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Paying Nanny for Travel

Berkeley Parents Network > Advice > Childcare > Nannies > Paying Nanny for Travel


Dec 2009

I read the previous info on BPN but this didn't seem to be addressed: We're planning on taking our part-time babysitter on our trip to Hawaii. Of course we'll arrange everything ahead of time and make a clear agreement with her. When she's babysitting the kids by herself (for a few hours here and there when my partner and I want time on our own) of course we'll pay her her hourly rate. But we're wondering how to handle the time when we are all together and she's an another helper while we go on outings. Do people still pay the same rate as when the sitter has full responsibility for the kids? Would it make sense to pay her her usual weekly rate, which usually entails 25 hours, but have it encompass more than 25 hours because most of it won't be fully babysitting (ie we'll all be together)?? Any input would be helpful from those who've done this. Thanks.


I think you should pay your nanny her regular hourly rate for whatever work she does for you. It might be easier to schedule certain hours everyday when she is ''on duty,'' just as you would at home. Take advantage of having some time sans kiddos on vacation! On her ''off duty'' hours, she can be given a choice about whether or not. Now, there may be some grey areas--going out for meals and such. And clearly, you must provide for her food. The alternative would be paying her a mother's helper rate but paying it for most of the daytime hours. If you do agree on a flat rate for the week, it seems like it should be higher than her normal weekly rate because she will likely be spending a lot more time with your family. be equitable
May 2008

The following are the responses received on the 2008 BPN Nanny Survey in answer to the question "If you have ever traveled with your nanny, how was the experience?"

"100 for weekend, some time to herself"

"Domestic travel was fine. We took our nanny to Colorado with us two times. She worked the normal 40 hour week and had weekends and evenings off, but gave her some additional spending money for those times (she typically hung out with us anyway). International travel was a bit awkward. We took her to France with us (since we'd be paying her salary even if she didn't go and we thought it would be helpful), but I really wanted to spend time with my daughter (and she with me) so the nanny felt like a 3rd wheel. And when I did want her to stick around with my daughter, she was disappointed she couldn't see some of the sights."

"Excellent experience. Pay her 8 hours a day, though she's really on duty more. Also pay her way completely. In advance, discuss and schedule time off for her during the vacation, and check in daily to see if she needs a break."

"good. We paid her a set amount per day ($180), covered plane tickets, hotel, food, and gave her extra money to spend while she was with the baby. During her off hours, she could go explore the place I was visiting for business."

"Great -- we paid all airfare/hotel/meals/expenses. Agreed on some time off per day, unpaid."

"Great! She told me what she needed to get paid and we agreed. YEs, I'd do it again. I asked her what time she needed off and that was fine with us."

"great, she was very helpful and the kids loved it"

"I paid for all expenses including all awake hours, generally from 7am to 8pm, 7 days a week."

"I took her to an amusement park and paid all expenses but didn't pay her an hourly wage. She minimally helped with the kid like a relative would do (watched him while I showered, etc.) but he was not her responsibility on the trip. It was just to take her somewhere that she wanted to go. Yes, we would do it again."

"I would definitely do it again. She made her hourly wage for 9 hours per day and got time off outside the 9 hours. We paid for meals, board, and transportation while away. We negotiated hours so she got some days off. Once, we paid to have her daughter join so she had company during her time off."

"I've done it twice, and can't wait to do it again, it worked out very well."

"It ended up making the travel so expensive for me that I decided it wasn't worth it, although the trip itself was much much easier because she was there."

"It was fantastic. I wish we could've given her more time off during the trip but my youngest was under two then, and we were in a foreign country (France) where she didn't speak the language, so she said she didn't want much time off. We paid for plane tickets and lodging and all meals for her and her teenage daughter, as well as her usual hourly salary."

"It was good because our nanny also had family where we were going. Besides some extra hours, pay was the same as if we were home."

"Loved it, she brought a friend and worked 1/2 time"

"Not good, wont do it again."

"One short trip was great - really helped with the airports, packing etc. However, when we went to hawaii I was really disapointed. She did not help at all and was resentful. Also I had to get up first thing in the AM as she was not up and ""at work on time"". It did not work out well at all. Not sure I would do it again or I would hire someone there."

"One trip to San Diego, paid for travel (air, hotel, etc)."

"our nanny comes to east coast with us as i work from there for 5 weeks in the summer. she comes for the weeks i work, not the weeks i'm on vaca, when i want to hang with my kids. she has both stayed iwth us and not stayed iwth us. i'm very clear about hours ""on"" and associated hourly payment. hours ""off"" she is free to do as she pleases or hang out with us. i do expect general household help if she stays with us that is not a part of her nanny duties (loading dishwasher, cleaning up after herself, etc)"

"Paid for all her expenses (hotel, tickets, etc), paid hourly rate, she usually worked part-time to have the other time for herself to enjoy the trip on her own too (twice her husband joined us too). And we will do it again this summer."

"paid for time worked only. we provided separate room for her. she purchased her own food. she enjoyed sightseeing on her own time. yes, we'd do it again."

"Per day wage. plus we pay for all food and accomodation. She also gets lots of time off to herself and we arrange for tours or special events. On overnights, we pay regular wage until 10pm. Then a $50 bonus from 10pm - 6:30am when kids wake"

"SAME HOURS, SAME ARRANGMENTS WE DO IT ALL THE TIME"

"Scheduled hours, so she knew when she could be off. We have done this often and it makes it more of a vacation."

"She came a s member of family with regular pay, didn't work much, just a few evenings and general pitch-in."

"She came with us to Mexico from Monday-Friday. In addition to her regular weekly salary, we paid her flight and hotel room in addition to all of her meals. We gave her one afternoon off during the trip. We would definitely do it again."

"Time off has to be reasonable. I wouldn't travel with her and expect her to work 80 hours a week. The best way is to maintain her schedule, so if she has weekends and nights off here I'd do the same wherever we are staying. If I was planning on an event where she was needed to sit on her regular days off I'd arrange it with her beforehand."

"Was excelent, we took two trips, and paid her for all the time she was working and the travel expenses, of course"

"We are planning to move abroad and have asked our nanny to join us for the first three months. After discussing the situation with him, we anticipate paying for his airfare and lodging and then paying him for the hours that he works, as we do here."

"We did it when we went on a work/famliy vacation that involved a lot of adult-only activity and where we would have difficulty finding a sitter on site. It was a mixed experience. I was concerned about not exploiting her, making sure she had time off etc. It also compromised our family privacy, though she has worked for us for a long time. We paid her a daily rate that included a meal stipend and, of course, travel expenses. I would try to avoid doing it again but would do it if it seemed necessary (that is, if we were in a similar situation). We haven't had that come up, however."

"We paid all her travel expenses (airfare, etc) and gave a food allowance (or paid for food), plus a lower than usual hourly rate for an approximate number of hours a day (usually 8). We paid her a lump sum in advance, then worked out each day's hours during the vacation. Some days it was more than 8, some days less, but we tried to keep it around 8. We absolutely would do it again."

"we paid for everything and yes, we would do it again"

"we paid her for full days, her travel, all expenses, gave her some time off, spa treatment yes, we'd do it again"

"We paid hourly for all travel time, and then hourly for all time she worked at the destination. She had a good amount of time off (unpaid, but we made sure she still came out ahead of her regular pay). We would do it again in a moment. Very pleasant."

"We paid the nanny her regular hourly wage for all the hours that she was with the children. It was a business trip so she ended up working A LOT and, therefore, made a lot of money! Time off varied - sometimes a morning off, sometimes a night. Our children were 2.5 and 6 months at the time. We were gone for 10 days. We paid for her flight, food, separate hotel room. We would definitely travel with her again. Traveling with a nanny can be tricky, though; we traveled with our previous nanny and it did not work out well."

"we pay her 12 hours/day, at the end of the day she can have time time off, although she often prefers to stay with us instead, but she has the choice. I would bring her everywhere! Unfortunately she can't go abroad."

"We took her somewhere she wanted to go (Israel), and she agreed to take her standard hourly rate for a 40 hour week, even though in fact she worked more hours than that. We paid for all meals and lodging and airfare. We had a great trip, she was a wonderful traveler, and we'd definitely do it again."

"Wonderful. We took her to Mexico, paid her $200 extra for 5 days, and she watched the kids for 4-5 hours per day, and was a great extra help."

Comp time off afterwards.

Day trip to Sacramento on train; covered all travel/meals; pd by the hour; would do again.

don't recall details...would do again

excellent we do it all the time and it's great - since she's live in it's same salary as always but of course we pay her travel expenses and also for her daughter who lives with us too

I teach at the Northern California Women's Herbal Symposium and our nanny will travel with myself and my child for that four day event. I have paid her registration fee which covers the amount of time she will be caring for my child (her meals and camping fees are covered) and she will carpool with us. When I am not teaching she will be free to do as she pleases.

I took her with me to a conference. It worked really well. We paid her a lump sum for the weekend ($400 I think) and we shared a large divided room. I think if I had to do it again I'd make sure she had her own room to make her more comfortable.

I traveled with our last nanny quite a bit for work. She was paid from the time she started work in the morning until the time he went to bed. She was not paid for sleeping time because he slept with me.

I wouldn't travel any other way! yes! she will come with us!

It was a challenge because her daughter decided to have multiple prolonged tantrums. The nanny was very helpful but her daughter made it very stressful a lot of the time.

Just short 1 day trips around the bay area. All expenses incurred during the trips are covered by parents.

Only on day trips when I had to work in the field. It was fine.

Pay for travel expenses and then an agreed amount of money before the trip starts and also an agreed amount of time off during the trip.

Regular pay but more time off than if we were at home

same as overnight plus we paid all travel expenses... would definitely do it again

She came along as if she were our daughter. She came to plays with us and helped out as another adult in the group and was not paid for the trip

took her with us to santa cruz on family vacation once.

Very helpful but too expensive.

We paid an extra $100 a day to be with us and gave her time off. We paid her expenses.

we paid for everything. she was with the baby as much as we needed. it was the same as being at home where we pretty much did things as a family. she didn't have a spending allowance but she could get what she wanted (buy her own groceries and clothes for the baby) and i would reimburse her. she never took advantage of it and was very conscious not to spend too much.

We paid for time she took care of our child. Worked well--gave her an opportunity to see new place and we made sure she had personal time.

We paid her the regular rate only for the hours she worked and provided her own hotel room. She drove our car there and she also brought her son and four of her own friends and their kids and they all played in the pool and went to the local attractions with our kids and had a good time while we were in meetings. I would definitely do it again if I had to.


We're thinking of bringing our nanny on vacation to help us with the kids. Does anyone who has done this kind of thing have any advice about how to arrange it? how much compensation should one offer in addition to a plane ticket and lodging if the destination would be fun for her too? Has anyone out there done this before for a family vacation? Did it make the trip more relaxing?
I am planning a trip to Sante Fe in April with my extended family. My son will be 2 years old then, and he is the only child in the family so far. I would like to bring a babysitter with us to watch my son maybe 3 hours during the day and 2 hours during a few of the nights for dinner. I will pay for the babysitter's planefare/food/and logding. My questions are: How much do I pay her for the actual babysitting? My girlfriend may join us, with her 2 year old. How much do I pay the sitter then? Is it better to just hire a local Sante Fe sitter when I get there? I am still nervous about this (first time Mom syndrome), but it will be MUCH cheaper. Has anyone done this? THANKS for the help.
We took our nanny with us to Alaska for a week and it was super. She had a good time, and so did we. We paid for her plane ticket and accommodations, and she paid for her food. We basically treated it like any other work week, just in a different place. She worked her regular daytime hours, and was off the rest of the time and on weekends. We had an inexpensive suite on campus where she had her own private bedroom so that after she wasn't inundated with requests from our son (i.e., she could close the door and we could tell him that it was her private time.)

When we did special things in the evenings, we'd generally ask if she'd like to come along, which she sometimes did, but as a friend, not the nanny (i.e., we'd take care of our boy).

I think the important thing with travelling is not to ask too much extra of the nanny (i.e. don't extend the hours inordinately without their permission and without paying overtime appropriately). The fun the nanny has in the new situation is a real benefit for you the employer because it helps reinforce the positiveness of the job situation she has with you. Her having fun in her off-hours, however, is not a good reason for requiring her to pay the travel costs herself. I'd recommend thinking about it being just the same as in the corporate world, where if your boss asks you to go somewhere your boss pays the ticket. That said, this is a great situation for using frequent flier miles or any other discounts you can find.

Hope this is useful.


By all means, take the nanny along if you can afford it. I don't know the age(s) of your child(ren) but almost certainly you will find it more relaxing to leave your kid(s) in the care of someone you already know and trust. Call me paranoid, but I would have trouble leaving my child with a complete stranger. Also - on vacation, younger children may have to adjust to unfamiliar surroundings, new sleeping arrangements, time zone changes, etc. and having a familiar caregiver can really help a young child to adjust and enjoy.
My suggestion is to pay your nanny the same hourly rate as you would pay for her to work in your home setting, plus her travel-related expenses (airfare, lodging and perhaps even meals, since food can be quite expensive in a hotel/resort setting). This can add a lot of expense to your total vacation cost, but we have tried to factor it in to our vacation budget up front. We recognize that it's still hard work caring for children, even in a vacation setting and we also want to minimize the possibility of any ill will with the nanny (which wrecks the holiday state-of-mind!) As far as lodging goes, the caregiver should have a room of his/her own and should not be asked to bunk with the kiddies. Discuss in advance the amount of hours per day and the time of day you would like the nanny to be available for childcare, (e.g. evenings so you and your spouse can go out to dinner) as well as some flexibility to allow you and the nanny some spur-of-the-moment fun. And see the 8/6/99 Wall Street Journal article about taking nanny on vacation - it's in the Weekend section. Hope this is helpful.
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