Whether you’re on a vacation and booking a date night or at a work conference with baby in tow, you might find yourself looking for a sitter in a faraway city. The process can be overwhelming. You want to find someone trustworthy and experienced, but where to start? We’ve been there and we’ve got you covered. These 6 tips will tell you how to find a babysitter when traveling.
Talk to Your Hotel or Resort
Some resorts offer childcare for a fee, but most require reservations, so plan ahead. Even if your hotel doesn’t, it’s worth inquiring; they might be able to refer you to a reputable childcare agency.
Check Out Online Babysitting Services
We’ve had great luck using Care.com to find excellent babysitters and nannies, both at home and when we’re traveling. We’ve used it to find five different babysitters in three different states and they’ve all been great. My favorite things about Care.com are that you can request background checks on applicants for free and that applicants are rated and reviewed by other parents. I always conduct an in-person and/or phone interview and call references so that I’m confident in the person I hire. There’s a similar service, SitterCity, but I’ve never used it.
Look Into Local Babysitting Services
Google “babysitting service” along with the name of your city and see what comes up. I just did that for Minneapolis and found Twin Cities Nanny & Sitter and Jack and Jill Sitting Service. If you find companies this way, do your due diligence to make sure they’re reputable. Look up online reviews and see if they’re on the BBB’s website, then ask for references when you talk to the company.
Reach Out to Your Social Networks
We all have Facebook and Twitter friends we don’t see often (or ever) in-person and some of them just might live in the city you’ll be visiting. It’s worth posting a shout out to your social networks asking if anyone can recommend a good sitter.
Ask Around in Your Community
Your neighbor’s sister might live in Seattle (or whichever city you’re traveling to) and she may be willing to sit for your kids, or know someone who is. It doesn’t hurt to ask a few friends or family members in your hometown if they know anyone you can reach out to for your vacation.
Ask Friends Who Live in the Area
If you need a babysitter in Chicago and a friend of yours lives there, ask her if she knows anyone who might be available. Even if she doesn’t have kids herself, she might know of a neighbor, coworker, or friend’s teenager who babysits often. When I travled to a family wedding in Dallas, my cousin was able to recommend a friend’s mom’s babysitting service.
Have do you find a babysitter when traveling? Are any resources missing from this list?