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How to Find Babysitters for Travel

We frequently use babysitters when we travel, for a host of reasons: a parenting break and self-care, exposure to new languages and cultures for our son, gaining a local’s insight into the best kid-friendly activities in town, and the ability to visit sites that may not be appropriate or enjoyable for our son but are a must-see for us. Here’s what I do to make this a successful and safe process:

First, ask the Airbnb/VRBO host or hotel for local babysitting referrals. Then, just like you’d do at home, interview potential sitters via Zoom/WhatsApp and check their references. I usually ask for 1-2 references and request a contact phone number or email so I can contact the reference directly.

If you don’t get any leads through your host or hotel, then you can try the following websites below which operate in many countries in Europe. Some have their own country-specific links so it’s best to search for them based on the country you’re planning to visit, e.g.,, etc. These are paid sites but I typically buy a one-month membership and use that month to vet and line up the sitters for the various cities we’re visiting based on availability; exact dates/times can be pinned down later. Usually the babysitters prefer to communicate directly and get paid outside of the site, but you can certainly do all your communications in the site for extra protection and documentation.

  • Babysits
  • Yoopies
  • Sitly
  • Charly Cares
  • Marypop

Regarding interview questions to ask, most will be similar to what you’d ask at home, but for travel I also like to ask:

  • How long have you lived in this city?
  • How long will it take you/is it relatively easy for you to get to our accommodation location?
  • Are you comfortable speaking and understanding the local language?
  • What types of activities do you recommend doing, or places you recommend visiting, with kids my child’s age?
  • (For activities or excursions outside of the Airbnb/hotel) Are you comfortable taking and navigating public transportation?
  • Do you have any books, games, toys, or activities that you might be able to bring with you for the job, as we will be traveling with limited items?
  • What is your rate per hour (in the local currency) and how do you prefer to be paid (cash or via an app/site)?

Once you’ve select a babysitter, be sure to follow up via WhatsApp closer to your trip to confirm the schedule, accommodation location, and any other necessary details.

Like it or not, Facebook is really the best place for family travel resources, including babysitting if it’s a major city/tourist destination. In the following Facebook groups, you can search by destination to see if people have already offered recommendations for babysitters where you’re going, OR post a question asking for babysitter referrals for specific places on your trip (I’ve done this in the past and been somewhat successful at finding referrals in the bigger cities/capitals in Europe). It’s always nice to get a referral/reference from another parent in these groups if at all possible:

More generally, within these groups you can search for past posts for tips on itineraries, kid-friendly activities, travel planning, etc. I recommend posting your question only after you have searched and not found much, OR after you have already roughly outlined your itinerary and are looking for more specific guidance on number of days, things to do, day-trips, etc. Otherwise if your question is too open-ended, you’ll get wide-ranging and not particularly useful responses.

Although I’ve had success finding babysitters in capitals, medium to large cities, and even some smaller towns on our travels, there are some places where it might be harder to find sitters on one of the apps or via the FB family travel groups, for whatever reason. In that case, I join and post on FB expat groups for that city/country. I have found some good referrals for babysitters from other expat families there, often local/visiting university students (for example, in some of the Baltic States we’ve traveling through this summer). I interview the babysitter and check references the same way as described above.

Another option is to cut out the middleman and visit a resort with built-in babysitting and childcare options, particularly those with kids’ clubs. Many resorts around the world offer this professional service which both kids and parents rave about: check out my blog posts about Oman and Crete for a few examples. You can also peruse websites like Little Guest and Scott Dunn Explorers Club to search for (typically luxury) resorts with childcare amenities.

Finally, I also maintain a list of babysitters we’ve used and would recommend for many places we’ve visited, including Italy, Switzerland, Germany, France, Brussels, Amsterdam, Vienna, Ibiza, Istanbul, Poland, the Baltic States, and more. I am happy to share these babysitter referrals so feel free to reach out to me on the Contact page.

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