Sara, our colleague from AuPairWorld, has prepared some tips that she's used herself in her recent travels within Europe.
1. Get vaccinated if you can
Vaccinations against Covid-19 are now available in many countries. And little by little, young people below 30 are starting to have the opportunity to get vaccinated. I would strongly recommend you to get vaccinated if you can and want to. Not only will this prevent you from becoming seriously ill if you get the virus, but it will allow you to travel more freely to other countries. Many western countries are now lifting some travel restrictions and quarantines for fully vaccinated people.
2. Check travel requirements and coronavirus regulations in your host country
Depending on your nationality, you may be required to do a PCR, antigen test or present some other kind of test results before you depart. You may even have to do a quarantine after your arrival. Check the travel requirements beforehand and discuss your situation with your host family. Different rules for travel and entry to your host country may apply if you are vaccinated.
Apart from that, every country has its own regulation concerning covid rules: wearing masks, interpersonal distance, etc. Inform yourself about the regulations in your host country or ask the family directly to know in advance what to expect! Ask them questions such as: Where do I have to wear a mask? What are the regulations concerning restaurants, enclosed spaces, etc.?
3. Buy a special mask for the trip
The cloth masks are perfectly fine for your every day routine, but getting on a plane or a train for a couple of hours is different. In such a crowded place, it is better to invest in a FFP2 mask that will protect you whilst protecting others as well.
4. Meet only with special people at the very end
Yes, I know, you want to say goodbye to everyone before you go abroad. But does it really make sense to be in contact with so many people right before you go? Say goodbye to your friends online and farewell only in person to your most beloved ones. Besides, I would recommend that you avoid crowded places for 14 days before your au pair experience starts. I guess you don’t want to get infected at the last minute and ruin the experience, do you?
5. Ask your host family about their plan for the first weeks
Having a person coming from abroad could be a strange situation for your host family in the current pandemic situation. They may even be extra sensitive about it. Ask them how they want to welcome you. Maybe just say hello with an elbow bump at the beginning? Or a hug with the mask? Should you wear the mask for the first days?
It is really important that both you and your host family feel confident with each other, so ask as many question about these first arrangements as you can! Your previous living situation may be quite different from your new one. As you will be now be living in a new household, it is important that you get used to their habits in this regard.
6. Are there any no-go’s?
You are abroad to discover a new language, culture and country while living with a family. It is pretty clear that you will want to travel a little bit, make friends and have new experiences… but you should definitely ask the family if there are any no-go’s for them.
For example, maybe they are perfectly fine with you going to places and travelling around the country but not going to another country for the time being. Talk to them about your expectations and listen to theirs. I know you want to get the most out of your experience. I love travelling too. But you must remember we are now in the middle of a pandemic, so all of us have to be extra careful and enjoy as much as we can, but with certain limits.
My very last personal tip for you would be to focus on your host country for now, do local stuff, such as discover the cities around your new home, meet with your friends at homes and not in a bar or maybe even order food instead of going to restaurants.
Be creative and enjoy your au pair stay safely at its best even in these coronavirus times!
Video: extra preparation for your au pair stay
Sara has recorded in a video some extra tips that will help you get prepared for this adventure.
5 TIPS: PREPARING YOUR AU PAIR STAY during Coronavirus | AuPairWorld