Babysitter Solutions: Some Kids with That Mai Tai?

If you're traveling with a babysitter this summer, don't miss our expert advice

When is a vacation not a vacation? Any parent can give you that answer. If you long for a more relaxing experience, consider packing a babysitter along with that sunblock. A recent survey of Sittercity.com parents showed that 10 percent have taken a babysitter with them on vacation. Another 40 percent reported having considered taking a babysitter along, but have not tried it yet.

Sitters can take the bulk of the childcare work off your shoulders '- chaperoning kids through your destination, aiding in their education and language skills and handling the little extras like unpacking kids' suitcases or changing diapers. Here are answers to your top questions.

Q: Where can I find a vacation sitter?

A: Simple '- bring your own or hire one on location. The perks of bringing a sitter from home are that you already trust her and you know your kids like her. And chances are she'll be psyched for a free getaway. The downside is that you'll have to tack on extra flight, hotel and meal costs to your travel budget. If that's too much to handle, consider finding one locally.

"All of our hotels use local agencies that are licensed and bonded," says Loews Hotels spokesperson Emily Goldfischer. "The concierge should not only be able to hook you up with an agency, but should also know the agency's process, why the hotel partnered with them and what's offered by the agency with regard to licensing, bonding and background checks." Beyond hotels, check out nationwide sites like Sittercity.com or Craigslist.org, which feature listings of thousands of babysitters in cities across the United States.

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