Honesty Hour: Sometimes I daydream about the days when Will and I were dating. Those days were so simple. So free! Without complication or hesitation! Ah, it was glorious.
But we lovingly chose to bring two tiny people into the world, knowing our dating life would never be the same. And most of the time, it’s fine. Our kids are the center of our world, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
But they also drive us crazy.
And out of habit, Will and I wait to plan dates until we’re way past being low on energy, making the date planning process more stressful than it should be. Who should we ask? Who’s in town? What’s the average babysitting rate again? Does that one girl still live around the corner? We look for sitters who are trustworthy and recommended, while also affordable and sure to hit it off with our kids.
It might sound too good to be true, but we may have found the solution of solutions to our babysitter search: Holiday Sitters.
What is Holiday Sitters?
Holiday Sitters is an international service that interviews, vets, and hires sitters to provide parents with freedom and peace of mind.
Whether you’re a visitor or a local, Holiday Sitters make every day feel like a holiday.
With on-demand access to top-quality, fully vetted and affordable childcare that’s as easy and reliable to book, as a hotel room or restaurant reservation, Holiday Sitters provide certified caregivers, engaging & multilingual for as little as 12€/h (no subscription or extra fees!) and enjoy your free time, knowing the kids are enjoying theirs.Holiday Sitters
Holiday Sitters, founded by two real-life mamas, is “about so much more than traditional transactional babysitting; it is about giving parents the flexibility they need to keep their life in balance and the freedom to pursue any and all career and life opportunities that come their way.”
I’m on board with that.
How Does Holiday Sitters Work?
Step 1: See if Holiday Sitters is available in your city. Currently, they are located in:
- Den Haag
Step 2: Head to their website on any device, set up a profile, and find a sitter for your date(s) of choice. The Holiday Sitters website is easy to use and interactive, making your search more enjoyable than you’re likely used to. Each city comes with a list of hand-selected sitters, trained and certified in First Aid. If you’re wondering about a language barrier, there are a multitude of languages from which you can choose.
Each sitter is listed with a bio description and short video clip you can watch by clicking on their profile picture. When I looked for our sitter, I read through each bio, watched each video, and read each review before making my decision. In truth, all of the sitters would’ve been great, but ultimately, I chose a sitter based on her interests and experiences. For example, while I read through the bios, I kept an eye out for anyone interested in science, art, or acting because I knew my kids would fall in love with someone who enjoyed their favorite activities. That helped me narrow down my choices to one specific sitter.
Additionally, each sitter comes with a list of helpful icons to inform you of their capabilities. For example, the sitter in the above picture can
- care for babies
- provide private language tutoring
- help with homework
- do artistic activities
- has no problem with pets. (I’ve also spotted icons for sport-lovers and music teachers.)
Step 3: Once you’ve chosen a sitter, pick your preferred payment option. The cheaper option is to select a bundle by the hour, which means you’re deciding how many total hours you’d like to use this particular sitter over a certain length of time.
Example: So, let’s say you and your spouse plan a week-long family trip to Dublin, and you know there are a few sites and restaurants you’d rather explore sans children. In such a case, you could choose the 10-Hour Bundle knowing ahead of time that you have a guaranteed ten hours of alone time with your spouse during that week. And while you’re out and about, your kids are in the safety of a sitter you’ve chosen. Of course, this isn’t the only scenario for which a bundle could be helpful. The same applies to parents looking for an after-school sitter, a private tutor – the list goes on.
However, if you need to get away for a bit spontaneously, there’s an option for that, too.
There’s always a chance the sitter you’ve chosen isn’t available for your preferred dates. If that’s the case, the website lists the available sitters, so you don’t have to start over with your search.
Step 4: After you’ve checked out, you’ll receive a confirmation email and text message from Holiday Services. The sitter will be informed of your booking and will reach out to you via the Holiday Sitters Chat, a function that can only be unlocked after you complete the checkout process. Within the safety of this chat, you can connect with your sitter, exchange information, and state any requests you may have while you’re away.
How Was Your Experience?
First, I want to start by saying that I am often drawn to companies or services that make me laugh, and Holiday Sitters did it in one go. Here’s their opening paragraph under ‘Trust & Safety’:
Alright, back to our experience, which was terrific. I went through the steps and genuinely had a good time on the website. I did it all through my phone, and it worked like a charm. The available sitters in Vienna all seemed perfect for us, but there was one I kept going back to based on her interests. She was communicative, punctual (arrived early!), and engaged immediately with our kids the moment she walked through the door.
We were a little nervous about how our three-year-old daughter – who typically does not like new people – would handle a new face for three hours. But if our daughter was at all anxious, it dispersed the moment she met the sitter. Our kids gave her a tour of our place, she asked me all the right questions about our kids (likes, dislikes, food, guidelines, bedtime, etc.), and let us know she’d sit for us again whenever we were ready. Our kids were devastated when she left; the three-year-old even cried, asking, “Where’s my tall friend?” If our daughter approves of a person and cries over them, that’s a big deal.
Why Write This Now?
Well, 2020 has been more or less the absolute worst, which means your and my mental, physical, social, and emotional health have had a rough time, especially with kids in tow. My husband and I were isolated from the world with our children for 59 days before we got our first break, and we waited five months to go on a date.
Perhaps our case was extreme, or maybe yours even more so. Regardless, we’re living in a time where we have to creatively find ways to reconnect with our loved ones and ourselves. So whether that’s escaping for some well-deserved alone time, or sitting across from your spouse in a location that’s not your living room, we’ve all got to take care of ourselves.
So, I’m writing this now for the parents who need a break, in whatever context that is, hoping that you – and your babies – will healthily benefit from a little break.
If you book any time between today and September 1st, 2020, you’ll receive €5 off your first booking using the promotional code: SummerInVienna.