Traveling with a babysitter??

April - posted on 03/30/2009 ( 12 moms have responded )

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My brother is getting married in Miami!! Three families will be bringing their children, total of 5 kids (all potty trained) who know each other well and get along. There will be two evenings when the adults want to party sans kids. I am considering asking our 19-year old sitter (who watches our kids after school for a few hours) to come with us. We would pay for her flight and a private hotel room. In exchange, we would like her to watch the 5 kids from 8pm-ish until the early morning on both nights. Barring unforeseen circumstances, all kids should be asleep by 10pm. She would have the days to herself. We've never done this before, so would appreciate feedback from those more experienced. Do we pay her some sort of stipend or is a "free" weekend in Miami the payment? What are the downsides to my plan? What other things should I be thinking of? Thanks in advance for the advice and suggestions.

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Rhonda - posted on 03/30/2009

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Okay. I havn't had to take a sitter with me up to this point, however I have been on the other side...the sitter that  went on vacation. As far as taking a *GIRL*friend along, that is your call. But if you decide too, then you have her pay her own way. You are not paying for the whole trip for YOUR family....a sitter....and the convience of the sitter having company during the day. That's insane (not to mention expensive!).



I would pay the sitter something...maybe not as much as you would normally, especially if the kids really do sleep most of the night.....but SOMETHING for the hours that she is actually babysitting. And I would have the other parents chip in on that, if not pay most of it. Your payment for your kids is a free trip. Their payment is cash.



So basically....



- take the sitter, no friends. Unless they pay 100% their own way.



- payment for her watching YOUR kids, is a free trip/meals/hotel. Other parents pay her cash.



 



Having a free trip to florida...I think she would get over the fact that she was alone. It's really not the end of the world...



Hope this helps :)  And have fun!



 

Diana - posted on 03/30/2009

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I used to go on vacations with the family I babysat for. They paid for my way there, sleeping arrangements (normally we were at a house or if in a hotel I stayed with the kids in a seperate room) and for food. I went everywhere with them. So no free days and if they went out I stayed with the kids. Depending on the length of the trip was how I was paid. Typically for a week I was paid $200 (this was in 2000 so maybe higher now). It worked out well and it was a vacation for me too.

P.S. I was also 19 and 20 when I went with them. Also my trips were out of the country and florida.

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It sounds like a good idea. Just a few things to think about (as the step mom of a 19+ year old girl)...



 5 kids is a huge responsibility for one person (especially at 19...) My stepdaughter is a smart, responsible young woman. She can totally handle a couple of kids including her 10 year old brother and 18 month old sister, but 5 kids would overwhelm her and probably anyone else who is not used to looking after that many children. I would definately have her invite a friend. Just make it clear that she and the friend are there for the kids, and there are to be NO boys (you want their minds on the kids, not on the guys they might meet in Miami). Set up some concrete ground rules before leaving on the trip.



Also, I think you should not only pay for plane fare (for the friend as well... some great deals on Southwest) but give them both a flat amount that they can use while down there (maybe $100 each) as well as paying for breakfast and dinner.



If the kids are going to be at the wedding, you may want to ask  your brother if the babysitters can also attend. They can be in charge of keeping the kids occupied and  having fun (coloring books, crayons, bubbles, and games for the kids table) allowing all the moms and dads to enjoy the reception.



I know many people who have taken their babysitters on trips and it works out well. As I said before, just make sure you have clear ground rules set and also prepare a list of cell phone numbers and emergency numbers just in case there are any issues when you are away from the kids.

Michelle - posted on 03/30/2009

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She's nineteen, so I would say no to friends (distraction) and yes to paying at night (can have other parents pitch in as well). After all, she is giving up her time to help you out.

Jessica - posted on 03/30/2009

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i never have paid extra for actual baby sitting your paying for everything else for just a few hours of sitting

April - posted on 03/30/2009

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Thanks, keep it coming! I'm getting mixed signals about whether I need to pay for her watching the kids at night...

Stacey - posted on 03/30/2009

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I did something like this when I worked as a caregiver to special needs children. I had one family that I worked for all summer long, and they took me with them to CA. They paid for everything, my trip, all food...the only money I needed was any money I was going to spend buying things for myself. We went on a fun trip, so I got to see lots of things, Disney, ect. I would say give her some sort of payment for getting around and being able to do things when she is not needed as a sitter (for cab fair and such), or lend her use of a rental car to get around????

I would say if she were to bring a friend, it should be a girlfriend and her parents should approve of her running around Miami with said friend...cause after all, you feel more comfortable somewhere out of your element with a friend or in numbers! The friend should pay their own way tho, after all, they are getting free bording while there!

Hope this helped you some.

Jessica - posted on 03/30/2009

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i have taken sitters on trips with me and it is great im a single mom with 2 kids so my sitter is lots of help.. i paid for the trip hotel and food it was great

Michelle - posted on 03/30/2009

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I was the teenage babysitter, and I can tell you it worked out VERY well for all involved. I was asked by my regular mom to watch her three kids and a couple of their cousins. We went to the beach and had a blast. I even went with them on a couple of day trips to the beach as well as taking the kids at night. Even though I was "working" it was still a real treat/vacation for me as well. As a new mom, I would be glad to have a sitter with me I trusted and knew my kids.

April - posted on 03/30/2009

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We haven't asked her yet, so I'm not sure if she'd want to bring a friend. Would we have to pay for the friend too? She has a boyfriend, and I'm not sure I (and the other parents) would feel comfortable having him along, so I may have to say no friends at all.

Silla - posted on 03/30/2009

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I used to babysit 3 children all of the time. For spring break one year they decided they wanted to bring me along to help out. They paid for me to get there and they also paid for the hours that I was actually watching their kids. I thought this worked out well. I got to go to the beach and hang out during the day... but then I babysat at night and got paid for it.



Is she bringing a friend along? The people I babysat let me bring a friend so I wouldn't be bored during the day!

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