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Au Pair Travel Tips: Going abroad as an Au Pair

If you want to become an Au Pair abroad you will need some good Au Pair travel tips. Travelling to your host country, you need to take things into consideration such as:

Once you’re arrived, you can plan your Au Pair journey through your host country or other surrounding places. We give you travel tips for
 
Au Pair travel tips
If you are an Au Pair and you have already found your Host Family at AuPair.com, it is now time to plan your trip to the host country and begin your experience abroad. In this post, we have gathered useful Au Pair travel tips that will help you to plan your trip better.

1. Travel to the host country 

1.1 Formalities

Visa

Visa requirements depend on your citizenship and the host country of your choice. Read more about the common visa requirements, how the Working Holiday Visa works or about J-1 Visa if you are heading to the USA.

Insurance

Medical security is one of the most important elements for a safe stay abroad. Though the Host Family can help participants in many countries with insurance, inform yourself as well about the insurance for Au Pairs. If you are an EU citizen planning to visit another EU country, read more about the European Health Insurance Card.

Travel Costs

Although we recommend Host Families to support Au Pairs with the travel costs, it’s not their direct obligation to do so. Initially, the transportation costs will be covered by the participants. If the future Host Family would like to help the Au Pair, the prospective refund will be done in installments after the Au Pair arrival in the host country.  We recommend the families to repay the ticket price in 10 installments, added monthly to Au Pair salary. For example, you can add 80$ extra for 10 months out of 800$ ticket price. 
 
We recommend to discuss this question before the Au Pair experience begins and preferably write them down in the Au Pair contract.  
 
Download the Au Pair contract
The Au Pair contract is a legal document that will help you to arrange the Au Pair stay and avoid all the misunderstanding along the way. Learn more

In the USA and China the ticket is covered by the Host Family. Moreover, if the Au Pair completes the whole stay (12 to 24 months) as agreed in the contract, he/she can get a return ticket covered as well. 
  
Learn more about other Au Pair costs for participating in the program or Host family costs for hosting an Au Pair.

Contract

To avoid possible misunderstandings in the future, discuss all required details with your future Host Family and write them down into the contract. Some of the most important details are working hours, schedule, pocket money, start and end date plus responsibilities.
 
You can download the Au Pair contract and edit it according to your requirements. AuPair.com provides our Premium Members with a complex Au Pair contract, supplied with many additional points. 

Pocket money / wage / salary

In addition to accommodation and food, the Au Pair will receive a monthly amount of pocket money. Read more about the Au Pair salary standards in different countries. When you are going to the host country, take also some additional money for your trip. It will help you solve some road situations if something goes against the plan.

Contact details

Save the contact details of your Host Family (address, phone, mobile number) so you can reach them in case of necessity. As a rule, the Host Family will meet you at the airport. Flights can be delayed, there might occur miscommunication. For any situation, keep the most important contact details with you. They will help you to connect to the host family and resolve the problem.

Make sure that you have provided the Host Family with your:
  • Mobile phone number
  • Home address
  • Phone number of your parents
Make also sure that you know:
  • Host Family’s phone home number
  • Host Family’s home address
  • Host Family’s mobile phone numbers

1.2 Transportation

Transportation will  be one of the biggest expenses during your journey or it won’t be, if you plan everything in advance. In Europe, the bus is a good way to travel cheaply if your destination is in close proximity. Discuss the date of your arrival together with the host family to book your tickets faster. If you still wonder what's the best transportation for you, let's make a broad review of the main types!

Plane

If the budget is your main priority, check low-cost airlines first for tickets. Look into the list of airlines by countries. Sometimes you can get tickets as low as 10 EUR without promotions. Inform yourself about the conditions of the airlines, because low costs normally charge extra for luggage and food on board. If you would like to travel on regular flights, check up some platforms like Skyscanner to get the best options for your route.

Bus

If your host country is close to your homeland you might consider taking a bus. There are many popular bus companies in Europe among which: Ecolines, Lux Express, Eurolines, Megabus and Flixbus. They have discounts for young people and possibility to earn points from each trip. Later on you can convert these points in future discounts.

Train

As in situation with the bus, the train is a convenient mean of transport for short distances. Though trains are often more expensive than buses and sometimes even planes, they offer great deals from time to time. Read more information about trains in Europe.

1.3 Packing

What to take

Whenever you go abroad for a longer period of time, it’s quite a challenge to pack all your life in 20 kg. Though you are trying to take stuff “just in case”, the truth is you might not need many items at all. We have put up an essential packing list to help you with your suitcase. Additional tip: try not to overload your suitcase. Most probably you will want to bring presents and souvenirs back home, thus keep some extra space in the bag.

Presents

A small and cute present can easily warm up your relationship with a Host Family. It shouldn’t be something trendy or expensive. Just a small gift as a nice gesture. We have collected some present ideas for Host Family that can come handy for you.

Document tip: Don’t forget to make a few photos and photocopies of all important documents. Leave one photocopy at your home and keep one abroad with your Host Family. It will help you solve issues in case of loss of documents, additional registrations and many other occasional situations that might occur abroad.

2. Travel through the host country

2.1 Travelling during your vacations

Au Pair travel tipsOne way of travelling your host country is to use your vacation. In most countries you have at least two weeks of vacation when you stay for a period of 12 months, some Host Families might even give you more days off. Be smart and prepare in advance: Make sure that you know where you want to travel exactly and maybe even travel together with other Au Pairs. Some countries, especially European ones, are surrounded by other very interesting places. If you are an Au Pair in Luxembourg for example, you don’t need much time to visit the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. So make sure you know your geographical location well to make the most of your Au Pair travel stations!

2.2 Option of visa extension

In some cases you might be able to extend your visa or your general stay in the host country. If you’re a citizen of the European union working in an European country you don’t need a visa for your Au Pair travel route. That means that you can extend your stay e.g. for one month and use the time to travel around. This way you can save money for long travels from your home country. In case you’re working as an Au Pair in an Non-European country or your home country is not in the European union, please make sure that you contact the embassy of your target country early enough to receive a visa. In some cases you can even extend your visa and enjoy your additional time travelling with other Au Pairs. 

2.3 Travelling with your Host Family

Another good way of travelling around during the Au Pair program is to join your Host Family in their holidays. Sometimes families even pay for the Au Pair’s flight or train ticket - just ask them about it and maybe they will support you financially. Please keep in mind that your Host Family is not obliged to take you with them during their holidays. But many families like to spend some relaxed free time with their Au Pairs. This is the perfect solution if you are not sure which destinations you want to see and trust in the travel opinion of your Host Parents. 

2.4 Guided tours in every destination

In some cases travelling around in other countries or joining the Host Family in their vacations is not an option. But why waiting for the holidays? You are living now in a complete new and exciting environment - time to experience your new location, whether city or countryside! We compiled the best guided tours in many different countries:
Check out our Au Pair tours for many different destinations with tips for many cities in your host country. 
 
We hope the Au Pair travel tips above will be handy while planning your trip. We wish you a great adventure!


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