au pair

Au Pair packing list: what do you need to take with you?

⏱ Reading time: 4 min.
Are you wondering how to pack a suitcase for the Au Pair program? Check out our list of travel essentials you need to keep in mind when packing for your Au Pair adventure:
  • Passport + Visa
  • Travel ticket
  • Signed Au Pair contract
  • Contact details and important telephone numbers 
  • Some cash and credit or debit card

Click here for detailed instructions or check out our quiz if you think you already know what should be on your travel packing list!
packing tips
Packing for a year abroad might be a little more complicated than you think. You will probably face a different weather, new styles and you obviously want to look great. In addition to it, you will need certain documents during your stay abroad. So what should you take with you? 

Video: Your packing list for your time abroad

The following video is all about what you should bring with you for your time abroad. 

Do you already know what you should take with you to fully enjoy your Au Pair experience? Take our quiz and find out if you're missing something important!
Yes No
Insurance card
Yes No
Hair dryer
Yes No
Blankets or pillows
Yes No
Bed sheets
Yes No
Medical Kit + prescription medication
Yes No
Mobile phone
Yes No
Your Au Pair contract
Yes No

What should you pack for your au pair stay?

Although packing your suitcase may sound easy, you may spend a significant amount of time wondering what you should take with you! Even if you are pretty sure that your packing list is already complete, have a look at our list just to make sure you didn’t forget anything (or took too much).

Items you don’t need to pack

1. Towels
2. Dressy clothes and high heel shoes
3. Bed sheets, blankets or pillows
4. Food

Miscellaneous items

1. Electronic devices (laptop, camera) + charger
2. Sun glasses
3. Photos of your family and friends at home
4. Present for your host family
5. Small bag of make-up
6. Your favourite books (not too many, they are heavy)
7. Small dictionary

Must-pack items

1. Passport + Visa
2. Travel ticket
3. Signed down Au Pair contract
4. Contact details and important telephone numbers
5. Some cash (about $200) + credit or debit card
6. Insurance card
7. International driver’s license
8. Comfortable clothes and shoes (Jeans, T-shirt, Cardigan, etc)
9. Enough of prescription medication (if you need)

Now let's talk in details what an Au Pair should pack before going to the Host country:
  • Documents: Passport+Visa
    You do not want to get to the airport and discover that you forgot your passport or visa at home. The passport is essential to identify yourself and you will need it to board the plane. We recommend you to check if it’s valid not only at the time of traveling but for the whole stay. If you need a visa, be sure that you have it with you. Migration officers will ask for the visa and you will need to convert it into a residence permit. 
  • Host Family’s contact information
    We suggest having a small card with all the contact information with you and leaving one back home as a backup as well. Be sure to take the telephone number and email address of you Host family so you can communicate with them at any time. In some cases, you might also need this information at the passport control.
  • Cash
    Take some cash in case you want to grab some food or need to take a cab. It's always good to be prepared!
  • International driving license
    If you have one - take it with you. Even if your family does not require you to drive, the licence might be handy in case they need you to use the car.  
  • Contract
    Take the Au Pair contract with you. It might be a requisite to open a bank account or to get your residence permit. 
  • Insurance card
    In many cases, the family will provide the Au Pair with insurance. Don’t forget to  take a document confirming that during your trip. If the family is not obligated to pay for your insurance, you should purchase an international emergency and travel insurance before the Au Pair stay begins. If you are traveling within the European Union, apply for the European Health Card and don't forget to take it with you. This will entitle you to public healthcare and the costs will be covered by the host country. 
  • Clothing essentials
    If you travel from a very warm climate to a cold one or viceversa, you're probably wondering what you should pack. We have a list of essentials that should definitely be in your luggage:
  1. Jeans (at least 3 pairs)
  2. T-shirts (you can never have enough)
  3. Cardigan
  4. ”Semi Formal” dress
  5. Trainers (Sneakers)
  6. Comfortable shoes for festive occasions, but no high-heels
  7. Summer dress. Keep in mind that it should be appropriate for the Au Pair program
  8. A skirt which you can wear both in spring and autumn
  9. A multifunctional jacket. Extra: winter jacket, warm boots, scarf, hat and gloves, if your host country has lower temperatures.
Another essential in your luggage should also be a present for your new hosts. Read more about Host Family present ideas.

Free Registration as Candidate 

Can I become an Au Pair?
The Au Pair program accepts participants who meet mainly education, family and age requirements. Please take a look at the full list of Au Pair requirements.  If you meet them, register as an Au Pair today and find a Host Family that matches your criteria.  
Who should pay for the travel expenses?
We recommend Host Families to help Au Pairs with travel expenses, though it’s not their obligation to do so. In any case, the Au Pair needs to cover the travel costs initially. If the Host Family would like to support the Au Pair, they can repay the ticket price in monthly installments that will be added to the Au Pair's salary during 10 months. In the case of Au Pair USA and China, the ticket will be covered by the Host Family. We recommend to discuss this topic before the Au Pair’s arrival and note down the conditions in the Au Pair contract. Learn more about other Au Pair costs to participate in the program or Host Family costs for hosting an Au Pair.  

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