Top Reasons to be an Au Pair
It might not be the first thing you think of when you decide you want to go traveling, but being an au pair is a really great way to see the world. The mother I’m helping actually was an au pair when she was younger. She spent some time in England as an au pair to learn English and then she spent some time doing it a bit later in Switzerland, too. If you’re like me and traveling on a budget, it might be one of the few ways you can see the world without having a large chunk of savings. I’ve made a list of some of the things I really love about being an au pair, to inspire you to get out there and experience this great way of seeing the world:
1) You’ll get a new family
Sure, they’ll never replace your real family, but your au pair family can be a really special addition to your life. I think of the kids I au pair with like little siblings and I’m sure we’ll keep in touch long after I leave. I call them my “Spanish family” and I think that we’ll always be special to each other.
2) You’ll save money
Thankfully, when you’re an au pair your room, food and general expenses are covered. You’ll receive some pocket money, too, but generally that’s a pretty small amount of cash. It’s usually enough to enjoy wherever you’re staying, buy a few things and maybe to save but it doesn’t go much further than that. However, because your main expenses are covered, you’ll save money.
3) You’ll see a new place
You can choose to au pair anywhere, and you can choose somewhere you wouldn’t normally live and get a really great experience. Moving to Barcelona, for example, would be a huge stress if I did it on my own; I’d have to buy a bed, some drawers, pay for internet, power and then rent for the apartment. Because I probably wouldn’t have a car, I’d have to do my grocery shopping on the metro which isn’t terrible, but it’s not easy. By being an au pair almost everything is done for me or at least a lot easier, so I just have to show up, help the kids out and then enjoy my free time – it’s almost like a holiday.
4) You’ll meet new people
Not only will you meet your host family and their social group and extended family (this is especially true if you’re in Spain), you’ll make a great group of friends who are au pairs, too. There are heaps of different groups on Facebook that are great for meeting other au pairs, especially during the summer months. You’ll have a lot of spare time when you’re an au pair, so why not spend it socialising?!
Have you ever au paired? What did you like most?