au pair

Packing tips for your Au Pair experience abroad

If you wonder how to pack a suitcase for the Au Pair program, you are in the right place! In this post we’ve listed for you travel essentials you need to keep in mind:
  • Passport + Visa
  • Travel ticket
  • Signed down Au Pair contract
  • Contact details and important telephone numbers 
  • Some cash and credit or debit card

Click here for a complete list or keep reading for more details! 
If you think you already know what should be on your travel packing list, check your instinct with our quiz!
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? 
Do you already know what you should take with you to fully enjoy your Au Pair experience? Take a part in our quiz and find out if you don’t miss 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

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 transform it into a residence permit. 
Do you need a visa...
... to enter your host country? Depending on your nationality and your target country, the answer may vary! Read more

Host Family’s contact Information:

We suggest having a small card with contact information with you and leaving one back home as a backup. Be sure to take the telephone number and email address so you can communicate with your hosts at any time. In some cases, you might also need this information at the passport control.


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:

packing tips
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.  


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 some 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 probably wonder what should you 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, bonnet and gloves if your host country has lower temperatures.
Other essential in your luggage should also be a present for your new hosts. Read more about Host Family present ideas.

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 about 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)

Au Pair tips before traveling abroad -
Au Pair tips before traveling abroad - Read More »
Visa requirements for the Au Pair program –
Visa requirements for the Au Pair program – Read More »
Au Pair Insurance - Make your Au Pair stay abroad safe
Au Pair Insurance - Make your Au Pair stay abroad safe Read More »
Working holiday visa in different countries –
Working holiday visa in different countries – Read More »
Au Pair USA visa J-1 – basic information you need to know
Au Pair USA visa J-1 – basic information you need to know Read More »
Au Pair health insurance – European health card
Au Pair health insurance – European health card Read More »
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