Children are the lights of their parents’ lives, and a highlight of any trip to a new or enticing locale is the look of wonder and discovery on their faces as they experience the joys of some place different. But parents’ and children’s interests can often vary, and it can become necessary to have someone watch the little ones so the grownups can have a chance to live it up in a new locale.
Plyler Construction President David Plyler said he and his wife always planned for things that would appeal to their children when going on vacation. He remembered a trip, when his children were younger, where the little ones had some place to play with supervision while the adults had their own fun.
“In one place we stayed, in Vicksburg, Tennessee, the resort actually had a play area where kids could go play games,” Plyler said. “They had slides and bounce houses and stuff. So we tried to gear our trips where the children would be able to have things to do if we did need some time alone.
1. Go all-inclusive
Cruises often offer parents a chance to have some fun without the kids. Disney Cruises, which offer a plethora of child-friendly activities, can range from $1,260 for a twonight Spring cruise from San Diego to upward of $7,334 for a Verandah cabin during a seve-night cruise from Galveston to the Bahamas. If a big boat isn’t the right fit, many all-inclusive resorts offer similar services. Club Med Resorts, such as Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, let children under the age of 4 stay free and gives 50 percent discounts for children 4-11 and 30 percent off for teens 12-15. With rates starting at $135 per night for each adult, a family of four with two preteen children could stay for $405 a night.
2. Get a babysitter
At home, it’s easy to get trusted recommendations for local babysitters, but in a new city parents can turn to sites such as urbansitter. com or care.com for babysitters that have already had background checks and been reviewed by other parents. As Plyler mentioned, many upscale hotels offer babysitting service in-house. In New York City, the Langham New York Fifth Avenue offers family rooms starting at $665 per night. While the hotel offers inhouse child care, the family rooms provides two queen sized beds, a spacious seating area and access to the hotel’s house car, a Jaguar XJL.
3. Bring someone along
Family vacation time usually means the nanny has a chance to get away as well, but certain exotic locales can entice the children’s regular attendant to accompany the family on the trip. When that is the case, it’s important to determine pay, negotiate housing and set expectations ahead of time. A trip with the family is going to be very different from normal daily duties, so many families will decide to pay their traveling nanny a negotiated lump sum ahead of time and then adjust extras later as needed. Westside Nannies CEO Katie Vaughan told Care.com a highly experienced travel nanny can cost around $400 a day. If the nanny doesn’t want to come along, a multigenerational vacation could give grandparents some extra times with the kids while parents get a night out on the town.