5 Gift Ideas for Host Parents as a Broke Au Pair or Student

Hey Au Pairs!

The holidays are fast approaching and you may be wondering what the heck to get for your host parents considering they have a lotttt more money than you! We put this question to our followers on Instagram and they came back with a few fantastic ideas. If you have any good ideas for gifts, please share them and we’ll update this post!

All of these ideas are cheap, easy to get your hands on, and will let your host family know that you care. Alternatively, if you’re struggling for cash, why not suggest not giving presents this year? It may sound like an awkward conversation but could save you a lot of time!

1. Create a Photo Album

This is a great way to share the pictures you’ve taken of the host kids or family during your au pair year. This will be a cherished memory for your host family in the future and it will remind them of you whenever they look at it!

You could either buy a small photo box and include a select number of pictures or hunt down a beautiful photo album and continue to add to it throughout the year? (Alternatively, print off the pictures and add them to a photo album your host family already owns if you’re super broke!)

There are many ways in which you can print out pictures for a cheap price nowadays, so depending on where you are an au pair, make sure you do some research. In the UK, Free Prints is a fantastic resource!

2. Ornaments for the Tree

Every single year, your host family will pull out an ornament that you bought them and think of the wonderful times you spent together! Why not buy a ornament that will really remind them of you, perhaps it’s a silly one that looks like your home country’s flag or something super tasteful. (I know which ornament I would be!)

Make sure you wrap up the ornament beautifully and include a card or a letter that lets your host family know why you’ve chosen this ornament.

3. Create a Hamper

This is sliding up the price range slightly, but if you’re savvy, it’s possible to create a beautiful hamper for a cheaper price. All you need to do is get your hands on a box to decorate with tissue paper and wrapping paper and then fill it with the foods, drinks, and goodies that you know your host family loves.

Alternatively, consider making a hamper using items that you love from your home country. It may be a little difficult to get your hands on these goodies last minute unless you know of a great international supermarket near you!

4. Start Baking

This is a great option for if you are broke. You could offer to make cookies for your host family for the holidays. Do this with your host kids and keep them engaged all afternoon (or at least for an hour!)

Look out for a beautiful glass jar to fill up with cookies and give this to your host parents from you AND the host kids! It’s cute, it’s edible, and, best of all, it’s very cheap.

5. Something Very Personal

Do you and your host parents share a love of Hemingway? Do you know that your host family love going to Spain every year and haven’t been able to go this year? Does your host parent tear up when they receive flowers?

Now is the time to be a little creative and add a few personal touches to your gift. You’ve lived with this family for a few months now, so you are likely to have a very personal gift idea. If it’s too expensive, why not raise this issue with another adult family member and ask them to share the cost?

An au pair over on Au Pair, Oh Paris’ Instagram bought her host family a Queen vinyl record, we presume due to a shared love for the band! This is a small, sweet, yet personal gift that will hopefully give you some inspiration!

Finally, if you find that you really have no ideas for your host family this year, simply write them a beautiful card full of lovely memories that you’ve enjoyed with them throughout the end of year. If they’re the sentimental type, they will love this!

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