VIP nanny service: The secret to juggling kids and business trips

Jan 13, 2020

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London has a magical feeling at the holidays with the high streets strung with a magical glow, Hyde Park’s ever-growing Holiday Extravaganza and “festive fare” offered in restaurants and pubs across the city.   

Looking to capitalize on the often empty U.S. offices during Thanksgiving week last fall, I planned a business trip to work with our The Points Guy U.K. team over the holiday week. I also made the decision to take my kids out of school and put them into a whirlwind organized tour of London’s iconic museums and kid-friendly hot spots.  

Related: Why you should visit London over Thanksgiving

While traveling for work requires advance planning, traveling with kids adds another level of complexity. Here are a few tips and tricks if you plan on hitting London with kids.

London's Big Ben and Westminster Bridge. (Photo by sborisov/Getty Images)
London’s Big Ben and Westminster Bridge. (Photo by sborisov/Getty Images)

As a lifetime Platinum flyer on American Airlines, I booked our tickets using my American Airlines cobranded credit card, and while I didn’t fly on AA metal, I was able to leverage my status to get preferred seating on the only British Airways daytime flight during the weekend. My kids don’t live with a TV or iPad at home so the carrot of having access to an iPad on an airplane is enough to keep my little travelers happy and quiet. Though my son did muse to me, “Why doesn’t my seat go all the way back,” to which I reminded him that most people don’t get to skip school and visit London so settle in with your 48-inch body.

Related: How to keep kids entertained on flights without tablets

While London has become cheaper to visit with Brexit, it’s still an expensive city. That’s why I opted for a functional and convenient accommodation rather than a chic hotel room. We bunked in at the Dolphin Square Hotel. The kitchen, washer/dryer combo, internal shopping arcade and DSQ Gym — all set conveniently near Pimlico Station — make the Dolphin Square a great spot for families. Normally, my only hotel requirement is a nearby running trail and the Dolphin Square is situated near Battersea Park and the Embankment.

Related: How to fly to London for free using points and miles

Remembering that I was in London for work not for play meant that I needed my team in place to handle the kids from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and I wasn’t traveling with my nanny. After some careful research and due diligence, I was introduced to Tracy Whittington from VIP Trips for Kids. The company offers a variety of itineraries for different ages.

Screen shot from
Screenshot from VIP Trips for Kids

Tracy was thoughtful and thorough in preparing an itinerary that worked for me, professional in collecting all the necessary emergency forms and spot-on in identifying a wonderful nanny (Georgia) for my kids.  

Tracy had advance deployed a bag of board games to the hotel along with the tickets, forms and instructions for Georgia at our hotel.  

The kids kept busy throughout their trip to London. (Photo by Nathan Richardson/The Points Guy)
The kids kept busy throughout their trip to London. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Richardson/The Points Guy)

Related: These are the best times to visit London

Georgia and my twins managed to hit the Victoria and Albert Museum, Tate Britain and National Portrait Gallery in addition to undertaking a scavenger hunt in Trafalgar Square.

Museum visits combined with an interactive component. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Richardson/The Points Guy)
Museum visits combined with an interactive component. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Richardson/The Points Guy)

They also enjoyed the SeaLife and Shrek Exhibits. In each cultural spot, Georgia worked with the kids to undertake a writing or drawing exercise and in each “fun spot,” the kids managed to exhaust themselves.   

They are always up for an adventure. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Richardson/The Points Guy)
They are always up for an adventure. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Richardson/The Points Guy)

By the time I was finished with my workweek, my kids had seen parts of London that were news to me. We made sure that the school absence wasn’t such a bad thing.

The kids didnt want to say goodbye to their London Nanny. Photo by Nathan Richardson/The Points Guy
The kids didn’t want to say goodbye to their London Nanny. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Richardson/The Points Guy)

Related: The pros and cons of taking your kids out of school to travel

Bottom line

Combining my business trip with an educational vacation for my kids worked out better than I had imagined. We were lucky to find the right people to care for my kids and they truly enjoyed their tour of London. Have you traveled with your kids while on business? How did you manage it?

Featured image by Daniel Lange/Getty Images

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