Vacationing Without Kids: How to Prepare Your Caregiver


Vacationing Without Kids | Denver Metro Moms Blog

So you’re going on vacation without the kids? Congratulations, you deserve this! Make the most of your time away and keep those phone calls from the babysitter to a minimum by getting organized before you go.

My husband and I recently left our three children for the first time and headed to Las Vegas! I think we are the first couple in history to go to Vegas to sleep. Oh, and to use the bathroom without supervision. I knew I wanted my mom {our beloved caregiver} to feel prepared for anything. I also knew if I over prepared I would feel relaxed about leaving. So I got organized.

First I hit up Home Depot: Prepare for the worst; hope for the best.

  • Fire extinguisher {We didn’t have one!}
  • Carbon Monoxide Detectors {I was unsure ours was functioning properly. Now they make them with 10 year lithium batteries and front displays that show carbon monoxide levels in the home. Yes please!}
  • Fire Safety Ladder {I sound like a crazy person, but we have 3 kids and 1 caregiver in a two story house. I knew I’d enjoy my drink by the pool that much more if I just pulled the trigger on the ladder.}

Then I ran to Target: The land of plenty.

  • Children’s Tylenol/Ibuprofen {It’s inevitable, someone will get an ear infection/a fever/be teething.}
  • Band-Aids
  • Diapers/pull-ups, wipes, diaper cream
  • Cat food and litter
  • Food, food, and more food
  • Toilet paper and paper towels
  • Candy {to bribe the kids and encourage my mom to stay!}
  • Toys! I purchased little things for the kids to open for each day that we are away. Three reasons behind this: 1) Makes me feel less guilty for leaving them behind. 2) What kid doesn’t love to open a gift? 3) Will give my mom an incentive to help with behavior. {Especially during the dreaded witching hour!}

Next I perused the Internet for a medical authorization form: Better to be safe than sorry.

In the event that someone needs emergency medical care while you’re away, it’s really important to complete a temporary medical authorization form for your kids. I found one here. It was super easy to complete and FREE. Depending on the state, you may need it notarized. We decided better to be safe than sorry and found a notary.

Then I opened up Microsoft Word: The nitty gritty.

Let the list making begin!

  • Contact Info and Important Numbers {hotel, flight numbers, pediatrician, hospital, insurance, school, vet, neighbors, friends}
  • Daily Routine {I could care less what happens schedule wise, but thought it was helpful for my mom to have a general idea of what happens every day. I also included lists of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack food options}
  • List of museums/parks/indoor play places {especially if your caregiver is from out of town}.
  • Cat/dog feeding schedule
  • plant watering schedule
  • Instructions on how to use the TV/DVR/computer

Up next, I dialed the number for a meal delivery service: We all gotta eat.

My mom is about to watch three kids under three. Bless her. She deserves prepared meals! I love Spicy Radish. The food is delicious, nutritious, and affordable. Plus they deliver on Sunday so you can freeze/refrigerate and use as needed throughout the week. Unfortunately, they were closed when we needed meals, so I branched out and found White Sparrow Food Company. Kat was so helpful! They have great vegan, gluten free options. Meals include 2 servings which means leftovers! They email the menu and you order by Saturday at midnight. Delivery is on Tuesday so you can use the meals throughout the week. This was perfect for our situation. Also, file these names away for when your sister has her baby or a neighbor is recovering from surgery and they could use some meals!

Finally, I listed things to remember to tell my caregiver/items to leave visible: Let’s get down to brass tacks.

  • How the stroller, car seats, baby monitors work
  • Locations of:
    • fire extinguisher/carbon monoxide detectors/smoke alarm/fire ladder
    • Tylenol and other medicines/Band-Aids/other first aid
    • flashlight
    • important records: birth certificates, living will, medical authorization form, insurance card
    • zoo pass, library card
    • breaker box
    • cash
  • Weekly appointments: Milk delivery Thursday, cleaning lady Friday

You can’t prepare for everything, but you can come pretty darn close! What did I forget? How do you prepare for a vacation without your kids? We would love to hear your ideas!

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Mom to a 3 ½ year old boy and 16 month old girl/boy twins, Liz Fendell is a recovering perfectionist hailing from St. Louis. Her current aspirations are showering three times a week and keeping all three of her precious munchkins alive. She survives on her ability to laugh at herself and with her nearest and dearest. Her new mantra is, “I am enough” and believes a healthy dose of humility and grace can get her through anything. And if that doesn’t work there’s always Plan B: witness protection. She exercises when she can and has recently pondered strapping her Fitbit to her 3 ½ year old son. Surely that kid is reaching 10,000 steps per day! A full time stay-at-home mom and talented lifestyle photographer {at Liz Fendell Photography}; she is passionate about capturing both the ordinary and the extraordinary moments in her clients’ lives.


  1. Great checklist! In the past I’ve also left information about neighbors (names, numbers, etc.) and instructions for our mini zoo of pets (vet info., feeding, habits). There’s nothing like the creation of an instruction sheet for a caregiver/house sitter to help you realize you are Super Woman! 🙂

  2. Oh man this is such perfect timing! We are leaving our daughter for a few days next month with my inlaws and I’m bookmarking all these tips for sure. Thanks so much!


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