Most Au Pairs want the chance to travel during their year with us. “Travel” can mean a lot of things– vacations, long weekends, day trips, and even a quick stop over at something interesting on the way to a regular errand. Host mom and regular contributor HRHM shares these ideas for simple, fun, lower-cost travel gifts for your au pair.
1. Surprise Weekend Off
Pick a weekend when you know you can swing it and give her a long
weekend so she can go somewhere. (extra time off is my favorite gift
from my employer.) Try to avoid holiday weekends since travel will be
more expensive and more crowded. If you can, coordinate with her
friends behind her back so that they can go with her on her adventure.
2. “Free” Hotel Room
Use your points to get her a hotel room in a city she wants to visit
or hasn’t been to yet. If you don’t have points, this may not be
feasible, but in many business hotels in cities, the weekend rates are
really cheap (<100 per night) so 2 nights might be within your budget.
3. Relax the Car Limitations
If she’s earned the trust, let her take the car further than you
4. Romantic Rail Travel
Train travel is so much less common here than abroad that a trip on an American railroad can feel special. Use your points to buy your au pair a train ticket (round trip, of course).
5.Wrap It Inside Good Travel Advice
Present the gift inside a city guide book! Look for the funky kind, or the kind that has strange tips (cv notes: we have Wierd New Jersey).
We live in Hampton Roads and our AP hasn’t been to DC for a full on visit yet. Her train ticket from here will be $66 round trip. I found a room on the metro line not far from Union Station that was $103 per night, but even better, we have enough Marriott points that it will be free for us. I am coordinating with her bestie to pick a weekend that she can go along. I will give them a ride to and from the train station and Metro cards to use in DC. I’m also trying to get them a White House tour with our Senator’s office. I’m going to put everything in a Lonely Planet guide and wrap it from Santa! I can’t wait to see her face.
Image: Cornwall Map by NaturallyHeartfelt on Etsy