Why Au Pair jobs are best for travelers

Au Pair is getting more and more attention from the youth and seen as one of the best profession to travel and get paid.

french au pair

Au Pair jobs are getting much more attention than conventional mainstream professions in the US. In literal sense, au pair originates from French language and translate to “on equal terms”, used in the context of childcare and cultural exchange.

Basically, the profession is only about childcare and cultural exchange where young students or otherwise referred to as a person the acts as a helping hand to host family (often from another country or location) and in return get first-hand exposure to the local culture and language of that specific location. An au pair is generally entitled to accommodation facilities along with board and a lucrative stipend. 

They help host family with childcare and other household chores, for instance, pantry shopping and weekly dusting. However, one must not confuse au pair with the job of a Nanny. However, the differences between the two professions will be covered later in this article.

Au Pair jobs is making inroads

Why is au pair getting too much attention from young minds? Why do they look on it as a quick ticket to travel to different locations, getting first-hand experience of different cultures and languages? Is there any dedicated agency or institution for practicing au pair? What is the stipend one gets? Is it enough to live a decent life? 

We will try to answer all your questions in this article, so stay calm and enjoy the ride. According to some Quora answers, Here are top reasons why you choose Au Pair as your job in 2024:


au pair travel

One of the primary reasons for choosing au pair as a job is travel. Many believe that being an au pair you get a lot to travel, to different locations at different times and all the expenses will be borne by the host family. Though the concept is right, it largely depends on the host family. Whether the host family travel or not, while traveling travel do they invite and bear an expenses of an au pair or not? For instance, a number of au pairs stayed in a single host location while others traveled along with family to different locations, including Disneyland. 

Nandy Bared, au pair from 2015-17, answered in a question how she traveled a lot while her batchmates at the agency remain at sole location for entire duration. She traveled to Atlanta, Milwaukee, lake Geneva, Michigan, North Carolina and Disney World.

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However, Au Pair is generally responsible for the travel expenses to the host country. Host families may contribute but it is not mandatory to do so. In such a situation, one can contact their agency and read contract terms with host families to decide who’s going to cover travel expenses.

In USA and China, the host family is responsible for covering full or partial cost of travel to the host country.

So think before applying for the role of au pair as your travel primarily depends on the host family and the money you get in return for your childcare services.


au pair money

Whether you travel with the family or not, you at least expect a decent stipend after spending months in the agency. However, reality may shock you because only a handful of au pairs make lucrative money while others get paid nothing. If the host family is bearing all the travel expenses to the host country, then it is likely that you will be paid less compared to others.

Your stipend depends upon the location, family and number of working hours. For instance, the US is very expensive, so the au pair will get paid higher than au pairs in other locations, but many even have reported that this is not enough to cover their needs and expenses. They need to work extra to cover up for their one-week expenses.

People answered on Quora, How they went through difficulties and budget crunch due to low stipend by the host families. To give you some context, an average au pair in US make around $200 per week. In the end, its about how you spend your money.

New Language

au pair learn new language

One may say language can be learned through books, videos or taking language classes. But acting as an au pair allows you to learn anything in real time, and it is way more lucrative than any book or video. You learn languages like Mandarin, Spanish, Italian, English from the natives and daily interaction with them loosens your tongue.

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That is why job as an au pair allows you to travel to various countries and be a polyglot by learning a number of languages wherever you stay. 

Cultural Exchange

au pair cultural exchange

Being an au pair allows you to learn new cultures, try new food, language, clothes and rituals. If you are interested in various cultures and meeting new people, making friends and then this job is definitely for you. People often ask you to share your culture and life in your country. 

If you are lucky to find an interesting family, they ask you to cook traditional dishes and help you with that. However, it is not the same for all. It can get reversed in some cases. One may show interest or may not. It totally depends upon the family and the location.

Basic Au Pair requirements

To become an Au Pair one must qualify these requirements mentioned below:

  • You must be 18-30 year old with single and have no children.
  • One must have experience in childcare and domestic work.
  • Driving license would be an advantage.
  • Non-smokers are preferred but not a prerequisite.
  • Have good knowledge of the language of the destination country.
  • Schooling completion would be an advantage but again not a prerequisite.
  • One must be in good health and few months time to engage in work.

Some real life examples

We interviewed two Au Pairs from different locations and both gave us totally different answers and perspectives on the role of au pair. One of the interviewees was Cassie. She served as an au pair in Dortmund, Germany for 10 months. She shared her “horrific time with family” as she quoted it.

She shared some of the creepy moments she ever witnessed away from her home. She started with the “poop incident.” She said, “I was with a very sweet family, as it appeared at first, but with time I realized that many children, like there were seven of them and all below 10. You can imagine my situation handling seven children. One Monday at noon, no one was at home, and I was chilling, but not so long as three of them started pooping all over the floors of the house. That was creepy and hilarious. I had to clean it with my hands, and it took me 3 hours just to clean the mess.”

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She further said, “not only this, also his dad couldn’t keep his hands to himself and also had trouble paying me every week.” Finally, she said, “This job is not just about watching TV and chilling, but it requires a lot of effort, as parents demand a lot from you. You have to be ready for interaction and work towards the satisfaction of the family.”

Another interviewee Jenna shared altogether different experience while serving as an Au Pair in Florida, USA. She said, “I was living in Florida with the host family and the family member were too good. With them i traveled a lot, for instance, they took me with them to old faithful geezer, Glacier national park, Badlands national park within US and Europe, Argentina as distant trips.”

“We exchanged culture and cooked traditional dishes of my native country. The experience as an au pair was very cool and interesting indeed.”

Difference between Au Pair and Nanny

nanny vs au pair

An au pair is young person who lives with a host family while look after their children for a certain period of time and small household chores. As an au pair you get accommodation, lives with family, learn new culture and language and earn decent amount of money.

While on the other hand, Nanny do not reside with the family rather own a separate house. They receive much more than au pairs and have more privacy than an au pair. Nanny is often mid or old age person.

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