For all of you sitting in an office right now wistfully daydreaming about quitting your job, tossing some clothes in a knapsack, and jumping on the first plane to anywhere–we feel you. The lure of permanent vagabond-living is even more tempting when you’re spending 40 hours a week in a fluorescent-lit office staring at a computer screen.
There are alternatives, though, to emptying out your bank account and forgoing a steady job in order to journey around the world. We wrote about how house-sitting can provide some stability and even a source of income when you travel, facilitating a meaningful connection between you and the new place you’re living that allows you to delve deeper into its culture.
We gave you a peek into becoming an ESL teacher and how committing to a job for a year at a foreign school offers you a livable salary plus time off to explore–and you don’t need to be TEFL certified to do it. We even explored saving money on airfare by choosing to walk the world.
Now, we’ve discovered one more alternative travel option. It pays considerably well and often affords you perks that are probably out of your current pay grade, like luxury resort stays or weeks spent on a yacht.
The only catch? Must love kids!
That’s right, there’s a new profession cropping up called travel nannying, and it just might be your ticket to seeing the world and saving some money. As the title suggests, a travel nanny is a full-time hire that attends to the children in a family while traveling with them.
One of the premier companies connecting potential employees to families is called Adventure Nannies, founded by ex-nanny Brandy Schultz and is based out of Colorado. Recently-filled posts on their job board include a full-time infant care nanny for a traveling family based in Saudi Arabia, a traveling nanny for a position on a sailboat in the Mediterranean, and a full-time live-in nanny in Paris, France.
Sounds pretty amazing right? Well, because of the industry’s recent popularity, competition for the positions is steep. Similar to house-sitting, the jobs are professional, largely reference-based, and applicants are expected to uphold the highest level of decorum.
“The positions are very competitive,” Schultz tells BTR. “We want people to take it very seriously, and we want everything to be extremely professional.”
Schultz began Adventure Nannies after years of being a travel nanny herself. On her first job she traveled to Europe with a family and was paid with a Eurail pass and airfare, plus a few weeks of solo travel before and after her time “on the clock.”
While she says it was an amazing experience, when she founded Adventure Nannies she was cognizant that one of their goals would be to guarantee nannies are paid in more than plane and train tickets. “Our jobs, especially if they are long term, offer really great salaries–they are real jobs,” she emphasizes.
To apply, you’ll need to be 21 or older, CPR certified or willing to become so, have at least three positive references from previous employers, and go through an extensive interview process. Schultz says incomplete sentences, not reading or filling out the application in it’s entirety, or thoughtless answers are all ways to ensure you will not be considered.
The details of the contract vary from family to family, but you can expect to make anywhere in the range of $250-$450 a day, plus benefits like days off for solo travel time, airfare, and (usually) separate sleeping arrangements to avoid burn out. The duration also varies; some long-term positions are contracted at a year minimum, others are only a few months. Each unique job will detail the requisite commitment period so you know what you’re getting into before applying.
“We screen the families extensively, too, to make sure we aren’t sending anyone into a negative situation,” Schultz says. The diligence with which Schultz and her team work to ensure a perfect match between nanny and family is no doubt the reason the company has been so successful.
So, if you love kids and you want to travel, you might have just found your dream job–just as Schultz did.
“That’s why I started Adventure Nannies,” Schultz concludes. “I couldn’t afford to travel, and this is an awesome way to make it happen.”
Feature photo courtesy of Amina Tagemouati.