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The rise of the ‘travel nanna’: 1 in 2 Aussie parents would pay THEIR OWN parents to travel as babysitters

September 21, 2017 OTA News No Comments Email Email

Babysitters are out, grandparents are in – according to a new survey of Australian parents that reveals 1 in 2 parents would pay their own parents or parents-in-law to travel with them on holidays in exchange for helping with the kids.

The findings come from a survey of a nationally representative, independent panel of 1,076 Australian parents commissioned, the world’s leading hotel price comparison platform.

The results reveal that 59 per cent of parents with children under 4 years – and 44 per cent of all parents – would have their parents or parents-in-law accompany them on holiday to help with their kids. It seems parents need more help with their children when on holidays: only 44 per cent of parents surveyed organise for their parents or in-laws to babysit their children.

When asked if they would pay for the grandparents’ trip in exchange for their help, 48 per cent of all parents would pay some or all holiday costs. This contrasts with at-home babysitting by grandparents: a whopping 89 per cent of respondents don’t pay for grandparents to babysit their children.

On holidays, the most common payment arrangement for grandparents would be covering the cost of some of the holiday expenses for their parents (16% of respondents would do this); paying for their entire holiday (15%), paying for dinner, entertainment and similar costs (14%), accommodation and flights only (13%), accommodation costs (8%), and flight costs (5%).

The survey also asked parents in which countries or continents they would feel more and less comfortable hiring babysitters or nannies when on holidays. Respondents said they trusted babysitters most in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the UK and USA. The countries where they would trust babysitters least are Central America (51% of respondents agreed this was the least trustworthy travel destination for babysitters), followed by Turkey (48% of respondents), India (48%), Russia (47%), South Africa (46%) and the UAE (45%). A whopping 39 per cent said they would not trust a babysitter in any destination. 

Lynette Bolton, mother of Siarra (5) and Piper (3), and who is married to Sydney Swans star Jude Bolton, believes that travelling with grandparents or someone the kids know and trust is a great way to have an extra set of hands with the kids: “It’s hard to find babysitters when you’re overseas, but there’s also the issue of trust when you leave the children with someone you don’t know. Having grandparents or someone you already know come along with you means that my husband and I can go out for dinners and drinks without the kids and spend some time together, just the two of us.”

“My parents haven’t joined us on any holidays to help babysit yet, but it’s something I do consider. If they were coming along on holidays to help babysit the children, I’d weigh up how long they’d be there and how much they’d be helping – but I would pay for their accommodation and flights. I wouldn’t expect them to travel at their own cost if they were helping us.”

Lynette’s 4 top tips when travelling with parents and parents-in-law 

  1. Book two adjoining hotel rooms. This is a good alternative to an apartment, and often the only solution for extremely popular destinations in peak season where apartments are scarce. Separate rooms ensure both you and your parents have your own spaces, and grandparents get a little R&R away from the kids if they need it.
  2. Schedule some time apart and together. Spending too much time with your parents and in-laws might drive a few insane, so make sure you balance time together as a family and time apart. It will let your parents feel they’re on their own holiday too.
  3. Share your schedules. Making sure your parents or in-laws know the holiday activities you have planned allows them to create their own plans as well as know when you’d like a night off without the kids. Your parents might not be so keen to do that big hike, so it gives them a chance to plan their own activities ahead of time.
  4. Book accommodation that suits both grandparents and kids. While it’s essential to book accommodation with activities and play areas for kids, ensure there are attractive facilities for grandparents – such as on-site restaurant, bar, and perhaps a spa or salon – and that there is an adequate level of comfort.

Most common payment arrangements for covering the costs of grandparents when travelling: 

Payment arrangements for travelling with parents and parents-in-law % of parents
Willing to pay for some of their parents’ holiday expenses 16%
Willing to pay for their parents’ entire holiday 15%
Willing to pay for their parents’ dinner, entertainment and similar costs 14%
Willing to pay for their accommodation 8%
Willing to pay for their flights 5%
Not willing to pay for their holiday 17%

Countries of the least-trusted babysitters: 

Countries of least-trusted % of parents
Central America (eg. Mexico) 51%
Turkey 48%
India 48%
Russia 47%
South Africa 46%
United Arab Emirates 45%
Indonesia 43%
South America 43%
China 42%
None of these 39%
Eastern Europe 36%
Western Europe 24%
Japan 24%
Scandinavia 23%
USA 19%
United Kingdom 15%
Canada 14%
New Zealand 12%
Australia 10%

 Top 5 family-friendly accommodation enjoyable during the school holidays available through

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