Should we bring our nanny on vacation?

Benefits of Bringing the Nanny on Vacation

Bringing a nanny on vacation lets you focus on family fun and leisure by lightening your load of day-to-day childcare chores. Equally important, nannies free you for some much-needed "me time." After all, as much as you adore your kids, sometimes you just crave a grownup afternoon -- at the spa or on the links. Or maybe you'd like a romantic evening with the love of your life, your spouse.

The added flexibility you'll gain by having a nanny along on your vacation can be invaluable, particularly when emergencies arise or when your child is in the midst a developmental phase, like potty training. Your kids may also feel a sense of comfort and continuity with the nanny around, particularly if they share an emotional bond with him or her. If your child is special needs, a trained caregiver can provide extremely valuable assistance.

There are several ways to work out a vacation arrangement with your nanny. Some families bring the nanny on vacation but don't expect him or her to work. The trip is viewed as a "shared vacation," and the family hopes this will align the nanny's schedule with the family's so that the nanny is available at home when needed (and doesn't leave the family in the lurch by taking a separate vacation).

That arrangement differs greatly from one in which the trip does not count as vacation for the nanny (who is working, after all). The family pays for the nanny's travel expenses and the nanny's duties are outlined carefully before the trip.

On the other hand, you and your nanny might prefer to take separate vacations at the same time, to minimize friction and maximize the chance that the nanny will be available while you're not on vacation. In this case, you still have the option to hire a nanny local to your destination through a service, which is usually cheaper than bringing one along or employing a travel nanny.

As you can see, things quickly grow complicated, so let's take a closer look at some of the potential problems with bringing the nanny on vacation.