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 an au pair to join you on a holiday is 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. 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 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.

I have 4 years of au pair experience under my belt and to be completely honest with you, if you do choose to ignore these simple tips - you basically risk ruining your own vacation. An unhappy or neglected au pair is not a good au pair, let alone a healthy person to babysit your children who deserve to be happy and safe on their holiday. Hiring young girls/guys to work for you comes at a price and if you're not willing to pay for it I suggest you don't hire anyone at all. I realise this post is quite blunt but this is something that needs to be said. Au pairs are often taken advantage of and that needs to stop. Going on holiday is fun as well as an intense period, not only for a nanny but also for a family. It is only natural that as a family you'd like things to run smoothly and this is a good place to start.