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  • Traveling with Yaya: 6 Points to Keep in Mind

    Here are some tips from moms to help make the vacay great for everyone—including your nanny.
    by Ines Bautista-Yao .
  • family on a trip

    Photo from muscogeemoms.com

    On dining

    “Buy food from the local supermarket so that your yaya and the kids can eat together without having to order expensive hotel food. You can also pick a hotel in an area you’re familiar with so you know where the nearest fast-food restaurant is for her breakfast.”—Christian So, sales executive; dad to Micky, 7, and Becca, 3

    “We usually order for the yayas the same food we order for the kids. We do indulge them, too, with whatever the place is known for so they can truly say that they have experienced the place. At the same time, we also bring comfort food like instant noodles and coffee especially on trips where the cuisine is different from Yaya’s usual fare. If we want to dine in a ‘posh’ place, we plan ahead and let Yaya eat first at another place so she can attend to the kids when we have our meals.” —Chandrea Kang-Uyco, mom to Milo, 10, Ice, 6, and Rock, 4


    On safety 

    “I usually give my yaya a grand tour of the hotel as soon as we check in so she’d be familiar with the place and wouldn’t be scared to go around. I explain to her the rules of the facilities like the pool and the mini bar (a no-no because it’s so expensive!). We establish a safe area to meet whenever we go out in case one of us gets separated. I also give her a key to our hotel room that she keeps on a lanyard around her neck when we go out. This way, in case she gets lost, she can take a cab back to our hotel. I also explain to her any cultural differences we might have with the place to avoid any problems.” —Carina Guevara-Galang, entrepreneur; mom to Angela, 2


    “Be clear that though this is a vacation for everyone, Yaya’s primary focus should still be the kids. Tell her that the same safety rules apply, and remind her to be extra vigilant because you are in an unfamiliar place.” —Mom Chandrea Kang-Uyco

    “If you are in another country, do not leave your children alone with Yaya because you never know what could happen.” —Pixie Sevilla-Santos, owner of Forget Me Not Specialty Cakes; mom to Miel, 6

    “Hang on to your yaya’s passport, just to be on the safe side.” —Arvin Lim, entrepreneur; dad to Noelle, 4


    On spending 

     “Be conscious of your spending habits when your yaya is around. Do not carelessly comment that your hotel room costs X amount or that the tour costs X amount. Be mindful of shopping with Yaya because she can easily check the price tags of the items in the store you’re in and find out how much you bought that top. Don’t flaunt your expenses lest it make Yaya feel envious and tempt her to steal.” —Jane Austria*, entrepreneur; mom to Anna, 5

    “Tell her about cell-phone roaming charges. Don’t assume that she is aware of those. You may also give her a special travel allowance to buy whatever she wants. Usually, yayas get food or a T-shirt as a souvenir or pasalubong.” —Mom Chandrea Kang-Uyco


    In transit

     “Always bring motion-sickness or nausea medicine for your yaya. You never know which type of transportation would make her dizzy.” —Dad Christian So

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    “For lodging, we usually get two rooms whenever we bring Yaya along so she can sleep comfortably. We also rent a van instead of a car. On the plane, I always sit next to her so we can both attend to the kids.” —Steff Bitong, mom to Rodrigo, 14, Sabina, 13, Alessa, 8, and Eliana, 2

    "Make sure Yaya is comfortable wherever you go. Just because you shouldered her food and lodging doesn’t mean you have to make her work harder than usual. Is her bed comfortable enough? Does she need an extra jacket? Be especially mindful if Yaya is tired after a long day of touring and caring for the kids. She can enjoy a short break while you bathe the kids or feed them dinner.” —Mom Jane Austria*


    On lodging

    “If you’re sharing a hotel room, tell your yaya what time you’ll be using the bathroom. This way, she’ll know when to use it—either first thing in the morning or before you all prepare for bedtime.” —Camille Laguda, lawyer; mom to Diego, 3

    “Since our yaya stays with us in the hotel room, I buy her pajamas so she’ll avoid skimpy sleepwear (my sister’s yaya once wore a sando and hot pants for sleeping). I also provide her cold-weather clothes such as thick jackets, running shoes, and thermals. I let her know our schedule in advance so that she can bring the proper attire.”—Mom Carina Guevara-Galang


    On entertainment

    “Allow Yaya time to enjoy the place as well. When we traveled to Hong Kong, we gave our yayas a day to go around with former helpers who now work there. It’s a small token of thanks for the ones who take good care of your kids when you’re away.” —Rhea Bautista, ballet teacher; mom to David, 4, and Kaylee, 1


    "When in a foreign country, especially one where [English is not widely spoken], find something to entertain Yaya during her free time. Bring Pinoy magazines or DVDs. This is also helpful for times when you plan to just leave Yaya in the hotel room. Give her something to do, or she might try to find her own entertainment and end up getting lost or in trouble. This may also help ease her homesickness.” —Mom Jane Austria*

    “Take pictures of them, too, and print them out for them when you get back.” —Mom Chandrea Kang-Uyco


    *Some names were changed to protect privacy.

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