What to do with the leisure time of an Au Pair
Being an Au Pair is not always an easy job so it’s understandable that they are looking forward to their Au Pair leisure time: Children are often not doing what they are supposed to do or start moaning from time to time. Especially when they are tired or hungry. The good news is: Over time it will be easier to manage these situations as the Au Pairs knows the kids better.
Never the less, in moments like this, Au Pairs are usually longing for their leisure time or their days off. And then, all of a sudden, the Au Pair is free and realises that she/he has no idea what exactly to do in her/his leisure time. But before racking the brain, we try to provide some help concerning the organisation of the time off.
What about some sportive activities?
Leaving the home country behind does not automatically mean that you need to let go all of your habits and hobbies. To make you feel more comfortable, we recommend to continue hobbies or favourite sports in your leisure time. Looking for a gym or a sports team is also a really good way to meet other people and get to know some friends. Normally, there are a lot of gyms or sports clubs in and around the cities which often do have special rates for Au Pairs. Besides, you keep yourself well trained and doing some sports sets free happy hormones as a positive side effect.
Meeting other Au Pairs
What’s happening quite often is that you see a bunch of Au Pairs becoming friends and hanging out together a lot. This is not a big surprise: Au Pairs meet at school runs or get in contact through Social Media like Facebook or Instagram. They often have similar working and leisure time hours. Having a chat after the school drop off or before the school pick up or at night times is easy to arrange.
If the host children are in the same age range, Au Pairs can even hook up for a joint playground visit after school or during the day if the kids are pre-school age.
How about improving language skills in your leisure time?
Improving the language skills while living and working in a foreign country is one of the most current arguments/reasons to go abroad. They hope to get better grades at school or want to refresh their language skills before applying for universities. Some Universities or higher education programmes even require a proof of language and doing exams like TOEFL or IELTS is easier, when you are living in the country and speaking English everyday.
Consequently, attending a language course might be a very reasonable and useful way to spend your leisure time with. Besides the positive effect on your language skills, courses are always a good starting point to find new friends or other Au Pairs. Check out the internet (or ask your agency) and we promise, you will find an appropriate language school close to the neighbourhood. Learning can be fun too.
Have you ever considered traveling to another city or even country?
While staying abroad, you surely start exploring the surrounding areas within short time when having some free time. It might be possible that, after a certain period of time, you have already visited the normal tourist attractions close by.
Then, it is time to think a little further. Luckily, in Europe, ways are pretty short and hence, other cities or areas can be reached with little expenditure. Nowadays, flights are cheap and easy to book, trains link a wide range of cities and buses are always an inexpensive alternative when having a day off or a long weekend to explore more. Surf the internet for more information, ask friends to join you and start exploring the world right now.
Too exhausted to be really active in your spare time?
Without doubt, the Au Pair job is stressful and tiring from time to time. So, what is wrong with getting comfortable and relax with a good book or an interesting film? Or you could simply use the leisure time to get in contact with your family and friends at home in order to keep up with the latest news? If you feel like meeting someone in your spare time, asking local friends to have a coffee around the corner or to hang out together is always a good idea.
Whether you are rather a couch potato or an active girl/boy, there are plenty of things to do and to discover in your leisure time. Just make sure, that you fully take advantage of this wonderful Au Pair experience and return back home with a lot of (good) memories in your suitcase.
You could start writing down your experience
We are not only suggesting to write down your experience, because you may be interested in publishing your experience on other websites like www.hostmum .com (of course we would be very happy to post your experience on our Blog). But it’s also a good way of reflecting a few things.
It’s not uncommon that people who have a lot on their shoulders, hear the recommendation to start writing a diary. We can imagine, that Au Pairs also get to the point sometimes, where they get homesick or have a little depressive phase when things don’t quite go as expected. In these cases, writing down your thoughts is quite helpful.
You can also start writing comprehensive emails about your experience which you can send to your friends and family at home and attach a few photos. That’s a great way of sharing your experience with your beloved ones.
Last but not least, you could think about starting a blog about your experience and show other future Au Pairs how your live as an Au Pair is. There are some platform, like tumblr, Blogger or wordpress, where you don’t even need technical know how as it is all hosted by the Website.
Plan a family outing for you and your host family
If you are getting along well with your host family, ask the parents if they are happy for you to come up with a few suggestions of what to do on a weekend day as a family together. Maybe there are places which are beautiful but hard to reach without a car. Host parents are surely open to your suggestions if they like you and feel that you deserve some kind of extra bonus.
To avoid awkward situations you should best ask about a budget before you start planning. Things like fun parks can get very expensive if the whole family plus an Au Pairs need to pay entrance (plus all the extra money for drinks and snacks).