Passports, check. Tickets, check. Personal belongings, check. Grandparents? Wait a minute...
A new survey of Australian mums and dads has revealed that one in two parents would pay their own parents to join them on a holiday to help look after their kids.
In the survey, commissioned by HotelsCombined.com.au, nearly six in ten (59%) parents with children under four years (and 44% of all parents) said they would like grandparents to accompany them on vacation - with the caveat they help with the kids of course.
But perhaps more surprisingly, nearly half (48%) of all parents said would pay for some or all of the holiday costs of the grandparents in exchange for their assistance.
Interestingly, the results show parents seek more help with the kids when they’re on holiday, with only 44% of those polled requiring the help of grandparents as babysitters at home, and 89% not paying their parents when they actually do help.
According to the study, parents pay for the grandparents by covering some of their holiday expenses (16%), paying for the entire trip (15%), paying for dinner and entertainment (14%), accommodation and flights only (13%), accommodation costs (8%) and flight costs (5%).
“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,” said mother of Siarra (5) and Piper (3), Lynette Bolton, who is married to Sydney Swans star Jude Bolton.
“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.”
When travelling with parents and parents-in-law, Lynette recommends booking adjoining hotel rooms, scheduling time apart and together, sharing schedules with the grandparents, and booking accommodation that suits everyone.
In the study of 1,076 Australian parents, four in ten (39%) parents said they would not trust a baby sitter in any destination. But where they trust babysitters most is in Australia, NZ, Canada, the UK and the US.
Would you pay for your parents, or in-laws to accompany you on your next family vacay?