It can be extremely daunting to leave a child with a babysitter we just met in a different country. While traveling as a family for 9 straight months, we decided a babysitter was necessary every now and then — we needed and wanted to have dates on our travels. It’s not for everyone to make such a decision; we get it. However, we used a babysitter in Bali, Rome, Lima, Peru, and Santiago, Chile, so we learned a few things. If you are wondering how to use a babysitter during your next trip, our tips may help you feel more at ease.
How to Find Babysitters While Traveling
You may wonder how in the world you can find a babysitter in a place you barely know. But the few connections you have to your trip can be your starting point.
- Turn to your Airbnb host. When trusting to stay at an Airbnb, you can also trust in your hosts to provide you with local recommendations and help. You can ask your host if they have babysitters they recommend (they may be parents, too). In Peru, we used the babysitter our host uses regularly. In Rome, our host lived upstairs and had a teenage daughter who babysat for us. In Bali, our host’s housekeeper was happy to watch our son. (See our story on how to make the most out of Airbnb.)
- Trust in a hotel concierge. Many resort hotel properties with concierges have an “approved” list of local babysitters. These are people that the hotel has recommended in the past to other guests, and where the sitters will come to the hotel. You can talk to the concierge about the level of experience and how often they have babysat at the property.
- Turn to websites. Websites like Care.com, SitterCity.com and Holiday-Sitters.com are sites with full details on babysitters, in a style like a TripAdvisor. You’ll see photos, read reviews from other parents, learn about level of experience, and more, which you can use to select a sitter, in advance, as well. Many of these sites will provide you with recommendations, as well.
How To Make the Transition Easier
Of course, you wouldn’t want to just leave your child with a stranger for the first time. How can you make the process easier and more comfortable for your child, as well as you?
- Meet with the sitter before you go out. Set up a meeting at your hotel lobby, Airbnb or a local coffee shop and interview your potential sitter, just as you would do at home. If you don’t feel comfortable, don’t do it. We met our Rome sitter in a park and let her play with Aarav for a couple of hours. Having your kids meeting the sitter beforehand not only helps to be sure they will interact with your kids, it helps makes the transition easier when they come over to sit.
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