By Celine Brewer of BabyCanTravel.com
We truly believe the benefits of taking your children along on vacations are worth the effort, but that doesn’t mean you won’t want some well-deserved “adults only” time. It can be hard enough to find a reliable babysitter in your hometown, and it can be even harder when you go on holidays. With a little preplanning and research, you will be able to find a suitable option that will give you the comfort to take time away from your little one for a romantic dinner. Here are our tips to finding a sitter to watch the children, leaving you to reconnect with your significant other:
Who do you know?
Personal references are best. If you know someone in the city you are visiting, can they watch your children? If not, can they refer someone trustworthy that can?
Many metropolitan areas will have a professional babysitting service. Not only will they have a pool of caregivers that you can choose from, but often they will have already completed reference and background checks. They may also provide reviews.
Are babysitting services already available?
Family friendly cruise ships and all-inclusive resorts typically offer babysitting services.
Check to see if the service has a minimum age requirement.
Inquire about their facilities and training requirements for their staff.
Read the experiences from others families on TripAdvisor.
Find families that could share their experience. Most families are approachable and would be happy to talk about their experience.
Hang out in the play area and quietly observe how they treat the children in their care. Check out their facilities – do they look safe?
Many hotels offer babysitting services or the concierge can recommend one. It’s important to contact the hotel directly to understand what type of services they offer. Do they have an onsite daycare facility or do they offer in-room babysitting with a licenced child care provider?
Bring a babysitter with you.
If existing child care providers are not available or you are not comfortable with leaving your children with someone you don’t know, you still have some options:
Consider bringing a grandparent along with you. The additional cost may be worth the peace of mind.
Talk to your friends to see if anyone is interested in travelling with you. Not only can you swap babysitting, your children will have friends to play with.
A final option.
It may not be exactly how you envisioned your holidays, but each parent could get some alone time by taking turns staying back during naps. That gives each parent a chance to go exploring on their own. It may not be ideal, but it might help each parent feel more refreshed at the end of the vacation.
Depending on which option you choose, you will want to use a similar screening process as you do at home by checking credentials and licenses, if there are any. If you will be dropping your child off at a daycare type facility, you will want to understand what activities are provided and what the ratio of staff to children will be. Also understand the safety and medical procedures that are in place, as required.
Celine is the better half of the husband and wife team who created . Baby Can Travel is your trusted resource for travelling with an infant. In addition to their blog, they have also written focused on travelling with an infant to some of the world’s top destinations.