How to Hire a Babysitter For Your Vacation

family summer vacation

Sharing childcare duties with a sitter on your family vacation can be helpful and wonderfully liberating, reducing the stress that often accompanies travel with young children and allowing you to take full advantage of your vacation time. Whether providing daily assistance or a few evenings out, the support may be just what you need to truly feel like you’re getting a break—which, after all, is what vacation is all about.

Here are three tips for hiring a babysitter or nanny for your family vacation—whether you bring a caregiver from home or hire help when you arrive at your destination.

Determine Your Needs

A babysitter or nanny can allow you to maximize your time away by allowing you to see sights that aren’t kid-friendly, enjoy nightlife, and participate in activities that are not possible when you’re caring for young children. He or she can also allow you to split your time and accommodate the needs and abilities of your children; for instance, enjoy an afternoon at a water park with an older child, while the sitter watches an infant sibling or napping toddler. Decide whether you need assistance full-time or overnight, a few afternoons or evenings—or only for an event, such as a wedding you will be attending. Also, consider whether you would like her help getting to and from your destination, which can sometimes be the most challenging element of vacationing with young kids.

Consider the Options

If your favorite babysitter isn’t available to make the trip, there are many resources to consider. College students who have not yet returned to school or local students sticking around to take a few classes are an ideal resource. Also talk with friends and neighbors for recommendations, and check local college job boards for sitters advertising for summer work.

Online services, such as UrbanSitter, can provide a pool of reliable babysitters and nannies who are local to your hometown or to your destination. The UrbanSitter mobile app makes it even easier by enabling you to search for someone who is just right for your family’s vacation needs and schedule, read reviews from other parents, and book and share job logistics before you depart, while you are on the go, or when you arrive at your destination.  Hotel concierges are another source for connecting you with vacation babysitters to hire at your destination.


Be sure to talk with your babysitter before the trip or job to make sure you have the same expectations; including how much time he or she will spend with the kids, how much free time he or she will have, pay rate and what expenses will be covered.  If staying overnight, discuss where they will sleep—in their own room or a shared room with the kids. Open communication will help to avoid possible points of friction that can easily occur when you are sharing your time and space, and rules and expectations haven’t been clearly defined. 

Sharing your vacation time with someone who can provide a helping hand and time away from the kids can be well worth the expense.

The key to a rewarding experience with a vacation sitter is to understand your expectations and communicate them well.

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