When it comes to finding ways to travel whilst earning money, or even having an overseas adventure in an authentic way, there are many options available to you. Working holidays are a great way to travel and earn on the go, and there are many different ways you can do that, one of which is to be an au pair for a family overseas.
Now, unless you have a crystal ball, there is no true way of telling how your au pair experience is going to work out. You might end up with the best family out there, who treat you fantastically and whom you get on with like old friends, or you might end up with a host family who you don’t click with at all; basically, you have to fly by the seat of your pants to some extent.
Despite that, there are of course advantages as well as disadvantages, and if you’re considering going down the au pair route, check out these pros and cons, to help you make your decision.
It’s a very authentic experience
You’re going to be living with a host family, which means you’re totally immersed in the culture, language, and way of life. What better way to have an authentic travel experience?
You’re getting paid
Obviously money has to come into it, and you’re earning money as well as travelling, which is always a bonus.
You will have free time to explore
It’s doubtful that you will be working every hour god sends as an au pair, so you will have a day off or so to explore the surrounding area.
You will easily make local friends
You are basically a resident of the place you’re working in, so you will easily make new friends and form relationships whilst you’re there.
It could be a lonely experience to a degree
Working away from family and friends back home can mean homesickness, and when you’re working as an au pair, you’re not travelling with friends, so you’re basically on your own until you meet new people in your destination.
You have to live with your host family – good or bad?
You could get a fantastic family, or you could get a mediocre one, but the fact remains that you have to live with them, which means adapting to their way of life. This can be a good experience, but at the same time, it could be a bad one.
Are you ever ‘off’ whilst you’re in the house?
If you have free time and you’re chilling in the house, are you ever truly off duty? You might find that the lines become a little blurry.
You have to be very careful in the planning stages
Picking your host family can be a long process, and it’s important to be very careful at this point, to ensure a positive experience whilst you’re away.
Most things in life involve an element of risk, and when you’re looking to become an au pair overseas then you run a small risk in whether you will connect with your host family or not; however, many risks do turn out to be the best thing in the end.