Traveling is one of the main reason that will push a young lady or young man to become an Au Pair.
If it is your case, there is a few things that you should definitely know.
Being an Au Pair isn't an easy duty. If you choose to be one in the USA, you have to remember that you can work up to 45hours per week, not have all your week end free but at least one per month, 2 weeks of vacations at the minimum per year and a stipend of $195,95 per week.
In that optic, it can be more or less easy to travel depending on how much you are saving per week, if you have your week end off and if your host family is giving you more vacations.
Some families will take you on vacations with them, during which you will work or not, but most of the time, you will have to plan ahead your trips to be sure to do the most during your time in the USA.
Now, how did I afford to visit 8 states and 2 other countries in 10 months ?
Well, first of all I had the chance to have my week end off during 6 months out of 10 so I could go to NYC easily by train during my week end. It was an easy 40 minutes ride to Grand Central Terminal.
Also, my host family loved to do cultural visits so we went to a couple of states during the week end to see some universities, museums etc. And they gave me an extra week for Christmas. So I could spent a couple days with them upstate and a few ones at a friend's house (met while traveling) in an another state.
I also choose to split my 2 weeks vacations to be able to spend one week in Canada and one in Mexico.
The rules :
Number one rule to travel is saving. You have to save some money. Your host family is paying for your accommodation, most of the time transportation and your food, so try to take advantage of that and take the car or the train that they are paying for you instead of an Uber, do not eat out everyday, make your coffee at home instead of buying a Starbuck every morning, take snacks when you are going out instead of grabbing a Jumbo juice or a Dunkin Donut.
While traveling :
- Make sure to book in advance the most expensive parts (accommodation, flight, monuments' tickets)
- Ask the AP community to get advices and why not a free tour of the city
- Do not hesitate to look at couchsurfers or ask your AP friends if they have a spare room for you
- Book AirBnB, Hostels or Motel instead of Hotel
- Look for a included breakfast
- Eat at local places (less expansive most of the time)
- Avoid all the souvenirs in souvenirs shops (they aren't that personal and most of the time more expensive)
- Use the local transportation instead of Ubers and Taxis
Now that you have all the tips, you should be able to do as much as I did and even more !!