Parents Who Take Nannies on Vacation Should Stop Traveling With Their Kids (VIDEO)

Rant 25

spruce point inn dockGoing on vacation with our kids can sometimes be even more exhausting than our day-to-day lives with our kids. Still, having that quality time together to do nothing but have fun and enjoy each other's company is well worth getting up at the crack of dawn and packing the entire day full of all sorts of activities.

And that's why, for the life of me, I just don't understand the concept of hiring a "travel nanny" to go on vacation with you so you can relax and unwind while somebody else takes care of your kids 24 hours a day. Heck, forget the travel part -- why on earth do parents bring any sort of nanny on vacation? Doesn't that kind of defeat the whole purpose of taking a trip together as a family?

Ok, I'm not a complete idiot, because I get it. I really do. Parents deserve to have a little time to themselves while vacationing too, but if you aren't planning on spending barely any time with your kids during the trip, then why even bring them along in the first place?

If you need the downtime that bad, then it probably makes more sense to start separating your trips with the kids from adult trips you take alone where you leave them behind. Plenty of parents leave their children with family members or a trusted nanny in order to take a vacation where they can solely focus on being together as a couple and relaxing.

Just because you have children doesn't mean they have to accompany you on every single vacation. If you take your own vacation without them instead of paying for their travel expenses in addition to the nanny's travel expenses and salary -- you'll save a ton of money and have enough cash left over to take another trip with the whole family. (It's not rocket science.)

But if you don't have time to take two separate trips, you can still get the best of both worlds by forgoing the travel nanny and choosing a resort that offers a kids' camp so that you can squeeze in a few hours to yourself while still enjoying plenty of time with your children.

Last summer, my husband and son and I spent a week at the Spruce Point Inn in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, and one of the reasons we chose the resort is because they offered a kids' camp a few days a week. While we spent the majority of our vacation doing activities together as a family, we did put our son in the kids' camp for two days during the week.

He went from 10:30 to 2:30 and played games and had all sorts of fun while my husband and I relaxed and read by the pool, and it was wonderful for everyone. The inn also offered a pizza and movie night for the kids on Friday, so we sent him to that as well while we enjoyed a lovely adult dinner in the hotel's fine dining restaurant. It was truly the best of both worlds, and we can't wait to go back.

Bottom line, if you are going to take a family vacation, then take a FAMILY vacation -- without the nanny -- otherwise you're totally missing the whole point of the trip.

You can hear more about the new travel nanny trend in this video clip.

Do you agree? Or do you think it's ok to bring someone along to take care of your kids for your entire vacation?


Image via Mary Fischer

travel, child care


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pupuk... pupukeawahine

The travel nanny thing is not new.  People who have more than most of the rest of us can afford to bring a nanny along to help out.  What's so terrible about that?  The kids know the nanny already and are familiar with her/him, the nanny looks after them if the parents want a night out by themselves or with other adults.  How terrible and selfish of them.  I bet the poor nanny hates going to some tropical local with her employers, all the while being paid her salary too.

Jessy Roos

I'm getting really tired of the anti-nanny sentiment that I see on this site sometimes. I have been working as a nanny for years and have travelled with the family to multiple places. The family I work with is incredible. The parents are hard working, intelligent, thoughtful and extremely committed to their kids. When they take me on vacation it is so the kids AND them can have a vacation. I split my time evenly between day and evening hours so the parents can do fun activities with their kids one day and have adult time the next, or go out in the evening instead of being stuck in the hotel room from 7pm on. It is true that they have the resources to pay for my salary and travel expenses, but why should that be held against them? They prioritize their kids and use me for some much needed adult time and they pay me well and treat me well. They are not villains for wanting a balanced life and being able to afford it.

gem09... gem092011

Um, bringing a nanny along doesn't mean that you plan on spending zero time with your kids while on vacation. Why do you think it has to be so black and white? And why so snarky about it? There can be a middle ground where you still focus mainly on the family as a whole but use the nanny once in a while for a few hours so you and the hubby can enjoy some alone time. I'm not sure how this is any different than dropping your kids off at the "day camp"you described except that at least the kids are with someone you know and trust with a nanny versus complete strangers at a camp.

gem09... gem092011

Cont.... We just got back from travelling to Puerto Rico for a week with my 3 kids (ages 9, 3, and 1). We brought (and paid for) my sister to come along as our nanny. It was awesome and well worth the money. We did lots of family stuff and the kids saw some amazing things. But 3 nights my hubby and I went out to dinner by ourselves, and we had a fabulous time! Enjoyed 6 course tasting menus and wine pairings at a 5 star restaurant, had meaningful adult conversations without trying to wrangle our toddlers the whole time, and just generally had fun. We also enjoyed a spa day one afternoon while my sis took the kids to the pool. Should we not have brought the kids with us just because we were able to spend a few hours alone?? I'm sorry, but that's stupid. We wanted our kids there, and we all had a blast. It sounds like you may be a bit jealous or something that you aren't able to afford a similar arrangement.

nonmember avatar Reilly

This article kind of annoyed me too. I've been a nanny for six years and traveled a dozen or so times on vacations with families. You may not need a nanny on vacation but you have one child and two parents. Most families I work for have three or more kids, often including a baby. The baby needs to be out of the sun during peak periods and have naps etc. Besides why be stuck in the hotel room at 7? I always get my downtime so it's fun! Plus I am part of the family! I'm

Included with every major life event - birthdays, recitals etc - so why not vacation? Furthermore, it's fun for each kid to get one on one time. We often split up - one kid with each mom, dad and me. It makes wonderful bonding time and individual memories! What do you do at Disneyland when one kid is school aged and can ride the rides and the other is too scared/short/etc? This just sounds snarky. Parents want to take family vacations but that doesn't mean they need to be with their kid 24/7 for it to be meaningful by your definition. Furthermore, if you don't have local family to watch the kids while you're gone, do you realize how unlikely and expensive it would be to have your nanny spend 24 hours a day with your kids for an extended period of time? Not all of us live in the residence (I never have) and its highly unlikely I'd agree to that unless its on vacation - in which I get my own down time and the trade off is so worth it.

jhslove jhslove

Wow. No, having a "travel nanny" isn't how I would choose to do it, but how is it your place to tell other parents how they should travel? This piece reeks of self-righteousness and uninformed sanctimommy-ness of the highest order.

iicar... iicarmerin

I can't afford a nanny but I bring my mom. We spend lots of time together and my husband and I also get yo do stuff alone. I don't see an issue with it or why you would assume bringing a nanny or a nanny equivalant means you won't spend time with your kids. Really??

pupuk... pupukeawahine

This isn't about bringing a nanny or not, this is about some people who get all worked up and pissed that others have more than they do.  They they want to find a target for that blame, and the best way they can think of is to elevate how they live their lives and raise their kids, as some sort of sanctimonious thing so they can slam the others who they envy and feel better.  I think most of us, myself included, would love to be able to afford a nanny from time to time.  I don't envy those who do, and who have more than I do.  If you look at those who have more with spite and envy, then you have lowered your possibilities of ever being able to achieve the same.  And if you don't want to live like they do and choose another lifestyle, so be it.  You're not better or worse.  Just a person living your life.

1likeme 1likeme

Ok thanks. Here I was worried about how I would ever make the life changing and financially devastating decision to hire a nanny for my vacation and you got up out of bed this morning ready to answer my prayers. You are right, about everything and I for one am so grateful to have you here, at the stir, fingers poised and asinine opinions abounding. I shall frequent your articles from now on because I truly think your generalized statements and all encompassing opinions should always take precidence over my own judgement.

Thank you so very much for getting out of bed today and teaching the lemmings like me :)

Prett... PrettyGirlMyers

I'm sorry, but you don't know what the hell you're talking about. I went on several vacations with the family I used to nanny for, and it wasn't so they could have someone deal with their kids 24/7. I helped them wrangle their kids and all their stuff through airports, entertained the kids while they checked into the hotels, and was there mainly as backup and so they could go out to dinner once or twice during the week AFTER the kids were in bed. This article reeks of jealousy, maybe you should've talked to some actual nanny's before you basically made up a whole story that isn't the reality for the 98% of people who actually have nannies come on vacation with them.

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