny is an absolute luxury, and if you are not prepared to compensate a nanny for traveling with your family on your vacation, then it may be a good idea to check into local agencies or babysitters at your final destination to help assist with your family while on vacation!

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