Best Places to Au Pair

Now, there are so many reasons to au pair and none of them is any better than the other. Perhaps you want to learn a language, perhaps you have a crazy family and want to spend a little more time feeling almost-like-a-kid yourself. Maybe you want to see another part of the world and live like a local. Maybe there’s something you want to study in this city and this is an affordable way for you to make it happen. Perhaps you just want to chill out and save some money. Either way, there’s nothing wrong with any of those options. Whatever works for you.

Best places to au pair for money: 
If you are looking to save money while being an au pair, then you’ll want to choose somewhere that pays better. Pay varies so much between cities and countries. Generally the more expensive the country, the higher you’ll be paid. The consequence of that is you’ll spend more when you are social, but you still might be able to save more overall, it really depends.  For a breakdown of how much you can expect to be paid, have a look at au pair world.  Unsurprisingly, Switzerland, America, Norway and Belgium pay the highest.

Best places to au pair for culture:
This is going to be a really personal choice, perhaps you’ve always been fascinated by the Slovak way of life, or maybe there’s a course you just have to study in Berlin. Be creative. There’s more to au pairing than just tending to children and getting to know a new family – it can be a really life changing experience for yourself. Do some research, think about what you’d love to do or learn and narrow down some places.

Best places to au pair for lifestyle:
Again, this depends on what you like – if you’re a ski bunny then head to Austria or Switzerland and find a family who also love skiing. If you’d be much happier lounging on beaches, then maybe Barcelona or southern Spain is something you should consider. Think about what your favourite activities are and then find a place that’s going to make it easy for you to do them. One thing I personally love about being an au pair in Europe is that I could spend the summers in Australia and then the European summers in Spain and I’ve never have to be cold again. Find what works for you and pursue it.

With the “right” family:
This is so important. I’ve heard horror stories of girls who have been placed with terrible families that make the au pairs do overtime without any real pay. Talk to the families and if you can find someone who’s had a positive au pair experience before. You can ask to write to the previous au pair and ask them how their experience was – hopefully they’ll be honest and you’ll get a real idea of what to expect from your host family. A good host family can make or break your experience.

Do you have any tips for someone wanting to au pair? Share them in the comments below.