It’s YOUR vacation, not hers. Okay?

by cv harquail on February 2, 2009

vacation I had a long listen at a neighborhood party last week…one of my host mom friends had just come back from a family vacation to Disneyworld. Three kids, three adults, two bedrooms, 5 days. And for my friend, not a vacation at all.

What went wrong? I’ll tell you what went wrong. My friend forgot that this was supposed to be HER vacation, not her au pair’s vacation.

The host mom paid for the au pair’s plane ticket, 5 days of park passes, 3 meals a day, and even for the au pair’s (non-alcoholic and still expensive) drinks & snacks at the pool. In total, the family probably spent almost $1,000 bringing the au pair with them– not including the au pair’s pocket money.

The host mom expected that her au pair would come to the park with her and her children, and help the mom manage the kids’ different interests (Space Mountain, yes or no? Roller coaster or parade?) by going with one or two of the kids to different activities. And, she expected that she and her husband could actually have dinner out just the two of them one night, and be able to sleep in a bit. But what happened instead?

The au pair complained about waiting in line for rides she wasn’t interested in (that the kids wanted). The au pair went off by herself to the rides she was interested in, complained about being on duty in the evenings, complained about having to share a room with the three kids (all girls), and said she was too tired to watch the kids at the pool. She needed to nap and get a tan, instead.

Then, two days after they returned home, the au pair told them she was going home– after being with their family a total of 3 months. It seems the au pair had already made plane arrangements and bought her ticket home BEFORE she accompanied the family to Florida! Adding insult to injury, don’t you think?

Clearly, the host mom was taken for a ride. But it was also the host mom’s own assumption —  that the au pair should be "on vacation" too — that got the mom, the au pair and ultimately the family into an unhappy situation.

It is not easy to take an au pair on vacation, even when you really need to and/or really want to. Traveling can be hard, it is always expensive, and traveling with kids asks a lot of any adult. We’ve taken au pairs to London, Paris, Chicago, Florida, Ohio, Toronto, Los Angeles, Williamsburg, home to Charlottesville, and regularly to the Jersey shore, and we’ve learned from experience some things that make traveling with an au pair a bit more relaxing for everyone. Here are our…

13 tips to help you get the vacation you need

1. Be clear why you are taking your au pair.whyaupairinus2

Do you need her to provide childcare during the vacation? Wrangle one kid on the airplane? Speak Spanish to the tour guide? Are you worried that otherwise she’ll be lonely and feel abandoned in an empty house? Are you bringing her because you can afford to give her the treat of travel? Or, is it some combination of all of these?

2. Make sure that you communicate all of your expectations to your au pair.

3. Be clear even before you leave how much the au pair will be expected to work, and when you expect to need her to be on duty. If you and your partner want a nice dinner out– tell your au pair beforehand so that she won’t assume she’ll have every evening free.

4. Give your au pair some specific time to "vacation." Even if your au pair is there to take care of the kids, find a way to let her explore and play without always being with your family. Find ways to give your au pair some "prime time" time for herself. By "prime time", I mean daylight hours when the parks, museums or open air markets are open, or when it’s safe to explore the city, or when the nightclubs open. This doesn’t have to be a lot of time, but it should be enough so that she can see the Eiffel tower and get someone to take her picture in front of it.

5. Pay for every meal and admission ticket that she needs to accompany you or the kids while she is "on duty." Include money for a snack or a latte when you get the same for yourself or your kids. Never take your au pair to a restaurant where you can’t afford to have her buy an adult entree. I have once or twice had to say "let’s choose the less expensive items" when we’ve been at places where all the food is expensive (you know, the parks with the $5 bottles of water?!)… But, do not expect her to hold back if you are being extravagant for yourselves.

6. Let your Au Pair buy her own souvenirs. Don’t feel like you need to pay for the $36 Little Mermaid snow globe that she simply must have. She can pay for her own souvenirs. That said, you might buy her a copy of the photo of her and the kids in the front seat of the roller coaster.

P on surfboard 7. Be clear about sleeping arrangements and make sure they are okay with both you and your au pair. I’ve never brought an au pair along when I’ve gotten her a room all to herself — I’ve never been in the situation where I could afford that additional $100-$250/night. Most times, our au pair has shared a room (but not a bed) with our girls, or she has slept on the pull-out couch of a suite shared with the girls. I think that it is unreasonable to ask her to share a bed with your child, but it’s okay for them to share a room. YMMV if you have boys and not girls.

8. Find ways to give your au pair some time more or less alone, even if that is watching movies while the kids sleep. Find ways to give the au pair privacy in the morning in the bathroom (by taking your kids into your room), by giving her some time alone to nap, and by making sure she can stay up and read or watch movies somewhere that she isn’t disturbing the kids.

9. Invoke the "second to last bus" requirement if she ventures off by herself. I learned this one the hard way, when I missed half of the dinner where I was receiving a professional award, the reason for which we had traveled to Toronto. We had given our au pair the day off to go to Niagara Falls, expecting her to return by 5 pm (the dinner began at 7). Well, she missed the bus — the very last bus– and I nearly missed my big professional moment. My husband missed the dinner and stayed at the hotel to watch the baby, and I got to the dinner just before desert. Ever since then, the rule has been to take the second to last bus or train, so that if your au pair misses it she still has a chance to get back without paying $85 for a taxi or ruining her host parent’s big moment.

10. Do not expect your au pair to work more than 10 hrs/day or 45 hrs/week . Just because you’re in a different place doesn’t mean you can or should break the rules. Then how do you handle changes in time zones? As fairly as possible, counting the actual hours worked AND being respectful that her body clock might need adjusting tstonehenge oo.

11. Figure out how to pay for her hours ‘in transit’ and make sure she agrees. This has always been a tough one for us. If you’re all in the car, with the kids watching a DVD with their headphones on and your Au Pair listening to her iPod, is she on duty? The rules for my agency say yes, these are on duty hours. But if she’s watching the in flight movie or reading Glamour, is that work? When an au pair is neither working nor free to do what she wants, I have treated this as being ‘kind of’ on duty, and counted it has 1/2 or 3/4 time…but only if I found myself needing to skimp b/c I really needed her on duty later that day. This is probably the one place that I personally have ‘bent’ the rules. Okay, that and walking the dog sometimes.

12. Make sure that she has a way to keep in touch with her family (e.g., let her use your computer to do email).

13. Be sure that she has some fun time with the kids . Let her be on duty while you’re all building sand castles and flying kites.

Vacations are one of those times when it is important to be clear about who is working and who is vacationing, and when. Your au pair gets two weeks of paid vacation because she works hard and needs time to relax and just have fun.

So do YOU.


Anna February 3, 2009 at 2:31 am

Great article. I always counted time in transit with me as 1/2 time working hours, simply because I was there to care for the kids too! And I was the one doing the driving. This was discussed and agreed upon beforehand, of course. Our agency doesn’t have and explicit guideline about it.
Another thing you might want to discuss is expectations. America is notoriously skimpy with vacation time, and au pairs might not believe or comprehend it, and therefore, not value the vacations with the host family, or poo-poo on a weeklong getaway to Disney, all expenses paid, compared to monthlong seashore vacations they used to take in their country of origin… Basically, different value systems are in play – american vacation time is much more valuable and precious than they realize; especially when there are young children in the family and a big chunk of this time is used on staying home with them when they are ill.

cvh February 3, 2009 at 2:34 am

Hi Anna-
What a great point about cultural differences– it hadn’t occurred to me that we might treat vacation time as more precious than cultures that have 2-3 times what we Americans tend to. I think that there is probably also a ‘generational’ difference in that we who have worked full time for years (host parents) have a different need for a vacation than someone who may have had summers off (from school).
Glad I’m not alone in making the 1/2 time assessment on transit time, too :-)

Mom of 2 Girls February 3, 2009 at 3:34 am

Wonderful article, and definitely feel that mom’s pain about it being “her vacation.” Brought back many memories of our trip to Hawaii with our first au pair; I remember looking down from our hotel room balcony and seeing our 18 month old running alone into the ocean while the au pair was making sure her own towel and sunbathing preparations were just so. We definitely refined and clearly explained again our expectations after that. I love the “transit time” understanding and think any reasonable au pair would have no problem with it.
cvh: We are considering a trip to Williamsburg this year, as our 7-year-old daughter is infatuated with the American Girl Doll Felicity. I haven’t been since I was a pre-teen, so if you have any specific tips, I’d love it if you could share them if you have a chance. Thanks!

Deb Schwarz February 3, 2009 at 4:34 am

Great article! I am an LCC and vacations are probably one of the most contentious and problem ridden areas that I come across. We’ve personally had 14 au pairs over the years, have traveled the globe with our au pairs – and interestingly, we use the 1/2 time rule for flights, too – which seems fair if they are reading or listening to their Ipod. If they are helping with the kids on the flight/trip, then we count it as full-time (when our triplets were babies, they would help the whole time). I think that’s a fair rule of thumb. BTW – I love your blog – I have encouraged all my host families to read it! Keep up the great work.

Alma February 3, 2009 at 6:42 am

What an educational and helpful post! It brings home the idea that having EVERYTHING spelled out beforehand is crucial. But that’s the hardest part! I think it’s so hard to feel comfortable telling someone they have to work when they are at a beach or other vacation destination and that may be what keeps us from actually spelling out the expectations. Thanks for the great blog!

Alma February 3, 2009 at 6:44 am

P.S. I love that photo of the skirt and suitcase!

Marguerite February 3, 2009 at 7:20 am

You know what ? Grown up people go to ” cool ‘ places on business trips all the time and spent most of their days at the computer, on the phone, entertaining clients with a little bit of time left for play if they are lucky and a little sightseeing if they are lucky. So I think that this is a good way to present the idea to your aupair : she is going on a work related trip to a great place.
Since all of the state department rules still apply ( no more than 10 hour days, no more than 45 hour weeks, day and a half off every weekend ) that should leave her plenty of time for fun.
If you want to give her some extra cash since these places are soooo
expensive, that is very nice. But it might be a good idea to notify the front desk as to who is authorized to order room service and other special services.
I know people who have saved up for a couple of years for vacations at Disneyworld. Sometimes young people from abroad just don’t have any concept of how expensive these vacations are. Very few American adults of my acquaintance consider themselves rich. But, to a young person from another country many of us look appear to be very comfortable. It is very appropriate to set limits before leaving home.

C February 4, 2009 at 7:28 am

This particular blog stirred up memories of two horrible vacation experiences with our au pair and as a result my husband and I have decided that if we can avoid it, we will never bring an au pair on vacation with us ever again.

I think it is important that new host families who may be doing this for the first time be VERY CLEAR that she is there to work. The au pair will have her own vacation and this vacation is for you. Being first-time host parents we learned the hard way that we were not clear. I think my husband was guilty of this too by talking about our travels with our au pair during family discussions and getting her input.

Our au pair asked in the most sweet voice if we could leave our child in the resort daycare center so she could have some free time during the day to enjoy herself. I was too nice to say no, and by the third day my child flat out refused daycare. In addition my husband was furious to see her frolicking to various resort activities, as if she was on vacation too.

Our au pair melted down several times over various reasons including having to stay behind in the hotel room while our infant napped, being hungry, being in too close quarters, having to ask her to switch her schedule to watch the kids. There were doors being slammed, mood swings…when I spoke to our AP coordinator she shared a similar experience and referred to taking these girls on vacation like “taking a fish out of water.” They can often behave like children in a strange environment.

I was glad to hear about sleeping arrangements and that other host families ask their au pairs to share a room with the children. Our au pair balked at the idea that she would have to sleep in the pull-out in the common room of the suite we stayed in. The second time around she outright refused to share a room with our children and rolled her eyes at staying in pullout again. We sacrificed one of the bedrooms for her. It did give her some space, but it made us realize all the trouble isn’t worth having a babysitter one or two nights. We would rather go to a place that has childcare built in or travel with grandparents.

And no, I don’t think these girls have any idea how much vacations cost and how much bringing them along with us costs us. I nursed a huge resentment on bi-coastal flight while I struggled with my infant and she sat across the aisle with a magazine reading during the 6 hour flight. I don’t consider that on duty time if she does not help during travel, not even half time.

I am curious how people have mapped out schedules with their au pairs in advance of getting to a place. Both times I could not anticipate how our days would unfold, I tried to take it on a day-to-day basis but I was met with a lot of frustration.

Dawn February 4, 2009 at 7:13 pm

Great post, with some great suggestions regarding a thorny issue! For us, having the expectations spelled out in advance has made a huge difference. As I’ve mentioned in a prior comment, we don’t typically “need” our au pair to come with us and work on vacations — we see our family vacations as an opportunity to be together as a family, so there’s not really a need for childcare (although we usually do end up going out to dinner once or twice without the kids if our au pair is with us). Because of this, we usually give our au pair the OPTION about whether she wants to come or not — with the choice being that she can either stay home and have some easy/relaxing time to herself, or she can come with us and the expectations will be X,Y, and Z. (Including sleeping arrangements, free time, time she’ll be expected to “help out” but not have full responsibility for the kids, and time when she will have full responsibility for the kids.) She can’t (or shouldn’t) really complain about something like the sleeping arrangements if she knew about them ahead of time and chose to come, when she had the option of staying home and having the whole house to herself! Although we haven’t ever taken a vacation where the au pair was expected to work a full schedule, I would think that the same would be true — laying out the expectations in advance can help avoid problems later.

Because we’ve never taken a vacation where our au pair has had to work anywhere NEAR 45 hours in a week (more like 10!), we’ve never had to address the question of whether and to what extent the travel time “counts” as work time. But I think that the idea of counting it as 1/2 or 3/4 time makes sense. (Unless it was an obvious situation where she was either not working at all, as described by “C” above me, or on the other hand if she was fully “on duty,” like if Mom and Dad sat up front in First Class while the au pair was back in Coach with the kids!)

In terms of C’s question about how to map out schedules in advance of the vacation — even if you don’t know exactly what the schedule will be, it seems like you should still be able to talk through the expectations in advance. Something like, “We just wanted to remind you that although we will be someplace other than home, this is still considered a work week for you. We will make sure that you have some free time each day to enjoy yourself and take advantage of the fun things at the resort, but we will also need you to care for the kids for X hours each day. During that time, the kids need to be your priority, just as they are at home.”

I also had a related question to ask. I don’t think this will ever be an issue for us, but I’ve heard about other families doing it and I’ve always wondered whether it was allowed/appropriate. What do you think about taking a vacation WITHOUT your au pair and insisting that she take her vacation (i.e. use some of her allotted vacation days) at the same time? Somehow, that just doesn’t seem “fair” to me (my boss can’t tell ME when I have to take my vacation!), but I know from some of my au pair’s friends that some families do it. (And that raises another question — what, if anything, do you think you should do if you hear about another host family taking advantage of their au pair or treating them poorly? Should you/would you say something to the LCC, or do you think it’s just none of your business and the au pair’s responsibility to report if she feels it’s a problem?)

Calif mom February 4, 2009 at 7:44 pm

We have also learned these lessons — even if you don’t know exactly what each day on your trip will bring, talk through what a “typical” day on vacation will be like, some of the activities you do have planned, and what you will need her help with. And don’t spring for a fancy trip with a brand new au pair, because it can be the kiss of death to your relationship!

We recently brought our au pair with us for a two-week trip to the other coast. This was hardly glamorous — we shared one bathroom at a relative’s house, she slept with the porta-crib in her room, and she was crammed into the back seat of a rental car with a car seat and two kids for our daily outings. But we did really all have a great time.

Part of this success is because she is a really mature person who was grateful to be seeing another part of the states, partly because we had lowered her expectations a lot. We really hoped she would travel with us to help us wrangle kids at this relative’s house, but we had also given her the option to stay home if she didn’t want to experience our relative’s cluttered home, the cramped rental car, or the single bathroom for 5 people! Just having presented her with the option meant she would be more willing to deal with any small disappointments. And yes, she bought her own souvenirs!

This is in contrast with the vacation we took with our first AP, fresh out of orientation. We naively thought that as long as we were in NYC to pick her up, we would make a fun trip out of it. Expensive, miserable mistake. Turns out she wasn’t a good fit, who wouldn’t have lasted with our family anyway, but what a nosedive that week was! I’ll spare the details.

So new families, my advice is that it’s much better to have the new AP join you after orientation by train, or bus or however she is getting to your house. The trip from orientation to your house will be a good transition time for her, and you can orient her to your family and home in a calmer setting. As noted above, travel can bring out the immaturity in people, especially if they have already been unglued a bit by orientation and having “foreign” roommates for those three days.

Another fabulous conversation, cvh! thanks.

D February 4, 2009 at 9:49 pm

This is such a great post! THANKS! We too have come across this same situation & have been soo disappointed. Which ultimately made a family vacation come apart.

We LOVE our au pairs and love to take them with us…..we are thrilled to pay for everything and hope in the end we see excitement in their eyes & enjoy it. We are tickled to give them an experience they enjoy. But our high hopes haven’t even been close on our 2 trips thus far and 2 very different au pairs. So clearly our expectations are not realistic. As previous post from someone of 14 au pairs….this has been the trickiest situation to handle.

Truth of the matter ….. these girls are supposed to be family & be welcomed into the american family as a loved family member. Thats what the au pair program is all about. That involves family trips as well. To be honest, when it comes down to the point we have to count 1/2 time, 3/4 time & full time hours….then manage it by an excel spreadsheet….this is sad. Is this how it should be done? Probably so, so the au pair knows it’s fair. But yet, in the end its just sad and not what the experience is all about.

We had the conversation with our au pair about vacations recently….and ultimately she really doesn’t want to go. You know, she prefers to stay home with friends, do her own thing. Thats her being honest. So we respect that. And honestly in the end…..we’d rather have that then an upset au pair on vacation….bringing the entire vacation to a hault.

Only thing this post doesn’t cover is how to handle the situation where we as a host family wishes the au pair travel with us as a family & we’ll pay for it. But what if the au pair prefers to stay home? How to handle that? The car priledges? The House priveleges? Friends Over? Trust while she is away? Her stipend? We can’t force her to go, but yet….she is an au pair & family member in our home…..and the au pair is denying her time with us. :) As when you refuse to be part of the family ultimately you are opting out of the family. Thats not fair to the family either. There has to be reasonable compromise. Thoughts?

Anna February 4, 2009 at 10:10 pm

Dawn, regarding your question about giving au pair vacation time while the family is taking vacation. I don’t think it is unfair, because yes, a boss CAN say to ME, that a particular time I want to vacation he requires me to be at work. It really depends on the job.
For working parents, vacation time is very limited, and often there is no option for them to stay home 2 weeks taking care of the kids while an au pair takes her desired vacation time slot, and also have an opportunity to take 2 weeks a year vacation themselves while au pair is on duty. Not everybody has 4 weeks vacation to do that. In my arrangement, the vacation time is mutually agreed upon. If it is not possible, she chooses one her two weeks, and I choose when she takes another! It is fair according to my agency’s handbook, in fact that is what they suggest.

Marguerite February 6, 2009 at 12:01 am

A thought : there are lots of people who do in fact have to take vacation when their bosses ( or industries ) require it. Teachers , for instance, have specific vacation times that are not negotiable. Tax accountants have to work like crazy Jan – April 15th. Landscapers and construction workers have busy seasons and pediatricians and internists know that lots of people get sick in the winter.
A friend in the jewelry buusiness told me there are times of the year when she absolutely cannot take vacation.
This is the sort of thing that should be clearly spelled out when you interviews someone ( like working on New Year’s Eve ).

Dawn February 6, 2009 at 7:03 pm

Thanks for the feedback on the question of requiring your AP to take her vacation when you do. I guess if some agencies actually recommend doing that, it must be allowed! For me, we do have the luxury of having family in the area, so we can be more flexible with when our AP takes her vacation as long as she gives us advance notice. For families who have that kind of flexibility, that does seem (to me) to be the more “fair” approach. I do see a difference between jobs or industries where there are certain times when you CAN’T take your vacation, as opposed to them being able to dictate when you MUST take your vacation. (Maybe I’m spoiled, but I can’t imagine my boss ever saying to me, “our office will be closed the second week of March, so you’ll have to use your vacation time then.”)

Just as I wouldn’t want to be forced by my boss to take a vacation at her convenience (even if, for example, my husband wasn’t able to take time off at the same time!), I’m glad that I am able to give our AP’s the flexibility to choose when to use their vacation days, so that they can plan trips with friends rather than being forced to use their vacation time at the same time I do.

I agree with Marguerite that this is something that would be helpful to spell out in advance with a potential AP — it goes back to CVH’s general suggestion that it’s always better to have expectations clearly explained in advance.

Dawn February 6, 2009 at 7:09 pm

Oh, I also wanted to just clarify that my follow-up question (above) regarding what, if anything, you would do if you thought another host family was taking advantage of their AP was NOT meant to suggest that requiring your AP to take her vacation time during yours was “taking advantage.” That was really a separate question — I had in mind more the situation where a host family requires their AP to work more than 10 hours a day and/or 45 hours a week, requires their AP to care for the children overnight, etc. — something that’s clearly not allowed by the federal regulations. Would you bring this to the attention of your LCC, or just “mind your own business”?

cvh February 6, 2009 at 8:07 pm

Hi Dawn- I’ll tee up that question of host parents and what/whether they should attend to issues of other host families/APs in a week or two after we capture some of the matching question energy… the question of relationships among host families/APs is important. c

Ann February 7, 2009 at 8:27 am

I’m in my 3rd year of hosting au pairs. I get 4 weeks of “use it or lose it” vacation from work. Each year we have split the difference – the au pair gets to choose when to take one of her two weeks of vacation (we use back-up care at that point) and then we ask her to take her 2nd week at a specific time when our family goes away to a remote camp where she has been welcome to come, but has preferred not to. This year, during the week when we are away, our current new au pair’s parents will be visiting her and staying in our home. Each year, we have also made sure to take 1-2 long weekend trips with our au pair to show her our local state including hiking up high mountains, some historical mansions, etc. Those we have considered working vacations / her time with us as family so did not take those days off her vacation allowance. In reality, I have a slighly flexible schedule and grandparents in the area so I’ve been able to give my au pairs extra vacation time if they had special travel plans, that’s one of the few perks thats easier for me to accomodate. I think it’s quite realistic to set down that their job is to make your life easier and to accomodate your schedule, but at the same time to work with their desires and plans as much as possible. So it’s realistic for me to tell my au pair that mid-summer, when I usually take vacation anyway, and Christmas holiday week, when there’s not much going on at my work place, and three day American holiday weekends (Memorial Day, Labor Day, etc.) are good times for her to take vacation as it’s easier for me to cover childcare at those times myself.

mama May 25, 2009 at 7:37 pm

I have a related vacation problem. My au pair arrived in December will have been w/ us for 6 months in a few weeks. She is a fine au pair. She is from a humble background and has probably not spent $10 on herself since arriving, because she sending $ back to family in her country. Initially, she wanted to take both of her vacation weeks in September to go back to her home country – – but I told her that taking the 2 weeks consecutively would not work (with our work schedules) and further, that taking them in September was difficult because school starts then. So we suggested several months back (and at the direction of our LCC) that she take 1 week before the end of June and her 2nd week in Sept or whenever she wants. Anyway, she has been non-responsive on giving me a week that she’d prefer in June, so at this poing I am going to “assign” her a week because I have to get on this to make up back up arrangements. Today when I brought it up, she told me that she has no money to take a vacation (since she has sent it all back home to family).

I am fine if she doesn’t go anywhere for her vacation (i.e., just hangs out in our town and checks out sites or goes to the local beach) but feel pressured to give in to her desires for a 2-week vacation (she has also asked for 2-weeks in August instead of September, again a no-go for us). My husband and I just cannot justify a 2-week straight vaca for the au pair when we already are taking a 2-week vaca in July (where she will go with us and work standard hours) and we take time off over the holidays too. Is anyone else dealing with this lack of proactivity on the part of the au pair taking her vacation time? I want for her to get out and enjoy our country before her year is over, too – – She needs the break and would have fun if she’d allow herself to explore!

Hula Gal September 9, 2009 at 10:14 pm

I just got back from vacation with my au pair and it went wonderfully! This entry was very helpful and I’ll tell you why. With our second au pair, we traveled by car to visit my family. I had a very high level, general discussion the day before we left about expectations. But I was very vague and not specific about the details because I really wanted to have flexibility. I also felt guilty about making her work and wanted her to have some vacation time too. The trip was a disaster and one of the last straws for our match. She went home two weeks later. This time, with our third au pair, I emailed her a very detailed outline of the vacation, our expectations, her responsibilities, and assigned her very specific work hours. I did add that she needed to be flexible but she would be expected to work. We gave her the afternoons off, Saturday morning off to sleep in and all day Sunday off. We honored the 45 hour limit too. I also prepared her for the conditions of the trip. Everything turned out great and she has only been with us for a few weeks (although she is an extension au pair on her second year). So the key here is to be very explicit with your au pair and follow up by email about your expectations. Everything CV put in this post is spot on and will make all of the difference in the world with your vacation. Thanks for the very helpful post!

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