Ever wondered what life looks like when you are a travel nanny? How do you become a travel nanny? And, what exactly does a traveling nanny do? Well wonder no longer, the following has all the answers and more, introducing Amy Bryant - The Suitcase Nanny!
Hello Amy! First of all - please could you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your background and how you became a traveling nanny?
Hey! I’m Amy Bryant, a travel nanny expert also known as The Suitcase Nanny. I’m 26 years old and have been caring for children since I was 9. A little about myself and my hobbies: I grew up in a military household where my father was a pilot and mother a nanny. I have a younger brother who is 24 and he is in the military, two foster sisters who aged 14 and 11 and our family pet Poppy, an English springer spaniel.
I have travelled to many countries with my family, and have lived in Germany when I was very young. I’ve always loved the water and love to sail, I am an advanced swimmer and now have a passion for surfing, I am extremely sporty and love to dance, skateboard and ski in the winter months. I got engaged to my childhood sweetheart last summer who is also in the military and we have a home together in Shropshire, UK.
How did you initially get into nannying?
My mother worked as a rota nanny so I think her flare for her nanny work rubbed off on me, and my father was in the military so we travelled a lot as a family, I grew up in different locations and found a passion for traveling.
I had originally trained to become an air hostess, but months before I was due to start training with British Airways I fell ill with a rare disease and was hospitalised for a week. I had a near death experience and whilst in hospital, I had a lot of time to think about my future and how my life could have just been cut very short. Once I left hospital and returned home to start my recovery, it was about one week before Christmas and I just decided to go online and look into nannying abroad. I came across the Great Aupair website, signed up and made a profile. Within 24 hours a family had contacted me all the way from Sydney, Australia. 3 weeks later I had packed my suitcase and was on a plane ready to start my new adventure as a travelling nanny. I was 18 years old.
What do you like best about working as a travel nanny?
My favourite thing would be that I get to combine the two things I love most, caring for children and travelling. I love that every nanny job is different: no family, holiday or job requirements are the same. I am continually pushed out of my comfort zone to support families in any way I can when travelling with their children.
What challenges have you faced working in different places?
To list a few: flight delays, lost baggage, sickness while travelling, culture differences, language barriers and self security and adjusting to different families and children each time. But these are all normal challenges a travel nanny should expect and that’s why it is so important to be flexible and be prepared for even the worst travel days!
What is your favourite memory from your work and travel?
I honestly could not name one favourite. I have been taken to some of the most beautiful places on earth and I am truly grateful for every opportunity each nanny family has given me. I’ve experienced things I never ever thought I’d be able to afford, I’ve met people from other countries who I now call best friends. As I look back on all my photographs of my nanny kids over the years and remember everything I’ve accomplished as a nanny, I understand that these are memories I’ll cherish forever.
Do you have any tips for a nanny dealing with jet lag?
Yes, I always prepare at home before departing. Find out if you’re flying east or west and adjust accordingly. If you’re flying west it causes your body to think your day’s getting longer, whereas going east makes it think the day is shorter. So the best plan of attack is to adapt your body’s rhythm a few days before leaving. When you fly east, try to go to sleep a couple hours earlier than usual. If you’re going west stay awake one or two extra hours. You should also be getting up earlier, or getting up later, respectively.
Drink plenty of water or juice and avoid caffeine and alcohol. This is because caffeine and alcohol dehydrate you and make it harder for you to adjust to the new time zone later.
You can check out an article I wrote on helping nannies and parents conquer jet lag with their little ones here: https://www.suitcasenanny.com/jet-lag-from-tots-to-teens/
Now, please tell us more about your book "How to Become a Travel Nanny?"
This is my 3rd E-book and it’s a topic I’ve always wanted to write about. I get so many messages from others wanting to know where and how to start a career travel nannying, which is what led me to deciding to write this book.
It’s 60 pages of all my best tips, resources and advice. It gives you a deeper understanding of the process of becoming a travel nanny and answers many popular questions on the job itself including what to charge clients and how to market yourself. I’ve made it accessible on smart phones, tablets and computers and you can access it at a moments notice when needed. The Travel Nanny E-book can be for anyone aspiring to become a travel nanny, anyone who is struggling to find travel nanny work and needing extra guidance on where to look, and any qualified nanny who wants to transition to become a travel nanny.
I have also written two other E-books: ‘How to Become a Nanny’ and ‘How to Become an Au-Pair’.
Do you have any plans to write more guides for nannies?
Yes, I have plans to write more E-books and guides for nannies and I am currently working on other exciting things that I can’t share just yet!
What tips do you have for other travel nannies who want to succeed in their career?
Travel nannying isn’t just a job, it’s a lifestyle and it isn’t for everyone. Travel nannies need to ask themselves first what would make them feel like they succeed in their career? Is it working for the elite, celebrities and royals? Is it that they have a particular salary they’d like to earn, or maybe a bucket list of countries they’d like to visit? Whatever it may be, this is all achievable as a travel nanny if you are passionate about seeing the world through children’s eyes. My E-book on ‘How to Become a Travel Nanny’ has many expert tips on succeeding in this career.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
In 5 years time, I see myself married with my own brood! I’d like to have written more E-books and have a larger established nanny community with SuitcaseNanny.com
Where is the best place to connect with you and find out more?
Stay updated by visiting my website: www.suitcasenanny.com