Bringing your global family together for an unforgettable reunion can be a great way to introduce your former and current au pairs, reunite with your international family all at once, and bond over shared memories and experiences. Here are some tips to make your reunion a success! Then, get inspired by the Fowlks family as you watch them reunite with their global family in Lisbon, Portugal!
1. Invite all your au pairs over (past and present)!
Coordinating with au pairs from all around the world can take some planning, so make sure to lock down a date and place in advance and book your flights/stays early to make sure everyone can make it.
Make a group chat
Communication is key. Make a group chat with your reunion team (we recommend WhatsApp) to share details and keep everyone in the loop. This is also a great place to get everyone excited!
Pick a fun spot
Choose a meeting place that makes sense for everyone involved. If it’s easiest, there’s no place like home. Or, since global families can be widespread, meeting in the middle may make most sense.
“That’s what we want—we want to all be sitting around on couches. Portugal was an amazing place, but I mean, it could have been anywhere. We just want to be together.”
—Liz Fowlks, host mom who hosted a reunion in Lisbon, Portugal
2. Remember the good times!
Have pictures at the ready
Make sure to print out some old pictures or bring your photo albums to reminisce with the group. These can spark old memories and stories for your au pairs to exchange!
“We went to our FIRST au pair, Aleja’s, wedding when the girls were 8 years old… She was their au pair when they were babies! So, while they didn’t remember her, they had seen so many photos so they knew which arms to run into at the airport! And now they have memories with her they DO remember!”
—Amy Pond, host mom and Cultural Care staff member
Stock up on American snacks
Your global family members will be almost as excited to reunite with yummy American snacks as they are with you! Having plenty of their favorites at the ready is a nice thought and will bring them right back to their time with you!
Include your current au pair
Out of all the members of your reunion, your current au pair may have spent the least amount of time with your family. Make sure to make them feel included in the activities even if they’re still in the process of making memories with your family.
3. Take to the streets and get exploring—Cultural Care style!
Don your Global Family Reunion t-shirts
We designed some awesome t-shirts for your future global family reunions, and they’re available now! Wherever you decide to go, you’ll be matching (and easy to find!) in these funky shirts.
Plan a few destinations beforehand
While much of your time together might be spontaneous, it’ll be good to have a couple activities planned in advance. If you’re hosting a larger group, make sure to make some reservations and buy tickets to landmarks in advance to keep the days moving.
Enjoy some simple, unplanned quality time
Some of the most magical moments during a global family reunion are the simplest. Don’t forget to save some of this free time to simply laugh, eat, and share memories together.
“The most valuable part for me was seeing these young men and women behaving like siblings: including our children in their stories and jokes, reminiscing about their times with our family. The easy way they interacted with each other; the way they would just look at the kids and hug them; the spontaneous plans they made with each other for a night out. It was a pretty emotional weekend for this mama. And this was only 4 of them!
—Julie McGhee, host mom and reunion specialist
4. Make lots of new memories!
Recreate old photos
Remember those old pictures you gathered for the occasion? Now it’s time to recreate them! Have your old au pair’s hold your children like the babies they used to be or recreate some of your family shots and see how much you’ve all changed!
Experience a new (or familiar) place together
Hosting a reunion in a new place allows for everyone in involved to make new memories in an entirely new place, so experience your destination to the fullest alongside your global family. Even if you’re in a familiar place, show your au pairs the best parts of it!
“It’s so, so special to reunite with our au pairs in THEIR home countries, you get to know a whole new side of who they are and where they are from. Also—when you get to their country… you start to have more empathy for all they went through! Now it’s the host family that is surrounded by a new language, new culture, new foods, and new street signs!”
—Amy Pond, host mom and Cultural Care staff member
“This opportunity to mix all of the different cultures—you know, people coming from Austria, coming from Germany, and meeting in a place that’s completely different, it’s just really exceptional.”
—Liz Fowlks, host mom
Don’t forget the group shot!
And of course, don’t forget to document your big reunion along the way. If you share your photos on social media, hashtag #culturalcareaupair and #globalfamilyreunion so we can share your reunion with our entire community!
Looking for more inspiration? Watch the Fowlks family’s unite with their global family in Lisbon, Portugal in the video below!