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A career in tourism? It’s possible with the Au Pair program!

by FeliciaReading time: 5 min.
A career in tourism? It’s possible with the Au Pair program!
Was travelling the best part of your Au Pair stay and now that your Au Pair experience has come to an end, you don’t want to stop travelling the world? Then don’t! Follow your dream and continue travelling! Find out how to begin your career in tourism in this article.

Possible careers

There are a bunch of careers you can pursue in tourism. They all have very similar requirements but the type of job can really differ: timetables, customers, locations, the list can go on and on. Have a look and choose the best option for you.
  • Receptionist: Well, it’s actually an umbrella term, because a receptionist might be required in hotels, bed and breakfasts, camping places, museums etc. The main responsibilities of a receptionist are welcoming the customers, planning availabilities and dealing with payments and invoices. It’s definitely not a boring job!
  • Travel agent: may be the most traditional job on the list but still really interesting. You can get better at geography, find out the hidden paradises on earth and you maybe get the chance to travel there! As a travel agent you are required to find the best offers for your customers and to entirely organize their trip. Travel agencies deal also with documents such as tourist visa and permits, insurance etc., since lots of people rely on them when they are planning long trips.
  • Reviewer/Hotel tester or Mystery Guest: reviews are very important when it comes to choose your next holiday trip. Whether you buy a guide book or you rely on website, there always are people who write these reviews. As a reviewer you’ll definitely have the chance to travel and be as objective as possible when judging. Sometimes you’ll have to act even in disguise!
  • Tour guide: there is no need to explain what a tour guide does. You already have in mind the red umbrella, the headphones and the big group of people. Tour guides have to be really prepared. Depending on the country where you live in, there might be  specific courses and exams to get the guide license, and they can be really tough. Otherwise, you can also decide to work for a company, which usually informs the staff about the programs and the topics. If you love culture, art and tourist attractions, then it’s the perfect job for you.
  • Tour operator: very similar to the travel agency, the tour operator usually focuses on specific tours and personalized offers for the customers. For example, there are tour operators who organize adventure trips in exotic places, where they take care of the accommodation, activities and travel for their customers.
  • Tourist attractions staff: every tourist attraction needs staff, who can welcome international customers and give them information about what they are going to visit. Museums, monuments, exhibitions, churches usually hire people who are fluent in at least one foreign language and who are capable of dealing with difficult customers. Culture and foreign languages meet again, and working in a tourist attraction can be interesting for those who are passionate about both of them.
  • Flight attendant: still dreaming about flying all over the world? This job might be your new reality then. The requirements for a flight attendant are very similar to the ones we mentioned before, but there may be additional ones about for example being able to swim. Flight attendants can work on the plane or at the desk, checking people in, and they take care of the customers from the beginning to the end of their flight. Can you imagine being in Spain in the morning and in the USA in the afternoon? 

Au Pair and tourism: things in common

Did we mention travelling? It’s pretty obvious when you put together Au Pairs and tourism. But this is not the only thing that they have in common. In order to work in tourism, you have to speak at least one foreign language (usually English): your Au Pair experience has given you the possibility to practise the language spoken by the Host Family. Together with the language course you followed, the daily conversations and the fact of living in the country gives you an advantage, if you are interested in this field.
As an Au Pair you have probably experienced the so-called cultural shock. You already know that there are so many differences among various cultures, which can be really frustrating sometimes. Therefore you won’t have any problems in dealing with clients from all over the world. Some people may not greet you directly, others might be too pretentious, and others won’t stop thanking you, but you are ready for it.

Organizational skills 

Having organized your daily routine, together with your Host Kids, you are already experienced in organization. That’s something fundamental when you work in a hectic environment like tourism.

How much they earn

There are different jobs in tourism and everyone is different, therefore we can’t offer you an exact answer or an average earning for all of them. But what we can do is inform you about the variables.
The earnings may depend on: the country where you work, the job you’re doing, whether you are a freelance professional (like the tour guides) or you work for a company, if you have a University degree etc.
Here you are a general overlook. If you are a receptionist in Germany, your average salary would be around €2100 per month, in Italy you would earn around €1300 and 1100 pounds in the UK.
As a flight attendant in the US you will get around 3500 dollars, 25000 kroner in Norway, 1350 euros in Portugal and 45000 rubles in Russia.

How to start

  • We will never get tired of repeating it: update your CV and mention all the things you learned during the Au Pair stay. Underline your language knowledge, your organizational and practical skills and include any experience which may be useful for your goal.
  • Decide where you want to work: you can stay in your Host Family country, if you wish, or come back home. Big towns are usually the best place to start looking for a job in tourism. You can search the most visited places in your area and choose the ones that you like the most. Wandering around cities can be really fun, especially if you use the occasion to look for your next job. Do you love the new contemporary art museum in town? Then enter and ask if they are looking for new staff! There’s no harm in asking! Otherwise, if you want to be a flight attendant, you can just apply for the companies which fly in your country.
  • Find the place where you want to work! Use job platforms and social networks like LinkedIn. Companies usually publish their offers there and you can get a general idea of the requirements they are looking for.
  • Consider a traineeship. Temporary internships are always a good start. Lots of companies offer part-time internships to young people, in order to let them gain experience. Remember that an internship can always become a full-time job!


  • Good knowledge of at least one foreign language (English is almost mandatory)
  • Organizational skills
  • Timetable flexibility: when you work in tourism you are likely to work on the weekends and during the national holidays
  • Adaptability in dealing with different responsibilities: customers, front and back office, money, social networks etc.
  • Interpersonal skills and patience: you already know that working with people can be stressful, just as with kids! 
  • Problem-solving skills

A little encouragement

The previously mentioned list can be scary but if you think about it, they are all skills that you developed during your Au Pair stay. Similarly, starting a career in tourism won’t bore you at all: you’ll have the chance to work with an international team and with customers from all over the world, you will speak multiple foreign languages and every day will be different! It may be hard to adapt to the new environment at the beginning but you won’t regret it. Even if you are not sure about pursuing a career in this field, an experience in tourism will help you develop the so-called soft-skills that every job demands now.

If you're interested in other jobs after the Au Pair stay, check out our series!
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Some Thoughts...
May, 18, 2021 - 11:05 am
Can you be able to do tourism course without prior knowledge
, | May, 19, 2021 - 08:05 am
Hello Latifah,

Many thanks for your comment. If you need prior knowledge or not depends on the course you take. We always recommend to learn more about the subject and ideally make an internship or work during the summer to see if it's the right fit for you. We wish you all the best for your future plans!
Feb, 21, 2022 - 06:02 am
Superb! This Article helped me alot especially in my tourism future career thank you.
Oct, 05, 2022 - 11:10 am
Ça me ferais vraiment très plaisir de faire du tourisme après mon séjour au pair chez ma famille d’accueil. J’aimerais découvrir d’autres cultures, la gastronomie de certains pays autre tels que le Canada, la France, les États Unis, l’Autriche.
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