Travel with a nanny? We tried it… – our travel nanny Phil
During one of our previous holidays in Italy we made the experience that everything was only about the kids. Don’t get me wrong, that’s okay, but in between we’d also like to have some hours for us as a couple. It’s different to go out for dinner alone instead of with a 2 and a 4 year old who tip over their drinks, complain about the food or have a high need for communication.
So we were sitting on our terrace, sipping on our glass wine and talked about our future holiday in Thailand. We saw us wandering from one playground to the next, missing all attractions (like on our holiday in New Zealand). And if you come back home lucky to have the kindergarten and some hours alone it would proof that travelling is more stressful than sitting at home. It sometimes is, but one shouldn’t get the desire to return home only to gain some space.
The sky was dark, it was a bit chilly and so wonderful calm. Our mind wandered from one topic to the next. We laughed and told us funny stories about the day, previous vacations and how we consider Thailand to be. In one of these creative moments I said: Why don’t we take a nanny with us?
Moment of silence.
Travel with a nanny? Which nanny? We don’t have a nanny as it was always important for us to spend most of the time with them.
If we don’t have a nanny yet, let’s get one.
Here are my advices for you, if you think about travelling with freetime and entertained kids
What kind of journey will it be?
If you travel with one child and would need to book an extra second room for the nanny it might be a bit expensive, depending on your budget. While living in apartments or villas gives the opportunity to have one more room anyway. Camping in a caravan will be quite challenging for your travel companion. Does he or she need to sleep in a tent? Or with you in the caravan? Do you feel cramped and disturbed by a third person? Might be you answer now: depends on the person! Yes:
Who should accompany you?
We decided to take someone with us we already knew. He is a friend of my sister and we met several times before at my sisters place. So I knew his character, if he’s more relaxed or the stressful type of person. Plus my sister went on backpacking holiday with him and they got on pretty well. My sister is a bit like I am, so I thought there’s no high conflict potential.
Students are the perfect target group for being your nanny. They have a lot of holidays, mostly no money for travelling but are curious to see the world. They even study at least 1.5 years, so you could take them more often with you.
The most important thing is:
Do your children adore the nanny?
To be honest: you want to leave your children with the nanny so they need to like him/her. I recommend to test that in advance. In our case they already knew him and liked him, so I was sure they have a great time together.
When you found your nanny talk with him/her about your travel plans, your budget and everything else. He/She needs to know what his tasks are and how long he/she has to take care of the children. If you don’t clarify this in advance both parties can be very unhappy as their expectations aren’t met.
There are reasons not to take someone with you. Whether you are afraid of not having privacy or it exceeds your budget because your nanny loves icecream (and you said you’ll pay for all expenses).
We talked about that a lot and agreed on the following: if we don’t try it we’ll sit in Thailand talking to each other about: How great would it be with a nanny?!
We could go out for dinner now, drive with the scooter to town and spend a beautiful sundown on the beach.
So we tried it and it was a very, very good decision. Phil, our male nanny, was perfect. The kids loved him and he did so much for us. During hours in the train he played with them, read books or entertained them. He saw immediately when we needed a hand because the airport was crowded and it was hard to not lose a child while one person had to check in. In Thailand he spent one afternoon with the kids in the zoo and we had time to explore the surrounding of Chiang Mai on our own. When we arrived back home the kids told us endless stories what animals they saw and how great it was. We both had a good time.
BUT: the next time we would insist on some free days for our nanny. Phil was always with us and I think he was a bit stressed after 3 weeks. I would definitely force him to spend days without us exploring whatever he wants.
Otherwise it was the most relaxing holiday we ever had with a 2 and a 4 year old child. We would definitely invest the money again!
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