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:
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.
Trip Advisor (One of the best features is the reviews and tips from real people.)
Crafts, recipes, activities, and games can all be found here on the Camp Au Pair – Pirate Adventures pinboard. Since there aren’t that many pirate-themed places to go in our area, this theme is best played out in your own home and back yard. This pinboard features lots of great ideas to bring the pirate theme alive for kids.
Field Trips can be a great way for kids to learn and have new experiences.
Videos – Look for fun videos about Pirates on YouTube.
Movies – Hook, Muppets Treasure Island, Peter Pan, Treasure Planet, Return to Neverland, Veggie Tales the Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything, Treasure Island, Goonies and Pirates of the Caribbean are all movies that fit in great with this theme. Check the ratings to make sure they are age-appropriate for your children.
Books – Stop by your local library and look for books on pirates.
Field Trips can be a great way for kids to learn and have new experiences. You can start observing nature at any local park or your own backyard. If you want to take it a step further, here are a few other local places to go, that fit this theme:
When the kids are out of school on summer break there are soooo many possibilities. But, if you don’t make plans, you will often end up in the house with bored kids getting into trouble and arguing with their siblings. Make plans!
Having lots of ideas ready can minimize those problems.
Looking for fun activity ideas to get the summer started off right with your host kids?
The Au Pair in America Summer Fun Pinboard is a great place to start. Together, create a Summer Bucket List. Talk with the kids about things they would like to see and do. Even toddlers and preschoolers can contribute to the conversation. Run these plans by your host parents and clear things like how much you may spend and when is best to do some of these activities.
Check back here next week for information on Camp Au Pair in America: a weekly blog series with themed weeks for the entire summer break.
“Game plan” means a strategy for how you are going to accomplish something. In the case of keeping kids from getting bored and/or into trouble, the best way to prevent it is to keep them busy with safe, fun activities.
When there are days home from school, letting kids sit around watching TV or play video games is not the best use of their time. Providing fun alternatives will make it much easier to pull them away from the screen.
You need to make a plan of what you will do with them each day and prepare for that. Planning is very important. You don’t want to tell them you are going some place fun, only to arrive there and see they are not open that day or you needed to bring something and you don’t have it.
If your plan includes a craft or cooking project, make sure you have:
all the ingredients/supplies
If your plan includes an outing to someplace fun, figure out:
How will you get there?
When you should leave?
How much it will cost?
What will you do for lunch?
Use some of these online resources to find activities and recipes:
With Memorial Day almost here, I wanted to remind everyone about program rules on holidays and vacations.
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.
Au pairs should NOT make plans for holidays without checking with your host family FIRST.
Au pair earns 2 weeks of paid vacation during the course of her year.
The host family can pick a week and the au pair can pick a week, if an agreement is not reached.
All vacation 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 a ticket.
If an au pair travels with their host family, it should be discussed UP FRONT whether this is the au pair’s vacation or if she is working.
If an au pair travels with the host family to work, the host family is required to pay for her transportation, lodging and meals.
Important: An au pair MUST have her DS2019 signed PRIOR to her departure from the US. More information about this can be found by selecting the Resources tab on the top of this page and looking under “Travel Links for Au Pairs.”