Travel time and working hours
Travel is one of the reasons may AuPairs go to a different country. Some AuPairs are fortunate to be invited to travel with their host-family. Wait! Is it really “fortunate”?
Fortunate or note – the invitation
So you have been invited by your host-family to travel with them to somewhere. This somewhere can be somewhere you wanted to go or not and a short or a long trip, it may be an invitation or it may actually be more of a “work assignment”. Now its up to you and your host-family to think about a few things to make the trip a success for all of you.
My experiences (Anja) are limited to several day trips with my host-family during the year. Six Flags Great Adventure and several other places as well as some family trips to the mall (yes, I do count that too). I was happy when they asked me if I wanted to join and they drove and they paid the entrance fees. In turn I was experiencing the “normal” family life and I was part of it, including helping with the kids and entertaining them. This was just the way family-life is for me 🙂
Even before my arrival I (Sarah) knew that my host family had a camping trip planned and I was invited to come along. So hardly settled at my new home we jumped back in the car and off we went. It was a really nice trip and I was able to experience family life and settle in with my new (work) routine. During the year I was also invited to join my host family on a trip to the winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. While it was a vacation it also included short working times for me, like babysitting for an afternoon or we shared watching the kids. My host family always paid for the main expenses (flight, hotels, food), most of these I would have had at home too. Everything else I paid for myself. I spend one of my vacation weeks home alone while my host family was on vacation, which was nice but felt a bit strange the first few days afterwards (because I missed so much family fun).
Travel time and working hours
Consider and discuss the following questions (if they have not been resolved in your “family AuPair handbook”):
- Is this a work-trip or is this an invitation?
- Will you be using some of your vacation time?
- Who will pay for what (flight, hotel, rental car, activities,…)?
- What will be your responsibilities during the travel time?
- What will be your responsibilities at the travel destination?
- What will count as “work time” and what as “off time”?
- How will you “handle normal family time”?
Also think about the following:
- What if the travel time is longer than 10 hours? Will you be willing to travel and be a “normal family member helping where necessary” or not?
- How will you get paid? Especially if the family is paying for your trip but not expecting you to work?
- If your family wants you to work but you want to also explore the place on your own – how can you make arrangements for some time off?
- And just like at home, kids may not be able to distinguish between duty-time and off-time. How will you handle that and will you be OK with that?
What are your experiences?
Did your host-family invite you to a trip or a vacation? Where did you go? How was the travel time and working hours? What were your responsibilities? What are your recommendations for other AuPairs?
Tell us your side of the story and help future AuPairs!