Au Pair Travel: Making Your Plans!

The places you will go and the people you will see! It’s one of the many wonderful perks of being an au pair! Per the U.S. State Department, au pairs are required to receive 2 weeks (14 days) of paid vacation time. The weeks can be broken up into two or used altogether. My recommendation to families and au pairs is to discuss vacation time before you decide to officially match with each other. If a family knows there are times of the year when it will be difficult for their au pair to leave, please let them know!  And, if an au pair has something planned ahead of time, it’s important that she address this with her potential family to make sure they are okay with the dates.  Once matched and living in the home, it is recommended that the au pair pick one vacation week and the host family pick a week. The key here is compromise (when possible).

Host families should consider the following when suggesting certain dates for their au pair to travel:

• Is it a very expensive week for the au pair to pay for travel?

• Are her friends able to take off the same week?

• Has she saved up enough money to make her travel plans?

Au pairs should consider the following when suggesting certain dates to travel:

• Can the family get childcare coverage that particular week?

• Is it a busy time for the family personally or professionally and are they relying on their au pair for support?

• Did the au pair provide ample time for the family to plan for childcare?

If you’ve had the conversation and everyone is in agreement, then it’s time to go ahead and plan away!

WHEN MAKING YOUR TRAVEL PLANS, PLEASE REVIEW THE FOLLOWING:

TRAVELING TO CANADA, MEXICO OR THE ADJACENT ISLANDS* :
FIRST YEAR AU PAIRS AND EXTENSION AU PAIRS

• Carry your passport and visa.

• Print out your Letter of Program Participation which can be found in your online account.

• Print out your I94. Add in your passport info and print out!

• While not needed, it is recommended that you send in your DS-2019 form to be signed by the Alternate Responsible Officer. The extra paperwork can’t hurt!

• Check with your embassy to see if you will need a tourist visa as it varies country to country.

TRAVELING TO ALL OTHER DESTINATIONS:
(1) FIRST YEAR AU PAIRS
• Carry your passport and visa.
• Print out your Letter of Program Participation which can be found in your online account.

• Print out your I94. Add in your passport info and print out!

• You MUST send in your DS-2019 form to be signed by the Alternate Responsible Officer.

• Check with your embassy to see if you will need a tourist visa as it varies country to country.

(2) EXTENSION AU PAIRS
• Au pairs must renew their visa before returning to the U.S. (If an au pair will be going home for a visit, it is necessary that she make an appointment with the embassy in her home country before she leaves the U.S. The appointment should be scheduled for the first day or two of her visit to ensure that she will have her new visa to travel back to the United States.

• The extension must already be approved by the Department of State before traveling out of the country.
• Au pairs should reach out to me prior to travel for more information and additional documents.

• Carry your passport and visa

• Print out your Letter of Program Participation which can be found in your online account.

TRAVEL TIP:
When traveling, it is recommended that you do not leave the country the last 6 weeks of your program year. You’re well within your right to come and go within the dates stamped in your Visa, but there is a chance you could get detained. You may be questioned for coming and going so close to the end of your program year so if you have any flexibility, try to take your vacation time a little bit earlier on.

RECOMMENDED TOUR COMPANIES FOR AU PAIRS:
Looking for a more cost friendly way to travel? Interested in having someone else design your itinerary? Do you like to travel in a group? Consider the following tour companies:
Trek America
Au Pair Adventures

If you prefer to organize most of your trip, but would like a guide for certain visits, I highly recommend Viator and Get Your Guide. I have used both companies all over the world and I have not been disappointed!

Last but not least, save a little room in your suitcase and don’t forget to take me with you! 😉

xo
Jen

 

*Adjacent Islands Include: Saint Pierre, Miquelon, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Bermuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad, Martinique, the Windward and Leeward Islands, and other British, French and Netherlands territory or possessions in or boarding the Caribbean Sea. The adjacent islands do not include Cuba

Wednesday, 3 January 2018 3:20 PM

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