Traveling Tips with your Au Pair

Ahhh, travel! Whether it’s a cruise to the Bahamas or skiing in Aspen, there’s nothing like a relaxing, worry-free vacation to rejuvenate the soul and refresh the spirit. Of course, this vacation shouldn’t include kids. But what if it does?

Family First

It’s true, the saying goes “Family comes first” and quality time with them is of utmost importance. But so is making room for a little time for yourself and your husband. In my 7 years as a mom, I’ve been to hell and back literally. One side, I’m a stay-at-home mom putting on foot weights to exercise my body while cleaning the kitchen sink and the other side, reading bedtime stories to my kids.

Other times, car-pooling my son’s soccer-mates while cutting out cardboard for the other boy’s science project. All these scenarios call for some family vacation time. I really needed one.

Then came Maria and Saree, our two au pairs whom we hired when I had to go back to full-time office work. You can’t imagine the wonders that they did on how they helped to keep our home in order and our children carefully but lovingly watched over while I resuscitated my career.

So going back to that much-needed vacation time.

With Maria, we went to Hawaii for 10 days of fun in the sun with my husband and 3 kids, my sister’s husband and their 2 daughters, and my parents. So while I was bringing with me work while on vacation, Maria was with the kids out on the beach and doing what every careful au pair does. She made sure the cousins had sunscreen on for their day of frolicking on the sand and shores. Maria made sure the kids didn’t wander too far from the shore and screamed at them when they couldn’t hear her. During my time away from my cellphone and laptop, we were able to play some tennis, head for the beach, have lunch on the town and go see some sites only adults could appreciate. All these because we had Maria to look after the children. It was heaven on the island.

The other vacation we had was with Saree on a cross-country road trip! We rented a medium-sized RV, packed it with all the stuff we needed, locked the house and made sure our sanity was still intact! People do think a cross-country road trip is crazy! With kids aged 9, 6 ½ and 4, we knew it was going to be a major adventure but the excitement of seeing the country was worth it. Saree would see the country, too! 3 adults, 3 kids, what could go wrong? Saree was a big help during stops for gas and food. And now we’re about to start planning for our next trip but don’t know yet where. In Australia’s Byron Bay, perhaps, and rent one of those modern and spacious Shirley Street beach houses.

Traveling with your nanny can be a fascinating experience but to get the most of your vacation, take heed of my 3 tips:

Setting and discussing expectations

For both our vacations, we had to talk things over with our au pair about how it would be different while on the road. We had to have a flexible schedule so that there was room for any last minute decisions. Our au pairs ended up working less hours than normal and they felt it wasn’t really work since they too were on vacation. We also discussed about bed times and times off, free times without the kids and times they were expected to be back.

Keep in mind that it’s a vacation

In Hawaii, we told Maria that it would be fine to connect with other au pairs from the agency to go out after work. Saree went to a nearby gym and did a little shopping while we had an overnight pit stop. It’s like being together on this vacation is so much different from home that we wanted them to experience new places on their own, too.

Vacations are not cheap

Of course, vacations also mean extra expenses – sightseeing tours, dine outs, fancy restaurants and other stuff you do on a holiday

– these expenses pile up quickly and you might end up going over budget. Up front, make the payments clear on their working hours. And if you can afford it, give them a little spending money

And so, schedule your dream vacation with an au pair today. Contact the leading London au pair agency now and return fresh from your holiday ready to go back to the work force.