Thousands apply to be ‘travel nanny’ for US couple on round-the-world trip

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An American couple who want to travel the globe with their three kids have been inundated with applications after advertising for a “travel nanny” to look after their children while on the road.

Derek and M’Kenzie Tillotson, who run a family travel blog called Five Take Flight, are selling their home in Utah and setting off around the world with children Porter, Beckett and Wren.

Their route will take them from New York to Iceland in July, followed by a grand tour of Europe, then a Christmas pit-stop back in Utah, before going on to Hawaii, the Pacific, and Asia until next June.

The couple were stunned when their video appeal – posted on Jan 3 – amassed more than 7.8 million views on Facebook and they have received more than 19,000 applications for the post.

The deadline for applications was brought forward to Jan 8 from Jan 17 due to the level of interest. The Tillotsons hope to pick someone by early February (2017).

The couple will be footing the bill for flights, food and accommodation, as well as providing a monthly salary of between US$1,200 and US$1,500 (S$1,700 and S$2,100). The only thing expense not covered will be nanny’s phone bill.

The couple run a product distribution business, which they are able to operate remotely, and will require the nanny to step in with the kids while they are working during the day.

They are looking for someone with a background in early childhood development who can provide home-schooling for the older children.

“We’re looking for someone who will love our kids as much as we do, even when they’re acting like this,” Mrs Tillotson quips in the video, revealing clips of the adorable young children screeching and running riot.

Included in the proposal is a plane ticket to and from the nanny’s home country so they can spend Christmas with their own loved ones, and the nanny will have one or two days off a week to explore the pit stops along the way.

Discussing the day-to-day responsibilities during the trip, they explain: “You will have one to two days off each week, depending on our travel schedule, to explore and have your own adventures.

“Both Derek and I will be working, usually from home, so we will be there to chip in as we can. But we will rely on you primarily to do the homeschooling.

“Schooling will be five days a week for a few hours, preferably after breakfast. This way, the rest of the day is free for us to go out and explore.”

They add: “You’ll be an honorary member of the family and will be treated with respect and be able to voice your opinion.”

Writing on their blog, M’Kenzie said: “We are not promising any specific destination, as our travel will be dictated by ticket prices, room prices, weather, visa requirements, and whims of fancy.”

Though the couple are keen to attract a travel lover to the post, they stress that child care credentials are their number one priority.

Despite a flood of interest and overwhelming praise for their plans, however, some have criticised the deal on offer.

“The proposed salary is around 70 per cent less than the usual rate for a travel nanny,” one Facebook user wrote.

“And with no health insurance!

“If you’re a child-care worker interested in travel, protect yourself from this kind of unethical and illegal work, and go through an agency who protects both the employer and employee.”

Said another: “US$1200-1500 a month? For cooking, cleaning, and homeschooling their children? Psh. That’s not a good deal. I realise you get to travel the world but that is not good pay for all they are asking you to do.”

To this, M’Kenzie Tillotson responded: “They’re not expected to do all the cooking and cleaning.

“But we’re looking for someone to ‘pitch in’ in general as we’re living in the same space. Our nanny will get two days off a week and obviously time to themselves daily. Not looking for a Cinderella!”

Comments were positive for the most part though, with parents around the world expressing their admiration.

“It’s amazing what you’re doing,” one wrote. “I hope one day I’m lucky enough to pack up and travel the world with my family.”