You are all set to leave and have a great host family in Europe confirmed and you’re ready to start a new journey abroad … but there are a few important things to prepare before you leave for your au pair adventure in Europe.
A valid passport and airplane ticket
When you apply to be an au pair in Europe, one requirement will be to have a valid passport for 6 months after your stay abroad. Double check that your passport is valid and if not, make sure you will have documents to extend or renew your passport or better yet, do it before you go!
Airplane tickets might be the most expensive purchase for your trip, and it could be cheaper if you purchase early. Weekends or summer season flights are usually more expensive so try to buy weekday or low season flights. (If you are going to be an au pair in Holland or Belgium, you don’t have to deal with this part since the host family will pay for your flights!)
International driver’s license and documents for your visa or residency card
Some host families might want you to drive in Europe. In this case, you will need an international driver’s license which can also be used as a second piece of identification. Also you should bring any required documents needed to apply for your residency card or visa in the host country; this usually includes an authenticated copy of your birth certificate along with other documents. Documents that you will need to bring may vary depending on which country you are traveling so please ask Latitude for a list of documents you need and give yourself a few weeks to prepare these.
Most of au pairs are required to have a medical check when applying for the program. A copy of this doctor’s note or report should be brought with you to your host country. Long-stay au pairs will have a health insurance with accidental coverage for the duration of their stay provided by the host family but it is be beneficial to do health & dental check-up before departure anyway. Make sure you are in healthy condition to start your new adventure!
Personal and financial situation
You will be away for up to a year, so it is important to sort out your personal and financial situation; cell phone account, banking information, and any extra bills that you may want to stop paying for a while. Don’t forget to tell your bank or credit card provider that you will be traveling or you may face blocked accounts while abroad!
It is a good idea to bring some Euros with you “just in case”, we recommend carrying about 100€ with you on your trip or a pre-loaded Visa or MasterCard card. You may choose to open a bank account once you arrive but this is not always necessary since au pairs are normally be paid in cash and all other expenses such as room & board, mobile phone etc are included.