Family holidays with your au pair - what to consider

Will your au pair be joining you on the next family holiday? 
Here are some things to consider to make the holidays great for everyone.

The host family and their au pair enjoying time together while doing stand up paddling

July 03, 2024

, in Host families

While some host families or au pairs don’t really fancy spending their holidays together, for others this can be the perfect opportunity to create a stronger bond and have some fun all together. 
In this case, you should make sure to consider the following important aspects. 

Will the au pair be working as normal or will they be on holiday? 

This is the main question you should ask yourself first and then discuss with the au pair, since it could be a tricky matter to regulate. 

If your au pair is going to have regular childcare duties during the holiday, it's important to give them a clear idea of what kind of support you will be expecting them to provide. In this way, they can make an informed decision if they’re ready to join the fun - and work - or not.  
Also, this will ensure that there are no unpleasant surprises for you or for your au pair.  

In terms of working hours and pocket money, it should be calculated as usual; the au pair should not work more than usual and they should be receiving the same amount of pocket money.  
In addition, remember that they will still have the right to take their own holidays, so you will have to think of other childcare solutions when they’re not there. 
If you offer your au pair to come on holiday with you, but count it as their holiday, give them some time to think about this proposal in advance.  

Maybe they wish to have holidays on their own, with friends or maybe fly back home. Of course, you should respect their decision in this matter and likewise, you should also feel free to tell your au pair you want to go on holiday on your own.  
The very important point here is to discuss everything in advance (even before starting the stay, best when you are preparing the au pair contract).  

Last but not least, make sure to check in advance if your destination will necessitate getting a visa for the au pair. Maybe you do not need one, but the au pair does. 

Will the au pair have their own room in the holiday accommodation? 

In regular family life, it is a basic requirement that the au pair has a room of their own. How does this work on holiday?  
If the au pair is putting in their regular hours, it could be very important for them to have the possibility of stepping back from the family life into their own space. And obviously, a separate room is the best place to do this.  

On the other hand, booking an extra hotel room can have a serious impact on the costs of a holiday trip. So what's a fair and reasonable way to proceed? Again, it is essential to carry out a clear discussion in advance, about these arrangements.  

Depending on the relationship you have, it could be possible to improvise a little bit and find a solution that keeps costs down, still gives your au pair the privacy that they need and deserve, but doesn't require renting a fully separate room.  
You simply need to talk about it and make a plan; maybe renting an apartment is the most suitable and affordable option?  

What expenses of the au pair will you have to cover during the trip? 

If your au pair is taking part in the trip to work, you'll have to pay the costs of the holiday (flight tickets, accommodation and meals) for them, plus their usual pocket money. Obviously, if the au pair wants to buy some souvenirs, that will be at their own expense. 

If the au pair is joining you simply as another member of the family and not in a working capacity, then you need to discuss what's included and what's not.  
Probably you will pay for her travel and accommodation, but what about restaurant meals and similar expenses?  
Again, there's no really right answer to this question; you need to think ahead about what the costs will be and what you feel comfortable paying for and then discuss the situation with your au pair.  
AuPairWorld's recommendation is that every common family activity or meal where the au pair is also present the costs should be covered by the family.

What if the au pair is on holiday but the family wants them to help with babysitting one night? 

It is entirely normal that host parents will want to enjoy an evening alone when they are on vacation. In this case, you can always ask the au pair if they mind babysitting for you for one night, but you should also discuss this with them in advance. Also, consider the possibility that the au pair may want to go out on their own as well some other night. 

Despite the complexity of some of these questions, everything can be quite simple if both you and your au pair take it as a "give and take" situation.  
The main point is: make sure you all find a good way to enjoy the holidays!  

Have you ever been on holidays with your au pair? Share your experience with us!