Many parents who travel with small children find that their vacation isn’t much of a vacation when they are chasing small children and having to adjust all their plans around naptime and early bedtimes. One solution is to bring extended family with you on your travels (we invite grandmas whenever we can), but that isn’t always possible. Many hotels and resorts also have kids’ clubs, but many of those won’t allow children under the ages of 4 or 5. It’s hard for a parent of an infant or toddler to get a break!
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I’m a strong believer in making sure to get at least one “date night” on vacation, so my husband and I often hire a babysitter when traveling to make that happen. When we are in a location where we can’t ask friends and family for babysitter recommendations, we look to nanny agencies to hire a temporary sitter. Many traditional nanny agencies who place professional nannies in long term positions also have nannies available for single evening jobs. These agencies will be pricier than sitters you might be able to find on Care.com or SitterCity.com, but I tend to err on the side of safety rather than price when I’m hiring someone for just one job. If you are traveling in the state of California, all reputable agencies will verify that their nannies are “Trustline-certified” (Trustline is a background check service created by the state legislature).
Be sure to also ask your hotel concierge about babysitting service recommendations as well. Often they have a list of trusted local agencies that their guests have used time and time again. Disneyland and Disney World, in particular, maintain extensive lists, as do other family-friendly resorts.
My family has had great experiences with our babysitter hires so far. My daughter adored her sitter, Keely, in Hawaii so much that she told me the next morning “Love you, Keely!” Here are a list of nanny agencies in a few locations I can personally vouch for:
San Francisco Bay Area
Hawaii (Big Island, Kona): Malihini Keiki Care
Anaheim (Disneyland): Around the Clock Sitters