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Welcome to Mumsnet's holiday forum. Discuss all international travel here, including both shorthaul and longhaul trips. Related topics: UK holidays & day trips, skiing, camping & campervans.

Holidays

flight nannies

15 replies

JJ · 01/03/2002 21:46

This summer my husband and I are taking our two sons (4 yo and 5 months at the moment) to my parents' place in the US. Before the birth of our second, my husband would stay for a couple of weeks and then leave and, later, the eldest and I would fly back. Or some variation on that theme... he's taken our eldest on as many flights without me as I have without him. He's a good guy. However, my thought is that it'd be crazy for one of us to take them both on a flight this summer. BUT, I'd love to stay longer than he can. Any suggestions? Especially ones that involve someone helping us out on the flight. My very excellent husband is willing to fly out just to fly back with us, but that's insane, I think.

Thanks!

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Alibubbles · 02/03/2002 09:03

I have to say when I flew with my two, one of 13 weeks and the other 14 months, I rang up the airline before hand and asked for help. When I checked, they whisked away my luggage, baby was left in the carry cot part of his 3in1 , buggy folded and put us all on one of those golf buggy things and took us to the gate. They were fantastic throughout the flight, making sure that I had time for my meals etc.
When we landed, they asked for me to wait until everyone was off and the gave me the same help all the way through immigration and customs!

I know now that the chances of one parent flying with 2 under 2 is not always possible, my husband decided that he would always check in on his own and leave me with the kids as I got the royal treatment without him!

I have flown many times with them both on my own and have aleays found if you ask in advance they will do their best for you.

I am a term time only nanny - need a holiday nanny? !!!

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pamina · 02/03/2002 14:36

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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JJ · 03/03/2002 10:04

Thanks for the info and encouragement. I'll ring and ask about the flight nannies and if they're not available, just go ahead and do it on my own. We always fly BA (they don't serve peanuts and my son is allergic) and they have usually been great with the young 'uns. I just needed to hear that it was possible.

Alibubbles, we'll be visiting my parents who would die if I brought someone to help with the kids. That's their job (in my mother's mind, at least). Thanks, though!

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JJ · 03/03/2002 10:21

No, wait. Alibubbles, you can be a holiday nanny? Someone who helps out on a week or so long holiday? I think I'm looking for someone like that for the first week of August (August 4 through ??). A friend of ours is playing in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and we want to go see him, but without leaving the kids behind. We also want to stay in a self catering place, as it's a lot easier for us, food and space wise.

Don't know if I have the right ideas about holiday nannies or if you were just joking, but thought it'd be worth a go.

And, actually, if you're up for it.. what do nannies expect while working on a family's holiday? And how much does it cost? Even if this isn't something you'd do, it's good info to have. Thanks! (I'm trying to wean myself from using smiley faces, otherwise there would be one here.)

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Alibubbles · 03/03/2002 11:51

JJ. because I work term time only as a nanny and my two are 14 and 15, soon to be 15 and 16, they are always away for the hols on school trips of some kind, my DH has also been working away for most of the week, I often fill in for families during the school holidays. I don't need to do it, but I enjoy working with kids, babies especially.

I have advertised my services on www.nannyjob.co.uk - I am a qualified nanny, maternity nanny, doula, reg childminder, full first aid, food hygiene cert, 15 years exp clean driving licence, 7 seater car and excellent refs! I am also doing my BA(hons) in Early Childhood studies in my spare time. In my ad I offer freelance care to fit in with my own commitment to my family. I have had many responses, so it is easy to pick and choose the family to suit. This summer my daughter will be in Peru on the World Challenge for a month, I am sending my son to France for the same, as their holidys are nearly 9 weeks!

My friend wanted me to go to Arizona with them for 3 weeks at Easter as they didn't want to take the new aupair (too new to share a Winnebago with them for 10 days!) She flies her aupair business class with them all the time as she has three under 7 and DH can't always travel at the same time and joins them later or leaves earlier depending on his work committments, a bit like your situation. - but the children I used to look after are coming to visit me, I am also going to look after a baby I looked after last year until she found a permanent nanny, the nanny has just quit and the mum doesn't want to take on a new one as she is moving north in two months, so I'll fill in.

There are lots of nannies who will do temporary or freelance work between jobs, try the site it is good, but make sure you take up watertight references, written and verbal from past employers etc. Agencie also supply nannies for this type of work but charge a fee, but they do all the donkey work for you. HTH.

As for fees, everyone has their own rate, depends on whats expected in terms of hours, duties etc.

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lou33 · 03/03/2002 15:51

I think it's a case of you get what you pay for regarding the amount of help an airline will give you.

I travelled to Sweden last October with a 4 year old and a 5 month old in tow, and travelled with Ryanair, who couldn't have been less helpful if they tried!

Absolutely nothing of interest for my oldest , and the food that was promised for sale as we got on board miraculously had sold out before they got to the first row of seats. No help getting on or off, and I was made to carry pushchair, baby, hand luggage and 4 year old to the plane, which was down 3 flights of stairs. Asking for assistance brought a shrug and when I asked if they could put the escalator on you would have thought the "assistant" was going to have heart failure.

When I got to the tarmac at least 4 workers watched while i struggled to watch dd, take ds from pushchair, fold it while holding him(where could I put him - in the end i had to lay him on the tarmac) and then get him, dd and hand luggage up the stairs. All the time being watched by these so called workers, with not an offer of help between them. Even the air hostess just stood and watched.

So careful of theses cheap no frills airlines because they only want your cash!

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2under2 · 03/03/2002 17:26

I've flown with Lufthansa/British Midland to Germany several times, with a barely two year old and a young baby. Everybody was very unhelpful, fellow passengers included. The flights are always quite pricey, but this didn't make a difference. I ended up waiting on some stairs in a queue whilst balancing both children on my arms and holding on to the folded pushchair with a leg, whilst staff and fellow passengers looked on with interest. Don't expect any help or preferential treatment - I asked about assistance with getting my luggage from the conveyor belt to the arrivals area where my parents were waiting, but was told no (I told them I'd have a baby in a sling and a toddler in a pushchair and it would be hard for me to cope with luggage by myself). Hiring someone to help sounds like a fantastic (if pricey) idea.

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LizP · 03/03/2002 22:19

JJ, I'm wondering at the moment if I can cope with my two alone on a flight home from the US this summer as well. They will be just 1 and nearly 3 at the time. As well as details like getting myself, them and luggage on and off, going to the toilet for me or them on route and worrying about a screaming child on a night flight I'm now fretting about the safety side. My husband had to exit down the slide things last week at Stansted so I'm wondering how could I do that with two children. How helpful would people be in an emergency ?

Re the holiday nanny thing - have you ever tried to find a holiday with childcare that would take your son with his allergies ? Mine has egg and milk allergies and we had hoped to going skiing this year (with one of the companies recommended in the mumsnet survey) but they would only administer calpol - were not prepared to give epipen if necessary. We were going to pay for 2 nannies (one for each boy) so he really should not have managed to eat anything with eggs or milk but it meant we couldn't go.

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Alibubbles · 04/03/2002 07:31

I know the nightmare of allergies, my daughter is allergic to nuts, it is strange how other countries just don't seem to understand about how it can be life threatening.

We ordered some profiteroles for our daughter in Paris last year and they came with nuts sprinkled on the top, we tried to send them back and they said , "but we made them specially!' The only way we could get the message through was by saying she will DIE if she eats them!. BA are good in that they don't serve them on the flights

I would have thought that a one to one would be able to cope with a child's allergies, I do all the time for my daughter and the 13 month I look after who has allsorts of food allergies, as well as looking after another 14 month, a 2 and a 4 year old!

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SueW · 04/03/2002 09:11

Alibubbles, I'm not overly impressed with the nannjob site. When I did a search it told me it had 84 suitable candidates but a lot of them were repeated and, even though I gave location as Central England, it brought up people who were specifically looking for jobs in other places - Chelsea, Scotland, even Australia!

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lou33 · 04/03/2002 12:28

2under2, that's the same reaction I got, seems like the apathy is spreading. At the Swedish end I couldn't have had more help, everyone wanted to give me a hand, but coming back again was dreadful. I also ended up waiting 45 minutes with 5 month ds in arms, surrounded by luggage and bored 4 yr old dd for my pushchair to arrive, and when it finally did it was at the other end of the luugage hall to where they had told me to go and wait.

Don't know what anyone else thinks but this sort of "service" seems to be a speciality of the UK nowadays. Sulky monosyllabic staff, dirty surroundings etc seems to be getting worse. Dh and I have vowed never to go in a Toys 'R' Us store again after the way they treated us in 2 different stores in the same day. Sorry for getting off track a bit!

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Alibubbles · 04/03/2002 12:39

SueW. Sorry, yes you're right, it is a while since I posted any details or looked for some,so I visited again, it does seem to full of foreign aupairs advertising themselves over and over again. I think probably because details fall off after 30 days. I did have good success when I advertised last year around the summer/autumn time.

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JJ · 05/03/2002 10:22

LizP, we haven't gone on a holiday with childcare (unless you count visiting my parents ). That's insane that the nannies wouldn't administer the EpiPen if necessary! I can actually understand why nurseries, etc, don't like to give Calpol to kids an overdose can be horrible but an EpiPen is something else entirely. It has no contraindications and, even if you give it to a child who doen't need it, all you get is a peppy little kid. Which company was it? We just went on a self catering holiday in Lanzarote with Simply Travel and I was hoping to go somewhere with childcare with them this autumn.

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LizP · 05/03/2002 21:37

JJ, The company was SkiCuisine - seemed like it was going to be ideal - they could provide food for the allergies and 1:1 nannies, but after the UK people talked to the nannies in the resort it seemed that they didn't have insurance cover or something for anything other than Calpol.
I suspect other companies would have been happy to take him in a larger creche, but they seem to have too high a ratio of carers to children (to check he doesn't eat the wrong stuff) or not all english speakers (so I'm not sure they understand) for my own piece of mind.

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sjd · 05/03/2002 22:04

Generally I have found airlines incredibly unhelpful but full credit on an easy jet flight to and from Glasgow recently my buggy was waitng at the bottom of the steps for me as we got off the aircraft at both Glasgow and Luton.

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