Follow these tips to find great care for your children on vacation
Let’s face it, parenthood is hard. No matter what age your kids are, there is an endless amount of worry, planning, scheduling, teaching, and general effort that goes into each day.
So, when it comes time to take a vacation, parents truly deserve a break!
As wonderful as it is to see the kids playing on the beach down the shore or paddling a canoe with you on the lake, you really owe it to yourself to get a night (or 2!) away from the kids.
And, like everything else that comes with being a parent, finding someone that you trust to watch your kids when you simply want to enjoy a proper adult dinner out can be difficult.
We can’t promise that our recommendations will leave you worry-free with a brand new caregiver, but we can try to ease your mind a little so you can really enjoy your time away from the kids and feel more confident in who is caring for them.
Here are our best ideas for finding time for yourself on your next trip.
Bring someone you trust with you on vacation – 3 Options
This is our best recommendation because you and your kids know this person, and you can be confident they will treat your loved ones well.
Option 1: If you have a trusted babysitter that is free to travel, you can have them join you on the trip (only the babysitter isn’t on vacation)!
Make sure you have your babysitter assigned to certain hours each day and work out a schedule in advance. This will give you the chance to enjoy the kids and have pre-planned alone time (or date night!) without having to wonder if someone will cancel at the last minute.
Option 2: Bring your parents and/or in-laws along – It takes a village to raise a family, without a doubt. And that village can come in handy when you are on vacation.
If you rent a home or property that allows for extra bedrooms and space for grandma and grandpa, consider it worth the extra costs for the extra set of hands around.
Option 3: Vacation with other families that have kids the same age as yours.
It will seem like an endless play date for the kids, and a true respite for you. You can split the costs of the rental property to get a bigger home with plenty of space for all families, which can mean more amenities as well.
This also gives you a chance to “take turns” watching the kids so each set of parents can get a break or date night out.
Hire a local babysitter
If you prefer a family vacation that doesn’t involve other people sharing your rental, then you need to think about how to get comfortable with the idea of a brand new babysitter on vacation (you owe it to yourself!).
Here are a few suggestions on how to get over that fear or, at least, make it a little easier to relax while you are away from the kids.
1. Find a babysitter on your own through online research. This sounds like a big task, and it can be. But, if you are the type that needs to be more in control of details, this is going to be the most comfortable for you in the long run.
You can do extensive research through Facebook, online job postings, or babysitter service sites online. Visit the Facebook group of the town/city at your destination and post a request for a babysitter, ask your property manager to post for you, or submit a job posting through hiring sites.
Give yourself at least 1-2 months to complete this process and make sure you conduct interviews over the phone in advance of your trip. Here are a few other ways to source vacation babysitters online:
2. Ask friends and family. Send email blasts, or post to your Facebook friends and in any local moms groups you’re in. (For safety reasons, avoid posting on Twitter or more public forms of social media.)
You never know who might have a “friend of a friend” whose college-age daughter is staying in that resort/vacation town for the summer and looking to babysit right when you’d need her.
3. Don’t forget about local colleges and universities! Most of these types of college babysitting programs require you to complete some paperwork and they tend to fill up, so plan accordingly.
4. Find a service provider to source a babysitter for you (Stock the House does this for many clients). This takes all the research off your plate and is usually a great option to narrow down choices for you.
Most providers will also match you with qualified candidates based on the ages of your kids and what characteristics you are looking for.
Other things to consider
You should definitely conduct phone interviews, chat with the references, and video call with your final choice before you travel. Any service provider you use should always confirm background checks and other qualifications of your sitter, as well.
We suggest you ask for extra experiences like CPR certification and infant or child classes that have been completed to help get an idea of the babysitter’s capabilities.
Once you find someone you like, try a video chat interview that also includes your kids (if you are comfortable with that). This way, you see how your kids react to the person in real-time and how they are able to warm up to him or her.
Consider a few video calls before you travel, which can also give you more confidence knowing that your child will be seeing someone familiar on vacation.
The bottom line is, whether you do the research on your own or trust a service to do it for you, building a relationship with your vacation babysitter in advance of your trip can make a huge difference once you arrive.
And just remember, If you love your babysitter this year, you have a built-in contact for next year’s vacation!
Now doesn’t that sound relaxing? 😊
Need help finding a babysitter for your next trip?
Drop us an email, call, or chat now with our team! We’d be happy to help.