Well, some Mannies wouldn’t jump. That’s because these caretakers have traveled with families before and found that while a lot of the expenses were paid, it was absolutely no fun to sit stranded in a hotel room or at the hotel pool for seven days.
What’s the glory in going to Paris if all you can see is the Eifel Tower from the window?
If you plan to bring your Mannie with you on vacation, make sure it’s a fun experience for everyone. Here are few ways to make sure that happens.
Ask, Don’t Tell
Don’t assume that your Mannie will want to go. Ask if he wants to join you and then ask about what works for his schedule. Once you begin planning the trip, ask your Mannie what he wants to do on the trip and try to fit a few of those activities into the schedule. Speaking of schedules…
Write Down the Details
Before you leave for the trip, create a schedule that outlines the time you will all be together, when the Mannie will be working alone with the kids and when he can have time alone. Set expectations for working hours from the start. Of course, the schedule may change, but what shouldn’t change is the number of working hours assigned. If your Mannie leaves for vacation assuming he’ll work 10 hours every day and then ends up working 12, he won’t have fun.
In addition to the standard hourly wage you pay your Mannie, you will need to cover all travel-related expenses, which include:
- Airplane ticket
- Luggage fees
- Transportation to and from airport including parking fees
- Visa and passport fees
- Per diem
About that Per Diem
As your employee, you should pay your Mannie a per diem, which is a daily allowance that covers meals, transportation and other incidentals. Many businesses pay $50 each day to cover these expenses. If you request that your Mannie accompany your family on excursions, pay those fees on top of the per diem.
Give Him Space
All Mannies are human. All of us need to have our own quiet time where we don’t have to work and we don’t have to talk to anyone if we don’t want to. Give your Mannie time in the hotel room alone and give him a day or a half day off following a travel day. That means that the second day of the vacation and the day following the vacation should be non-work or light-work days.
Vacations are not the time to pull the “boss” card. Keep things low key and try to make your Mannie feel like part of the family.