Be prepared

Before you go have a proper chat with your bosses about what they expect, where you’re going, what there is to do with the kids and in your time off, when you’ll be working (and when you’ll be free), and what you need to take! The more information you have ahead the fewer questions you’ll need to ask when you’re there and you can just get on with it. Earn uber-nanny points for preparing easily portable activities for the plane/train/car ride.

Lend a hand

Keeping with the theme here (Brownie points if you spot it) muck in if you find you’re standing idle. Your bosses will appreciate it and you’ll reap the rewards later. Besides if you’re at a villa in the middle of nowhere or on a desert island you don’t have anything better to do. Great nannies don’t always just take the fun jobs like playing in the pool with the kids though – they let the parents do that and prepare lunch/tidy up or let the parents finish their meal in peace while everyone else goes back to chill out and get ready for bed.

Let it go, let it go….

Not your circus, not your monkeys. Your bosses are going to do things differently when they’re in charge so let them. It’s not worth winding yourself up over anything. What happens on holiday stays on holiday for the parents (sadly not for you!) so you probably won’t see their best parenting. They’re going to give in to demands for ice cream and bedtime will be way later than you think reasonable! But unless they’re expecting you to uphold the rules you need to shrug and plan a week of getting back on track when you get home.

Take 5

Sometimes you need space. Go have a nap, go for a walk, lock yourself in the loo (just make sure there’s more than one before you do this). Taking a break before it all gets too much preserves everyone’s sanity. If you’re not used to living in then having a bit of headspace is even more important for everyone. Just let your boss know that you need a bit of time away for your own sanity and you’ll come back refreshed.


It might not be your holiday but nobody wants a Moaning Minnie along so make like Pollyanna and see the positives all around. Sun and a pool or even a beach beats staying at home!