Tag Archives: planning

Making Plans for Future Travel

With the COVID vaccine production steadily increasing, we are starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel with the pandemic. That is wonderful news and reason to be optimistic! However, Au Pair in America is still strongly discouraging travel at the moment for two reasons: CDC recommendations against travel and the constantly changing rules and restrictions for international and even interstate travel.

When travel is resumed for you, it will also depend on your specific host family circumstances. It is very important that you and your host family have very clear, honest communication about your plans and that you are both comfortable with the plans.

What can you do right now? Research and figure out where you want to go and what things you want to see and do there. Being a spontaneous traveler can be fun, but without planning you will often waste some of your precious vacation or weekend time figuring out things you could have looked into before you started your trip.

These ideas are to help you make general plans. You shouldn’t book any tickets or make any financial commitments until you know when travel will safely resume.

Planning can help you:

  • Save money
  • Make the best use of your time
  • Fit in more adventures
  • Visit places you might not have heard of before

It also extends the joy of the travel time. Planning all the thing you will do, gives you something to look forward to. We can all use things to look forward to right now.

If you are looking for travel inspiration and ideas or a place to keep your travel ideas organized, Pinterest is a great place to start. You can browse other people’s travel and bucket list pinboards. You can create your own pinboards for places you want to go and ones you have already visited.

These three apps are all trip planners and offer the ability to research places and create your own itinerary. Each one has its own look and feel and slightly different features. Download them and see which one is the best fit for you.

Road trips can be the ultimate adventure. You set your own pace and stop to see what you want. The journey can be as much fun as your destination.

  • Road Trippers is an app that helps you plan the ultimate road trip. It helps you determine your route and find interesting stops along the way.

We won’t be stuck inside forever. Once travel resumes, be ready with your plans!

Photo: Natacha R. from France

Holiday & Vacation Reminders

 

Holidays and vacations are a great opportunity to rest, recharge and explore the U.S.

Memorial Day Weekend (last weekend in May) is the unofficial start of summer travel season. Here are some reminders about program rules regarding holidays and vacations.

Holidays

  • Host families are not required to give au pairs any specific holidays.
  • Each host family will make different arrangements on holidays, some au pairs will be off and others will be required to work.
  • As holidays approach, it is helpful for host parents to let their au pair know if they will be off or not, so plans may be made.
  • Au pairs should not make plans for holidays without checking with their host family first.

Vacations

  • Au pairs earns 2 weeks of paid vacation during the course of their year.
  • Vacation time should be mutually agreed upon.
  • All vacations should be preplanned (at least 4 weeks in advance).
  • All au pair’s friends and/or family visits/vacations should be pre-approved prior to purchasing tickets.
  • If au pairs travel with their host family, it should be discussed in advance whether this is the au pair’s vacation or if they’re working.
  • If au pairs travel with their host family to work, the host family is required to pay for the au pair’s transportation, lodging and meals.

Travel Outside the U.S.

  • Au pairs in year one, are allowed to travel outside of the U.S. and return, however there are some important steps to take.
    • Au pairs must have their DS2019 signed (travel validation) PRIOR to their departure from the US.
    • More information and the travel validation request form may be found here on the Au Pair in America website.
    • It is essential that au pairs make their travel plans to return to the U.S. prior to the expiration date listed on their visa. This date can sometimes be earlier than their actual year end date.
  • There are limitations on travel outside of the U.S. for au pairs in year two. Please speak with Christine or Lisa, prior to making travel plans.

Photo: Canva.com

Federal & School Holidays

desenhocsThe public school children will be off several days in September and October. These are regular workdays for an au pair, unless your host parents tell you otherwise. As with any “school holiday” start making plans for activities with the kids now.

In addition to holiday in September (Labor Day & Rosh Hashanah,) many public schools are also out additional days for teacher development and the end of the grading period. As with any holiday, it is up to the host family’s schedule whether you will have the holiday off. Please check with your host families before you assume you have this day off. Do not make any travel plans until you have received confirmation that you will not work on this day.

Host parents, please check your schedule to make sure that you are factoring in these hours and make adjustments as needed to stay within the State Department regulations not exceeding 10 hours per day or 45 hours per week (or 30 hours her week for Educare.)