You have a fantastic summer vacation planned for the whole family. Everything is set — flight, hotel, rental car, daily tour itinerary…except a little time for you to unwind without the kids. Here’s how to find a destination sitter that’ll give you a much-needed break on your summer trip.
Finding a vacation babysitter ahead of time
If you’re planning to be away from your kids at any time during your vacation, finding a top-notch sitter should be your number one priority before you pack your suitcases.
- As soon as you know when and where you’ll be going, start your sitter search. A great way is to post a job on Sittercity. That way you can specify exactly what you need — including location, timeframe and other specifics — and let the sitters come to you. Sittercity makes background checks much easier, too, since you can do them online quickly.
- Ask friends and family. Send email blasts, or post to your Facebook friends and in any local moms groups you’re in. (For safety reasons, avoid posting on Twitter or more public forms of social media.) You never know who might have a friend of a friend whose college-age daughter is in town for the summer and looking to babysit right when you’d need her.
- If you’re staying at a resort, it may come with child care services included; you’ll just want to check them out. If you’re staying at a hotel, call ahead of time to ask the concierge at the front desk what some recommended agencies or services are. There’s a great family-friendly Lodging Guide by Families Go! that lets you search by state and even country.
- Don’t forget about local colleges and universities! Most of these types of college babysitting programs require you fill out and submit paperwork; they tend to fill up, so plan accordingly.
- A great option is to invite your nanny or sitter from home along on your trip. This is more expensive (since it’ll include her lodging, airfare, food and hourly rate) but depending on your needs it may be worth it.
Finding a sitter when you’re already on vacation
Maybe you already had care lined up…but your trusted nanny couldn’t come along at the last minute, or your mom (who had agreed to babysitting duties) gets sick. What now?
- Checking out the local resources will be one of your best options for finding a last-minute sitter. If you go to the same place every year, chances are you already have an idea of where to go; if not, a few good places to start are the local community, recreation, or vacation information centers.
- If you’re staying at a hotel, ask the front desk for recommendations as to a reputable babysitting agency. Staying on a vacation or rental property? Call the property manager and inquire that way.
- If you’ll be in Boston, Chicago, New York City or Washington DC, Chime can help. Chime is Sittercity’s on-demand babysitting app that helps you instantly book top-rated babysitters who are thoroughly vetted and parent approved.
- Posting a job on Sittercity may still be able to connect you to a great sitter — just note in your job description that you need a sitter ASAP.