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10 Travel Tips for U.S. Based Au Pairs

Travelling overseas for work means spending some time prepping packing lists, ensuring you have all the correct documentation, and brushing up on international knowledge before you embark on your journey. If you’ve recently been hired for an au pair position in a foreign country it’s important to make sure that you’ve taken these ten tips into consideration before flying to your host family:

  1. Pack Lightly – You don’t need to pack your entire life into your suitcase to travel overseas. Instead pack only the necessities and store the rest away in storage or with a friend or family member. You can buy anything you forgot once you get to your host family’s country.
  2. Country entry requirements – A lot of foreign countries have varied entry requirements that will need to be fulfilled once you arrive. To avoid any unwanted surprises be sure to do a search of any and all requirements online before leaving the U.S.
  3. Cultural traditions – It’s a good idea to brush up on any cultural traditions in the country you’re travelling to so that you can get a general idea of what to expect and any upcoming celebrations or holidays that may be different than those in the U.S.
  4. Passport – Make sure that your passport is up to date and signed. You will need your passport almost everywhere you travel. Also be sure to have a copy of it with you. While it won’t serve as a replacement passport, having the information handy can be helpful in case of an emergency.
  5. Visitor’s visa – Some countries require a visitor’s visa to be allowed into the country, so if you need one you’ll want to make sure you have that in place ahead of time. Not checking this out beforehand could cost you some unnecessary delays that could have been otherwise avoided.
  6. Leave valuables at home – Resist the temptation to travel with any valuables. This includes anything that is irreplaceable and important documents such as your Social Security card. It isn’t worth risking putting yourself in a bad situation.
  7. Make sure someone is aware of where you are at all times – It’s probably best to be in contact with someone in the U.S. and a member of your host family while you’re travelling so that someone in both countries is aware of where you are and when you should be reaching specific destinations.
  8. Have medical insurance in place – You never know what could happen while being overseas so having a medical policy in place in the country you’re going to can end up being a lifesaver – literally! Don’t skip this, because you sickness may strike or an accident could happen.
  9. Be prepared for language barriers – Download an app or buy a book that you can keep on you at all times that will help you translate something quickly if travelling to a country that doesn’t speak English. Even a half-hearted translation will work better than not being able to translate something at all.
  10. Have a budget in place – It’s important to know how much money you can expect to make while abroad, how much extra money you need to bring with you, and any expenses you can expect to incur. Allow for some extra monetary padding so that you’re prepared if something happens.

Travelling abroad to work as an au pair will offer you incredible and life-changing experiences and opportunities, such as immersing yourself in an entirely new country and culture, and learning a new language and traditions. However getting there is the first step, so make sure you‘ve taken all of these tips things into consideration before you step onto that flight.

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