Travelling with young children requires adequate planning for their care, particularly if the adults want some time by themselves to relax while on vacation. There are many options for child care, but not every family will have all the options at their disposal. This article discusses some tips and options to help you lower the cost of vacation child-care packages.
1. Choose family resorts
Family resorts often have different on-site child-care facilities to choose from. If you can afford the flexibility of family vacations at any time of year, always opt for low-season travel. Travel and accommodation package much cheaper, and you stand a better chance of getting more affordable childcare options. For instance, family resorts usually have 'kids clubs' in their packages so that they can be off your hands for a few hours every day.
Be sure to confirm that children your age can be accepted as there are usually minimum age requirements. Also ask about any special conditions, such as when your child is not potty-trained, has some disability or impairment, special dietary needs etc. For babies, you can use the resorts' one-on-one vetted nannies when you want time away. In high-season, be sure to book your childcare option way in advance to avoid price-peaks after arrival when you have few choices.
2. Travel with a sitter
Sometimes, it may be cheaper to pay for an extra head who can take care of the children during the trip. This could be retired parents, responsible teenagers (the children's regular sitter, nieces, nephews etc.) or your permanent help. This is ideal if you're anxious about leaving your children with a new person in a new place or if they don't do well with strangers.
In such cases, it may be cheaper to use sites like Airbnb to get entire apartments for less. Some also have the option of preparing your own meals, which is cheaper and useful when you're just not feeling like eating out.
3. Double up
If you have close family friends, you can arrange to vacation together, which means you can split the cost of childcare. Arrange to bring your children to one place and then have a sitter to watch them together. Again, planning in advance can help get the best option, particularly since caring for more children is more complex.
4. Use childcare sites
Sites such as www.care.com usually have cheaper, vetted and reviewed babysitters/nannies in various locations. They are most ideal if you want a few-hours-a-day arrangement for a sitter, but there are many other options available. You can use these sites to get the best-reviewed sitters depending on your child(ren)'s unique needs. Remember that the best nannies are the first to go, so book early!