Honest About Beauty

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

3 of the biggest mistakes host-families make when taking an au pair on vaca


Hiring an au pair or nanny to join you on vacation to take care of your children is a great idea. You'll have more time for yourself, enjoy the vacation you deserved for so long and worked so hard for, and your children will have someone completely dedicated to them and their needs, plus an extra amount of fun and excitement. Unfortunately I'd like to stop you right there! Yes, you deserve to go on that dream vacation but asking a young soul to come and join you on a holiday is not only about you, it's also about hosting a guest and respecting that. Here are 3 of the biggest mistakes host-families make when taking an au pair/nanny on vacation.

1) You believe you're doing your au pair a favour

Bringing your nanny on vacation is not a favour, it's hard work and exactly the reason why you hired an au pair, to divide the work load. Your au pair will most likely be working more hours than usually is required and in an environment that is not familiar to them, which brings along so many more responsibilities. Your choice to pay for an au pair to come with you on vacation is not a favour, it's paying for a service. Ask your au pair if they're up to the task, going on vacation with your host family is not as easy as you think it is.

2) You forget about the au pair's right to privacy

Bringing a babysit on vacation, it seems only natural to make your children spend most of their time with him/her, but going as far as making your children sleep in the same room as them is a true no-go. Guess what, your au pair is exhausted from taking care of your kids, if not all day, and needs privacy and down time to recuperate. Vacation is fun but also tiring. It's okay to ask your au pair to babysit in the evenings from time to time, but please don't make them take care of your children day and night, you're signing up your au pair for a burn-out. It's your holiday but also your children. Whether you like it or not, your au pair has a right to free time on your vacation. Nannies are not robots with unlimited energy.

3) You choose a location without internet

 'Workation' or not, internet is an absolute must if you want your au pair to babysit with a healthy and happy mindset. Without an internet connection your au pair will quickly become plain out miserable and extremely lonely. Yes, it's amazing to be able to see and discover another part of the world by joining a host family on vacation, but imagine yourself being miles away from home, on a remote isolated destination, not being able to contact your family or friends because of the expensive roaming fees, for weeks in a row, and be completely disconnected from what's going in the world. Internet shouldn't be in question, it's an absolute must.

Why should you listen to this advice you say? I have 4 years of au pair experience under my belt and the truth is by choosing to ignore these simple tips you risk ruining your own vacation. Hiring young girls/guys to work for you comes at a price and if you're not willing to pay for it I recommend hiring someone older, calmer and more experienced (30+), with a higher tolerance for family dynamics.

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10 comments

  1. I can completely understand where you're coming from. I have a family friend who for a good year there I was practically living there and helping take care of the children. And I went on a vacation with them which certainly didn't feel like one! Lol.

    Great blog post!

    Lauren

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    1. It's so true! I think a lot of host-families underestimate what comes with having a nanny with you on holiday. Unless you hire an actual pro, there are no excuses for not accommodating them properly :)

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  2. I am so sorry you went through that.
    That's a shame that they stuck their kids with you day in and out. You aren't their mother! I hope next time you go to Greece you enjoy it a lot better!

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    1. Yes, I already have, thank you :) you're so sweet!

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  3. I have always been curious about what the working hours were and the pay grade for au pair? A friend of mine has a sister that did cleaning for families and I remember her stories about teenage boys who thought because she was the maid, they could hit on her. She is very Beautiful, but also very strong and puts them in their place very quickly. But I do wonder what kind of parents they have to raise such young men as these. When I see an au pair I wonder if they ever have to deal with that as well

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    1. Unfortunately a lot of au pairs are taking advantage of and work long hours with very low pay. I as paid only 300€ for working fulltime + weekends on my first job (I had 4 in total), which is ridiculous, however I do consider the time I worked nannying as an amazing experience. The kind of parents who hire au pairs are people who either never take care of their children or parents who want their children to learn about different cultures, values and morals, parents that have only one child, or want a housekeeper + babysitter. I only agreed on doing the kids laundry and cleaning the kids room, au pairs have no business taking care of adults :)

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  4. Regardless of age or expertise level in the job these are good tips. Especially having your own room - so important!

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    1. True, parents hire au pairs because they are cheaper as it is only a temporary thing, but au pairs should be treated just as well as someone who does this as a fulltime job :)

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  5. Ik werkte een jaar als au pair in Australië, en had het geluk dat het gastgezin mij correct behandelde, ook op vakantie. Wij hebben nog steeds contact!

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    1. Ik heb gemerkt dat de ervaringen van au pairs heel veel verschillen van land tot land :) wat leuk voor je dat het zo'n fijne familie is ;) Xxx

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